Self-Publishing from the Very, Very Beginning
- 3 hours on-demand video
- 39 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- During this course, you will set up free accounts for selling books, learn how to create an author page on Amazon, learn how to set up an author page on Goodreads, understand why limited social media accounts can be helpful, understand more about social media sharing, and learn how to publish an eBook and a paperback. Templates for novels and picture books are provided. Videos as well as printable step-by-step direction PDFs are included.
- Knowledge required includes knowing basic computer skills, how to use Word, how to create a PDF, understanding links, and being able to set up free accounts online to sell and market books. Some of the projects require the access to Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, but not all.
This course has video demonstrations, templates, and instructions for the beginner to create eBook and paperback manuscripts, learn some ways to get additional online links to the book sales page, prepare a cover as a print ready PDF, learn how not to compress images in Word, and learn about ISBN's and copyrights. Adobe Pro is used in a few lessons but alternative methods are described.
Step-by-step printable direction PDFs for working with book templates are included.
Easy templates include the following:
Chapter Paperback Word Doc Template
Chapter eBook Word Template
Children's Picture Book PowerPoint Template for a Paperback and an eBook (8.25" X 6" paperback with bleed)
Children's Picture Book 8.5" X 8.5" Paperback Word Template
Videos include the following and more:
Free Accounts for Self-Publishing
There are several free online accounts that will allow you to publish eBooks and paperbacks. This video discusses Kindle Direct Publishing, the sales page, Amazon Author Central, Goodreads as a reader, and Goodreads as an author.
Quick Overview of Social Media for a Book
Social media can be carefully used to provide links online to your book sales page. Quick overview.
When the manuscript is finished (or finished and published) it should be copyrighted within 90 days.
Begin with an End Plan
Begin with the end in mind so that decisions made later will not require revisions and extra work. Start out with a plan to be most efficient and reach your goals.
Be Consistent with Metadata
Be careful to use the exact same title, subtitle, and author name on all documents to be published such as eBook manuscripts, paperback manuscripts, and covers.
Word Doc and PDF provided to edit for your own book.
Set-up Word so Images will not be Compressed
If your book has photos or art, before typing the manuscript, Word should be set up to not compress images.
Set-up Acrobat Pro
If using Acrobat Pro to create PDFs, set up Word so that images will not be compressed when saved as a PDF.
Prepare the Kindle Manuscript
This video has a demonstration of preparing a Kindle eBook Word document from scratch. A generic Word Doc is provided which meets the new requirements.
Table of Contents for Kindle
Learn to insert a table of contents that will have links for eBooks, learn to update it, and see how to see/check your work by downloading the Kindle previewer for PC or Mac. Two supporting documents are included with this lesson.
Online Cover Creators
Kindle Create to Embellish Manuscripts
Convert Paperback Manuscript to eBook Format
Fonts in eBooks
Paperback Manuscript How to and Free Template
Create your own paperback manuscript using the directions and lesson resource template.
Table of Contents for the Paperback
The Table of Contents (TOC) for a paperback is different from the eBook format.
Create a Full-bleed Children's Paperback with PowerPoint
This video shows how to used a PowerPoint file sized to publish a 8.5" X 6" children's paperback. Template provided.
Create a No-bleed Children's Paperback with Word
This lecture has a video about creating a children's paperback using Word (no other software is required) to make an 8.5" X 8.5" book. A sample Word doc is provided.
Use Word and Adobe Pro to Create a Full-bleed Children's Paperback
This lecture has a video, a step-by-step guide, and a Word document that may be used to create both a paperback and an eBook from the same file. For this paperback, Word, Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, a story, and illustrations are required.
There are 41 videos in all. Other topics include figuring out which is the left-hand and right-hand page in documents, finding the financial information reports in KDP, uploading to KDP, and some troubleshooting.
Also, students may ask questions and a video may be created which could be added to the course.
- Anyone who wants to understand and create ebook and paperback publishing from the very, very beginning steps.
This is the introductory video and welcome.
There are several free online accounts that will allow you to publish eBooks and paperbacks. This video discusses Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon.com, Amazon Author Central, Goodreads as a reader, and Goodreads as an author.
Although you have heard silly or even bad things about social media, it can be carefully used to provide links online to your book sales page. Social media sites can be set up to be somewhat static. Comments can be turned off on blogs. Facebook can be carefully controlled. Later in the course each type of social media mentioned in this video will be discussed individually. This is a quick overview.
When the manuscript is finished (or finished and published) it should be copyrighted within 90 days. This is best done at https://www.copyright.gov/ in the online registration portal and will cost $55.00 to protect your work. There are other services that offer to copyright manuscripts which may be more costly and go through the US Government anyway. Free copyrights are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ and be sure to select the type of license you want and follow the directions.
The Library of Congress has a free program (no book upload required, just the single copyright page) to for LCCN. LCCN means Library of Congress control number for library cataloging. The application is rather short although it has six "pages" and requires the ISBN. ISBNs are purchased through Bowker/MyIdentifiers or accepted free from Amazon. If self-published authors accept free ISBNs from Amazon, the book may only be sold on Amazon (and not other online book stores). Amazon gives eBooks an ASIN (Amazon Standard Information Number) as eBooks do not require ISBNs. However, many authors do purchase ISBNs for eBooks in order to sell on other sites. The month and year of publication for the book must be entered in the Library of Congress CIP application form.
What happens when a book is uploaded to Amazon? The first week can seem confusing as the paperback will be on one page, the Kindle eBook another page, and the books will probably not be added to the other books of the author right away (if you have them). The "Look Inside" feature takes about 5 days to a week to appear. Authors must also go to their Amazon Author page and claim new books. That is separate from Amazon (dot) com, and is your page on Amazon Author Central. I do not know why the pages are separate. It just takes several days for everything to happen. After a few days, the eBook and paperback book should be on a single Amazon sales page. If this doesn't happen after waiting, authors may need to ask Amazon to put the books on a single sales page. Links prior to this happening will still work, directing to the single page. Authors get emails when new books are live, and the emails have links to the initial sales pages. Of course, if only one version of a book, such as only having a paperback, the linking together will not happen.
Books on Amazon will eventually appear on Barnes and Noble without the author setting up accounts there (whether wanted or not). They will probably appear on Goodreads, also. Amazon owns Goodreads. However, reviews on Goodreads and Amazon may be different. If a person reviews on Goodreads but not Amazon, the review will only be on Goodreads. People do that when they do not shop on Amazon. Amazon has a policy that people must be spending a certain amount of money every few months in order to be able to review. This is even true if a reader "gets a book for free for an honest opinion."
Be careful to use the exact same title, subtitle, and author name on all documents to be published such as eBook manuscripts, paperback manuscripts, and covers. This will allow Amazon and other online book sale stores to merge the books on a single sales page where people can select which book option they wish to purchase. This information is termed metadata. The same information should be used for the ISBN and copyright. *NOTE: It is true that Amazon does not require the subtitle to be on the cover, but in that case, Amazon says it should not be on the title page, either.
The copyright page should credit the author, any artists, any photographers or photos, provide the ISBN 13 and 10, give the registration number for the US Government copyright application or certificate number, and give the year of publication. See the attached Word Doc and PDF to edit for your own book.
Sometimes you might want to convert a paperback Word manuscript to be a Kindle Word document. By easily removing all section breaks, the headers and footers are removed. Then a few style formatting options may be changed. Page breaks will need to be added after separate pages such as the copyright and dedication, and at the end of each chapter. Save and upload to Kindle.
Kindle has a limited number of fonts, the author has little font choice, the reader can change fonts and page colors, and ebooks appear differently on different devices such as tablets, phones, and laptops. The Kindle software is free and may be downloaded for most electronic devices.
The KDP Amazon Tools and Resources page has several Kindle creator software options that may be downloaded to your computer. This video shows the Kid's Book Creator as well as the Kindle Textbook Creator (Beta) software in use. The Kid's Book Creator offers the ability to add pop up text, but no other interactives. The Textbook Creator offers pop-ups for movies, sounds, and pictures.
Create your own paperback manuscript using the directions and lesson resource template. Add front matter, chapters, use styles to format text, add headers/footers, and page numbers. The generic document adheres to the newer KDP Amazon suggestions now that Create Space closed and books are being moved to KDP Amazon. Instructions are included on the page such as that the page must be right facing or have no page number. The PDF is for people who want to read the instructions as they type their own document.
The Table of Contents (TOC) for a paperback is different from the eBook format. Learn to align page numbers, add a tab leader style, and update the TOC. Some troubleshooting tips are included in this video.
In this video, I upload a real PDF paperback manuscript to KDP Amazon. The demonstration shows where to get the free ISBN if wanted, information required for publication, and the book previewer interactive. It also shows where to buy proofs at the author price in KDP (although a proof may be requested in KDP, the actual purchase is now on Amazon.com).
Ordering author copies from Amazon is the cheapest way for authors to buy their own books. However, there can be an issue that can cause the order to be for a previous version of the book. If a newer version has recently been uploaded, watch the video to see what to do to be sure of buying the latest version. This has happened and the wrong books arrived. One author recently was able to return the wrong books to Amazon, but it is best to avoid the issue.
This lecture has a video about creating a children's paperback using Word (no other software is required) to make an 8.5" X 8.5" book. A sample Word doc is provided that may be edited and changed to create your own book. A step-by-step handout is also in the lesson resources area.
This lecture has a video, a step-by-step guide, and a Word document that may be used to create both a paperback and an eBook from the same file. For the paperback, Word, Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, a story, and illustrations are required. For the eBook, Word, illustrations, a story, and the free Kindle Kids' Book Creator software download are needed. Unlike CreateSpace, purchasing proofs is not mandatory in Amazon KDP. You can publish it directly, even without purchasing the proofs. There is an author price in KDP Amazon so retail prices are not needed by authors. It is full price on the Amazon sales page.
The same PDF/A used to create a paperback in Amazon may be uploaded to Barnes and Noble Press, if:
1. You purchased your own ISBN (it can also be used on Amazon for the same book size and version).
2. Expanded or wide distribution was not selected in Amazon or anywhere else.
3. The book version selected has the same size and print options.
4. An Amazon template was not used. Use your own Word Doc or a commercial template, but not one embedded with Amazon coding.
5. If you are going to use IngramSpark, do that first.
It is important to have a free Facebook fan page named for your book or your pen name. A personal Facebook page requires people to "friend" an author when a business/fan page allows them to easily follow you. Facebook will try to get you to buy ads, but these messages can be ignored or deleted. Payment is not necessary. Businesses (and books are businesses) should not be "advertised" on personal pages.
Amazon provides free author pages for people authors with books on Amazon.com at Amazon Author Central. Although author information is added on Amazon KDP for Kindle and paperback, the author page is set up at Amazon Author Central. Photos and videos may be uploaded to this page. Begin by selecting your book on Amazon while in Amazon Author Central. No money, no credit cards, no financial information is required. Amazon Author Pages are free.
Where is the financial information about book sales? If you have a book or books in KDP Amazon, the reports are on that site. If you have books on other sales sites, the reports are in those sites. Please see the attached lesson handouts for further directions.
Don't want to blog? There can still be a free blogger blog static set of pages for your book (about the book, about the author, where to shop, and some reviews) that are fairly easy to set up. Turn off all comments so it doesn't have to be checked often. This will provide more online links to your book sales page and requires little monitoring. It won't do as much good for you as an active blog, but it is good to have the links pointing to your book if people want to buy it.