I’m at the end of my first publishing adventure. All 4 of my books are now on-line again at Amazon in both e-book and paper. Also at Smashwords for distribution(and purchase) for Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iBooks and many others. I started with books that were available but I wanted to add new covers and add a chapter of the next in the series, so I had to remove them from sale and begin again. Four books in 3 separate formats each equalled 4 months of work. Volume 5 is coming in the fall.
I learned many things but the first one is this:
Use the tools in Scrivener to help produce a manuscript that is easily uploaded to the publishing platforms. I write with Scrivener for many reasons. I store all my research in the appropriate(preset) folders, everything from photos to websites to clippings. I use the character building function to add depth to my cast. And I colour code to keep track of the POV in each scene. Doing that, I can tell at a glance if someone has been off-stage too long, especially my protagonist. When I’m done, I can export in any format, from standard manuscript, to e-book, to paperback novel. Genius.
The second lesson is read the guidelines and if necessary(Smashwords) the books written about formatting. I read all three of Mark Coker’s books about Smashwords and formatting and marketing. Helpful.
The third lesson is to buy Acrobat Pro DC and use it for your PDF’s. I found that the capability to review the pages and particularly assess them with the preflight function saved grief(rejected submissions.)
The fourth lesson: Pay for decent covers. I hired Karen Phillips of PhillipsCovers to create unity out of my chaos and the results are below. I love them and I’m sure they have increased sales.
The final lesson is about marketing. Seek out as many online groups, services etc. as you can find or afford to help get word out about your books. Booksgosocial is a terrific organization founded and run by Laurence O’Bryan. Services range from twitter campaigns(paid) to several Facebook sites for authors that include a book review group.
I’m going to do it all again in the fall when volume 5 is proofed and ready in time for Christmas.