In the Homestretch of Self Publishing – Part #1

As the title suggests, I am now in the homestretch of self publishing my first book – Blue Violet.  The biggest chunks of this process are done.  The book is written. All the major edits are applied. The book cover is designed.  And what I have left to do is a laundry list of final steps.

What I’m finding to be the hardest part in these last few weeks is keeping my excitement in check and having a little patience. I’m so ready to be done and have the book out there that I’m chomping at the bit (to use yet another horse racing metaphor). I’m worried that I’ll miss an important step in the process, or worse, rush through these final edits just to get it done.

The good news is that I’m confident Wendy – my awesome editor – will slow me down on the editing piece if she thinks it’s necessary. She’ll be honest if any more re-write-type edits are still needed. As for the rest of it? Well, I’m a lister. So here are the 8 steps of what awaits me over the next week or so…

1 – Clean Up Edits
Wendy is in the process of what will be (fingers crossed) the final round of edits. In theory this should be grammar edits and consistency checks. Hopefully no major re-writes needed.  We’ll see what she comes back with.  The other tricky thing here is that I have come to realize that I could edit this book every day for the foreseeable future and not be entirely satisfied. There will always be one more word that could use tweaking, one more sentence needing adding or deleting, a better description, a funnier dialogue… you name it.  I could go on and on. So cutting myself off and finally, finally, finally calling it finished will be a challenge in and of itself.

2 – Front & Back Matter
I have the front matter pretty much done.  For Blue Violet this includes the title page, the copyright page (more about copyrighting below), the dedication, the active table of contents, and the blurb before the book starts.  Back matter is a different story. I still need to look at common back matter for self-publishers in my genre.  I’m currently thinking something along the lines of a “thanks for reading” page, a page with all my author sites (blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest), and a teaser page for the next book in the series – Hyacinth.

3 – Formatting for Kindle
Kindle has a whole list of specific formatting to apply to help your book render in the best way possible. I’ve applied a good deal of this. But once I’m finally done, I get to use an application that Amazon allows you to download to test out what you’re book will look like on the Kindle.  And of course – type-A personality that I am – I will feel compelled to check and fix and tweak every single page.

4 – ISBN #
The ISBN # is optional as far as publishing on the Kindle. However, it’s sortof like a social security number for books. If my books ever make into print, they’ll need one in order to be sold. You can buy an ISBN # online very easily. I had the option to buy 1 ISBN # for $125, or 10 for $250. Since I am already 33% through writing book #2, and am planning on books 3 & 4 for this series, the 10 for $250 made sense. Once you have the ISBN #s purchased you manage them online yourself. You determine which # is put on which book title and what info you upload on that book (some info is required like the contributors, the country, etc.). The ISBN # gets included on the copyright page for the book.

5 – Copyrighting
I can’t copyright the book until it’s completely done and ready to publish because I have to send the final manuscript in to get copyrighted.  It’s only $25 – which is not bad at all – and can be easily done online.  The copyright page in the front matter of my book is written. I found several articles and posts about what to include. Officially for Kindle it just has to be the copyright symbol, the year it was copyrighted, and the person or business who copyrighted.  In addition you can include the ISBN #, and some additional information.

Homestretch Steps # 6, 7, & 8
In Part #2 of this post I’ll get into the remaining steps of: Setting Pricing, Uploading & Publishing,  and Marketing.

I find it ironic that the homestretch is turning into 2 blog posts and 8 separate steps to complete. Can that really be considered the homestretch? Or is it more like the final turn before heading into the backstretch and final turn before heading into the homestretch? Haha.

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