I just ordered a physical proof of my new book. But looking at the digital proof, it looks like they’ve got the author name wrong, and the title page seems to be missing. So It’s not available to the public yet. But it’s exciting business, nonetheless.
This is the first time I’ve self-published through Amazon, so I had to learn the process. And I’ve got to say that nothing could be easier. You upload your files, they put your book together and present you with a digital proof. You can also order a physical copy, which I did, just to make sure how it looks before I send it out to market. And when that happens, this blog is not where I’ll talk about it. More information about that will happen when it comes time for it.
The point, here, is that when they give it to you, you can look at your digital proof and go through every single page and see what it will look like. EXACTLY what it’ll look like. None of this “approximate” business.
Anybody who’s ever read a book online, or even read the “look inside” feature of a book for sale on amazon, can easily review a digital preview of their book. It’s easier than falling down drunk in a plastic bathtub. A monkey could do it.
So what astounds me is how any self-proclaimed ‘publisher’ could crank out an author’s book without previewing it for errors. It’s the easiest thing in the world, yet we see books that look like crap because nobody bothered to format or correct them. We’ve seen books with whole pages missing. Different fonts (sizes, scripts, italics, etc), spacing issues, you name it, produced by a “publisher” of an author’s work.
I don’t just mean an error here or that that a fledgeling publisher pays out of pocket to fix on the spot. Those are growing pains that could happen to anybody that hasn’t published before.
I’m talking about a publisher that’s been in the business for years, taking money from authors for services that are sorely lacking. It’s more than obvious that those files were uploaded without the benefit of editing, formatting, or even a run-through by a beta. Anybody with two eyes would catch those errors. Certainly, any publisher worth a damn would. That’s who’s responsible for the book, after all. The publisher. Not the author. Their job is done. Not the editor. Their job’s done, too. It’s the publisher that’s responsible when a book turns out looking like crap.
What kind of a publisher is so unprofessional, greedy and flat-out LAZY that they couldn’t even be bothered to preview a book before sending it out to distribution channels?
Well, kids. I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be afraid to publish your own work. You don’t need some lazy, greedy, sloppy, drunk, stoned waste of skin taking your money from you. You can publish your own book on Amazon just as easily as uploading a photo on Facebook. That’s literally all you do. You upload your interior – the book itself, as a .pdf, or even as a word .doc. They convert it into a .pdf for you! And creating a cover is easy as pie, too. You can either upload a cover you make – they have a template you can download. You tell them the size of your book (5×8, 6×9, whatever) and how tmany pages there are, and they give you a template for exactly how to design your book. Back cover, spine, and front cover. All you do is fill it in! Or you have your cover artist fill it in for you.
Or, if you’re not really artistically inclined, or can’t afford a cover artist, they have a tool right in the setup process that walks you through a cover creator.
That’s it. Upload your book. Upload (or create) your cover, and that’s IT. They take a day to review your files to make sure everything matches up, and email you when it’s ready for you to preview.
Take a look at it. Make sure your cover looks good. Flip through every single page to make sure they look good, too. It’s simple.
And please don’t settle. Don’t be in such a rush that you think little things can be overlooked. Don’t be afraid to make changes. If a single thing is out of place, you can change it until it’s perfect. You can redo the cover, add a blank page, add a title page or whatever you think needs to be tweaked. There’s no pressure. You set your own timeline.
Then, when everything is perfect, enable your distribution channels. And even that is as simple as the click of a button. It really is. I’ve never encouraged you guys specifically, because I hadn’t gone through the process myself. I’ve told you that you should, but couldn’t give you any advice about how.
Well, here it is. Advice about how. Upload. Preview. Tweak. Publish. It’s the easiest thing in the world. I keep saying that beacause it’s true.
I don’t mind telling you, when I previewed my next book today, it was exciting. It was thrilling. It was addictive. I can’t wait to do it again. And I’m excited for you to feel it for yourselves. So many of you have had crappy experiences with Drunk-Sluts-R-Us publishing frauds. You’ve felt the heartbreak. Well, believe me when I tell you that the instant you see your own pages, that YOU made, that YOU put together and made happen, all the heartbreak will disappear. Just that fast.
I can’t wait to congratulation you, and celebrate that feeling of elation with you.
What are you waiting for?