Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Self-Publishing Adventure

Jennifer is self-publishing one of her backlist books...

When my previous publisher, Rebel Ink Press, let me know they were closing their doors in June, I wasn't surprised. However, I was conflicted about what to do with the four books on my backlist that I had with them. So after taking a breath, I decided to try self-publishing one of my titles

I've heard a lot about self-publishing but didn't quite know how it worked. So before I did anything, I talked to people who did it, and did it well. And what I learned is that while you have to pay money for editing, covers, etc., the percentage of royalties you make is significantly higher than the percentage you make with a traditional publisher. That's not to say I don't want to publish with a publisher. I do. I'm very happy with my current publisher. But some of the backlist books whose rights I now have back are not going to go anywhere and I don't want them to languish in the ether.

Self-publishing is a growing industry and hybrid authors (those who do a combination of self-publishing and traditional publishing) are on the rise. The stigma around self-publishing is gone, especially if you self-publish well. 

I’m starting small, only working with one of those books—A Heart of Little Faith. The first thing I did was to give it to an editor. No matter how many times it’s been looked at, it can always benefit from someone other than me looking at it. A writer friend I know is also a freelance editor. She edited the entire manuscript and oh boy, there were a lot of changes she recommended. I took a deep breath and made them, and wow, the book is SO much better. 

Then I sent the manuscript to a copy editor. Because again, I always miss the little things and those are the things that end up embarrassing me (Random Reader: Did you know you spelled that word wrong?). I know someone who is phenomenal at copyediting and she found lots of things that would have been embarrassing if they had been published. 

Whenever a book is re-published, it needs a new cover. So I hired a cover artist, who designed a beautiful cover.


One of my critique partners does all her own formatting and works with Amazon, so she handled formatting and gave me explicit and easy instructions on how to put it up on the site. It's there now and available for pre-order. It will be released officially on June 1. Since this is an experiment for me, I'm only publishing this book for Kindle. I'm curious to see what happens. I know how much I spent and I’ll see how much I make in sales. If it works, I’ll self publish the others. If not, I’ll hold onto the rights for a while and see what, if any, other options I have. 

Wish me luck!


  1. You really did your research on this Jen. Sounds like you are going about it the right way. The cover is fabulous!

    Good luck!! My fingers are definitely crossed for you! :)

    I can't wait to hear how it all winds up and if you think it's a successful venture or not. I admire your 'bravery' in taking this on! :)

    1. Thanks. I wanted to make sure that any lack of sales were not due to a bad-looking or reading product. So far, I'm pleased. And this book has a habit of selling itself with very little assistance from me, so hopefully that will continue.

  2. You're braver than I am! There seem to be all kinds of things that can go wrong with formatting, which puts me off trying to do it myself.
    Good luck!

    1. I've heard horror stories, which is why I found someone who does it regularly for herself and others without issue and she was kind enough to do it for me. Again, I want the book looking professional, not like a kindergartener threw it up there. :) Thanks for the well-wishes.

  3. I've taken classes on indie publishing, and you've done everything right, Jen. Congratulations! I love your new cover.