I decided to self publish rather than find a traditional publisher for a number of reasons, the most important being that this was a personal story, even though it was fiction. Joanna Penn has a good summary of the pros and cons of self publishing, for my friends who might be considering their options.
Deciding to self publish empowered me. I was not at the beck and call of some unknown agent or publisher and did not have to respond to what they thought might sell well. And it was a good thing I was empowered, because making the decision was the easy part. Now all I had to do was get the book edited, published, and marketed.
Lucky me, I have a secret weapon: my husband. He is the Einstein of grammar and punctuation. He went through my manuscript with a fine tooth comb, adding commas and paragraph breaks, catching inconsistencies, and convincing me small changes would make a big difference. If you don’t happen to have a magic husband around, you will probably need an editor.
Not only can my husband edit a book, he has also published a number of them through CreateSpace. If you are going that route for the first time you might want to look at his blog entry on CreateSpace.
He designed the cover. Actually, he designed three covers before we had one we thought was appropriate.
He managed all the minutia of the interior of the book: credits for quoted passages, line spacing, fonts for the text and the page headers, squaring pages, and I don’t know what else. He was meticulous.
Having done all that, we also had marketing to do. I created a web site, WendyTeller.com with information about the book, background notes, and topics for book club discussions. We made up cards with the book cover and blurb to pass out. I assembled a set of lists to email. I wrote a press release and sent it out to various organizations. And I still need to ask people for book reviews. This blog entry is part of the marketing effort.
I have learned a lot and have enjoyed the experience.
Now I’m ready to get to my next project about my grandmother Ella, who translated Huckleberry Fin into Hungarian.