It's been a little while since I announced a new path in my journey: the path of self publishing. So I thought it was time that I gave an update as to where I am on this path and when you can expect to see my first book publicly available!
Admittedly, it hasn't been the easiest road to take as I thought my decision making was over, but in fact it was just the beginning. In this instance, you open one door and three more open in front of you!
What am I getting at? Well to decide to self publish is just one step of many. My first confrontation arrived when I began to explore both ebook distribution, and the traditional publication path of physical publishing. Two very different channels, and as one can expect, two very different directions. The ebook option seemed fairly straightforward, but physically publishing provided even more options; soft cover versus hard cover, printing copies and trying to sell these yourself, setting up your own distribution channels, or using the modern print on demand (POD) technology. Of course, one isn't limited to choosing just a single option, why if you really want to, you can do all of these! But it's likely you want to figure out what mediums you do want to utilise before you begin to choose companies that might provide these services - which was in fact my next decision point.
Look up 'self publishing' in google and you will be inundated with choices ranging from international powerhouses, to personalised boutiques, all boasting their way as the right way. And I think this was what had me so troubled... searching for 'the right way'. Searching for a one size fits all approach had me going round and round in circles and although there are websites and companies that offer these all-inclusive package deals, I couldn't find one that had me happy with every element. And this is what prompted me to further explore the notion of mixing and matching to create the option that was just right for me!
Where did this land me? I took an approach that I actually learnt in the world of business; figuring out what was most important and paying for some personalisation, then using the cookie-cutter services for areas that were less important to me, areas that I didn't believe I would benefit from differentiating myself. And the most important service I was searching for was cover design, so I sought out a designer that would provide me with personalised service and not just flick a mishmash of stock photos together prettily. Now to be fair, I haven't got my cover design back yet, but I have high hopes!
Another service I decided to pay for was formatting. Whilst I'm fairly able on the computer and in particular MS Word, I decided the cost/risk ratio made this a no brainer. I didn't want to run the risk of my book rendering poorly as an ebook or looking like an amateur print job, and considering I'm inexperienced with the standards, it made perfect sense to fork out for someone to do this for me.
From there, I decided on multiple distribution options; createspace, kindle and IngramSpark (Lightning Source's option for individuals), becuase why not have the best of both worlds! And this is where I found the advice I will share now... don't feel compelled to choose a single 'right' option, you will end up feeling trapped in your choice. There is no right way to self publish, there is only the way that's right for you. I call this The Write Way.
Oh and by the way... expected Publication Date? March, 2014!! :)