Sunday, March 31, 2013

Three Valuable Resources for the Beginning Self-Publisher

These unpromising little sprouts will be ocotillo blossoms soon. This may not seem all that exciting to you folks, but we bought two ocotillos from a roadside vendor last summer and they've looked like sticks ever since. Seeing them come to life again has us all giddy.

This week's topic is: DIY Publishing: Best Three Resources for Success.

There's a bit of irony here in that I'm sure this is recently departed Word Whore, Carolyn Crane's, topic. I know this because she always calls it Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Publishing instead of Self-Publishing. She's also, irony-compounded, the one of us with the most self-pub experience.

In fact, my number one resource in this arena is: Carolyn Crane.

However, if you haven't wormed your way into being friends with her (involves mostly reviewing endless cover iterations and bribes of chocolate), then you might have to look elsewhere.

Now, I have self-published one novella. Petals and Thorns was with Loose Id for two years, and then my rights reverted. I had the option to leave it with them (they offered) or to take it back and self-pub. In the interests of experimentation, I tried the self-pubbing.

Because the book had already been professionally edited and laid out, my job was pretty easy. I needed to put a new cover on it (the old one belonged to Loose Id) and format for HTML.

So, for getting a cover, my #1 Resource:

Su at Earthly Charms Designs

Su is patient, creative, does fabulous work and is not expensive. (Though I see her prices have gone up, which means she's doing well - go Su!) The cover she did for me has been nominated for a number of cover design awards. She's my go-to gal.

For HTML formatting, my #2 Resource:

The Smashwords Style Guide

No, using this won't marry you to Smashwords. But Smashwords does distribute to a lot of different book retailers, so they have a really good, clear and universal style guide.

Finally, for general support, advice and comaraderie, my #3 Resource

The Indie Romance Ink (IRI) Yahoo Loop

Sorry if you're not a romance writer - this is just the one I know about and belong to. This is a members only loop and you have to request to join.

Their criteria are:

New members must be ***ROMANCE WRITERS*** who have self-published or are indie-curious. We're a genre-focused group by and for romance authors, and we do not allow self-promo. Author service providers and other industry professionals are welcome as long as they are ALSO romance writers.

If you are not a romance writer, consider the Indie Authors Forum ( instead. The IAF admits writers of all genres as well as industry professionals.
 What about all of you - got a great resource I missed?


  1. haha! Now accepting chocolate for questionable DIY pubbing advice.

    It is ironic that this is the post the week I departed, though I hardly feel like an expert. And actually I didn't think of the topic. I thought maybe you did!! That is really mysterious!