So You Want to Publish a Book (Post 4): Links to Help You Get Your Book Ready, Published, and Promoted

Up to now in this series, I’ve discussed whether or not your book is ready to be published, being realistic about your sales expectations and saving for taxes, and pursuing the best publishing path for you.

Let’s say you decide to publish the books yourself.  On this blog, we have articles already written dedicated to the “How To” of getting your book out there.  

Where to Publish (if you self-publish) by Ruth Ann Nordin and Janet Syas Nitsick

Some Handy Formatting Tricks (for ebooks) by Joleene Naylor

Making a Paperback Interior Book File for CreateSpace by Ruth Ann Nordin

How to Get a Cheap Book Cover (This is a book Joleene Naylor wrote on making book covers or tips on finding a good cover artist.)

If you want a list of people who can format your book or make your cover without breaking your budget, there’s a list on Smashwords you can check out.

Okay, so you got your book formatted and the cover ready.  Now what?

How to Publish with KDP by Joleene Naylor

How to Publish on Smashwords by Joleene Naylor

How to Publish on CreateSpace by Joleene Naylor

How to Use Cover Creator on CreateSpace by Joleene Naylor

There is also the Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker

I think that is all the how-to articles we have for actually publishing your book.  The other sites (Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life, etc) will be similar.  If you can publish on the sites above, you can publish directly anywhere.  Personally, I’ve decided it’s easiest to publish on KDP to get into Amazon and then publish on Smashwords to distribute everywhere else.

After publishing directly to Nook Press (Barnes & Noble) and Kobo, I realized it is difficult to balance a lot of books in all those places.  If I have to make a change to the book (say someone found a typo), or if I want to change the description or book cover, it is a real pain to go to multiple sites to do this.  I currently have 58 books (almost 50 of which are romances), and it is a lot easier to keep them all at two places instead of four.  So recently, I’ve gone back and de-listed everything on Kobo and Nook Press so I could use Smashwords to distribute them to those channels for me.  I know that is a little off-topic, but when you are a new author and thinking of where to publish, something to consider is how you best want to use your time.  If I could go back in time, I would have just kept everything simple by uploading to KDP and Smashwords.  I would never have gone direct to Kobo and Nook Press.  So I’m passing that along in case it can be useful to anyone reading this.  You will increase your chances of success if you simplify your life.  Simplifying your life allows you to focus in on writing more books.

Okay, not that I’ve rambled on about that, I have some advice on marketing and promotion:

We pretty much do promotional ideas on a regular basis on this blog, so I won’t bog everyone down links to all of those.  What I will do, however, is point anyone interested to two free books Mark Coker has written on the topic.  These are, in my opinion, the best resources on book promotion out there, and better yet, they are straight forward and to the point.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success by Mark Coker


  1. Ron Fritsch says:

    Thank you, Ruth, for all this information in one place. With only four books published, I’m a minnow compared to you. But I agree especially on your point about keeping everything digital in two places, Amazon and Smashwords. I also go with Amazon’s CreateSpace for the POD versions.

    1. I was starting to write everything out, and then I remembered there were posts already here that addressed the main points. 🙂 From time to time, it’s good to go through these things and get them into one post. That way people don’t have to search through the entire backlist of blog posts.

      I think we all write at different speeds. I have a friend who does one book a year. It’s her most comfortable pace, and it’s how she does her best work. I think it’s the quality of the book rather than quantity that matters.

      I wish I had stuck with the two main places. Gathering all the paperwork for taxes is a lot more of a pain because I have the four places I’m dealing with. I switched everything back to just Smashwords and Amazon in hopes of making things much easier for next year. I like CreateSpace for paperbacks, though it seems whenever I figure out their cover creator, something happens that throws me off. LOL I think they do some improvements, and I need to up my game to improve along with them.

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