Upon Request: How to Self-Publish Kindle Style

I’ve been asked by Codywestle to make a post about how to self-publish.  Now, I don’t like calling myself an expert on anything outside of my own stories.  So, this is all opinion and personal path here.  Nothing is ever sent in stone and you might find or have gone a different route than these steps:

  1. Declare that you’re going to be an author for more than a few months.  This guarantees that it’s not an idea born from drinking, spontaneous thoughts, or anything else that can fade before you get done with step 2.
  2. Plan and write your book.  Seriously, you can’t self-publish without a book.
  3. Edit your book multiple times.  This step can be done throughout the other steps until you get your book published.
  4. Send out query letters and samples to agents and publishers.  I know we’re aiming for self-publishing, but you should at least try for this.  You could get lucky.  The worst that happens is that you build up a resistance to rejection.
  5. Find and talk to established e-book authors to get their input.  They can tell you about the process, the pros, the cons, and help you avoid some of the pitfalls.
  6. Make a website/blog, facebook page, twitter, and pinterest with all of them connected.  This will become the basis for your marketing attempts.  Play around with various content like book sections, personal stories, poems, jokes, and whatever you are interested in.  One of the tricks to self-publishing is to connect with people and establish contacts.
  7. Make or find someone to make your cover art.  You can find stock photos to use, but know that other books might have these.  I went with a family member who is a highly talented artist.  Check out his site here.
  8. Continue editing because I know you’ve slacked off by now.  Get back in that corner and don’t come out until you finish that chapter.  Don’t give me that look!
  9. Write your author bio and book blurb/description.  Use your blog to help get some feedback on their quality.
  10. Make an account on Kindle, Createspace, and Smashwords.  Get as far into the process as you can without your cover art.  This includes formatting your book to their standards and submitting it to save as a draft.  You can do the formatted draft on Kindle and Createspace, but not Smashwords.  Note:  You can also use Pub It! for the Nook, but Smashwords should be able to handle that too and I found that it’s easier to work with them than Pub It!  That’s just me though.
  11. Make a Store tab on your website.
  12. Research self-publishing resources and author groups.  Goodkindles is a great site for Kindle book advertising.
  13. Make friends with other e-book authors and ask if they would want to exchange books to write reviews for each other.  You might be thinking ‘what about the money?’  Well, giving a free book for a review is worth it the moment you make even one sale off that review.  Think long-term here and not just short-term gain.
  14. Cover art is done?  Take a deep breath, stretch, and get ready.  Put your book together on all of those sites that I previously mentioned.  Smashwords does a format check with advice on how to fix it, so I would recommend doing this first.  It also shows up within an hour at most, so make a blog post about the availability as soon as you see it.
  15. Wait for the review process to finish on Kindle (about a day) and Createspace (a few days and you have to check for completion).  Once they’re ready to go, make the big announcement.
  16. Advertising!  Goodkindles, create giveaway contests, make your trades, author pages, and find some book reviewers to give free copies to.  This is where you’ll be most frazzled until you lock down what works and what doesn’t.
  17. Most important:  WRITE YOUR NEXT BOOK!

That’s all I can think of saying as far as the process goes.  As far as determination and emotion, all I can say is to never give up.  If this is what you want to do then make sure that nobody talks you out of it.  Standing on a chair and announcing this is not recommended . . . I miss going to that restaurant.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
This entry was posted in Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Upon Request: How to Self-Publish Kindle Style

  1. Created ~ Create.it says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this!


  2. Matilda Aya says:

    Did you share your work with anyone for feedback before finalizing the published version? If so, how did you decide who to share it with for review?


    • slepsnor says:

      Good question and most of my reviewers were friends and family. I tried to self-publish a few years ago through a vanity press, which netted me some input from friends who I gave free copies too. You can also join adult writing classes to meet other writers and exchange manuscripts after getting to know one or two. That’s if you want to. I’d suggest getting your book copywritten before doing this, which can put you at ease about lending it out.
      It’s really a tough decision, so I went with people I knew I could trust and would give me real reviews. It really depends on your own comfort level with the person. Finding a person in your genre who is willing to read and critique your book is great too because you can get a review blurb out of that for your Amazon page. I wasn’t able to find any fantasy authors who had the time for this, but a lot of authors do it.


  3. Leisa says:

    So cool Charles!!!!


  4. Can i ask a question please? Did you do the KDP Kindle thing with the 90 day tie-down? I@m thinking not but would be happy if you could confirm.


    • slepsnor says:

      I didn’t do that. I was thinking about it, but the wording of the contract made me think it would affect my website posts. I’ve been told that it doesn’t, but I’ve read some authors talk about how the KDP Select was changed and no longer makes up for what you give up. Something about the free downloads no longer counting toward monthly sale counts, so your numbers don’t get a major boost.

      Personally, I think I’m happier not being tied down to a program. Makes me feel freer.


  5. rawencounterswithestella says:

    Thanks so much for this information, Charles!! 🙂


  6. codywestle says:

    Thanks again. I’m looking forward to more of your insightful posts!


  7. kdillmanjones says:

    This post was really helpful as I’m beginning to throw in the towel in terms of agent hunts. The Kindle route gives me hope, and these suggestions especially give me more to work toward. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s