Friday, March 19, 2010

A List of Helpful Links on Self-Publishing

I was about to title this blog post "Technology Hates Me" after a week of living on dial-up internet, but my good wireless connection is back (knock on wood) and today I've gotten oodles done without having to haul my laptop to the library, wondering when it's going to overheat and blow up on me.

So finally, I can offer up a list of web resources for those considering or in the process of self-publishing. The books mentioned at the end of my previous post are a fantastic start and contain just about everything you need to know to proceed in a step-by-step fashion. I recommend spending a lot of time reading about the process and considering both the ins and outs before plunging in. You'll be investing either a fair amount of time or money in getting your book into print, depending on whether you do most of the prep work yourself or hire experts to do part or all of it, so it's not something entered into lightly. As I'm discovering, though, it can actually be quite an exciting endeavor.

Here's a short list, in no particular order:

1) Publetariat - Founded by April Hamilton, Publetariat is an online community of indie authors. You can find just about everything on this site, from articles that cover every aspect of self-publishing to where to find a cover designer. With so many energetic individuals contributing, the content on this site is constantly changing. Visit it often!

2) iStock Photos - When you get to the point of needing a photo for your cover, iStock is overflowing with professional and artistic pictures to choose from. I could spend hours there just looking. And they are very reasonably priced, too.

3) Lightning Source - If you're going the print-on-demand route, Lightning Source will not only print your book as needed, but get you listed with major distributors, like Barnes and Noble,, Baker & Taylor, and Ingram.

4) Createspace - Prefer to go the Createspace route? For those who plan to publish a single title or who desire a little more assistance, look into it.

5) Self-Publishing - A Yahoo discussion forum composed of authors and small publishers, as well as typographers, reviewers and bloggers. I suggest reading a few books on self-publishing and then if you have any specific questions during the process, you can ask it here or in the next list.

6) pod_publishers - another Yahoo discussion list for Print on Demand publishers. As with the list above, make sure you have a basic knowledge of POD before posting any broad questions here. Both lists are worth just sitting back and reading for awhile to glean knowledge from.

7) Digital Text Platform - Want to publish direct to Kindle through This is the place to start. You may want to visit the Kindle discussion boards first (listed on this page) to get a feel for how things work.

8) Frequently Asked Questions about the ISBN - Don't know what one is or how to get one? Check here.

9) Bowker - Ready to purchase your ISBN(s)? In the U.S., a single ISBN will cost you $125; the cost for 10 or more is $250.

That should be plenty to get you headed in the right direction. My connection already went down once during the writing of this post, so I'll launch this one out there while I can.

Happy publishing,


Judith Arnopp said...

HI Gemini
this is so helpful, i bought one of the books you suggested, Perfect Pages, and it looks as though it will be really useful for getting to know what all those unused buttons are for in Word.
my book was self published and the processed proved just how ignorant i was. i am learning by those mistakes and The Forest Dwellers will be a much more professionally turned out book.

Jack Ramsay said...

Great blog, Gemi. Thanks for the tips - it's always worth looking at options. Good luck.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Judy - You may want to consider Marcus's book, too. Its scope is a little broader, but I found the sections on laying out the interior to be very clear. If you own a Mac, definitely get Shepard's book.

Jack - I wandered around for months, sifting through web sites and ordering books. I figured I could save others a lot of time by putting those I've found most useful in one place. This process can seem daunting at first, but it's actually very doable. Like venturing down any new road, the key is in knowing where to go to find answers.