As always, I’d like to begin this week’s progress report by thanking all of you awesome people who’ve followed, liked and/or commented on my blog!
This week, I’d like to share with you a list of all of the professionals and steps that my book, Credence, went through on its way to preorder where it’s sitting now. I wrote the book, of course, but it wouldn’t be what it is today (or will be on March 1, 2019) without these people/websites/services. Also, I’ve had a few people ask me about editors and such, so this is also a shout-out to the people who’ve helped me and the services they’ve provided.
I’ve broken these down by steps in chronological order for a clearer view of how the process worked for me. There are a few steps you could move around, but for the most part, this is the generally accepted progression for a self-published book. Please note, as with the computer programs and smartphone apps, I am not an affiliate with any of these sites or professionals and neither receive any payment for these endorsements nor am I able to provide any discounts. These are just my experiences and opinions having worked with them to complete Credence.
Cover Design: SelfPubBookCovers.com
I bought my cover art VERY early on. In fact, I was still working on the first draft of Credence when I purchased my cover art. The website is a little dated-looking, but don’t let that fool you. I absolutely fell in love with my cover art and though I’ve had moments of doubt about it, in the end, I’m still proud of it. I also commissioned the paperback wrap-around design from them and I can tell you, they are quick and professional every single time I’ve had to interact with them. As a customer service rep by day, this is a big deal to me. Communication and turn-around times were amazing. As an indie author on a budget, I HIGHLY recommend them.
ISBN Numbers: MyIdentifiers.com
This step is a big (read: EXPENSIVE) one. Unless you plan to publish through one of the websites that provides you with a free ISBN number (Amazon, Smashwords, etc.), then you’ll want to buy your own from MyIdentifiers. I know what you’re thinking. Delphia, aren’t you going Amazon exclusive, at least at first? Yep! But I like the idea of owning my own ISBN numbers and being able to decide freely when I’d like to – if ever – go for wide distribution. And owning my own ISBNs gives me more ready freedom to do that.
Professional Head Shots: Cassidy Brauner Photography
Not exactly an essential step on the road to being an indie author, but I would highly recommend looking into getting professional headshots done. Cassidy was the photographer at my younger sister’s wedding and not only was her work absolutely stunning, but she went far above and beyond. I was really nervous about this step for some reason, but she put me at ease and really did great work for my pictures. If you can’t afford it, this is definitely a step you could forgo. But I highly recommend her if you’re in the Ohio area and would like to have them done.
Professional Editing: Keren Reed Editing
This step, while the most expensive, is the most necessary. Keren has worked with many well-known authors in the m-m/gay romance genre and because she came highly recommended, I reached out. She was incredibly easy to work with and worked quickly and efficiently. Her criticism, while firm, was exactly what Credence needed to succeed. I am truly thankful to have had her as an editor and I hope we get to work together like this in the future!
Professional Proofreading: Judy’s Proofreading
You may be thinking, gee Delphia, if you had your book professionally edited, why have it professionally proofread? All of the advice and how-tos I heard/read/watched recommended this, so I asked around as I did with the editing and found Judy. She came highly recommended by an author friend and again, I wasn’t steered wrong. Judy was very affordable and also very efficient and professional to work with. Her proofreading was the final comb-through by another set of eyes before I submitted Credence for copyright and I’m very thankful I did it.
Official Copyright: United States Copyright Office
This particular step is debated by the indie author community, and I’ve never really understood why. True, technically, from the moment you write something, it’s copyrighted to you. But I don’t know, something about officially filing it just gives me peace of mind. Probably no one is going to steal my ideas or work, but what if they did? I’d really like to have that official record proving it was mine. The website, while dry, is very easy to use. I’m just over three months into the waiting game, but so far, so good.
Digital Branding: Simply Defined Art
Just like with the headshots, this step isn’t necessarily essential. But I do think that both headshots and official branding make you appear more professional. And if you’ve put in all the work to write and edit a book, why not invest a little in your professional feel? Phrases like ‘indie author’ and ‘self-published’ come with such a stigma already, and I really wanted to try and combat that best I could. I just adore my branding and I really believe it makes a difference in how I’m perceived.
Ad Image Creation: BookBrush.com (formerly CoversSellBooks.com)
Unless you’re good with/already own Photoshop, or you prefer sites like Canva, I highly recommend checking out BookBrush. They allow to you create awesome graphics for marketing your books. They have a free version and a paid version. I recently upgraded to the paid version and honestly, you’ve seen my graphics. I think they turn out very well and the website is VERY easy to use.
So there you have it! Aside from the printing of drafts (I used Staples, but I don’t think it truly matters which print service you use), ordering proof copies (ordered through KDP, obviously), and building my online presence (WordPress for my website, then the major social media sites), these were the major steps along my journey so far. Again, this is not an exhaustive list. These are just the sites and people I’ve worked with on Credence/building my author presence and am very satisfied with all of it so far.
If you’d like to see the finished product, don’t forget to check out my book, Credence! Releasing on March 1, 2019, it is currently available for digital preorder via Amazon, HERE.
Have a great weekend, everyone!