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Five Resources I Wish I Had Before Self-Publishing.

Self-publishing is not an easy road; however by choosing to self-publish you can have control over all aspects of your project. As there are very few people personally proficient in all aspects of writing, editing, publishing and promoting their books, this journey is often a steep learning curve. To help you on your way here are five resources I have discovered during my own self-publishing adventures.

1) Scrivener

Writing a book is hard work. I am not going to begin to give you writing tips here; however there is a program that made the writing process easier for me. Scrivener is a nifty program made by Literature & Latte Ltd.that helps writers do what we do best - write. Scrivener makes it easy to keep your research in order. It consist of a cork board where you can pin ideas and rearrange chapter options, an outline view where you can juggle your ideas, templates to help you structure different forms of writing, split screen modes, and a dedicated editor. You can find out more and get a free trial version here.

Once you have done the hard yards and have a finished manuscript in front of you it’s only the beginning. The next thing you need to tackle is the editing and formatting and a little word to the wise, some of this is definitely best set up before you start writing. If you already have a finished book in front of you do not despair, here are two handy books to help you out.

2) Smashwords Style Guide

The Smashwords Style Guide is a free e-book put out by Smashwords to help authors produce high quality self-published work. If you have completed your book the amount of formatting that needs to be done post writing can be staggering. This guide walks you through the changes you will need to make to your document and why, really helping you get a grip on how the digital publishing world works.

3) DivaPreneur's Kindle Direct Publishing

This is another self-publishing guide, this time aimed at Amazons Kindle and its different requirements. There are lots of books out there on formatting for self and digital publishing. I liked DivaPreneur because as well as covering the formatting fixes required to make your book appear accurately on kindle, it lists resources to help you achieve your goal. It even covers how to attain US tax exceptions for those of us publishing outside the USA, something that had never crossed my mind until I found this book.

4) Kinstant Formatter

So you’re still determined to go it alone and beet the formatting monster? This is another tool that saved me hours and helped me get the look I wanted with my self-published e-book. Even after formatting with the help of the books above [2) & 3)] the Kindle converter was still doing strange things to my book. After researching options from professional formatters to HTML guides I decided to compromise. With this little tool, the Kinstant Formatter, you pay a small fee for access to a professional converting program that helps you by auto correcting many of those pesky formatting issues you would otherwise have to do by hand. It’s not perfect but it saved me a tone of time and stress.

5) A Marketing Plan

Here is another thing that you really need to do before you even start writing. Unfortunately even after you write an amazing book and slave over the editing and formatting til it’s perfect, you still can’t expect to sell any books unless you have a marketing strategy. If people don’t know your book exists they can’t buy it. Marketing doesn’t need to be scary or expensive, there are tones of books and blogs out there to give you inspiration, the trick is to start building your author platform before you even start your book. I know it feels like you have nothing to talk about yet but take a leap, set it up, and share some content. It takes time to build a fan base and your new fans excitement will build as you share your progress. To start you off here is a link to some free marketing templates to help you identify your audience and put a plan in place.

So there you have it, five resources I wish I had at the beginning of my self-publishing journey.

I discovered these products as I forged my own self-publishing path so even though I recommended you do several things (notably formatting and marketing) before you start writing your book, don’t worry if you are already passed that point. I overcame the problems of creating a book by using these tools and a fair dollop of stubborn patience.. Self-publishing can be frustrating but to produce a book that has been lovingly crafted 'just so' at every step of the way is a reward well worth the effort.

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All the products in this post are ones that I have used personally. I have not been compensated for their promotion in anyway and I take no responsibility for their quality.

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