Welcome to Self-Publishing (You’re a real writer now, eh?)

tornado of books

Well, the good news is that I just finished the the third book in the series I’ve been writing for the last eighteen months. Yay (small pom-poms, please). And much as I would like to revel in that accomplishment there is so much more work to be done that it makes me want to run screaming to my bed so I can burrow under the covers.

Some might say that the work has just begun. And they’d be right..

The writing, beta reading and feedback, rewriting, editing, and proofing and polishing is a lot of work and sure I’m proud of myself for getting that far but beyond that is my checklist. I thought I’d share it with you, for any of you indie authors, soon to be self-publishers or aspiring to same. It might help…or not:


1. Write: copyright pages, dedication pages, disclaimer pages, acknowledgment pages and new bio, add to final mss
2. Purchase ISBNs from Bowker
3. Read formatter contract, print, sign and send in with payment and manuscripts per their specs
4. Write product descriptions for books
5. Put together mailing list for email marketing
6. Open email marketing account
7. Create mailer for book announcement(s)
8. Decide if you will release all at once or at intervals
9. Read all the marketing and book promotion material you’ve been saving for the last 1 ½ years
10. Sketch out mkg strat for books (implement)
11. Write a series of ‘guest posts’
12. Apply for copyrights for all books (online)
13. Get new author photos done
14. Re-do page for series on blog
15. Update Author Central page – new photo, new bio, new everything
16. Find every place possible to promote books (write list/put on spreadsheet)
17. Determine best strategy for getting reviews
18. Determine best distribution
19. Key word research on Amazon
20. Publish by end of August
21. rock and roll

Now this list is by no mean complete but it does cover the basics. And drives home the fact that I’m not just an author anymore, I’m a publisher. And unfortunately, I’m the only employee.

So, if you don’t see me around, or I fail to comment on your blog, or tweet you back or have a little FB time with you – don’t take it personally, I’m just trying to get a lot done in a very short time.

I do intend to write a few how-to posts on some of these steps – as I learn them or navigate the process. Hopefully, that will help some of you at a some future date. So stay tuned.

How about you? Are you self publishing? Where are you in the process? Any tips you’d like to share? Feel free to yak it up in the comments.

Writer Chick

24 thoughts on “Welcome to Self-Publishing (You’re a real writer now, eh?)

  1. that’s a scary list of basics. mine is:

    1. write something
    2. ask for $ if liked
    3. ???
    4. profit! xd

    well, I’m not that confident yet that I’ve got something to write yet that people would pay me for, but I’m working on it ^^ thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Congratulations! Just checking, my understanding is that any writing is copyright-protected as soon as it is published, no additional protection is necessary?

    I am at approximately the same stage, having finished copyediting (its about to go to proofreader) and almost finished with cover design. Aiming to hit “publish” by mid-August.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is technically, but it’s to protect yourself because people can still steal your work. If not copyrighted, it’s difficult to prove who really wrote it. I read a post where an author found her book on Amazon with someone else’s name on it. They just retyped the book or something and started selling it. Because she had copyrighted it before release, she was able to get Amazon to take the fake one down.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s true you are copyright protected by publishing. However, registering your copyright with the copyright office enables you to take legal action should someone infringe on your rights. If you register a copyright online it is very inexpensive ($35) so I definitely think it’s worth the investment. WC

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheesh. It’s overwhelming. I thought the ISBNs were free through Amazon. Are you purchasing those because you want your books in stores? Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


    1. Yes, you can get an ISBN for ‘free’ from Amazon but by doing so you make Amazon the publisher not you. If that doesn’t matter to you then no problem. Personally, I want my own because I want no confusion as to rights, publisher and ownership. Also, and I’m sorry I can’t find the reference right now, but I read that if Amazon shows as the publisher on your book there are certain organizations that won’t distribute/list your book. Ingram comes to mind. If I can find the reference, I’ll send it to you.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries, I’m going to post everything I learn, so maybe you’ll be a little more fore-armed with the info. Right? We have to help each other, so that’s what we do. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a cruel mistress, mistress! 😛 Let them bathe in the after-glow of FINALLY getting there a little longer. Extremely useful post and very well researched.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ramona,
      Oh, I’m not trying to be cruel at all. But it’s shocking (to me) how much is involved in self-publishing. I thought maybe it would be helpful though to let people know. Yes, basking is good. 😀 But I’ll bask later if there are any bask-able moments to bask in. 😀


  5. I sometimes wonder if I would have even written my book if I had any idea how hard everything after is. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But I still wonder.


    1. I hear you. I’m feeling a little bit of that myself lately. But it’s what we do, right? And when things do go right, and all the hard work pays off, it’s something you can be proud of. 😀


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