Sign on a traffic light on W187th

One common beef about self-published books is that they are ungrammatical and full of errors. Maybe some (even many) are, but as I’ve argued before, a few errors aren’t particularly upsetting. If they appear in a formally published book I may think to myself “What on earth is going on at Press X. Have they stopped copyediting?”, but usually one can easily make out what’s meant, and such stuff doesn’t hold you up. In general though it does make sense to take serious care with the preparation of your manuscript: you’ve spent a lot of time creating it after all. The problem is though that you can spend lots of money getting your book prepared. If you do the work yourself — well, you have to do it, and it’ll take time away from other things (perhaps your writing), and maybe you’re not very good at some of that stuff. Freelance help is available for almost every function in the publishing process everywhere – especially in New York! – but it all costs money. You are the publisher — welcome to the cost balancing contortions those old-fashioned publishers know only to well.

Jane Friedman provides an extensive list of resources for the digital self publisher in her post “How to Publish an E-Book: Resources for Authors”. This looks like a good source of information about all stages of the publishing process. If you follow all her links and read everything, you’ll probably have a lot of catching up to do on your writing schedule.

Therin Knite, a self-published author, provides a list of eight resources to give you mostly moral support. This one from David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible blog provides sensible practical advice on marketing your book.

Corina Koch MacLeod, guest on Len Edgerly’s Kindle Chronicles, recommends a consistency checker tool, Perfect It. Maybe you could get away without some functions if you used this tool — only you can judge. Her company Beyond Paper Editing is one of several which provides editorial services to self-publishing authors.

TechCrunch has a story (28 March 2104) about “Softcover” a self-publishing platform provider targeting technical authors.

This useful piece from Dean Fetzer at The Creative Penn goes into detail about formatting your e-book.

Perhaps it should go without saying, but say it I will anyway — Amazon provides a huge amount of advice at their Kindle Direct site. Look at the list of help topics in the menu at the left hand side of this page.

Here’s a cautionary tale from The Economist Babbage blog. The Digital Reader, and some of the comments to the original post, point out that much of Babbage’s angst is in fact self-induced, by focussing on the old-fashioned way of things, and finalizing his print book first. See the piece here.