How to Not Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing: Make Your Big Goal Manageable

When we last discussed How Not to Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing we worked on setting a publishing goal, and today we’ll talk about the breakdown; we’ll get an idea of the separate parts which are easier to tackle.

take a walk

If you’ve decided to publish for more than yourself or a select few of your family members then the information we’ll be sharing in the series will be helpful to you in ensuring you don’t become overwhelmed by the plethora of information available.

Prior to the following steps an indie author should already have started an author social media platform (i.e. blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, etc), built a reasonably sized beta reader community, and at least begun the search for a professional editor, which this last one we will discuss in great detail in the next article.

I’m not a lawyer, and there are legal aspects to publishing of which I cannot give you advice. I will tell you that it’s wise to read all the fine print where you are able, and if something was made by someone else always verify that it is free to use, or determine the requirements for use (attribution, purchase, etc).

In our series on How Not to Get Overwhelmed we’ll focus on:

  • Editor/Editing Consideration
    • Do you need an editor? Well, I think so. I will talk about why, and I’ll also have some help on the subject from my own fantastic editor who is not only well-versed in the ins and outs of editing but has a great grasp on fleshing out author voice as well as teaching her clients how to become better writers.
  • Book Cover Design
    • Do it yourself or pay for a professional. There are options!
  • The Back Cover Synopsis & Author Bio
    • Every book needs these features.
  • Copyright (US)
    • If you wrote it, it’s yours and is automatically copyrighted material, but there are some benefits to obtaining an official copyright through copyright.gov
  • Paper & Ebook Publishing Platforms (mainly US)
  • ISBN (and barcode (US))
    • All books require a number to track through sales channels. ISBNs are not needed for most ebook publishing as places like Smashwords and KDP will supply their own special number at no charge. Each version of a book (e.g. ebook, paperback, hardbound) will require its own number.
  • Ebook Formatting
    • Options abound for assistance with formatting as well, from DIY to publishing platform pro packages to independent professional offerings.
  • Paperback and Hardbound Formatting
    • The same goes for these formats, and some also include templates to make formatting for print less complicated.
  • Uploading Your Book to One or Various Platforms
    • There are all kinds of options for categorizing your book, title and author info, places for synopsis, pricing, distribution, etc.
  • Marketing Strategies
    • This one is my least strong area, but I’ve learned some great stuff that will at least help you as you start out. There are so many ways to market and build your audience. You should start this now by taking the time to have a social media presence. Don’t discount it.

The items in the above list will be broken down into more detail in each article as we come to it. The next one will focus on Editing and Editors. As the need and/or opportunity arises we will invite guest authors/bloggers/experts to share!

Would you say this is looking a little less intimidating or more so? If there was one area of indie publishing you would want help with, what would it be?


32 thoughts on “How to Not Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing: Make Your Big Goal Manageable

    1. I hope so! There’s six articles in the series so far, but the last one on platforms I need to break down further, so that’s coming up. I got swamped with Barnes & Noble B-Fest stuff this week, though, so the project is put off for a week-ish. I hope you find it all super helpful! 🙂 There’s a link in the menu just for this series. 🙂

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  1. A great list, Rachael! I’m looking forward to reading your take on all these elements of publishing. As Charles says, it can seem daunting at first, but breaking it into sections is a good way to go about the process 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I’m glad we’re all in agreement! 🙂 I’m looking forward to sharing,but now that I’ve committed, I’ve got all these concerns that I’ll miss/forget something important at various stages! But I’ll take it one day at a time. Haha The next article goes live on Monday. 🙂

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    1. On Monday I’ll be posting the Editors/Editing post which will have a couple links included. 🙂 Check out Twitter and LinkedIn, searching for editor, thigh that may be overwhelming in and of itself. 🙂 I’ll have more on Monday!

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  2. Thanks so much Rachael
    I didn’t scuttle away and hide under the kitchen table, so that must mean an improvement in my intention to take things seriously.
    And have Copied & Pasted- Saved and Printed the post, will do the same with subsequent posts to make up an invaluable guide book (it’s how I work).
    As my usual response to advice on blogs is respectful nod but a glazed expression (a common response amongst us Stoneage Writers), I am looking forward to your future posts.

    In response to “If there was one area of indie publishing you would want help with, what would it be?” my answer would be…”Everything” (whimper)

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    1. I’m glad the list is helpful and I hope to keep things clear and simple. I’m print and save person with stuff I find helpful, too! The best part about your response, for me, is knowing that there is hero out there, for every part of the journey, and you’ve got a friend in me! 😉 If I don’t know we’ll figure it out together.

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  3. Those definitely look intimidating from a newcomer perspective. I remember learning a lot as I went along. The formatting and uploading decision were the definite obstacles. Not sure if you know this, but the formatting can be easily solved by Smashwords. They do a format check when you upload a file and they tell you what needs to be changed. They even have a free ‘ebook’ you can look at to explain the formatting stuff. I actually began formatting my books as I write them to make it easier for the upload because it’s all about tabs, spacing, and ‘enter marks’. Honestly, this seems to be the most daunting for new authors outside of the marketing.

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    1. I agree, Charles, and that explains why I decided to write this series. It’s overwhelming when you try to think about it all at once, and that’s why I’m breaking it down. 🙂 Great info, too. That’s exactly the kind of info I’ll be covering when I write the post on the formatting section! 😀

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        1. At the moment they are filed under the “Author & Blogger How To” menu tab. If they are well received and helpful enough I might organize them into a PDF that will get its own menu tab. There’s lots of option! I love hearing your questions and ideas, Charles. It’s helpful since I’m definitely a “verbal” processor. 🙂

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