Here are some resources I’ve found really useful. (I shall be adding more resources, regularly.)
First of all, I wouldn’t be a published author without the expert guidance of Romance Writers of Australia.
Secret Synopsis Formula (I use this ALL the time, both before, during and after writing a book. This is a great blog by author Mike Wells.)
Organisations I belong to
- Romance Writers of Australia Association
- Romance Writers of America
- Writers Victoria
- Australian Romance Readers Association
Writing & Self Publishing Classes
Throughout the year I teach classes in Romance Writing, Self Publishing and Creative Writing in Melbourne, Sunbury and Gisborne.
- Centre of Adult Education (CAE) 253 Little Flinders Lane, Melbourne
- Macedon Ranges Further Education (next to Gisborne Library, VIC)
- Sunbury Neighbourhood House
Podcasts I Love
Places to Promote your Book
(I’ve used all of these and been really happy with results.)
Regency and African Research Information
Wicked Wager – Click to Download the Zip File
Printable Book List – Click to download the PDF
Get Your Blurb Looking Good
Go here to check out what the appearance will be on Amazon. It shows you all the coding options and was really helpful for a non-coder like me.
Don’t neglect other opportunities to make money. If you’re self-publishing, you need to use affiliate links whenever possible/allowed.
Sign up to Amazon’s Affiliate Programme, as well as those associated with anyone who distributes your book.
For 24 hours after anyone who clicks on your affiliate link to buy something else from that retail platform, you will get a percentage of proceeds.
Need a Manuscript Assessment Service or an Editor? These are all editors I’ve been very happy with.
Rachel Daven-Skinner (Rachel edited my Choc-Lit books and will be editing Diamond Mountain on a freelance basis.)
Kelli Collins – (Kelli edited my Ellora’s Cave books and edits my Daughters of Sin books on a freelance basis.)
Serena Sandrin-Tatti Editing Services – (Serena is a freelance editor and also edits romance novels published by my Harlequin Escape publisher.)
Bev Harrison – (Bev is a freelance editor who edited my Christmas novella.)
Files Formats Required for Uploading to Third-Party Retailers.
Amazon requires a Mobi file.
Many other third party distributors require an epub.
Making a paperback requires a PDF.
So how do I make a Mobi or epub from my word document?
When I got the rights back to my first three novels I had no idea how to format the files for uploading to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc. So I found a formatter – Maureen Cutajar of Go Published
eBook Formatting Services | Interior Layout Formatting | Manuscript Editing
who continues to do great work for me and my author friends at very reasonable prices and for a turnaround of 10 days. For $50 (for the Mobi) file and a further $25 for the epub, Maureen guarantees that your file will be accepted into Premium Distribution in Smashwords and is extremely helpful with any problems or queries you might have.
However, I’ve now started to do the file conversions myself since I’ve discovered D2D and Pronoun. (Read further.)
Third Part Retailers (links I’ve used to upload a new book)
Convert Your Own Files into Epub and Mobi ready for Uploading.
As a beginner self publisher, I’d been happy to use a formatter for my stand-alone books. However, I began to chafe at the expense each time I wanted to make changes, particularly in the “back-matter” of the books in my series. Naturally, I wanted to have buy links to connect each book.
That’s when I discovered D2D – with help from that fantastic fund of information, the Yahoo Indie Authors Loop. I’d got back the rights to the first two books in my Daughters of Sin series and was nearly finished writing the third. Her Gilded Prison was legally mine in December 2015 and Dangerous Gentlemen followed in January 2016. Now I had to turn the PDF that came from the edited publisher’s version into a mobi and epub, and then the third book in the series – a word file – into a mobi and epub.
I was delighted at what a breeze it was to simply upload my files to D2D which then did the conversion within a few minutes. I then uploaded my mobi file to Amazon. I also used D2D as my third party distributor, and authorized them to upload to Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and a number of other retailers.
Vellum is now my favourite option for creating beautiful-looking files I can upload either directly to the retailer, or to an aggregator. I just bought the ten-book option for US$99, and will upgrade to the Unlimited option for a further US$100 when the time comes.
I love the ease (no coding required), and the gorgeous features like a dropped Cap for each chapter, as well as decorative section breaks.
“Back matter” and Adding Subsequent Books in a Series
With the fourth book in my Daughters of Sin series – Beyond Rubies – ready for a pre-order, I wanted to generate buy links so I could add these to the back matter of my other books.
I also wanted to make Box sets using two and three of my books.
Vellum makes this really easy by basically doing all the work for you!
For my latest series, I’ve been very happy with the very friendly Dar Albert of http://www.wickedsmartdesigns.com/
She’s designed all four of the covers in that series for US$75 for an ebook cover or US$125 for the ebook plus print book (front and back) covers.
So with half of the next in the series written, I was confident that I could finish the final draft within the next three months. Three months is the maximum length of time you can organize a pre-order with Amazon (though there is no limit with the other retailers).
Pre-orders and Adding Links to back matter
Therefore, as soon as I had my cover art, I set up my pre-order on Amazon and nominated a date three months in advance. Setting up my pre-order required me to upload my cover and my draft file. I was then given a date two weeks prior to the release date by which time I needed to upload the Final file. Just as a word of warning, you do need to have that final file ready to upload by that date, two weeks earlier (though I believe they’ve changed that to only 3 days now) than the release date, so factor that in.
I duly uploaded the final file by that date BUT I did find I had a few tweaks to make to the file and so re-uploaded my new file three days before release date. I was glad to find that Amazon served my final file rather than the one I’d uploaded just before the deadline, though I wasn’t counting on it.
Now that I had my pre-order organized, I had an ASIN and buy links which I could put into the “back matter” of my other books.
This meant I had to locate the doc. files of each of the books in the series to which I wanted to add these links, the idea that readers would finish the one book and automatically buy or pre-order the rest of the books in the series.
I only had to change the mobi file for Amazon, though, as D2D automatically updates “back matter” with buy alerts for the other retailers.
More to Come
There are so many ways to go about self-publishing and these are just the pathways I chose.
I’ll be adding more tips and issues I’ve encountered but in the meantime, have fun with your book writing and publishing journey.
Having a mailing list is a vital part of growing a loyal readership.
I’ve tried FB ads (with moderate success) but I love Instafreebie. You offer free content in return for readers signing up to your mailing list (in my case, though MailChimp). I have recently found this a really effective way of communicating with the readers in my genre.