I often hear from people who want to write a book but don’t know how or where to begin. Or from people who have already written a book that’s ready for publication but don’t know how to get it published. Yesterday I began a new blog series, Writing and Publishing Tips From Authors Around the World, to help writers.
The first author is a UK self-published author, John Holt, and he’s here to talk about Self-Publishing. His article will be posted in two parts. Today I’m posting PART TWO, which gets more technical.
Here is PART TWO of John’s article:
So that’s it then, decision made, you are going to self publish. So how do you do it? It really couldn’t be simpler.
First let’s consider the paperback. Decide what size you would like your Paperback to be. I use A5. Set the Page Layout on your word processor (I use Microsoft WORD) to the size you require. Type up your novel. I use Times New Roman, 11 point. Page Layout – Margins Top 1.9cms; bottom 1.9 cms; inside 1.27 cms; outside 1.9 cms; gutter 0.89 cms; Mirror margins.
At the end of each chapter – insert a PAGE BREAK.
I do my Chapters headings in Bold and size 14 point, and they are centered.
Once completed you can then submit that WORD document directly to Lulu.com or Createspace. There is no charge for getting published. There is, of course, a charge to purchase the actual books. (I have used both. In my opinion Lulu.com produces the better product, but they are slightly more expensive to purchase). Both Lulu and Createspace make your work available on Amazon. Follow the simple on-line instructions to get published. You will be asked to upload the file containing the novel. An ISBN number will be allocated (again at no charge). With regard to the cover you will be required to upload a wraparound cover. You will be advised as to the sizes required. And that is that. Your paperback will be ready to purchase from Lulu or Createspace instantly; and on amazon 6-8 weeks later.
Now to the ebook – there are many sites where it is possible to produce an ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and all kinds of ebook formats. I started with Kindle Direct Publishing – KDP.
Once again it is simple to do, and at no charge. Use the same WORD document you used for the paperback. Follow the simple on-line instructions. Upload your cover – for ebook use you will only require a front cover – The ebook will be available within 24 hours on Amazon
A word on ISBN numbers – if you have a number of books, and you wish to make them available in several different places, you would best be advised to purchase your own from http://www.isbn.nielsenbook.co.uk/controller.php?page=123 – the cost is £132 for ten.
Finally a brief word to any wannabe authors out there. Some people say write about things you know. I don’t go along with that thinking. I write crime novels featuring my private detective Tom Kendall, and his assistant Mollie. I write about blackmail, robbery, murder, not things that usually form part of my normal day. People have also said that your stories should be realistic. Once again I don’t generally go along with that thinking. After all a man who wears his underpants on the outside, and has x-ray vision, and flys faster than a speeding bullet, isn’t something you would see every day. Nonetheless you must admit that Superman has done very well for his creators.
One more thing, once your work is published you should be prepared to receive criticism. Hopefully people will like your work, but some will hate it. You cannot please everyone all of the time, so don’t even try. Just write to please yourself. If you like it then that is fine, if anyone else likes it that’s a bonus.
I live in Essex with my wife, daughter, and our cat who adopted us. I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1966, and for many years I worked in Local Government. In 1972 I was employed as a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council. I stayed with them until the GLC was closed down by the Thatcher Government in 1986. I then started my own Surveying practice, carrying out property condition surveys, and preparing architectural drawings. In 2004 I had a heart attack, and lost a few clients. I finally retired in 2008.
Like many others I’m sure, I always wanted to write a novel but could never think of a decent plot. Then we had a holiday in Austria, at Lake Grundlsee. The next lake, Toplitz, had been used by the German Navy during the way, to test rockets and torpedoes. There were rumours of hidden nazi gold. This became the basis for my first novel “The Kammersee Affair” first published in 2006.
This was followed by five novels featuring my private detective Tom Kendall – The Mackenzie Dossier, The Marinski Affair, Epidemic, A Killing In The City, and Kendall. Then came “The Thackery Journal” a what if novel set during the American Civil War,
Recently I have been writing a series of novellas featuring a new private detective, Jack Daniels. To date two are available, The Candy Man and A Dead Certainty. A third, Trouble In Mind, should be available in April.