How to self publish a book. My two cents.

How to self publish a book. My two cents.

Hi everyone !
Of course all this stuff is really subjective and everybody has it´s own experience or opinion but I´m writing this post now because I think it can help a lot of people who´s just starting on this self publishing online thing.
I keep having a lot of people asking me about what to do to publish their own projects, either children books or other type of books and so I will try to give you some points to get you started. This is my opinion then.
Self publish projects are now about half of the work I get in each year. It used to be just stuff for established mainstream publishers for many years but since about three years or so, I have noticed a big change as many people started to approach me also with independent or self publishing content. Right now my amazon new listing features a mix between projects for established mainstream publishers like New Paige Press with the “Once Canvas” book series and also independent and/or self published books like The Mystery Puzzle for example. As an illustrator the market now has doubled for me because I do work for any type of client as long as the project fits me and I like the book that is presented to me. 😉

MyAmazonAuthorPage-Luisperes

Therefore I think this post now might help to make things less confusing for people who are just arriving.
This about how to start self publishing online and not leave your written books on the shelve. Who knows, maybe you can start your little independent publishing business from home. Trust me, it happened more times than you may think. It´s all about persistence, exposure and good planning.

So…

You wrote a story and don´t know how to publish a book ? There´s actually plenty of things you can do nowadays as the market for self publish books has really changed in the last three years or so, when it comes to different opportunities and ways for the common folks to put their work out there. For example, put your book in amazon.
Publish your book on kindle and/or as real printed book.
You don´t need to leave your books forever in your drawer anymore.
Publish your book for free.
You don´t know how to write but you can draw ?…
Well, publish a coloring book like mine then.

8x10_BW_60-COVER - book2_1250xSample

It´s now a lot easier (and many times even profitable) to become a self published author than it used to be. Self publish and be happy. 🙂
Don´t take it to seriously, just make it your hobby and then one morning you might find yourself with a new fulltime job.
Publish your book online. Self publish is actually a good door to reach more “professional markets” or maybe even to get your book noticed by established mainstream publishers.
For example a scifi book called “The Martian” which started as a self published project,  became the Ridley Scott movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon.

So don´t fear to dive into the self publish yourself. No matter what type of book you are writing although my focus here is on children books because those are what I am illustrating nowadays.

For example one of the best selling books I did recently, “The Masterpiece – One big canvas” , https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-One-Big-Canvas/dp/0578496380/ came out of a project which started as a self publishing effort for an independent author, Jay Miletsky and now he´s actually running his own established independent publishing company, New Paige Press out of the results in sales from his initial self published books, “Ricky the Rock”, “Beware of : The nose biting monster”, etc.

themasterpiece2-newpaigepress

I´ve actually already illustrated the sequel for the Masterpiece. The second volume in the “One big canvas – series” called “The Molding of the Clay” is about to be officially released and I will be starting to illustrate book 3 in a couple months too.
So, if one can do it, two can do it, three can do it.
You can do it too.

Just be aware of one thing. If you plan to go into self publish, besides gathering a comfortable budget for illustration work you should set aside a bit of money for online publicity, like google add words for example ; (facebook adds don´t work very well in my experience but this is  only my opinion) .
Then you need to have your work or info about it, posted everywhere in blogs, social media, sites, etc.
Don´t know where to start ? Start a blog if you don´t have one yet and blog about the making of the book. Don´t worry about having just one or two visits or readers on the first months. The more you write , the more you blog is picked up by the google search engine and the more people will know about your book.

Nowadays there´s a bunch of ways to self publish your book. Let´s look at some self publish ideas on how to start publishing your own book.

1 – There´s the zero cost way of publishing it on KDP Amazon like I´m doing with my coloring books right now.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083XGJS9N/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

In that way , you get your book written, illustrated and edited; (I totally recommend the “Affinity Publisher software” (more on that one later)). Then you upload the content into your own author KDP account for free, choose your price and amazon prints your book each time someone orders it.

kdp

At the same time you can create an alternative e-book version there from the same material you´ve uploaded and sell that too.
Amazon only gets a percentage out of everything. Don´t expect to become rich with this method but if you end up selling a few thousand copies your revenue will not be that bad too.

2 – If you want to do the same with your book like you did on amazon but also include an hardcover edition (amazon only prints soft covers), you can also self publish the book at the same time in www.lulu.com
It works mostly in the same way as amazon does. It´s actually much easier to upload your book pages and you can create your book in a bunch of different hardcover formats besides the traditional softcover one.

lulu

You can also create an e-book version … but this one I think its only on pdf if I´m not mistaken.
The point is that you can have your book spread all around the self publish platforms you can find. The fact you publish on amazon does not mean you cannot publish it again in another company so take advantage of that. You retain all your rights anywhere you go.

In all these options the revenue wont be amazing unless you sell hundreds of books per month because the companies take their substantial fee out of each sale too, but don´t discourage because like I said if you are a first time self publishing author what matters is putting your book out there.

On this note, one thing that is very important… if you´re going to start your online store , try to fill it up with more than one book. I know its hard to invest in illustrations and making the book, but the more books you have in your online store the more the site search engines will sell the book for you.
So do your best to start creating. After all if you want to become a children book author just don´t stick with a single book.

Also don´t be in the hurry to see results. It takes months for search engines to index new content on the web so while you are waiting to something to happen regarding sales on your first book, start working on a second one. This way when your first book starts to get noticed by people and most of all, by search engines a few months after you launch it, you then release a second one and send the message to potential buyers out there that you mean business and you´re not going anywhere. Get the idea ?

3. The more profitable way to make money in your books is also the most expensive for a new self publish author.
In this third method, you need to invest on illustrations and creating the book but you also need to have a budget to print real copies and stock your book at home to sell all over the place.

Usually nowadays printing in bulk in China is a good choice because their quality has become real good and they print 1000s of copies of your product at a lower cost than anywhere in the world like New Paige Press did with my books for example.

new_paige_press

You need money to make money in this number 3 option but in the end you´ll make a lot more revenue than just self publishing in regular KDP print on demand routes like I mention on points 1 and 2.
This way you get your amazon store not just as a print on demand author on KDP but as an independent publisher. You are the one who´s stocking amazon with your books when their stock runs out, you´re the one printing the books and so you retain most of the cover price you ask for there.
In point 1 and 2 you just get a small fee out of your sales because the companies have to do all the printing and selling work for you.

So I hope this post of mine gives you a few ideas to be excited about also publishing your own book.
If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I´ll be posting a couple more things on this topic later.

Check my other post on my ETSY prints store too. If you are a creative person and you are looking to find another way of getting your work out there and still make a little money read that text. 😉

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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luisperesillustrator@gmail.com

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CONTACT

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