Sunday, November 3, 2019

3 More Tips from a Newbie Self-Publisher

3 More Tips From a Newbie Self Publisher
3 Additional Newbie Self-Publisher Tips
From a Fellow Newbie's Experience

In the previous few articles, I reviewed my newbie experiences with self-publishing. Since I've published my third book and still have some hair left, there's more to share.

Again, I'm not a publishing guru; I'm just sharing tips as I go through the process.

If you've published paperbacks, you understand that your book can be uploaded in digital format as an eBook.

I started in reverse. My first book was an eBook. After publishing an eBook, I learned to publish paperbacks.

However, once I mastered (yeah, right) the ability to publish a paperback, I changed the order in which I publish books:

  •  My books are written for Paperback publishing first
  •  Then, that same book is uploaded as an eBook

I prefer doing paperback books first. The physical copy is more detailed and takes more care in its design.

When doing an eBook, you upload your completed book document to KindleCreate. Again, read this article for a little bit about KindleCreate and eBook preparation.

Three Tips to Pass Along: 

1. Kindle Create - What I Learned the Hard Way with the Third Book

If your manuscript/book document has anything in List Format, for example, 1, 2, 3, etc., when you upload it to KindleCreate, KindleCreate doesn't let you modify Lists. You have to have it exactly as you want before uploading or not using a list format. 

My book had 160 items in List Format. To get around the lists for the eBook version, I typed the numbers in brackets and put them above the typed item. I didn't use the auto-format of 1.2.3. in the toolbar. However, beware; even if you type 1. versus using the word processing numbering format in the toolbar, you still won't be able to modify that list in KindleCreate.

Oh, and the same goes for Tables in KindleCreate: They can't be modified once uploaded to KindleCreate.

Maybe KindleCreate will change these restrictions down the road?

2. Get Your Amazon Author Page Completed

Read the general instructions on the Amazon help page here to get started. It's easy to understand.

I decided to wait until I completed three books before doing my Author page. However, there's no need to wait. If you only have one book, go for it.

The Author page has five key elements:

  •  Upload your photo or any photo(s) you prefer for the page
  •  Add your books to the page (easy, automatic process)|
  •  Write a Bio on yourself - Take some time to do this (see the tip below)
  •  Upload any videos you have that relate to you or your books
  •  Add an RSS feed from your blog, Pinterest, or another place that connects to your Business

Regarding the Amazon Bio, take advantage of this article; it's filled with excellent tips. It provides guidance on how your Bio should sound and what you should say. You can follow me on my newly created author pageIf you prefer a video tutorial on how to complete an Author Page, this one is helpful:

3. The Size of Your Book as it Relates to the Book's Spine

I have yet to use a professional graphic artist to create covers. For now, Amazon's Cover Creator is still my go-to tool. What I learned from this third book is that size matters. If you want your book to have written details on the Spine, you must ensure it's approximately 100 pages. This last book was less, about 65 pages, and thus couldn't have the title on the Spine. 

I'll keep most of my books to at least 100 pages to avoid this. You don't have to if you don't want to; it's up to you.

Here are my article tips to date:

Here's my completed third book, and yep, I'm working on the fourth.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I am not quir ready to publish ana ebook. I am hoping to get there soon. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Brenda, sending you good vibes for a smooth process should you decide.

  2. I can definitely see the benefit of publishing the paperback first. For me, I would want to see it in person before I uploaded it. Somehow (and I don't know if it is true or not) I think I would find errors that way, before uploading it. Still, it does sound like, even if you had a perfect paperback, you could end up with mistakes in the ebook. Clearly, there is much to think about and plan before publishing.

    1. It's true about mistakes, it's a given in the beginning. The nice thing about that is it's easy to fix. You simply correct your book manuscript, and re-upload it to amazon, once they review the changes, the corrected version is up and running for future customer orders.

  3. These are all good and useful tips for anyone planning to self publish. Thanks for sharing what is working well for you, Barbara.

    1. Thanks Pat, I've googled some crazy questions during this process, and was surprised how hard it was to find the exact answer I was looking for.

  4. These are such great tips for any newbie self publisher, Barbara! Sharing your “lessons learned” from personal experience will surely help others avoid pitfalls, such as numbered lists in the print manuscript that can’t be modified once pulled into KindleCreate.

    1. Margaret, that was a doozy lesson to learn - even though there's a pop-up on kindle create that lets you know you can't modify lists, it took me a long time to realize that it was reading my uploaded numbered items as a formatted list - because I hadn't actually used the bar at the top that creates those 1, 2, 3, lists - since I typed in the numbers manually I presumed I was by passing that formatting - um, no. Lol. So, I had to essentially redo all those numbered items for the ebook version. Lesson learned like you said. I won't do that again.

  5. Your journey to the self publishing world is amazing. So happy that you are sharing all of your hard earned lessons with us. I don't know if I would ever do this myself, but, I have learned never to say never. Thanks Barbara!

    1. Olivia thank you. I have to agree with that as well, never say never lol

  6. I am enjoying getting an insider's look into your publishing adventures. I wouldn't have thought to publish the paperback before the ebook. It's helpful to see things from a different perspective. Thanks!


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