FAQ - Self-Publishing

Hey there! Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, which allow me to support my website and writing career. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!


faqsp.jpg

When I first began researching self-publishing, I was overwhelmed, to say the least.

There are thousands of questions when it comes to publishing, and it can be daunting. It was so daunting, in fact, that I held of publishing my book for a couple months (yes, months) because I couldn’t convince myself if 1) self-publishing is even worth it, or 2) where to even start.

It’s no surprise to me when a question floats into my inbox asking one of the hundreds of questions I had when I began the self-publishing process.

I’m hoping today’s post will help you answer a question or two, and if it doesn’t, you know where to find me!…if you don’t, see my CONTACT page. :)

Which company did I choose to self-publish with?

Amazon, which is managed by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It was the most user friendly and recommended company, so I went with them. I don’t regret it.

How much does it cost?

Nothing.

To self-publish via KDP, it doesn’t cost you a dime. The only thing you technically pay is giving up a portion of your royalties (money you receive when a book sells) to them.

However, I did pay to have my book ready for publishing. I paid my editor to edit my entire book (a pretty big sum, but absolutely worth it). I did my cover myself, but only because of the financial circumstances I was in. I plan on hiring someone for my second book because people absolutely judge a book by its cover. I also sent out a handful of free copies to my book release team to help spread the word.

Has my self-published book done well?

Better than I thought it would!

Something to consider when you self-publish: the marketing is 100% on your shoulders. I also went into this in my “Things To Know Before You Self-Publish” post, but basically you have to be willing to put in the full effort of marketing. I have that effort, but I also work a part-time job, co-own a business with my husband, live in a fixer-upper, and keep a three-year-old alive on a daily basis, so I’m not always able to market my book as often as I’d like.

One day, definitely. Today, mostly.

What format is my book in?

Paperback, Kindle (e-book), and iBooks (e-book). When my book is purchased in e-book format, it’s available immediately for download. When the paperback format is purchased, it’s printed on-demand and shipped directly via Amazon’s warehouse, with no work on my end.

Is my book considered a “real” book?

Yep. My book has a legit ISBN and is legally copyrighted by the Library of Congress. I even have a certificate to prove it. :)

Do I plan to self-publish my next book/future books?

Yep! I’m nearly finished with my second book (praise hands) and I’m already in the process of preparing it for self-publishing.

Can self-published books be in bookstores or libraries?

Absolutely.

Let me start with libraries. Libraries hold no discrimination against books. My self-published romance novel was on the shelf of our local library within the first month after it was released. Why? I posted about my book release on social media, a friend of mine (who is a librarian at said library) asked me if I would be interested in having my book in her library.

YES YES YES.

Now, I understand that not everyone has librarian friends. However, there are ways of getting your SP book into libraries.

1) Ask them. One of the best ways of getting your book into the library is simply asking them if they’d be interested in having your book on their shelves. Sweeten the offer by offering to donate a couple copies to the library for shelving.

2) Have your friends request your book at their local libraries. Librarians take requests seriously. But don’t hound them with 150 empty requests in one day. That’s rude. A few will do.

Next: bookstores. This answer is a bit more complicated, so I think I’ll have to save the full answer for a separate blog post. But - long answer short: mostly. Let’s take Barnes & Noble for example. My book is available at B&N…but not in their stores, only online. But holy heck, my book is available at BARNES & NOBLE so whatevs. I’m cool with it.

Is self-publishing hard?

The actual process of transforming your book from manuscript to book: not really. I do recommend you do your research, though. I’m still knee-deep in research, and my book has been out for over six months. Or, ask a friend for help. Like me. :)

Whew, I think I got them all! I hope that answers some of your questions. If you have more, be sure to let me know. I’m here to help!


If you’re interested in buying the book I’m chatting about, check it out on Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks!


Ps...be sure to sign up for my newsletter by clicking the "Newsletter" tab up above to gain first access to book updates, subscriber-only giveaways, and writer tips! 


faqsppin.png

eight things you need to know before you self-publish a book

Hey there! Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, which allow me to support my website and writing career. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!


selfpublishphoto.jpg

eight things you need to know before you self-publish a book

by Brandi Little

Whenever I tell people that I self-published my book, this is the usual response I receive:

“…Really? But how?”

I have a literal notebook filled with things I want you to know at some point during your own writing journey, but I think this post is one of the most important. Why? Because writing a book is hard work. And I hate to say this, but… writing the book is the easy part.

It’s okay. You can tell that pillar of fear that just popped up to step back down because no matter which way you decide to publish (traditionally or self), I’m going to help you out. Besides, you’re a freaking rockstar for even thinking about writing/publishing a book!

So are you ready to hear the top six things I think you need to know before you self-publish? Here we go!

1) The marketing is all up to you, girl. Again, tell the fear to back off. Yes, the marketing of your self-published book is all on your shoulders. When you avoid the traditional publishing route, you miss out on the help of an agent/publisher guiding you throughout the marketing process. With that being said, it’s nothing you can’t do on your own! Especially with how huge social media is right now. Trust me when I say that you got this!

2) You might feel like you’re not a “true” published author. I’m just going to put it out there right now: In the eyes of most traditional publishers, self-published authors are not viewed as published authors. Why? Because anyone can self-publish a book, and some books that are published within the self-publishing realm aren’t at their best potential. But! Some of us (ahem, like me and you!) work really, really hard to get our books at their highest potential before putting them on the market. With all of the work I spent getting my book at its best, there’s no way I’m going to let someone tell me I’m not a “real” published author, and you shouldn’t either!

3) It’s more popular than you think. And it’s growing! Did you know that in 2016 there was 786,935 self-published books hit the market? That’s more than the entire population of Washington! As that number rises, so do the outlets of marketing for self-published books. There’s specific contests and awards, marketing hubs and groups, and places that will allow you to sell your book (Amazon, Kindle, iBooks - just to name a few!).

4) There’s a ton of resources. Search “how to self-publish a book” and I guarantee you your mind will blow with the amount of information and resources available for self-published authors. If you’re looking for specific help, there’s books like Successful Self-Publishing, How to Self-Publish a Book on Amazon, and How to Self-Publish a Children’s Book. I’m being serious when I say you aren’t without help!

5) It’s cheaper than you may think. The only two things I spent money on from the time I wrote Chapter One of my book to the time I clicked “Publish” on Amazon was on my editor and the copyright to my book. I think both things are highly important, so I dished out the cash to do them (and that’s coming from someone who freelance edits on the side!). That’s it!

6) Your book is considered 100% real. Aside from the copyright of your work (which means you have exclusive rights to your book and no one can use any part of your work without your permission), your self-published book comes with a free ISBN when you publish through Amazon. You know what an ISBN is, right? ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number that uniquely identifies validates your book. That’s straight from the ISBN Agency, yo.

7) You can make money. You’ve heard of the series “Fifty Shades of Grey”, right? If you haven’t, do a quick Google search. Did you know E.L. James self-published “Fifty Shades of Grey”? Mhm. We may not all be E.L. James, but there’s definite money to be made in self-publishing. You just gotta work for it. ;)

8) It’s hard work, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. I’ll be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you ever fear you’re doing all this work and your book will never be successful?” Me me me! But you know what, I know with such certainty that this is what I’m meant to do. God gave me (and you) the gift of words for a reason! Sure, it’s hard work, but what isn’t? I’ll also be the first to raise my hand if someone asks, “Do you really, I mean really, love your job?” Me. Me. Me. Do you?

“Your only limit is you.”


Ps...be sure to sign up for my newsletter by clicking the "Newsletter" tab up above to gain first access to book updates, subscriber-only giveaways, and writer tips! 

selfpublishpin.png