Publishing Advice From a Newbie, to a Newbie.

So, your book is ready and you are poised to take the literary world by storm with your incredible work. But before you press ‘publish’ there are a few things you may want to consider.

Once again these are in no particular order.

1. Create a Company – I can only talk about the UK here, but I’m sure anyone in the USA will be able to do it too. The idea behind this is to make your life easier by having your work published by a company you control. When you publish your book, you’re going to want to get a EIN number from the IRS. Having a company name to do this, takes about an hour. I wrote a piece about it in June, here.

If you don’t have a company name it takes about six weeks.

Setting up a company is incredibly easily.

Step 1. Decide on your name (check to make sure no one else has it – Google is your friend here).

Step 2. Call your bank and arrange a meeting with their business manager.

Step 3. Set up a business account under the company name.

Step 4. Call the tax office and inform them of this.

Seeing how you need to call the tax office anyway, and you’ll probably want to set up a business account too, you may as well do the rest of it.

HM Customs are very helpful on the phone. Mostly. The IRS were very helpful too. Eventually.

2. Format Your Book – It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s incredibly important that you follow the rules for formatting your e-book before you publish it. If you have Scrivener, feel free to be exceptionally smug as this takes about an hour once you figure out what goes where. If you don’t…. ummm, well it’ll take you a lot longer.

There’s a piece of software you can download from Amazon to check how your book looks (Kindle Previewer) . I advise you to use it. And use it often. Check the pages are all formatted correctly, check that the chapter headings actually go to the right chapters and check that the cover looks right.

It looks like this.

3. Pick the Right Categories – When you finally upload your book, you’ll get the chance to select two categories. These will be the genres you’d like your book to be part of. My advice here is to find the two categories you think fit and then go take a look at the top 100 of each. Get a good idea of how many you’d need to sell before you get into the top 100 of those two genres. If you need to sell loads before you even hit them, then it’s probably a good idea to pick another category.

4. Select the Right Price – I personally think the 99c (69p) market is over-crowded and have read many blogs that suggest finding a foothold with that price is actually harder than doing it with a larger price. If you set a price and it’s not working, change it. It’s up to you to decide what you do and don’t charge, so see what fits best.

5. Sit back and be Happy – Once you’ve finally clicked publish, you have earned the right to sit back and enjoy it. Yeah, your work is only just beginning, and you’ll need to arrange interviews, reviews, blog tours and a variety of other promotional things, but for that moment in time, savour that you are now a published author.

That’s it for another week. I hope some of this will help. Next week I’ll look at the ‘thick skinned’ part of being a writer. It’s all about reviews.

Posted on October 25, 2012, in Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. More useful tips, Steve. I’d be interested to know though: what is the advantage of starting your own publishing company and registering that, rather than just working as an individual and effectively going freelance so any book earnings are counted as a personal wage rather than a company’s profits?

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