Yesterday I talked about my accidentally putting my paperback up for order. Well, okay, I didn’t actually get to that, I mostly talked about the lead-up to the actual tell.
Today we get to more of the story.
So, I put up the Kindle pre-order in December, then worked furiously over that month to finalize the manuscript, adding in dedications, copyright pages, CTA’s, About the Author, backstory on the story … all sorts of stuff.
I then had to proof it. Now I’m a newly-published author, I don’t have a lot of money. What money I do have I chose to put into a few key areas:
- I got a great cover
- I payed for a professional copy edit
- I decided to get the paperback formatting/cover professionally done
I didn’t have the money or the time to send it off for a professional proofreader, so my wife and I did the next best thing. We both pored over the manuscript once on our own, then we read the entire thing aloud to each other, marking when the cadence didn’t work well, we stumbled, or when the words said aloud didn’t match what was actually written. This happens way more than you know, by the way. I’ve followed along with professional audiobooks and noticed the spoken word sometimes varies from what is written down.
Anyway, that’s what we did for proofing. We went over the manuscript four times before finally calling it “done.” The ONE issue with this, is that every time we went over it, we found mistakes. It’s inevitable. Professionally published books have mistakes, I’m sure those of you who read a lot have found them. Everyone does them, even the pros.
The issue with me having them in my manuscript is that I’m being compared to the Big-Five publishers, so mistakes in mine have more weight because of the deluge of self-published drek on Amazon’s Kindle right now.
So that’s why I went over it four times. I’m sure there will still be mistakes, so I welcome anyone who finds them to email them to me. I’ll file them away for a future revision.
Once it’s proofed, you have to format the manuscript. I used Vellum to do my ebook formatting, but being a first-time published indie author, I didn’t want to tackle paperback formatting myself. I know I could have figured it out, but it wasn’t that expensive to get it done and it’s a big load off my mind and a skill that I don’t think I can fit into my already-stuffed brain right now. I had enough to learn without having to learn this.
The formatting took about a week to get done, and once that is done, then you know your paper size, page count, paper thickness, you can then figure out how big the spine of your book will be, and the cover design can begin.
Luckily I had the same company do both so they gave me back everything at the same time.
But I’ll go over the Createspace portion later.