Showing posts with label publishing books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishing books. Show all posts

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Review of 3 Free Useful Services for the Self-Publishing Maniac

3 free self-publishing tools

As many of you already know, I've been on a self-publishing journey for several years. 

I have to say that I understand what it means to truly love what you do! I find all I want to do is create activity books.

Self-publishing is an endless learning curve. I spend a ton of time listening to "Guru" training on YouTube and investigating products and services to make the process easier.

If you're a self-publisher, I thought I'd share some must-have tools. 

1. ISBN Barcode Generator

If you are using your own ISBN numbers (the number that goes on the back of your book, on the pricing barcode), you'll need to generate a barcode to put on the back of your book. 

My favorite free service is Bookow - here is the link to Bookow

The service is free, but they do offer an opportunity to make a donation if you so choose.

There are many other free barcode generator services online, but Bookow is my favorite.

2. KDP Cover Calculator:

If you're self-publishing books through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Amazon's self-publishing service, you'll want to keep the KDP Cover Calculator page saved for easy access.

To ensure the cover's margins are correctly allocated, you'll want to create a template you can save and bring over to the design platform you're using to make your cover. 

You'll need to know how many pages your book is, so don't bother creating your cover until you do! 

KDP Cover Calculator is easy - simply fill in the blanks and download the cover template.

Here's the link to KDP Cover Calculator.

3. Canva for Professional Cover and Interior Designs:

Canva offers a free version; however, I've recently switched to the paid version. 

The free version works perfectly fine, and if you're just starting your self-publishing journey, go with the free version to start. That's what I did. 

There's a learning curve with Canva; however, it's worth it! In 2019 I published my first book and had no idea how to create my own cover from scratch. Eventually, I was able to use KDP's cover creator and import my own front page. 

For a while now, I've been able to fully design my own covers with my own ISBN numbers and barcodes. I was baffled and intimidated about all of this a few years ago! After much practice and reading, it is much less daunting today. 

Once you get the swing of it, you'll be able to create some gorgeous covers using Canva.

This lady on YouTube has an excellent beginner tutorial on Canva.

You can check out Canva.com here




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, May 23, 2021

What I've Learned on My Self-Publishing Journey So Far

 


I'm not a self-publishing guru, just someone who decided to jump in with both feet and give it a try.

In October of 2019, I self-published my first book on Amazon. The book features a collection of 50 years of my personal poetry.

After that, I went on a tear and self-published seven more books in approximately twelve months; two are sayings for cards, and the other six are personally written riddle books. I'm currently writing my seventh riddle book. When I look back, I still can't believe I accomplished all that in such a short time. I get tired thinking about it!

My self-publishing journey involved teaching myself every step along the way. It wasn't easy. 

A Quick Summary Review of What I've Learned About Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Books So Far:


1. Pick a Niche

After writing a poetry book and two books about "What to Write in Cards," I decided that I needed a niche topic. Since I have this crazy ability to write riddles, I decided riddle books would be my niche. However, if you're a fiction author, you can write a series or individual books. 

2. Why I Wanted a Niche Topic for my Books

Of course, you can write on any topic and self-publish on multiple topics. That's perfectly fine. However, I wanted to select one area to build a website and social media platform to tie into that topic. For fiction writers, an author website is all you'd need, no matter the variety of topics you write about.

3. Pick a Name for Your Niche Topic That Can Tie Into Your Social Sites, Books, and Website

I chose #Stumped Riddles, which I use in some form or another on all social media sites. I found it best to tie everything together.

Check out the links:

StumpedRiddles.com

Facebook.com/stumpedriddles

Twitter - @stumpedriddles

Instagram.com/riddlechallenge

4. Set Up Your Amazon Author Page

Here's the link where you can set up your Amazon Author page. You can take a look at my completed Amazon Author page here.

5. Market and Advertise Your Books

Unless you already have a huge fan base or following, you'll need to advertise. I use KDP Advertising and Facebook Advertising at the moment.

6. Set Advertising Goals

Do you want to build traffic to your website or simply sell books? I send my advertising links to my website, and from there, customers can link over to the associated amazon page. I choose not to link directly to Amazon as my goal is to build authority and traffic to my own site.

7. Converse With People On Your Social Media Posts

I post individual riddles on my website and all my social media links. The riddle answers link back to my site. When people take a guess at the answer, I always respond to each person who posts. When the volume becomes too much, I plan to get a helping hand in that area. 

8. Check the Negative Reviews on Other Books Similar to Yours

I read multiple negative reviews on books like mine. Those comments give me ideas on what to avoid and add to my books to make them better. 

9. Don't Be Afraid to Change the Design of Your Book

Based on input from others, or sales volume, don't get stuck with a design that turns out to be ineffective. I redesigned my books at least three times before settling on the final layout and content structure. I'm currently revamping all of the riddle eBooks. 

10. Your Book's Cover Design is Key

Pretty much all the gurus stress one particular point over and over ... 'Hire a professional to design your book cover." Of course, I didn't listen, lol.  However, I did re-do my covers multiple times and do have a knack for creating graphics. If cover design is not your thing, consider paying a professional to do it.

11. Watch Self-Publishing Tutorials on YouTube

There are many self-publishing gurus (actual gurus) who create useful instructive videos. I've probably watched 35 videos or more. You'll pick up little tidbits here and there from each one of them. 

Additional Self-Publishing Articles:

Basic Tips for the Newbie Self-Publisher

Matte or Glossy Book Covers

Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher

5 Helpful Self-Publishing Tools

3 Tips for a Newbie Self-Publisher

How to Get Started on Your First eBook





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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