A Great First Step: The Complete Guide to Self Publishing

Disclaimer: This post contains a link to an affiliate site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Having my poems or stories published had been a secret dream of mine for years. I remember how one year, while listening to one of the featured author’s at my church’s annual camp meeting book sale, I told myself that someday that will be me. Some day I am going to be an author and have one of my books sold at camp meeting.

I never shared with anyone that dream, because as real as it felt in that moment, in reality it seemed impossible. Although I filled my shelves with more than a thousand poems, wrote several short stories, a couple of essays, and even a 200 plus page book they were nothing more than files on my computer and aging paper sitting on my book shelf. I knew nothing about the publishing world, where or how to send my manuscript, I had no money for an agent, And even if I figured out where to send my manuscript and mustered the courage to send one off, I had no ready made audience eager to buy my works, so why would a publishing company waste time on my humble hen scratches.

For year I did my best to content myself with the knowledge that even though no eye other than mine would ever read my poems, they at least brought me joy, relief, and reminded me that I had reason to hope. If that was all they ever did, than they had served a purpose. While I did my best to satisfy myself with the thought that my eyes were better than no eyes at all, inwardly I still dreamed of the unexpected day when some miracle would happen and the impossible would become possible.

That would have been the extent of things, if I had not heard of self-publishing. I am not sure how I stumbled upon it, except that the Lord used the algorithms of You Tube to help me find a video talking about this great opportunity. What I do remember to this day was the burst of excitement and that tingly feeling up the spine as I realized that this was my miracle. I had found the answer to a prayer that I had not dared to utter. At that moment I knew that some way, somehow I was going to become a self-published author. But there was one problem, I had no idea where to begin. I knew absolutely nothing about self-publishing and its unique terminology. What in the world was trim size, cover copy, frontmatter, IISBN’s, and more. I quickly realized that before I could publish my first book, I was going to have to learn a bit more about self publishing and what it involved.

So I did one of my favorite things and headed to the book store to pick up a book to help introduce me to this new world. The first book I got was The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier. This book was a great first step as it introduced me to concepts like choosing your publishing date, Library of Congress card Numbers, and concepts I had never anticipated that I would need to consider like creating ad copy and what type of business entity I would need to form. It introduced me to the different type of binding options, the benefits of copyright registration, and explained the seemingly mundane but highly important concept of choosing your paper and how it will influence the cost and perceived value of your book.

This book was a great first step to gathering both information and courage to start my self-publishing journey. If you are considering self-publishing I would definitely recommend The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing to help introduce you not only the terms, but some of the many hats that you will wear as a self-published author.

Disclaimer: This post contains a link to an affiliate site. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

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