Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self-Publication Part 4 // Answers to Questions

Welcome to the part 4 of my self-publication series! It's been awesome hashing this out with you all and I'm so glad you've all been finding it helpful so far. Congrats for sticking with me this long!! :P Today I bring to you the answers to any questions I received that I haven't answered thus far.

1. How easy was it to go through the self-publishing process? ~ Bethany R.

It was doable for me, but it required lots of research and decision making. You have to be willing to spend lots of time and some money and possibly part of your sanity throughout the process. Knowing what to do wasn't as hard as picking the best iteration, finding people to help me, and trying to plan out the timeline for it all. You're given all of that with traditional publishing :)

2. Are there any major hindrances for young authors with self-publishing? ~ Phoebe K.

Well, to get a nice quality, you have to be willing to pay for services such as editing, formatting, and cover design. If you're looking at publishing for just your family and friends, you might be able to do some things yourself, but the quality won't be as good unless you're very talented. :) Other than that, not really! Self-publishing is pretty straightforward, especially when using something like CreateSpace where they lay out the steps for you.

3. How can you protect yourself from thievery when you self-publish? And are there any ways to protect myself from evil scum-bags who want to steal my work?? ~ H

This is a great question! I don't have any personal experience with Wattpad or Scribophile where you're sharing your unfinished work with the world, nor with anyone trying to steal my work. Printed books, even when self-published, have copyrights which make it illegal to replicate without permission or credit to the author. Going through a traditional publisher doesn't make your work any "safer." I stick copyrights on my blog, YouTube videos, and the like so there is a stamp somewhere saying "this is mine." It won't necessarily stop theft from happening, but it does make recovery simpler if it does happen. I do think theft rather unlikely as long as you're working through major platforms still like Wattpad, Scribophile, Blogger, YouTube, and CreateSpace who are accustomed to watching out for such issues and handling the problem. I am sure they all have policies in place to help avoid it if they can (like YouTube taking down pirated videos). Hopefully that helps :)

4. Where did you get your physical copies made of your book? And how was the process for that? Did you publish through Amazon as well as use something else to get the physical copies? ~ Emily M.

I got all my physical copies printed through CreateSpace. Once you actually publish something through them, it goes on Amazon and you can order print copies. You put in the quantity and the shipping and billing information. Ta-da! They print the books on demand and ship them to you. You have to pay the "production cost" which for Martin Hospitality is $5.50 a book and then some shipping. Selling them for $15 still, I get a really good profit off of them! I know you can get copies printed and shipped to you from Lulu as well without "publishing" which people often do for their drafts so they can have physical copies and fiddle around with fonts and cover and the like.

5. Do you have any ideas for other genres, or are you planning on sticking to contemporary? ~ Emily D.

Hehe. I have a lot of ideas in different genres. Christian Contemporary isn't really something I thought I'd want to write in the first place, but here I am!! I'd say most of my ideas are still real world Christian Fiction, but set in different 20th century decades. :) That's what most of my novels will end up being I think. ;) I tried drafting this Christian Dystopian allegory thing for NaNo in November and ... yeah, I don't think that's my genre. I'm hoping to get my medieval Pandora's Box retelling novella published soon, so that will be another new genre. :P And for July NaNo I've already begun planning a Fantasy bookish time travel thingy that I intend to release in serial form if it all works out. So yes!! I have lots of ideas. :D Check out my Pinterest to find all my storyboards {the ones in swirly brackets}.

6. What sparked the very first seeds of Gemma's story? ~ Emily D.

A crazy dream :P It's not my only story to be sparked by a dream, either. The dream was a combination of a Beverly Lewis novel, my aunt's move to Kansas, and my mom's work in our local Pregnancy Center.

7. How expensive is it to run a giveaway for your first release? ~ Olivia

To run a giveaway through Rafflecopter, it's free and customizable. So the only cost is the price of the product you're giving away and the shipping fees. For me, I have to pay about $6 for each of my books with the shipping it takes to get it to me. I spent $.50 per box I assemble to ship them in and about $3.50 US mainland shipping. So it's approximately $10 for me to giveaway one book. Shipping to Canada had a base cost of $15.50 and it was similar for England and Australia. So then it costs me about $22 per. An e-book copy doesn't cost me anything to e-mail to someone, but it's still money not earned :P Any other little things I've given away so far I got on Etsy with a gift card or at TJ Maxx for a few dollars. 

8. Do you have any tips or (even better) a checklist of things you should do when self-publishing? ~ Emily M.

Terrific question! I have given a plethora of well-hidden tips in the last few posts. Because you requested it, I have a self-publishing checklist in the works! I'll share a downloadable version of that with you on Tuesday along with my #typewriterprompt of the month :) Then on Saturday I will have the awesome Ivy Rose over here!


Any specific questions for me that I still haven't answered? Ask them in the comments!


  1. Thank you so much for doing this series! I've learned a lot and am much more confident on self-publishing if that is the path that my book ends up taking (and it very well might). Thanks again!!

    1. You're so welcome!! Yay :D I try to infuse confidence everywhere. There are so many timid, hopeful little writers. I'm like GO WRITE YOUR BOOK!!! Share it with the world!! XD Best of luck to you. I look forward to seeing how your path plays out :)

  2. Thanks for writing this series. I still have no idea if I'll ever be a published author, but you know that feeling you get when you could easily foresee your current WIP taking like a million drafts? Yeah, I get that feeling with Forgotten (aka my current WIP), so idk, I guess it's possible that maybe someday, if I ever finish the first draft, it could end up a published novel. We'll have to wait and see what God decides to do with it. 😉

    1. Sure thing! Hehe, YES I know the feeling! I'll be very excited to see what happens with Forgotten once you do finish it :) You can't do all that hard work and then never let the rest of us read it!! ;P

    2. Oh my gosh, you want to read my novel???? *runs around and flails* You're the first person who doesn't know me in person and who doesn't know what my novel's about to express an interest in reading it! *flails more* I promise if Forgotten ever gets published in any way, I will tell you. ;)

    3. Of course I do!! And once you get the word out, I won't be the only one ;)

  3. Interesting series. I always enjoy hearing different people's perspectives on publishing. Good luck with your future writing!

  4. This was such a fantastic series, Abi. So, so helpful and definitely a go-to resource for when my books start getting closer to publication :)

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad!! Researching all of this myself for the first time was kind of scary, so I'm happy to make the process smoother :D I cannot WAIT until your stories are at the publication stage!

  5. This is all been so great, Abi! Thank you!
    I do have one question, I'm now looking into the formatting part of my publishing process. Hannah Heath (another blogger) self-published and did the formatting herself, I know you got someone to do yours. What do you recommend and who? How much should you expect to be paying for someone else to do it?

    1. You're welcome! ^.^

      I used Perry Elisabeth Designs to do my formatting. Here's the link: She's by far the most affordable I've found at $110 for e-book and paperback.

      Definitely use the checklist for the formatting part as I didn't really know what I wanted and then had to have her change a bunch of things :P She's super nice and helpful, so shoot her an e-mail and see if she's available!

      I do recommend hiring someone unless you're really good at formatting! You could always see if Hannah wanted to charge you a small amount to do it if you're pleased with the look of her books and she doesn't normally charge :) Doing it yourself would save you money (obviously) but it would take a lot more time, I would think! :)

  6. Ahh! Thank you so much for doing this series, Abi! It was extremely helpful. :)


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