This is how I became an author – Part III



As mentioned in the last post, I had hoped to finish this recap of the series “So you want to become an author…” in two parts but there was still so much more to tell that I needed to include Part III of “This is how I became an author.”

My book had been published both as a Kindle eBook (KDP) and as a paperback with CreateSpace (CS), but if I expected it to be available to all readers, I needed to consider the other platforms out there that Amazon did not cover – Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and others. That meant that I had to find another publisher/distributor that catered to those markets.

Two of the major players are Smashwords(SW) and Draft2Digital (D2D). Arguments for both held some sway, but I decided on SW, because it promised to cover all devices, and all screen sizes. Alas, this required yet another go at formatting, and this one was as intense as KDP. Therefore, it was nose-to-the-grindstone once again, and, finally, after overcoming some SW shortcomings, I was able to publish on the remaining platforms – though it did take some weeks for the process to be completed.

Interspersed with all of the above, some other discussions needed attention.

  • Rejection was one of those topics – about how much rejection sucks. We all go through it, and it does suck, but we soldier on.
  • Another issue was copyright. When I got serious about publishing, I realized that I had to change the title of my work. I did this strictly for marketing purposes. I had copyrighted my manuscript years ago, but the title change meant that I may or may not need to protect that new title. Consequently, I had to learn about the intricacies of copyright law. Did a title change require an addendum to the original copyright? The answer was ambiguous, but I decided to err on the side of safety, and I sent in the necessary paperwork – and check. Read the post “To copyright or not to copyright” for horror stories of what can happen if you do not register your copyright. Is a registered copyright really necessary? The answer is that it is not, but it is HIGHLY recommended. (See the referenced post.)
  • A personal concern was that I decided to use a different font just for the title. This meant more lessons in finding, using, and, particularly, embedding fonts (see Part II of this 3 part recap for problems I encountered with the embedding process.)

These detours offered some relief by breaking up the unrelenting formatting procedures. I might have chosen to disregard these issues, but they were important enough to me to address. Besides, looking into copyright issues relieved some piracy concerns (see the “Jack Sparrow be damned” post), and embedding the new font provided a welcomed funky new look for the book title.

Another sidebar bears mentioning here. It is the blog post entitled “On Creativity”, and it was sparked by an essay Isaac Asimov wrote called “How do people get new ideas?” I urge all artists to read Asimov’s ideas. Creativity is a shy, elusive creature. Down uncounted burrows we search – and, sometimes, we find.

After completing all of the above, I was now a published author, with eBooks available on all devices, and a paperback from Amazon of which I am righteously proud. The links to these various editions are on the sidebar of this post, just beneath the image of the book cover.

The steps outlined in the three parts of this post are how I became an author. I hope these explanations help you accomplish your goals, and you too become the author you always dreamed of becoming.

Now, finally, we get a chance to rest on our laurels.

No way! Getting published was the EASY PART. Now comes marketing. So far, the only one who knows about your book is you – and the few friends and relatives you’ve informed.

How do you tell the rest of the world?

Marketing, that’s how.

Marketing is a whole new world unto itself. There are scholars with PhDs whose lives are dedicated to nothing but marketing, and now we have to tackle that too. Ugg!

DO NOT DISPAIR! We can do this and we will.

This post ends the series “So you want to be an author…” I have already started my marketing plan, so the next series will follow that plan step by step just as this series followed getting published. Stay tuned.FotoFlexer_Photo Quill

5 Responses to “This is how I became an author – Part III”

  1. Roland Hopkins

    I have published three books. One by Author House (a how to book) who only wanted lots of money to market. I smelled a rat and refused, but I’m not sure that maybe you have to trust someone to market your book. The other two books (mystery novels) were published by a legitimate publisher who has been around too many years and was hoping that I would do all the magic marketing. If I had to live on my royalties I would be very skinny. Like you, I love to write and can’t wait to read your ways to market. Good luck, but you and I know that luck won’t help – so good hard work and creativity.

    • tmcgann

      Hi Roland,
      I’ve been posting articles on my blog about the steps I took to get published. Now that I am, my focus has switched to marketing. I should have a post ready later this week. You’re absolutely correct – hard work is the only solution. I’d rather be working anyway.

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