Maria P Frino
Self-publishing is a Learning Curve. Is it Worth the Work?
Updated: Jun 27, 2021
I have self-published some short stories and one debut novel. In 2021 I will publish another two novels - Xenure Station Trilogy, a science fiction epic and Two Men in a Shed, a contemporary fiction drama. So... I'm still publishing, which means I know how to do it, right?
KDP, the self-publishing arm of Amazon, is a place where you can publish your work with some ease. There are a few things to navigate, but generally, the prompts are self-explanatory. I did have an issue with uploading book covers at one stage, but once I found the correct size for my book format, it wasn't an issue again.
Having used KDP now for over three years, I am adept at publishing my work. When I started I found it hard as there was a lot to learn. For instance, it helps if you know how to format correctly in whatever writing app you are using. I found Vellum, book creation software for MAC, to be useful at formatting and styling my books. As long as I write and format correctly in Word, then I can import the document into Vellum, choose the style and it is formatted into a readable book. It has some cool features like decorative breaks and you can add or subtract sections and move them around if you need to. At approx US$200, it isn't cheap to buy, but for me, it was an investment in my self-publishing career. I have increased my writing time by not having to worry about formatting, Vellum looks after that side of publishing for me.
Since publishing my science fiction short story, Xenure Station: A Billion Light Years, I have developed it into a trilogy. The issue I had when I imported my files into Vellum is that books 1, 2 & 3 didn't format the way I wanted them to. With a few emails to Vellum support and watching some tutorials on how to 'set up volumes', I worked out how to add volumes 1, 2 & 3 so they read like three separate books in one edition. I am always learning when it comes to publishing and Vellum has enough support and tutorials to help along the way.
Self-publishing is not an easy route to book stardom and it can take years before your work is recognised. But, if you're passionate about writing and becoming an author as well as willing to put in the hard work, it is worth the effort. Set yourself a budget of what you can spend and invest in the best products for what you wish to achieve. Investing and backing yourself is a worthwhile pursuit, so go for it.
Maria P Frino