Understanding the Indie Publishing Process
Over the past decade, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from every project and client, which enabled me to improve my communication and processes.
One of the most important lessons learned?
Give every client an outline of the indie publishing process that includes clear directives, deadlines, and responsibilities. With indie publishing, the author and the publisher must work in collaboration, each holding up their end of the agreement in order to achieve the desired publication date of a high-quality book.
Six Steps to Indie Publishing
- Select a Publishing Package– Whatever your goal, I offer a package that meets your needs.
- Choose Your Publication Date – I require approval on the FINAL edits a minimum of two months prior.
- Commit to Your Project – My collaborative editing process requires a time commitment from both of us.
- Approve Final Edits – After a few rounds of editing, you, the author, must approve the final edits before the manuscript moves into formatting. Please read the post formatting versus editing for more.
- Approve Formatting – Once you approve the final edits, your manuscript moves into the formatting stage. What is formatting? It pertains the interior style of the book including fonts, headers, chapter templates, and justification. When your manuscript makes it to the formatting part of the process, you can no longer add or remove paragraphs, rewrite sentences, delete content or add new content. When is the time to do that? At any point within Step 4. By the time you approve final edits, you’ve reviewed your document repeatedly. Take as long as you need before signing off because we will not make any further editing changes after it moves into formatting.
- Approve Proof Copy – Before your book goes live online, you must approve either a digital version or a paperback proof. If you’re a new author, I recommend the latter.
As your independent publishing consultant, I am just as vested as you in the outcome. Producing good books with original, compelling covers and stylish, readable formatting is my top priority. Making you look good is my goal. That’s why every package I offer includes professional editing and formatting.
This is such a vital topic, I’m placing under its own heading. I cannot stress this enough, but different formatting rules apply to Kindle/eBooks. We cannot use the same PDF we uploaded for the paperback version for the Kindle version. It simply does not work.
Therefore, once you approve your edits, your manuscript moves into formatting first for paperback, then for Kindle. We release the paperback first, with the teaser that the Kindle version is coming soon (usually within two weeks). Kindle formatting may take longer, depending upon the number of photos, charts, headers, special fonts, and other characteristics of the paperback.
Congratulations, Your Book Published on Your Desired Date – Now What?
You move into the fun marketing phase. If your particular package includes online interviews, social media set-up and training, and a book signing kit I’ll set those up for you. But no matter which package you select, I encourage you to have fun engaging with your audience in cyberspace and in person.
To reiterate the above, the time to make changes to your book is while it is in the editing phase. When you approve final edits, the manuscript goes into the capable hands of a professional formatter whose job is to focus on the appearance of the content, not the content itself. Once you approve the formatting, we hit the “approve” button on the date that matches your desired publication date.
The date we click the approve button is the publication date. It cannot be changed. If you want your pub date to be March 14, 2017, we must approve it anytime after midnight on that date. From that point, it will go live on Amazon within 24 hours.
Once your book is for sale on Amazon (and everywhere books are sold online), it’s time to market and promote. It is not the time to pull the book down to make yet another editorial adjustment.
Can it be done? Yes. Do I advise it? Absolutely not. Refer back to Step 4.
Sure, a year or two after your book is out, you may want to update it. I did that myself with Water Signs — years after it was published, because I wanted to make improvements to the cover design and dialogue.
Ready to tell your story? Contact me for your complimentary 30-minute consultation.