Falling further down the rabbit hole of Self Publishing… #amwriting #pubtip

I hate to sound negative, because I know how annoying it is to read whiny posts. But I promise you, this post has a happy ending!

But with how everyone is saying how EASY it is to self-publishing e-books, I feel incredibly STUPID for not getting it.

Problems I’m having:

1. Cover Size dimensions: My cover artist keeps asking for specific sizes, and I keep avoiding him because I don’t know lol. I think I found the Amazon one as 600×800 pixels, but that info was from a Forum and I don’t know how accurate the info is.

2. Lulu and Smashwords: Getting very mixed feedback about these! I don’t like Lulu because I’d rather have 100% instead of 60% with how hard I worked on this dang book. And, well, I’m unemployed. I can’t afford much right now so 100% would be ideal.

On Smashwords I heard a lot of horror stories from not getting paid to formatting mishaps. I’m not sure if it was just individual experiences (heard more than ten) or if Smashwords customer service is as bad as people say. And if it is, is it worth it?

My biggest beef with Lulu and Smashwords is that I heard if an agent likes your work, and you’re registered your book with Lulu and Smashwords, you can’t get an agent contract? I don’t like this idea.


OMG! I didn’t know how expensive ISBN’s are!

I want my book to be ready to buy a printed edition as well. With how epic of a cover it is, I’m sure they’ll want one. I know I do! And I want friends/family to have printed hard copy’s too.

What is the cheapest way to go about this? I can probably spare $300 to this process, but that is a high stretch for me….unemployed writer, remember? I know Lulu offers free ISBN’s, but, that brings me back to point 2.

3. Formats.

I’m shopping around for services to do this for me, because I want it done right the first time.

I’m a first time author. I don’t want to be wiped off the board because of poor formatting and bad grammar. Luckily I have a wonderful editor to take care of the second one, but I’m nervous about the formatting. Because I”m a little slow…I don’t want to mess up. I’d rather have a pro do it. Kind of like fixing the kitchen sink. You COULD try to do it yourself, if you know a little bit about plumbing. But I’d rather have it done right.

So yeah, that’s what I’m going through this week. I had my heart set on October 1st being the launch day, but I’m not so sure I’ll get it to that point. I’d rather it be done right than be done faster.

My dear friend @Tweetthebook called the publishing world madness. I THOUGHT I knew what he meant, I didn’t even know the half of it!

I know however all this stress will be worth it in the end when I hold my baby in my hands.

But to end this post on a positive note, this week had been really amazing!

1. I approached a few of my favorite YouTubers who do book review vlogs with HUGE followers (like 200+ in some cases!) and they agreed to do a review for an ARC! This made me do a happy dance. Like wow, people want to read my work? Better feeling than finishing a book 🙂

2. My website for the Zeppelin Odyssey is done! I’m so super proud of it. It’s simple for right now because I don’t have the cover art yet, but it’s nice and clean and easy to navigate. I’ve got what the book is about, the trailer, character bios, author bio’s, reviews and contact page. When my cover art comes, the background will be replaced with the cover. For now it’s a soothing grey. Because, well, I can use all the relaxing I can get lol.

I’d do another happy dance if you all check it out being the wonderful person you are: http://thezeppelinodyssey.wordpress.com/

3) Finished a GREAT book! I hadn’t read such a good book in a long time. Made me love reading again. My Life Undecided, by Jessica Brody. I’ll do a proper review for her tomorrow because she was kind enough to Tweet me back! She’s my new favorite YA author 🙂 Going to read the Karma Club when I’m done with Red Pyramid. See, I’m a reader now! Sorta lol, love my Kindle.

4) Sending my NYC editor my MS for the Time Traveling Diaries of Sebastian Barkley Volume One: the Duke’s Trumpet tomorrow so he can begin working on it on Monday. Soooooo excited for this you have no idea! Can’t wait for him to work his magic on it and make it better. It’s okay now, but I know it can improve.

Any help or advice would be appreciated! But I’m not expecting you guys to do the work for me. I just promised when I started this blog I would take you through the road of publishing. And that’s what I’m doing. Sorry for the whine-fest. But I tried to balance it out with the good 🙂 Cuz that’s just who I am this week…sorry, won’t quote Fall Out Boy again hehe.

What are you guys up to? Writing? Editing? Promoting? Reading? I wanna hear YOUR story!

And I’m going to trrrrrrrrrry to get a Celebrity Saturday NEXT week. I’ve got a family Reunion this week or else I would get my lazy butt back into interviews, because, I miss them lol.

So that’s it guys, hope it wasn’t too rambly. I’m a very rambly person if you couldn’t  tell. I can’t help it lol.

Keep writing, Keep Reading, Stay awesome!


5 thoughts on “Falling further down the rabbit hole of Self Publishing… #amwriting #pubtip

  1. Hi Claire,
    This is exactly what I ws talking about. Problem is, publishing cost money no matter what. It cost cash, and lots and lots of time. If you’re not working right now, you definitely need to spend your time on this before you do start working again.

    Couple things:
    -No matter who you publish with, there will be risks and potential snags. Expect that and handle them when they come. Personally, I don’t like LuLu; others do. Createspace, Smashwords, and Lulu all have their good and bad points. But the truth is when they own the ISBN, they are the publisher, and no you will not be able to re-sell a book in America, that is in print, with another publishers ISBN. You’d have to own the ISBN to actually get a agent/pub deal.

    If you want to go traditional, stop the press, and keep sending query letters. You can’t have your self-pub and book deal at the same time. You can, however, sell overseas, movie, etc, I think with an agent, but what agent is looking for the left overs? They want their time to bring in the US book deal too (but I could be wrong about that).

    If you want to self-pub on a shoestring budget, you have to have 3 things: 1) A great Cover 2) A properly edited book 3) A book formated for smashwords. This is your cheapest option and will give you larger distribution. All you have to do is pay someone to format your book to smashwords specs which will run you about $35-$60. Not bad. You already have the editing done and cover, so that’s all you need. Good thing is, smashwords will distribute your book into most digital stores. But honestly, I haven’t recieved a single penny from them.

    Next option for you, I think, is to publish with the best book distributer in the world: Amazon’s Create Space. You won’t likely get your book into stores unless it’s a mom and pop store that you have connections with, but the truth is, w/o the book deal, you HAVE TO FOCUS on ONLINE SALES. End of story. That’s just how it is.

    To publish on Create space you need a few things:
    1) Great cover; front back and spine saved as one PDF sized to fit your book (6×9?). 2) interior formated to .mobi format with copyright/thankyous/contact info/etc 3) Professionally edited work 4)For print, you’ll need a fully formated interior saved as a PDF sized to fit your book.

    Create space does not cost anything unless you spend $30 to get full distribution (but don’t let them convince you that that means it will be in stores. CS does not offer returnability to it cannot be in stores) However, that $30 can get you a better selling price and make more money. I get paid a regular check from Amazon. I love them.

    Total Amazon cost: $30 + $89 for .mobi/epub formatting (Delleasterdesign.com) + $60 cover layout + interior Print layout (FREE, I’ll do that for you – I can even do the Print cover for you if your jpg. has 300 pixels and you own the rights to the pic)

    ***Important: Don’t plan on getting more than 30-40% profit from your print book no matter what you do, IF you NEED a publisher; that’s still better than the 10-12% royaly you’d get from a book deal. They get their cut, its big and its not fair but that’s just the way it is. Besides, and listen to me, you will sell some print books to family and friends, after that your ebook sales will out number your print sales 75 to 1 (that’s my experience anyway). The good things is, you’ll get 30-60% royalties on your ebook depending on your price point.

    IS THAT TMI? Email me via my blog if you have more questions. I’d love to help you because you have been over the top sweet to me & a lot of others.


  2. I want to hug you right now. It’s 4am and I am pondering the very same questions. I keep pouring through a sea of information, getting discouraged, and writing another manuscript. Only thing I don’t have is someone to edit and format. Still working on those details. If only there were editors that would work for pies, maybe some jams? Homemade pickles? I keep writing thinking one day I will have an aha! moment. If you find yours, be sure to share with us. Love your blog, by the way. 🙂


  3. @Jeff: Oh wow! I only showed it to you cuz I mentioned you lol but I really, really, really appreciate your well said advice. I will def. e-mail you when I get back from visiting family this weekend. Thanks so much Jeff, you’re awesome ❤

    @Malice: Yay! So happy you said so. I was feeling like I was the only one not getting it, and I think that was the worst of it. Paying editor in pies? That's effing genius lol
    Thanks! Glad you like my blog and all it's madness. If you'd like to be interviewed as either a reader or writer, let me know 🙂


  4. All I can pass on is what I’ve heard on podcasts, so take that however you want, but I’ve heard Smashwords recommended a lot (even though you’ll get next to nothing from it compared with Amazon).

    Regarding people getting picked up for traditional publishing and distributing the same books through them – we’ve all heard of it, so we know it happens, right? You have to be a big success with your indie publishing first of course. Then they’ll want to distribute it themselves is all, so the self-published versions will be taken down. If you’re in that position, that’s no biggy!


  5. Hehe thanks Matt! Good to see you here ❤

    I guess I was just freaking out too much huh? I just don't want to screw this up is all 🙂

    Thanks guys for your encouragement! I feel better knowing I'm kind of on the right track lol. I just need to learn to relax I think! Something I'm always working on hehe.

    Thanks again guys ^____^


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