I know: I have been a very bad author recently. Well, to be fair, I have been a very bad historical fiction author, but a rather laudable modern non-fiction author. Yes, my collection of columns from my decade writing for the local newspaper is just about ready to be launched on the world.
“Susan in the City: The Cambridge News Years” is the final title, and it has a really eye-catching yellow cover. The cover designer came up with two options – the yellow, and a more serious, almost-Financial-Times pink one – and I had a little poll on my Facebook page, and asked anyone else who would listen, and the yellow was the runaway favourite:
So where am I in the self-publishing process? I have finalised, formatted and uploaded to CreateSpace the interior file (as a PDF, which must look exactly as you want it to look in the final book – so every bit of formatting, page-breaking, header-and-footering and so on must be just to). Today the cover designer sent me the finished cover file (that’s a PDF as well, created based on a template generated by CreateSpace using the book size and number of pages that I have specified), and I have uploaded that too. I have filled in all the other details required – description for Amazon and other catalogues, key words for searching, etc. – and accepted the free ISBN offered by CreateSpace (I’ve never seen the point of paying for my own). And then I’ve sent it all off to CreateSpace for review, which takes about 24 hours. When it comes back, I will use their online proofer to check one last time, and then press the big “Publish” button. And order my own copies. And wait for the sales to flood in. Hah.
But in a spare few hours today, I also created the Kindle version of the book. I wasn’t going to do one, but the nerd in me triumphed again. So this involved taking out all of that careful formatting – particularly the page breaks, page numbers and headers and footers – as it just interferes with whatever settings people have on their e-readers. Everything needs to be as plain as possible to maximise legibility. I then uploaded that very plain document as a Word file – that’s the format they favour, over at Kindle Direct Publishing – along with the JPG file created by the cover designer to work best with e-books, and copied all of the search term and book description stuff. And finally, I set the price. I then clicked “Publish”, and KDP said that it takes a few hours for the Kindle book to appear. But it was there when I came back from lunch, so that’s already published. Once again, I shall sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. And once again, hah.