Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guest Post: Author KR Mitchell On Self-Publishing Your Own Novel

With his first ebook published, KR. Mitchell tells us about his self-publishing

I didn’t think I would ever get a book published, and nine years ago without the rise of ebooks that would have been true. The book I had wanted to write was nontraditional and unique in a literary sense. I was more inspired by the fast-moving action and stylistic quirks of animation, movies and video games than any actual book. The result is a book that's dialogue focused and character driven with an emphasis on humor as well as action.
I'd like to explain to you all the process through which I self-published. Let me start by saying there is a wealth of additional information about self-publishing and if anyone wants to know more about it check out my Facebook page or Twitter feed for more advice.
First, I wrote the book. This was quite honestly the easy part. I was free to be as creative as I wished to be without regard to style or form. You don't have to worry about bad dialogue, cut it out later; no need for intensive research, google it later; and no need for editing—which bring us to point number two.
  I had to edit. I hated editing. I hated it more than I hate math and I loathe math. Punctuation, grammar, style and so on had to be carefully checked line by line. There was a lot of addition and subtraction, which coincidentally are the only things I know how to do with math. Dialogue had to be rewritten and scenes had to be switched. It was a heavy task and it took about a week but I eventually turned in a clean copy. I'd recommend pushing this work off on some editor if you can afford it. I currently eat canned beans for dinner so that should tell you my money situation. Pop-tarts are equivalent to French macaroons at the moment. I'll let you know how the macaroons taste as soon as the royalties start coming in.
The final step was publishing the book via Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and iBooks. The method to do so couldn’t be simpler as long as you take a deep breath, be composed and follow the instructions like a worker drone in an ant colony. When you’re writing the story be sure to set a half-inch first tab stop, use an auto generated table of contents, use page breaks when needed and use “Heading 1” paragraph style for the chapter titles. After you’ve finished the book convert it into an ePub file. Most programs should have an export or save as function to do this for you, but if you’re not sure if your writing program has this function; you can use this website to convert it for you. I recommend using an epub, because the format is universally accepted by all major ebook publishers. Yes you can set the pricing to whatever you want, but stick between the sweet spot of $2.99 and $9.99. You shouldn’t bother with ¢0.99 because you’re not only devaluing your work but every self-published ebook as well.
I lied, the final step is marketing, which is a subject I’m still learning about myself, so I can’t offer you any advice beside the obvious such as use social media and everything else to get the word of mouth started.
Don't look down on self-publishing. The era of "vanity publishing" is over. This is a time where vanity is the social norm. Vanity is the reason why we know who Mark Zuckerberg is and why we should hate him. Having a digital prescience won't hurt your chances at getting a deal with a traditional publisher. In fact, it could help if you can use any sales reports to prove to the gatekeepers who keep their bony claws on the printing press lever that there is a market for your book.
Some additional advice: have your bank information available. All ebook publishers will want to know where to send your well-deserved money. Keep your check or savings and bank routing numbers available as well your Social Security or Tax ID numbers on hand for tax purposes. Don’t be intimidated by the technology or the paperwork assets of self-publishing just be calm. Oh and one more thing, take the plunge and either hire a professional cover designer or buy a royalty free stock photo and edit it yourself. You don't have to use any fancy, finicky programs like Photoshop just use PowerPoint like I did by following this guy's advice.
I hope to see all of you aspiring writers alongside me on the Kindle store. There's no need to keep buying TV dinners with the ice crusted brownies and rubbery corn nimblest. Go forth and write books.

About Forces of Nature Series
The adventures of a young girl named Alison Moody and her friends, Ren Kiramitsu and Edwin Silversine, as they try to save their country and the world from corruption by secret forces with extremist intents. The Forces of Nature is seamlessly mixed with drama and action that keeps you laughing on the edge of your seat. The character development is fascinating along with the twists and turns associated with them. Find the FON Series on Facebook:

About KR. Mitchell
            KR. Mitchell is currently working on a Bachelors of Arts
 in Journalism at the University of Alabama. KR. Mitchell began with a love of reading and writing from a young age. Not until reaching college did KR start serious work on honing his skills in writing thanks to vigorous journalism courses. It is an adherence to AP Style and brevity that influences his writing style's focus on minimalist descriptions, short sentences and conciseness. It's not the standard, but it works for him. Find him on Facebook: 

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