So. I’m embarking on a project to self-publish a Guide to Writing a Novel.
What are the best resources for self-publishers? What are your favorite blogs, message boards, and books?
Art: The bookbinder by Anonymous
Nathan Bransford | Writing, Book Editing, Publishing
Helping authors achieve their dreams
Karen A. Chase says
One of the best blogs is Steena Holmes' who has both self-published and traditionally published her books. https://www.steenaholmes.com/
Shameless self-promotion, is my own site, 224Pages. It's a design resource for authors who need book covers, author websites, book trailers and more. Too often authors patch together materials based on a book cover, but we focus on creating branded marketing materials for authors and their books. https://224pages.com
So, not a resource, but a great interview with Neal Pollack at A.V. Club about writing and failing and getting back up and it talks about self-publishing, as well. Not too mention the sometimes icky feeling of "branding".
Karen Myers says
See this: https://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/go-to-list-for-helpful-indie-rescources?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheWritersGuideToE-publishing+%28The+Writer%27s+Guide+to+E-Publishing+Feed%29
Karen Myers says
Sorry – here's a shortened URL.
Robena Grant says
My first suspense is in the KDP Select program and free until Saturday. Great for name recognition for someone like me. You might not need this. But my book is now #2 in FREE Books in suspense. It goes into print and all digital in May.
Kindleboards was amazing. I did a lot more listening and learning than commenting but there was also a section called Book Bazaar where you could promote your book, and bump it up the list once a week.
Time consuming at first, but tons of information on how to go the self-publishing route.
Marilyn Peake says
I've been self-published for almost one year now. It’s been a wonderful experience! I have to admit I’ve all but disappeared from the Internet lately, as I work on writing a new novel; but I’m hoping to return to chatting with fellow writers on my favorite sites in the near future. Some of the most helpful resources for self-published writers I've found are:
Hugh Howey’s Blog The wildly successful Hugh Howey has a fantastic blog post today about how to succeed as a self-published author – some of the best advice I’ve seen anywhere about how the world of self-publishing really works and how to succeed as a self-published author.
David Gaughran’s Blog David was one of the first self-published writers in the new era of digital self-publishing to offer fantastic advice on self-publishing. His blog contains a wealth of information on this topic. Back when I was more active on the Internet, I was lucky enough to have my own post about self-publishing featured on David’s blog: Time Traveling Through the Past Decade of Publishing .
Anne R. Allen’s Blog I’ve found Anne’s blog to be very helpful.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Blog Both traditionally published and self-published, the recipient of many awards and the only person to ever win both a Hugo award for editing and a Hugo award for fiction, Kristine provides a wealth of information about self-publishing on her blog.
Dean Wesley Smith’s Blog Both traditionally published and self-published, bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith has some very strong opinions on publishing. (He’s married to Kristine Kathryn Rusch and they run workshops together.)
The Passive Voice This blog covers a variety of topics on writing and self-publishing.
Joe Konrath’s Blog Having been both traditionally published and self-published, bestselling author Joe Konrath has some very strong opinions and lots of information about publishing.
And, of course, the Kindle Boards frequently have very helpful and informative discussions.
Marilyn Peake says
Oooops, sorry. I checked the first eBook I self-published on Kindle. That was almost two years ago, not almost one year ago. Time is flying by, I swear. 🙂
Sharyl Heber says
One of my all time favorite books on writing is 'A Story is a Promise' by Bill Johnson. storyispromise.com
He is an amazing teacher in person as well. I've taken a few classes from him at the Central Coast Writers Conference in San Luis Obispo, and had him edit some of my work.
Important concepts on establishing story questions and proceeding then to answer them. I refer to this continually in my own writing and use the concepts when editing the work of others.
If your book is going to include any discussion on publishing, I love Anne R. Allen's Blog annerallen.blogspot.com
Good luck in the writing of your book! Very exciting!
The KDP…Kindle Direct Publishing…is probably where you'll want to begin experimenting and reading. Whether we are fans of Amazon or not, like them or not, they are the place where more/most e-books are sold. Smashwords is another good source. I would bet you have the knowledge to do this on your own without too much help.
This next particular blog (No More Harvard Debt) helps a lot of people because the blog author self-published two excellent non-fic books about student debt and he's been featured in more than one place in mainstream media. He's a very nice person, too. So reading his blog posts about his venture into publishing his books might help. He's also very honest. https://nomoreharvarddebt.com/
And learn about formatting e-books. HTML is like learning a language, but it's not impossible and you're bright. You'll have no problems 🙂
Also…a lot of people don't like to be locked into exclusives, however, I found the three months that I was locked into the Kindle Lending program helped boost sales. It's an option not all want to take because you can't distribute anywhere else for three months. (My biggest worry was more about the retail web sites I love and support) But I found that it worked for me. I also believe in lending e-books. And three months is not all that long.
Ernie J. Zelinski says
I am surprised three well-known people were not mentioned. I self-published my first book in 1989 and have had 750,000 copies of my books sold worldwide. These three people have been the most helpful.
1. Dan Poynter – Author of "The Self-Publishing Manual"
2. John Kremer – Author of "1001 Ways to Market Your Books"
3. Jane Friedman – One of the most astute people in the business today.
I cite Jane Friedman because of many reasons. Here is one:
In a recent article in "Writer's Digest" magazine, Jane posed this as one of the most important questions for people considering self-publishing their book:
"Do your readers prefer print or digital?"
Jane Friedman's question is so basic. Yet it is important and overlooked by most people (talk about clueless), including many so-called book experts who are nothing but impositors.
I read blogs and articles by people claiming to be book experts saying that ebooks are definitely the way to go without giving consideration to print books. (Anyone who says "print is dead" is either lying or brain dead.)
None of these so-called experts have ever posed this important question. This just shows that they are not even close to being as astute as Jane Friedman.
Ernie J. Zelinski
Internationall Best-Selling Author
"Helping Adverturous Souls Live Prosperous and Free"
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 175,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)
Heather Marie Adkins says
A couple of people have menioned Dave Gaughran's blog, but his blog isn't even the greatest thing he has done regarding self pub. He wrote a book called Let's Get Digital: How to Self Publish and Why You Should. On my phone so no link but you can search it on Amazon. Absolute best purchase I made when I was first starting out.
inklings Anon says
I've read a couple of the posts on here, and I may duplicate what others have said but I believe in Create Space. First of all they have tons of resources for advertising and marketing. Also, a nobody can go on Create Space and have paper copy books available at all the top retailers web sites plus local retailer web sites. They present the books to wholesalers in a catalog for them to purchase books for their stores. Create Space you can completely customize your book and your price. You get a proof copy to see how it all looks and trust me, you'll want a proof copy as 12 point font is jumbo print on a create space page. As far as digital I'd go exclusively with Amazon Kindle for the first 90 days. They have a lot of benefits by choosing them exclusively. Smashwords is good for getting your digital copies to a bunch of different places but they are way to particular on formatting. Once you get the formatting down it makes getting to every possible digital book provider… if you can get the format right without going nuts
I second whoever said Writer's Cafe over at Kboards. There are threads on there about every facet of self-publishing from cover art to formatting, etc…And it's a fun place to hang out.
I feel like a mothing-in-law who can't wait to give unsolicited advice, but I'm curious about whether or not you're self-pubbing a digital book or a print book, or both. From my own experience I would recommend digital. But that's just opinion 🙂
Hi Nathan! Well, I see a few people have already told you hehe!
Mark Coker and Smashwords is great for eBooks because it does every format, and after this, I bet you can still upload it to the Kindle Store on Amazon, Nook Store for Barnes & Noble, and iBooks at Apple iBookstore (and others). He takes care of the ISBN number too. As noted in other comments earlier, his free eBooks are awesome! https://smashwords.com
I just love David Gaughran's book, Let's Get Digital, and he even has it in PDF format for free!
So if you need some in print, I noticed Lulu's prices were getting higher. I was looking at https://CreateSpace.com since they also handle the ISBN issue but if I decided I didn't care about these on my printed ones, I might use https://blurb.com or another Print On Demand or similar service (I hadn't done my research fully in this area yet).
Looking forward to what you finally decide! 🙂
Stephanie Cain says
I don't know much about self-pub myself, but my friend Laura VanArendonk Baugh has had a lot of success self-pubbing her nonfiction book about dog-training as well as a short fiction piece. I do know she established a small press to do her self-pubbing, and she had a great platform as a dog trainer. https://lauravanarendonkbaugh.com
I just saw a facebook update about self-publishing where the author was complaining about not making enough money, so I wanted to add one more thing.
Self-publishing is different for every single writer who does it. Don't get caught up in what anyone else says or writes about it either. Make it your own experience, and add your own style to it.
Nathan, I have gone off with plenty of blogs to research after reading all the comments. Thanks so much for asking the question.
Sam Trayson says
I absolutely love the Kindle Template at https://www.ebooktemplates101.com
I've used it for quite a few books now and it works beautifully.
Gail Kearns says
Laura Pepper Wu has a blog. Another good resource is Dan Poynter's self-publishing manual. I'm a protege of Dan's and have been working with self-publishers for 20 years.
Mike Mallory says
I am editing some old family correspondence from the 1840s-70s (200ish word.doc pages) and want to only get about 25 copies made to give to family members. Who, What, Where should I go?
Kayanna Kirby says
Sometimes the most direct way is best.
Firebrand publishing https://www.firebrandpublishing.com is a full service self publishing company that is reasonable. They have a money back guarantee and 100% royalties.