Novice Self-publishing

Our writing group, the Whittlesey Wordsmiths, are in the process of gathering together a second anthology to self-publish.

For last year’s collection, I downloaded a template from Amazon and pasted everything into it, only finding as I went along that certain features of the template would need to be tweaked.

As the volume progressed (or not) I researched what was happening in the background of said template to find out why things were going wrong. Then I applied, too early, tweaks that would have been better left until the last minute.
(Much of what I learned then may need to be re-learned for this book – it’s my age).

Once satisfied with the print version, we uploaded it, congratulated ourselves, and had copies printed off by a local printer.

This is cheaper than ordering printed copies from Amazon as long as you can afford to invest in a substantial number of copies.

There were twelve of us wanting copies for extended families and friends; the remainder were sold at U3A meetings (after sending the obligatory copies to the British Library and other deposit libraries – see for this legal requirement).

I then re-formatted everything to upload as an e-book, which involved removing headers, footers, blank pages, page numbers, line breaks, page breaks, justification, and page-end tweaks (to eliminate weird justification).

I’ll deal with such difficulties (again) when I come to them. When I do, I’ll share them on this blog.

We learn from our mistakes

This time around, I’m starting with the e-book file. We only have to arrange it in a meaningful order, proofread and tweak it before getting involved with print copy issues, such as headers and footers and the Table Of Contents. (MSWord’s automated TOC isn’t geared towards each chapter having a different author.)

If you’ve self published, do you have any tips to share?

The Whittlesey Wordmiths’ first collection, Where the Wild Winds Blow, is available from Amazon. 

13 thoughts on “Novice Self-publishing

  1. It certainly was a steep learning curve, I can honestly say we couldn’t have done it without your dogged hard work and persistence Cathy. Hopefully, things will be easier next time. Mind you there is your “A Year Before Christmas” too another self publishing tour de force. Also available on Amazon I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for the link, Lisa. so far, so good… we’ll have a few more months’ challenges to add to the present ms before we get to the panic stage, but I’ll bear you in mind.


  2. Hi,
    I am a Virtual Assistant and have supported a published crime author in the typing of several novel manuscripts so I would be very happy to help in future if you would like a hand with putting your works together.
    Please feel free to get in touch if the matter ever arises again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hadn’t realised there was a downloadable template from Amazon. I can imagine any kind of template would require tweaks to get it to suit your purposes and preferences. Sounds like you’ve learned a lot along the way about formatting it all and as you say, learning from mistakes. Good luck to your writing group with the second anthology! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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