Once my cover was done I was ready to rock & roll. The next step for me was picking a book publishing company.
Now this is where I messed up at. What I should have done was work on marketing my book, but I didn't realize how important this was and how far ahead you should start doing this. Marketing should be done well in advance. Big publishing companies start marketing their authors books at least a year before the book is released indicating how critical this is.
Before I started this journey I had already researched my options of which companies I could publish through. With my budget and my inexperience I needed something inexpensive and easy to use. My first choice was the God of self-publishing, Amazon.
Amazon has the self-publishing game on lock. They have several programs they offer for self-publishing authors.
The two programs are the kdp (kindle direct publishing and kdp select (kindle direct publishing select). The difference between the two is when you enroll in KDP select you have to publish with Amazon and no one else for as long as you have chosen to be under contract with them, with KDP you don't have to do this.
With this being my first book I wanted to get it out to as many people as possible, which meant I wanted my book to be distributed to as many places as possible. So I decided to use just use the KDP option along with Createspace for my physical book. It was free and seemed easy enough. You could even create your cover using their built-in program.
I also decided to use the site Draft2Digital. It was a one stop shop for me to get my book distributed to other places, not to mention pretty easy to use. Draft2Digital distributes to the following stores:
Amazon (this was added after I published)
Barnes & Noble
Kobo (including Kobo Plus)
There is no upfront fee. They make a percentage off each of your books sales. Their fee is 15% of the net royalties. I didn't mind agreeing to this with how convenient the site was for me. I was even able to format my pdf on the site and use that for my print book on Createspace.
Once I uploaded my books on all three sites, Draft2Digital, Createspace and Amazon KDP I was ready to publish. At least I thought I was. Another mistake I made was not doing pre-orders. This is another form of marketing I should have done at least a month in advance to raise my sales. I chalked it up to another self publishing lesson learned.
Ultimately, I ended up publishing my book on 2/14/2017 and was very proud of my product.
After all I had done it on my own. Had I made some major mistakes? Yes, but it was all apart of my self publishing journey and I'm glad I made them because in the long run they would make me a better self-published author.
In no time I would be a pro at this! So I was done! Right?! Nope!