SELF-PRINTED is Out Today! (And Some Other Stuff)

16 May

Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing is out today!

(Rest assured, that’s the one and only exclamation mark in today’s post, excluding the title. It’s safe to read on.)

It’s $15.95 (£9.80 or €11.20) in paperback and just $2.99 (£1.84 or €2.09) in e-book which, like, hello? Is a total bargain, if I do say so myself, especially considering its twice the length of Mousetrapped and I didn’t even get to go to Florida to do the research. And that [clears throat loudly] none other than bestselling author David Hewson thinks it looks worth a read.

(It is worth a read. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?)

You can download the e-book edition from:

You can purchase the paperback edition from Amazon.com. If you live in Ireland or the UK, expect to spend around £13 or €15 – including the cost of the book, thankfully! – to have that book sent from them to you by standard shipping.

Self-Printed has eight sections:

  1. Why Self-Printing? (An injection of sense)
  2. Preparation (Cover design, preparing your manuscript)
  3. Building an Online Platform (Blogging, Twitter, Facebook)
  4. Publishing Your Paperback (with CreateSpace)
  5. Publishing Your E-book (with Amazon KDP and Smashwords)
  6. Selling Your Book (Using Amazon Author Central, your listing, etc.)
  7. Launching Your Book (Introducing your book to your platform)
  8. Everything Else (Um… everything else.)

You can read the full table of contents here and if you’re still not sure, you can take the not at all accurate Is This Book For You?” Self-Printed quiz over on SelfPrintedBook.com. You’ll also find an excerpt from its introduction on its Amazon listing under “From the Author.”

How You Can Help

I’m feeling a bit nauseous because while I truly believe Self-Printed is a good book, I just don’t know whether or not it’s going to sell. (And because, quite possibly, I had a cup too much coffee for breakfast this morning.) But hopefully it’ll do well. If you want to help there’s plenty you can do, even if it doesn’t include buying a copy. (Although if you do buy and read it, please consider writing an Amazon review. They are hugely helpful.) As luck would have it, I have prepared this handy graph for just that situation:

On the Subject of Release Days

Some people have been taking this all way too seriously and asking, “How can today be the release day? Self-published books don’t have release days! And hasn’t your e-book been on the Kindle store for ages? Amazon says your paperback was published a week ago…” etc. etc. To these people I would say – first of all – chillax, and, second of all, you have to have a release day, even if it’s just an arbitrary date you decided on yourself.

You need something to build your promotional efforts towards and even before we get there, we need a deadline for all our work. So many self-publishers set off doing this without a deadline or a release date (or even release month) and while it mightn’t matter that much if you’ve already published a few of them, if it’s your first it is absolutely vital.

I treat self-publishing like a business; I see myself as an entrepreneur and my book as my product. Everything I do, from the layout of my website to the copyright notice in my book, has to look professional. It has to send a message to potential readers, subliminally or otherwise, that says My book is worth your time and money. And so if I say things like, “My e-book will be out… just as soon as I get around to finishing it!” or “I’m aiming for March… but knowing me, it could be July!!” or “You can buy the paperback now… but I don’t know how long it’ll be before you can buy the e-edition – I’ll let you know!” that’s not going to send that message, now is it?

But On Amazon, This is a Tricky Business

Unlike an author with a traditionally published book, you can’t get your book up on Amazon and hit a magic button that only makes it available starting the day of its official release. (And don’t even mention pre-ordering. Every time a self-publishing author wonders aloud about how to get their book available for pre-order on Amazon, a fairy dies. Fact.) Your book will appear on Amazon.com anytime between 5 and 14 days after you click the “Approve Proof” button, and your Kindle edition 48-72 hours after you publish your e-book. But then you need to link the editions (i.e. e-mail Amazon and ask them to link your paperback listing to your Kindle listing), sign up for Amazon Author Central and add all sorts of lovely stuff to your listing, such as editorial reviews, a “From the Author” message and an extended product description.

This is why my Kindle edition has actually been available on Amazon since the 16th of April, and why my paperback has been on there for well over a week. But I’m only telling you about them today, because I’ve been quietly waiting for them to appear, getting them linked and adding elements to the listing through Author Central. As luck would have it, I talk more about this very subject in Self-Printed. (See what I did there?)

And While We’re on the Subject of Amazon

I’ve signed up for CreateSpace’s expanded distribution “ProPlan” ($39 per title and then $5 a year after that) but Self-Printed has yet to become available on any retailers other than Amazon.com. And I DON’T CARE. If they do become available to buy, great. Fantastic, even. But I’m not going to get my knickers in a twist over it. That’s one of the mistakes I made with Mousetrapped: I got too caught up with the paperback. The paperback doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it accounts for a maximum of 10% of all sales. (If I wasn’t such a book nerd I mightn’t even bother doing a paperback, but as it is I have to have one just for myself and for the other people who refuse to read e-books. Plus, I think this book is more helpful in printed form.) So my days of sitting at home and searching for my ISBN every five minutes on a whole range of online bookstores are well and truly over. And please, don’t bother telling me what company I “should” be using. I use CreateSpace. I love them. End of.

Did You Know About This?

I’ve only been using Mail Chimp for a couple of months, and only for sending out the More Mousetrapped stories. But I set up a Self-Printed mailing list for sending readers updates in the long-term and alerting people to its availability in the short term, and was delighted to find that pre-designed template, pictured above, that enables you to link directly to the content on your Amazon listing. How great does it look? Not only great, but professional (which, if you read Self-Printed, you’ll see is my new favorite word). And it’s completely free, and exceedingly easy to use, so consider building a Mail Chimp mailing list and sending out announcements of your upcoming books. They’ll look oh so pretty.

So that’s it. I will now try not to spend the rest of the day checking my KDP sales stats to see if anyone has bought a copy…

Find out more on SelfPrintedBook.com.

Up next: the longest blog I’ve ever written (I think). Warning: it contains the g-word. (Gatekeepers, if you were wondering.) And it might be a tad controversial. Stay tuned.

6 Responses to “SELF-PRINTED is Out Today! (And Some Other Stuff)”

  1. Lissa May 16, 2011 at 10:33 #

    Would love a hard copy, literally cannot afford it. Have tweeted this for you.

  2. Lindsay Edmunds May 16, 2011 at 14:06 #

    Tweeted and posted links at Goodreads author group and Kindle Boards Writers Cafe. Also bought a copy. I have a lot to learn and at least I have the sense to pick good teachers.

  3. Sarah February 28, 2013 at 12:17 #

    Thank you ! Lots to think about here ;) – love your style …….
    You may enjoy my style (well, at least I hope you will)
    Kool-aid Rehab – a taste of business today ;) sometimes not so sweet

    http://kool-aidrehab.blogspot.com

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bits and pieces and congrats | Head above Water - May 18, 2011

    […] In other news Catherine Ryan Howard who had a self-publishing success story with Mousetrapped has just released a step by step comprehensive guide to Self-Printing and every thing that goes along with it. Her blog is already a mine of information but this book collates that information and adds to it and includes tips on things you didn’t know you had to know. Read about it here. […]

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