Thursday, September 4, 2014

Learn to write part 3

By: Joe P. Attanasio

This is the final part of my blog for beginner writers. I am going to assume you have written a novella or a novel. Let’s also assume it has been edited and beta read by at least four people. You have tweaked and rewritten your manuscript and finally you are happy with it. Remember to add page numbers if you have not already done so. You will also want to have a title and a description of what the story is about. What do you do now?

With final draft in hand, you have basically two options.

Option one: Try to get a publisher interested in your manuscript eventually singing a contract with them to publish and promote your work.

Option two: Self publish your story as an independent author.

About option one: It is rare that an unknown author is going to get a publisher to take on their book. If you are interested in trying this route then I would suggest hiring a literary agent to do the work for you. This is often a time consuming and costly process.

Most writers will be going for option two these days. There are a number of places to self-publish but I am going to outline the process I am most familiar with.

I used because I think all books should be available in both print and digital formats. You make up a password. They use your email address in place of a user name. It costs nothing to join.

Before you upload your manuscript you will want to format it for the size of the book you want. I chose 6x9 inch format. They have tutorials and community pages to help you do this. I use M.S. Word so for me I had to select 6x9 as the page size and set the margins as mirrored with a 1.5 in interior and 1 in for top, bottom and exterior margins.

You will want to include a title page, copyright notice if applicable and maybe a dedication or other information you want to add before the first chapter. At the end of the book perhaps a little background about the story or a biographical note about the author. Perhaps include links to your blog or Facebook page if you want.

Once you upload your manuscript Createspace will require 24 hours to check it to make sure interior file fits the book size and everything looks alright. They will tell you how many pages your book will be and how wide the spine will be to accommodate them. This information is used when designing the cover.

Take your time and design a cover you are happy with.

An example for a book with a 1 inch thick spine follows. The cover dimensions would be 6 (front) +6 (back) +1 (spine) or 13 in wide and 9 in tall. You can make your own cover and upload it in adobe format or use the book cover designer they have available for you. Either way, they have much information to assist you.

Once cover and book are approved to fit properly you can order a proof to look at. They will print one copy or more of your books for about $5.00 each and mail them to you to look over. You do not have to approve the finished book until you are happy with it. After you look the physical book over and are satisfied, go online and click approve. You will then have the option to make it also available for the Kindle (digital). They will submit the files and help you because Amazon, Createspace and Kindle are all the same company. You can have a printed copy in your hands and a book on Amazon in paperback and Kindle in digital format for under $10.00 if you design your own cover.

Because the paperbacks are print on demand and the kindle version is digital; you can change the interior files any time to make edits in case you discover an error. The down time is only 24 hours.

I hope you enjoyed my short version of the entire process from this three blog series.

Check out my other blogs while you are here from my archives by month on the right side of this page.

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