Self-Publishing: Lessons Learned Part II

August 7, 2013


When I first delved into the world of self-publishing, I heard a lot about Kobo and Smashwords and ISBNs and these names just kept coming at me, and I had no idea what they were talking about.

So begins Part II of my self-publishing experience.

#1. Know the players.

Here is where taking a class will really coming in handy, because chances are, you’ll hear all of these names in the class you take from a seasoned indie writer professional.  I took my class from the amazing Sarra Cannon, and her website also contains awesome resources for figuring out who is who in self-publishing.

But here’s my down and dirty list of self-publishing players:

Self-publishing platforms:

1. Amazon

2. All Romance eBooks

3. Kobo

4. Smashwords

5. Apple

Those are the platforms where you can upload your book.  Some of these platforms take different formats, and I’ll talk about that in part III of this self-publishing lessons learned montage.  It’s important to go visit these platforms and establish an account with them BEFORE you begin to self-publish.  Otherwise, you may face delays in getting your book out there when you’ve marketed a certain release date.  One example is that the application to be a vendor in the iBookstore is notoriously tricky and can take up to two weeks to be approved.  So some people distribute to Apple through Smashwords.  And that’s just one of the tricky little twist and turns.  So go take a visit, and find out what works for you.

Review Sites

1. Dear Author

2. Only Trick in the Book

3. Amanda’s Nose in a Book

4. Regency Reader

This is really just the four that I randomly chose to put in here.  The list is endless.  It’s a good idea to find an indie writer in a genre that you’re writing in and follow them around to see what review sites they submit their work to.  You don’t want to target a review site full of readers that don’t read your material.  That doesn’t help.


Do you need an ISBN for your book?  This is something I’ll cover in Part III but to even understand what an ISBN is, check out Bowker.  They will be the ones to issue your ISBN if you decide to purchase one.

#2 Know the authors.

The best advice I was given early on is to follow other indie writers in the genres that you write.  Find out what they’re doing for review submissions, giveaways, blogging and social media.  What kind of swag are they doing?  Do they contract out certain parts of their work?  These are all things that you will need to do without a traditional publisher.  Google indie writer and then the genre you want to review.  Watch the list that pops up, and start following!

#3 Know your business.

This is a big question full of taxes and headaches, and with the sweep of self-publishing taking over the world, it’s a very important one.  Will you write as yourself and thus have sales go against your own SSN# or will you form a small business that will handle this part for you?  I started Someday Lady Publishing, LLC to handle all of my indie publishing business.  What’s right for you?  I suggest two things.

1. Small Business Administration

2. Denise Grover Swank

The Small Business Administration is there to help you.  Literally that’s their whole job.  Log onto their website and find the small business administration office in your area.  They are a great resource with all questions of how do I form an LLC to do I need business cards.

Denise Grover Swank wrote a business plan, and then she was gracious enough to blog about it.  Pop on over to the link above to see her three part series on writing a business plan.  It’s well worth the read.  (I basically copied her plan for Someday Lady Publishing, LLC.  So go read it.)

Next week, we’ll finally get to the book.  That’s why you’re here, right?  You wrote a book?  In Part III, we’ll cover things like:

Finally, an excuse to buy an iPad!

To hell with the plan.


In case you missed Part I of self-publishing lessons learned, you can find it here.

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