I’ve done the penultimate pass on my first children’s series novel. All that is left is a slow check for continuity errors, and then I can begin the packaging for self-publication. This involves several things:
1. Setting up a Paypal account, so I can pay for the following.
2. Getting a decent icon/avatar made by an artist on commission. Mostly to avoid scaring people. Handsome authors, you don’t know how lucky you are.
3. The biggest problem: cover art. What I dislike about many indie books is they use poor Playstation One quality computer graphics, or stock images, or some seriously bad art. The cover graphic is an important tool for showing professionalism, second only to the quality of your editing and writing as shown in the free sample. I want to try to get some relatively high quality manga or comic style art.
4. Formatting the manuscript for Kindle and Smashwords. If you do the latter, read their guide to formatting for their automated Meatgrinder process. It’s involved, and some things are counter-intuitive. One example is that you cannot use tabs to indent a paragraph. Instead they want you to define the indent in styles, and this is only shown how to do so in MS Word. Oh, by the way, get Word. I did, and I do not regret it in the slightest.
5. Registering copyright and getting an ISBN. Technically the latter is supposed to be 3.5, but these are two steps that are relatively hands off. I hold off on copyright in the case I need to change the manuscript slightly due to cover art. It’s easier I think to just rename a color than to ask an artist to completely recolor the cover if the difference is minor.
6. Finally submitting my book to both Amazon and Smashwords, and then hoo boy, marketing. This will be my first self-published book, and I am learning as I go along.
After 6 I can finally write about my book specifically and what it’s about. I can say this, it’s a juvenile series book about the adventures of three young superheroes during an alien invasion. I’ll tell you more later, including a lot of the trivia and mental processes behind how it turned out the way it did.
But until then, I have work to do!