If you have walked through the first three steps, checked every detail, and are confident your book, your promotion plan, and everything is ready, then it is time to take the plunge. Go to your chosen platforms (Lulu, Kindle Direct Publishing, or Smashwords) and start assembling your book.
Formatting your book is a challenge all on its own.
For print, I really like Lulu because they offer the option to upload multiple files and then assemble them into one book. I format the opening pages in one file (without page numbers), the body of the book in another (with page numbers), and the ending pages in a third (without page numbers). I use other books as references for the copyright pages and etc.
For ebook publishing, each platform has its own requirements and rules. I have found that formatting the manuscript for Smashwords first is the most efficient way of going about it. Smashwords provides a free step-by-step guide to formatting for their ebook generator. Once you have done that successfully, the conversion for Kindle comes down to a few tweaks and saving in a different format.
For all the formatting, if you aren’t technologically inclined, you can find help or people willing to do it for you for a reasonable price. Or, answer your questions for free.
Upload, compile, check, recheck, and then click the publish button.
Congratulations, you are a published author!
There will still be a few things to do before spreading the news.
Lulu requires you purchase a print copy of your book to check the quality before you okay it for distribution (which takes 6 to 8 weeks before you will see your book on Amazon). Smashwords insists on a review by its premier catalogue staff before they allow books to be distributed to other retailers. Then it will take time for your ebook to make it through their distribution channels. Kindle also takes a few days to publish to Amazon. Even after that, there will be little changes you will have to fix about the listings, but overall, things will be ready.
We aren't finished yet. I won't drop you there.
Come back next week for Step Five: Spread the News!
- Rachel Rossano