Friday, January 13, 2012

Self publish for free...

Self Publish for Cheap, I Did!
I have been talking about this with a few aspiring writers as of late and I want to share my thought very briefly. If you want to self publish, I think this is a great idea! You can publish on Nook and Kindle as well as multi-format Smashwords for free. If you can design a cover, great; if you can't, hire a artist for a couple hundred bucks (I know a guy, seriously, I do). If you can format, great; if you can't, hire someone to do it for less than $100. Ask friends and relatives to edit and save the cash on that (you really don't want typos, but it is not the end of the world). Please, remember that you would have to sell many, many books to make up the costs of self-publishing through an expensive all the frills shop.

Here's the thing, you can get an ISBN for yourself (publish it first through Smashwords, it is part of the deal, the NO cost deal). No matter how you publish it, it is already copyright protected so you don't need to pay someone to do that. You can hit all the major markets without paying someone to do it. You can get in the Smashwords premium catalog so that Sony and Apple customers will see you as well as uploading to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Because Smashwords has the most broadly accepted formatting, you can use their FREE guide (see HERE) and use this singular formatting to get your book ready for any reader. Because it is in their best interests to sell a lot of books, you can get their free marketing guide, too (see HERE). I would recommend paying for only one book (and I am not an affiliate and get nothing for it) and it would be "How to Publish and Sell Your Article On Kindle" (see HERE) which provides excellent instructions for any length piece on formatting, inserting images, making an interactive table of contents, understanding pricing, preliminary marketing, how to move your files so you can view them on the Kindle, how to preview your book without a reader (both in Kindle and Nook format) and all for just $0.99. In fact, start with this article length book and you will know everything to get started publishing on Kindle and Nook with no other expenses. Plus, if you email the author, she will send you a free PDF guide to making a cover. It is a screaming deal.

I had friends and my husband help edit and I took and edited all the photos in my book and I designed the cover, formatted the text and uploaded  to all the retailers carrying it with no costs except my time. I used Word, but if you don't have it you can use OpenOffice, which is free (the book I recommend above has the details on this). I edit my photos using things like Paint, which comes standard on a PC. I did not spend much money to make my book and I only had to sell one book to make up the cost of the book I linked to above. Every sale past the first hour has been gravy. If you are worried that no one will read a self published book, the Wall Street Journal just might change your mind. Read how an environmental attorney got tired of rejection and published her book and has made six figures in this article HERE. Need some more encouragement? This mommy blogger self published her book with a little backing and did not spend much but has made thousands in sales and she writes about it in her low cost book available HERE. While her book does not go into specifics on how to format or any technical matters, she discusses some paid marketing but mostly is a cheerleader. It is five dollars, I bought it, and while I don't feel cheated, the one buck book above is my fast favorite.

So if you are thinking about writing a book, put away your wallet. You can do it for nothing, or for as little as a $1. You can do this, I know you can because I did it. If you are thinking about your own book, just jump in. I would be more than happy to read and review your book. Just do it already!

Visit my book's page HERE and read my author's profile, sample or buy my book in any format!

Linking up to Monday Mania!


  1. Dear Melissa,

    Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on the self-publishing. Keep up the good work!

  2. You did a great job with your book! Now, what should I write about?!

  3. Leslie, you produce an AMAZING amount of content if you look at it! You can definitely write something, and I would definitely buy it!

  4. Debbie, you have lost of valuable experience that you could share as the mother of so many biological and adopted children. Your story would make an excellent book, *nudge*nudge*wink*wink*!


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