This book is dedicated to Anne and Gerry Hobbs,
without whom Writers Holiday would not take place
and a lot of writers would not be writing.
Long may they continue to reign!
Copyright Malcolm Chisholm 2016
Published by Malcolm Chisholm
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
This may be reproduced freely, but no charge may be made for it.
Malcolm Chisholm asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this book.
All references to commercial organisations acknowledge their copyright and trade marks.
Word® is a registered trade mark of Microsoft Corporation
Writer® is a registered trade mark of the Open Office Foundation
CreateSpace® is a print service provider, part of Amazon.com
Lulu® is an on-line Print-on-Demand printer at www.lulu.com, owned by Lulu Press, Inc.
Shakespir® is the trading name of the eBook distributor, Shakespir, Inc.
Useful references to consult while you are using this book:
kdp.amazon.com (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Chapter Three CreateSpace by Amazon
Chapter Four Shakespir
Chapter Five Amazon Kindle
Chapter Six Your Choice
Chapter Seven Marketing
Not so long ago, most writers and publishers saw self-publishing as a last-ditch attempt by unpublished writers to “see their names in print”, with little hope of selling their work for any great reward. Indeed, before the advent of Print-on-Demand (POD) technology and eBook publishing, it was a very expensive option for the self-publisher, who would have to pay a printer to typeset the book and then print as many copies as could be afforded. The typesetting cost was fixed and the printing cost per book reduced as more were printed in a run. So the self-publisher had to balance the cost-per-book against the number of copies that could be afforded, the prospective sales figures and the space available for storage. The printer was unlikely to be willing to store the books after they had been printed.
Now, all that has changed. POD allows the self-publisher to set up the book on-line, via a website, and only print as many copies as are wanted. Storing 50 copies takes up far less space than 500 or more in the spare bedroom!
Self-publishing often used to be regarded as being the same as Vanity Publishing, in which an unscrupulous publisher would sing your book’s praises and charge you through the nose to print your book or include your work in an anthology along with hundreds of others. Not any more!
Self-publishing is now big business, for both writers and POD publishers, and has attained respectability. We can bring our work to the public in both print- and e-Books. It is a proving ground which provides public exposure and gives us the means of proving our worth to the mainstream publishing houses, who are so reluctant to take on new and unknown authors.
This course assumes that you are familiar with using the Internet, especially web-browsing, and using a word processor to create a Word document in either .doc or .docx format.
Your book is written, it’s time to find a publisher. There are lots to choose from, but who do you approach? Surely they will all be keen to take your masterpiece and sell it to the world?
Sorry to disappoint you but it doesn’t happen that way any more! Publishers do not gamble on new writers; they want to know that they will make money out of you and the only way to do that is by you being an established writer or you have the latest greatest idea that will sell millions of copies. Agatha Christie, JK Rowling and Dan Brown were all rejected many times by publishers not willing to invest in their ideas. So, what do you do?
EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey was self-published as an eBook and Print-on-Demand (POD) book in 2011 and was acquired by Vintage Books, a subdivision of Random House, in 2012 after it started selling well. You can do the same. It doesn’t take much more effort than the original writing of your book. All you have to do is upload it to any of the POD or eBook websites after formatting it according to their requirements.
WHAT YOU DON’T DO is to go to any of the many companies who promise to help and get your book published for a fee. They are all out to make money by supplying a service and some do much more for you than others. If you aren’t confident to self-publish after this course, ask others who they would recommend. In many cases you will find that you only need help with part of the process.
The self-publishing websites all want a Word format file (.doc or .docx) but from that point on they differ. This book will help you to get the formatting right for each of four main self-publishing outlets: Lulu.com and CreateSpace for POD books and Shakespir and Kindle for eBooks. One important point to start with: they all have different formatting requirements so start with a “bare-bones” file that contains no formatting at all, other than Bold, Italic, or text. All other formatting must be done using STYLES, so get used to making full use of them. It will pay dividends in the long run by saving you time when you want to make styling changes, according to the needs of the publishing system you use. This book describes how to do it using MS Word, but it can be done using other word processors, including Open Office Writer and AbiWord.
This document has been written with no publisher-specific formatting at all. The only formatting is Bold, Italic, or a combination of these. The only other non-text characters are
To create your file ready for modifying to the needs of the publisher, you must first remove all formatting and start with a clean text-only document. To do this, first open your Word file and copy the text into your computer’s clipboard. The next step is to paste it into a text editor, such as MS Notepad (supplied with Windows) or TextEdit (Mac OS X). This removes all formatting. Then copy the plain text into a new Word document. You will now have a clean copy, free of all formatting to get started on your self-publishing way. Alternatively, you can open a new document in your word processor, copy the whole book into your clipboard, as above, go to your new, empty document and use Edit>Paste special… and select unformatted text to paste into it. This will also give you a clean, unformatted document. Unfortunately, you will lose all your emboldened, italicised and formatting.
Once you have your clean text, you can start applying Styles to your document to set up the formatting to suit the publisher. This includes paragraph indenting instead of using tabs (which eBook publisher software hates) or adding following space after your paragraphs. Don’t use both!
Centre your title page, e.g.:
By Mark Twain
[page break here-_]
Your book must include a Copyright © page. It is usually opposite the title page and asserts your ownership of the text. It must contain:
the word “Copyright” or the © symbol,
the first year of publication and
the owner of the copyright.
It could look like this:
© 2016 Jo Smith or
Copyright 2016 Jo Smith
You should also restrict the transmission of the text. Here is an example:
“No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.”
Your moral right must be asserted as well:
“Jo Smith asserts his/her moral right to be identified as the author of this book.”
Your address, or the address of the publisher, should be included in case readers wish to contact you for permission to reproduce the text. Note that this is not the address of the printer/distributor.
If you write that the printer/distributor is the publisher the book will be rejected. The publisher can be liable for any legal infringements in the book and the printer/distributor will not accept such liabilities.
Page break at the end of the Copyright page.
This should be followed by a page break.
The TOC uses page numbers in print books but hyperlinked bookmarks in eBooks. End with a page break. See the Shakespir chapter for more info on bookmarks.
If you use an introduction, preface or prologue, it/they go after the TOC, followed by a page break.
Print book page numbers usually start being shown on the first page after the TOC, They should be suppressed or hidden on previous pages.
If you look above the editing area of your word processor you will find the font name and font size for the text you are using at cursor. These are just two features of the STYLE you are using. There will also be a name for the style. Usually it is Default or Normal but there are many more, such as Heading 1, Emphasis, Text body and Quote to name a few. If you highlight a block of text and select one of these other styles you should see a change in the a change in its appearance.
We can make use of styles to dictate the appearance of the text. For example, if we want to make our paragraphs indented, we simply change the relevant style and all the paragraphs will be indented, throughout the whole document. This is particularly useful when self-publishing as different media require text to be presented in different ways. It has already been pointed out that while tabs may be used in print books, they are absolutely forbidden by some eBook systems. It would be tedious to include tabs in your novel for your print book version and then have to remove them all when you submit the eBook, and just think how long it could take to change every paragraph in your book from indented to block-spaced if that was to be the better presentation. If you create your book like this one, you can change indentations, paragraphs, etc. at the click of a mouse in a style menu.
Let us look at the styles you might use in a book. Normal is the starting point. If all other styles are based on the Normal style, then any changes to Normal will affect other styles based upon it. What other styles might be desirable in a book?
This is my preferred list:
Normal - 95% of your book will be using Normal text
First paragraph – The first paragraph in a chapter is not usually indented, even when using indented paragraphs elsewhere.
Normal paragraph – This style is used for all other paragraphs, with a few possible exceptions (see below)
Quoted text – Usually the whole paragraph is indented and the text is italicised
Centred text – Sometimes used in special circumstances
Poetry – Usually single-spaced with a return at the end of each line, so we must not change its layout even if the normal paragraph settings are changed. Shift-Enter can be used to suppress end-of-paragraph spacing.
Chapter heading – Usually needs bold text in a larger font size, maybe with a different font.
Section heading – if you are writing a manual or text book you may want section headings inside your chapters.
Your word processor will have all these styles built in to the normal template used when yu start a page
Any Images in your book must be included in the body of text. They cannot be inserted after the book has been uploaded. Using Word, they must be inserted using Insert>Photo>Picture from file… (or similar means in other word processors). If your book is to be published in black and white, your pictures will look better if they have been formatted in black and white. Colour pictures lose some of their clarity if they are in a black and white book. Obviously, colour pictures will be fine in a colour book, but colour adds a lot to the cost of printing.
Your cover is the first thing a potential buyer sees of your book. It must be eye-catching or highly relevant to the content. There are many instances of a book cover failing to promote the book well enough, so that when it has changed sales have started to take off. Make sure you have someone who can design your cover for you. There are many designers on the internet who can design a cover for $100 upwards. Some charge even less. Look for references to Mark’s List in the Shakespir Style Guide. They are proven designers who provide clean files which usually get the books Shakespir Premium Catalog approval at the first try, as long as everything else is right.
Lulu Press, Inc was started in 2002 by Bob Young, a serial entrepreneur, with the intention of providing a print publishing medium for anyone to create their own books and make them available on a retail website. He called it Lulu because he thought it was “a lulu of an idea”.
Lulu.com enables writers to upload their books in Word.doc or .docx format and cover images in .jpg format. The website enables the documents to be uploaded and turns them into a print-ready interior of the book. It then allows the images to be used to create a cover and includes spaces to insert blurbs. The back cover also includes the ISBN (or Lulu ID number if the book is not being sold through the book trade).
When you log into Lulu.com and choose to print a book, the first question you are asked is what format you want to produce (hardback, spiral bound paperback, perfect bound paperback, saddle stitched paperback or photobook). For paperbacks, perfect bound looks the most professional unless you want a lie-flat book, which would be spiral bound. You are also asked for the size you wish to produce and the answer to this question determines the template document you will use. In most cases, A5 is the preferred size for UK paperbacks and you will be offered the A5 template document.
To use the downloadable template document, the writer downloads the template and uses it to write the book or pastes the book in as unformatted text. All formatting is done within the template. NO FORMATTING MAY BE IMPORTED OTHER THAN BOLD, ITALICS OR .
Images within the book must have been imported into the Word document, using Insert>Photo>Picture from file… (or similar, depending on your word processor).
So your book is finished, you have pasted the clean text into the downloaded template document and it is time to upload the file. All you need to do is click on Create, then Print book, then choose your size, binding, paper colour (white or cream) and interior (colour or B&W), supply a working title, which may be changed and an author name. If you are making the book public you will accept the offer of a free ISBN. Now you can upload your file and get Lulu to prepare the interior. After you have uploaded your book you can change the title and author if you so wish.
The cover wizard will guide you through the process of selecting a cover layout with title location and blurb boxes available if you want them. You can also upload cover images which include the title, blurb/s, price and ISBN barcode if you’re clever enough.
Meta data, the information that describes your book such as subtitle, authorname, edition number, description, keywords, etc., is entered once you have finished the cover design and production.
BookSurge® was launched in 2000 by a small group of writers who wanted to create opportunities for authors to not only publish their work, but to also retain their content rights and sales profits. It grew to support leading publishers and independent authors, offering complete self-publishing, on-demand printing, and online distribution services.
CustomFlix® launched in 2002 when four colleagues decided to make widespread distribution easier for independent filmmakers—they started CustomFlix, a DVD on-Demand company.
In 2005, BookSurge and CustomFlix were both acquired by Amazon.com. CustomFlix’s name was changed to CreateSpace in 2007. In October of 2009 the CreateSpace and BookSurge brands merged under the CreateSpace name
Createspace is the print-on-demand book production arm of Amazon.com. It does the same job as Lulu.com but uses the Amazon.com website as its base. Their approach to the production of print books varies from that of Lulu in that they do not provide you with a template document with page numbering and margins already set up. They do, however, provide an enormous amount of information to help you set up your Word document for uploading to their print production process. Once the book is ready for distribution it is made available on the Amazon website.
The CreateSpace Submission Specification is a downloadable easy-to-follow 64-page pdf document which includes all submission requirements to successfully publish your book through CreateSpace. It contains important information on Metadata, Interior, and Cover requirements. You must read it to understand their requirements. To find it go to the CreateSpace home page, click the Learn more link and under the Interior tab click on CreateSpace PDF Submission Specification.
To begin the process, after you have created your account, you have to provide the title, subtitle (if any) and author name, volume number, publication date and ISBN (they can provide free) before you proceed any further. As with Lulu you have to decide what size of book to produce, but they call it trim size and you have to use American standard sizes. (The closest to A5 is 5.5” × 8.5” or 6” × 9”.)
Shakespir was founded in 2008 by Mark Coker to make fast, free, professional eBook production available to all writers.
The first thing to say about Shakespir is that you must download and read the Shakespir Style Guide by Mark Coker. It is full of information which, if followed accurately, will make the publication of your eBooks trouble-free. The use of diagrams helps to make understanding of the technical processes fairly simple.
Shakespir allows you to upload your Word document in .doc format and they will convert it into your chosen eBook format/s. Once this has succeeded it can be distributed through all major eBook distribution channels, including iBooks, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Oyster and Kobo.
Formatting for eBooks is rather different than that for print books; eBooks re-flow according to print size whereas print books are fixed. Because of this, it is important that you start off with your clean, unformatted file, which only has bold, italic and directly formatted into it. Also, you cannot use tables, tabs or bulleted or numbered lists (as produced by Word and Open Office). Tables, lists and similar grid-based information needs to be included in the form of an image, probably in the form of a screen shot. Shakespir have created a formatting template file for downloading. Click on it to open it in Word (or similar). It contains extensive instructions to help you. Find it at http://bit.ly/SWebooktemplateV1 .
Images must be embedded into your book file, but in line with the text so that it will re-flow correctly when the text size is changed by the reader. If you have tables or lists which use tabs to space references from headings in the list, they must be converted to images by taking screen shots and incorporating them into the book, again in line with text to ensure correct re-flowability.
Your Table of Contents (ToC) cannot use page numbers. Instead you must highlight each Chapter heading and make it a bookmark, giving it a name containing no spaces (e.g. Intro, Chap1, Chap2, etc.) (Insert>Bookmark…)
Insert a bookmark
Once this has been done for the introduction/preface, every chapter and any other item to be included, you then make each line in the ToC a hyperlink to the appropriate bookmark. (Insert>Hyperlink… and enter the bookmark name into the Anchor field.)
Insert a hyperlink in the TOC
Your eBook cover must be correctly formatted as a high-quality image, either jpg or png. A good dimension is 1,600 pixels wide by 2,400 pixels high or similar ratio. It must be at least 1,400 pixels wide and the height should be greater than the width. Height 1.5 to 1.6 times greater than the width looks good.
Kindle® was launched by Amazon in 2007. It both a range of eBook readers and eBook distributor. Independent writers are encouraged to upload their works to Kindle free of charge for distribution.
Before you can submit any material to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) you must provide your personal details, tax and banking information. This only has to be done once, when you first set up your account.
When you log into KDP you will find a Help link. This takes you to a page of information all about the steps involved in publishing your book. The main differences from other platforms are:
you should use standard Word styles where possible,
use Word-default paragraph indentations, bold characters, italics and headings
avoid special fonts, headers, footers, page numbers
use a page break at the end of every chapter
your Table of Contents must be created manually
tables may not be included
line breaks must be inserted using Shift+Enter to keep line spacing correct in the middle of paragraphs (e.g. in poetry and recipe ingredients lists) as has been done here.
Rules have changed for uploading to Kindle. You may now upload in .doc format.
The Kindle website still says that when you are satisfied that your book is ready for uploading, save it in Web page - filtered (*HTML or *HTM) format for PCs or Web page (HTM) for Macs. When saving the Word file as HTML, all the images (if any) in the Word file will be extracted and stored in a separate folder. This folder will be saved in the same location where the HTML file is saved.
The beauty of self-publishing is that you can publish the same book through as many (or as few) outlets as you want. If your book is private, solely for family and friends, then you only need to publish through one outlet. However, if you want as wide an exposure as possible, then publish through all the major outlets. Many writers have their books available in print through both Lulu and CreateSpace, and the eBook versions published by Shakespir and Kindle, even though Shakespir will make your book available on the Kindle website.
Some points to note:
Every version must have its own ISBN.
No reference can be made to availability other distributors’ websites.
Your copy must be formatted to the individual distributor’s specification. Books formatted for Kindle are different from those formatted for Shakespir, even though the Shakespir version can be available on Kindle if you wish. Similarly, Lulu-format books will be different from CreateSpace books.
If you are self-publishing, you have the freedom to publish what you want. No-one will stop you from publishing anything you want, but the distributors will monitor your writing to make sure it is yours and that it does not contain anything illegal. That is as far as the distributors will go. From now on it is up to you…
How will you get people to read your book? Yes, you can tell your friends and your family will all want a copy, but then who else will buy? This is where you stop being a writer and start being your marketing department.
Marketing department? Yes, you want to tell the world about your book! The Lulu, Amazon, Shakespir and Kindle websites are available world-wide, but there are millions of books available on them and you won’t be discovered by readers just browsing for a good book!
Start out by joining social media. Look for any well-known writer in the internet and you will find a website and a blog. You may well also find a Facebook page. Try Googling Kate Walker romance. You will find her website and her blog. You will also find Mills and Boon, Harlequin, Good Reads and other websites with references to her books, of which she has had over sixty published. You will also find her on Facebook.
But Kate doesn’t just write romantic fiction. She writes her website, with details of her latest releases, biography, information for writers, events she is attending and more. Her Facebook page has what she’s doing at present. Her blog, on the Blogspot website, has entries every few days about her writing life, her thoughts and opinions. This keeps her pretty busy!
Before you do any marketing, you must plan. Ask yourself some questions: What is your book about (keywords)? What is your target audience? (Don’t answer “Everyone”.) What is my marketing budget? (It may be zero.) Where am I going to sell? (At talks you give / writers conferences / car boot sales…)
One good start to get help is the Internet. Try Googling How to market your self-published book. It will return a list including The Book Designer, The Creative Penn, Wikihow, Bookbaby and many more websites and blogs dealing with the question. One thing they all say is that you must keep in the public eye as much as possible and don’t leave it until you have published before you start the marketing effort.
Social media marketing is hard work, as you need to keep it up to date and fresh, but it can be rewarding. You need to build a following on every social medium you use and you do this by making it interesting and encourage your friends and followers to share your blogs and timeline entries and to encourage their friends to follow you. Facebook and twitter are where you can generate followings. Facebook can have a page for you and one specially for your book.
Press releases to your local media are helpful, as they are always on the lookout for items to publish, especially if your writing is of local significance.
Offering to give talks to local (and not-so-local) groups is an enjoyable way to gain publicity, as long as you can get the audiences to talk about you to others and they will let you sell your books at their meetings. Giving the talks can generate press coverage which then leads to more exposure.
Ask local bookstores to carry your book, usually on a sale-or-return basis.
Ask fellow writers for their experiences.
Avoid paying for “marketing expertise” unless you know it will work. Many self-published writers have found their payments for radio interview lists or advertising in trade journals or magazines results in a lot of expense with little or no reward.
Do accept the distributor’s offer of free distribution to other retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Scribd and Kobo.
Shakespir founder Mark Coker has published a free eBook, Shakespir Book Marketing Guide. It is invaluable and has been written to help you sell your eBooks because the more books you sell, the more money Shakespir makes. Kindle and Lulu also have their own free marketing advice and resources. If you look at the CreateSpace, Lulu, Shakespir or Kindle websites you will find dozens of other books on marketing for self-publishers.