My indie publishing plan

As expected, Kindle Singles came back with a rejection. I’m cool with that. In fact I’m looking forward to self-publishing. The next step is to dive back into the self-publishing process. I am actually not going to start with the manuscript for “The Bazaar.” It’s 30,000 words long, after all, and represents a significant effort on my part. Not something I want to use for a trial effort.

Rather, I plan to publish a sci-fi short I wrote a couple years ago. The rights have since reverted back to me (they only asked for First Electronic Rights with an 18-month option for First Anthology Rights, which lapsed long ago). A couple key advantages to this approach:

1. It’s a manageable length (just 4,000 words) while I learn the ropes.

2. It’s already been copy-edited.

In a previous post I identified the major self-publishing challenges I will have to overcome in creating this product. I now have a solid plan for attacking each, and at minimal cost no less:

  • Cover art – Proper cover art is expensive. Most artists are charging $200-300 minimum. That’s a lot of change to fork out on a 4,000-word test case. Fortunately in the course of my research I stumbled on selfpubbookcovers.com. This site offers pre-made cover art from a slew of artists starting at $69/cover. Definitely the way to go for this particular project. In the future I have no problem engaging an artist at a higher fee for a larger project (such as “The Bazaar”).
  • Copy editing – The copy has already been proofed! #majorwin
  • Formatting – I thought this was going to be a substantial pain in my ass. Then I read Guido Henkel’s free formatting guide (thanks to David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital for the tip!). It turns out that with a free program called calibre  and my limited HTML knowledge I should be able to pull this off without much trouble. The only major investment here will be time. If I were planning a print version for POD I would definitely hire a professional book designer, but this will be an ebook-only project.

So really now it just comes down to execution. I am hip-deep in formatting and deciding on cover art. I intend to purchase the cover by the end of this weekend (will share once it’s ready to go). Formatting proceeds apace. Tentatively I hope to launch on or around March 15.

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