Okay, maybe agents aren't for you. You're DIY all the way. Where are some good places to get your work noticed? How do you self-publish your book? Here is a list of helpful links to get you started.
FIRST STEPS (A WALK-THROUGH GUIDE FROM BEGINNING TO END)
"10 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing" (Joel Friedlander) - Free-to-download eBook that gives you the facts of self-publishing from A to Z.
"How to Self Publish a Book in 2018"
"How to Self-Publish An Audiobook"
"How to Self-Publish An Ebook"
"How to Self-Publish A Print Book"
"Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know"
"Self-Publishing Basics" (David Gaughran)
"Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book"
SECOND STEPS (FORMATTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT)
There are many resources and programs to help you convert your typed manuscript into a ready-to-publish ePub file. Although most are available for purchase, there are also free ones available. Here are a few of them:
Calibre - A free service.
Sigil - For the tech-savvy.
Vellum - For Macs.
THIRD STEPS (THE EXTRAS)
Okay, your manuscript is edited to within an inch of its life, and you know backwards and forwards how to convert the file to ePub and upload it to a self-publishing website. But what about the extras? Are you going to be designing your own cover? Do you have a blurb ready for the back of the book? Here are some more things you need that you can either do yourself or get a bit of help with.
COVER - That all-important first impression on your reader. Maybe you're an artist at heart, so it will be a snap. Maybe the
cover is best left to the professionals. Here's a list of places to help you make that choice.
"What Book Covers Attract Readers" - First off, a great article (with examples!) about what book covers work, what book
covers don't, and what the difference is between the two.
99 Designs - A paid service to design a cover to fit your needs.
Adobe Spark - A free, DIY website for cover design.
Archangel Ink - A paid service to design a cover to fit your needs.
Canva.com - Another free, DIY website that provides templates and pretty easy-to-use point and click designing.
DIY Book Covers
FantasyBookDesign.com - Have a fantasy book? Professional artist Ljiljana will design one for you.
Fivrr - Freelance designers will create a cover for you at very low cost (starting at $5 and up).
BACK BLURB - Okay, great. The cover is covered. Readers will pick up your book because of that all-important first look at the
excellent artwork. But now the back is blank, and so is your brain. How to get the reader sucked in, so that they crack the
"17 Tips on How To Write a Blurb That Sells"
"The Do's and Don'ts of Writing a Blurb for Your Novel"
"How To Write Back Blurb For Your Book"
"Writing Your Book's Back-Cover Copy"
FOURTH STEPS (WHERE TO SELF-PUBLISH)
Barnes & Noble Press
Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)
Kobo Writing Life
FIRST MISTAKES (TO AVOID)
"5 Self Publishing Mistakes That Kill Your Book Before You Start"
"9 Most Common Self Publishing Mistakes You Should Avoid"
"11 Mistakes New Self-Published Authors Make"
"13 Self-Publishing Mistakes to Avoid"
"How to Correct Your Self-Publishing Mistakes"
"Stop! Don't Make These Mistakes If You're Self-Publishing a Book"
"Claiming Your Own Little Corner of the Web"
"Finally, A Social Media Marketing Strategy That Puts You Right In The Middle Of Your Target Market" - What social media does and doesn't do for you, including charts and examples.
"How an Enterprising Author Sold a Million Self-Published Books" - If you're looking for a success story that these strategies will actually work, check out this article.
"Marketing Guides" (Nicholas Erik) - A very thorough list about the various steps to marketing yourself. It includes what works and what doesn't, with market research to back it up.
"So You're an Author Without a Social Media Presence: Now What?"
"The Ultimate Collection of Book Marketing Examples" - Free-to-download eBook with success stories and examples from real-life authors using social media and marketing strategies to help sell their books.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR PEEPS
Self-publishing has become a huge component of the industry, and there are a lot of groups who promote and support self-published authors. Here are just a few.
AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler: Self-Publishing
ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors)
The Book Marketing Network: For book/ebook authors, publisher, & self-publishers
BookRix - An online community/discussion group.
IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association)
KBoards - A community of Kindle readers and writers, many who are self-published.
Reddit Self Publish
Wattpad - A community of writers and readers, providing free online publication and direct interaction with fans.
CONTESTS AND AWARDS
One of the best ways to get your book noticed is to enter (and hopefully win!) a contest. Here is a great list of resources about where, when and how to enter your book. Some of these are for unpublished manuscripts, and some for already published books. Some charge fees and some are free. Most of them are geared towards self-published authors. Wishing you good luck!
"10 Awards for Self-Published Books"
"39 Book Awards Authors Should Pursue"
"Award and Contest Ratings" (ALLi) - An extensive compilation of awards and contests open to self-published authors, with specific ratings ranging from "Recommended" to "Caution."
Book & Novel Writing Competitions (Christopher Fielden)
"Book Awards for Self-Published Authors"
"Book Awards Open to Self-Published Books"
"DIY: Book Awards for Self-Published Authors"
indieBRAG (Indie Book Readers Appreciation Group)
"Self-Published Book Awards" (Writer's Digest)
"Self-Published Book Awards, Writing Contests and Literary Prizes"
"Stephie Smith's Contest Chart" - Mostly focused on romance book manuscripts, published and unpublished, this also includes some short story and mystery contests.
"Writing Contests, Grants & Awards" (Poets & Writers)