In 2003, I wrote my first book Black Moon, and self published it with vanity press after paying a nominal fee. Seeing my first book in print was more than enough for me at that time, so I didn’t bother to do much about it.
Years passed by and then in 2019 I published Haunted. While describing this book I mentioned several times that this is my second book and I started getting a strong feeling that I should republish it. So, in Dec 2019, I decided to republish Black Moon and started to work on it. I wanted to be sure I did not repeat the mistakes I made before and also learn new techniques.
So here are few things I learned!
- Cover all your legal matters! My first book was published with vanity press and I had signed a contract with them. The first thing I did was ask my lawyer if I could republish this book without any hassle. When I got a green light from her, I wrote to the publisher (although it was not required) informing them of my plans for this book. They responded as soon as possible and provided me an updated about my existing contract (it had expired). That was fine. I saved every letter, email and document I had received from my lawyer and my previous publisher (please do this.). And yes I bought ISBN for both eBook and Paperback; although it is not necessary for eBooks.
- Put your book for Preorder: Nowadays this is an excellent opportunity to promote your book and also give yourself a deadline. Platforms such as Amazon, Apple book and Kobo have this option. However on Amazon, a potential reader cannot see or read the sample chapters although you might have provided the a good readable version (what a bummer!). I have written to Amazon about this, but well…lets see what happens. Overall, I think preordering your book is a great idea.
- Print and edit is the way to go. I know this is not very environmentally friendly, but even after my editor has done a marvelous job and I have worked on it for months, I always find errors when I am reading a printed version of my book. I do not know why, and I am always happier after I have finished edited a hard copy of my book. So, print and read.
- Read your eBook on kindle before publishing. Everyone nowadays has a iPad, tablet, Kindle or can read an eBook on their phone. My suggestion is to send your book to your reading device and then go through it page by page. This will give you a feel of how your book will look to the reader and you will see any major gaps or paragraph issues. Amazon does provide the Kindle Previewer for this, but I just feel testing it out your electronic device is a good idea.
- Before you design your eBook; Test if that design is going to be accepted in the final version! Not everyone can afford a designer to design books. Not everyone can go and buy software’s that create beautiful ebooks (one day I will.). You might be in the same boat. So, a lot of writers like you and me spend a lot of time designing our books. Turns out when we upload it to Amazon or Apple, the design vanishes! (eyes roll). Yes, your designs might not be accepted by the platforms and hence could be a waste of your time. Imagine, all the time you spend adjusting the line spacing! Or all the time you picking the right design. (Don’t fret you can use it in your paperback version). However, be aware that your design or font will change once you upload the book. It is easier with Apple because they usually accept most of their fonts, and Pages is a lot of help. The take away advice is: design only one chapter of your book, upload it on Kindle or Apple or Kobo and see if it works. You could also use services like Draft2Digital which are free and provide standard templates for your books but take a percentage from your sale. If you are running on a budget, this might not be the way to go. Personally, I like to design my own books and kind of enjoyed it.
Thanks for reading this blog. I am happy to share my experiences as I write and publish my books.
Black Moon on sale…