All in all, publishing to Amazon wasn’t all that bad.
I had gotten to the point that if I didn’t publish one of my works somewhere, I was going to blow a piston. And I almost put it out without getting it edited. What a mistake that would have been. When my editor handed the manuscript back, I think there were two pages – out of 156 – that had no red marks on them. If you’re going to publish, let a professional edit it. No matter what. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Next comes the book cover. Again, don’t put something out there just to have it. I almost did this, too. And although I think I had a pretty good picture, the illustrator I used put me to shame. As a result, I feel much more confident that the book cover will represent what I have written. The reader can, hopefully, judge the book by its cover. Again, hire someone who knows what they are doing. It really makes a difference.
Then comes some keywords and categories. They have tons of articles on how to do all these things, so I’m not detailing them here. I will say that these are very important, too. How will the reader find your book (Out of over 21,000 in Horror, for instance)? What tags will they use on it? Spend some time on this one. You could argue that this is the most important. If you have a book in a category that doesn’t match it or you don’t have good keywords, then nothing you have written will matter because no one will ever find it. Be granular when choosing your categories. The smaller the niche, the more chance you have of rising to the top 100 in that niche.
I set the price at $3.99. Probably should have gone with $2.99, but then there’s a whole lot of people who would say for a novella it should have been $1.99, or even $.99. And of course, there’s the ones who say it should all be free. I don’t know if I made the right decision, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask for less. My finger hovered over the ‘2,’ but I just couldn’t. Give me $3.99 or give me death. This will also be a good way to validate my writing abilities. The more the book costs, the harsher the criticism. If the reader feels like they overpaid for what they got, I’m sure they’ll let me know.
For formatting, I used Mobipocket Creator and Kindle Previewer. You just import your Word document and it does the rest. Once it was in a workable html format, I took the html and added some blank lines, removed some indentations, and added a dedication page. It’s not that hard if you know basic HTML.
Then you just hit the ‘Publish’ button. It’s really that easy.
My point for writing this update is not just to chronicle my first baby steps in the self-publishing world, and not just to shamelessly plug my book, but to let you know that if you have something that you think is worthy, then you can publish it. Stop thinking you can’t and let that baby see the light of day. Whether you sell 2 copies, or 5,000, you’ll feel better if you do.