101 ways not to self-publish for free (series – introduction)

101 ways not to self publish for free

An Introduction

This blog series, which should lead eventually to an e-book by the same name, is my attempt to short-cut the difficulties encountered when starting out as an absolute beginner in the Indie World of self-publishing. This series is particularly aimed at anyone who wants to go beyond the Amazon kindle (e-book) or even Amazon Create Space (for physical paperbacks) route for their book/s.

It is not for the faint-hearted, but it is truly rewarding, especially if you are going to publish more than one book in both paperback and e-book formats. So, if you really want to learn the ropes and become a fully-fledged self-publisher, painlessly, stay tuned to this series and read on:

101 ways not to self publish your books for free slide Edison quote

I love the quote above by Edison where the sentiment is: Trying is the important part and failure is the way to learn how not to do things. This  relates so much to my own self-publishing journey, as I probably made just about every mistake that anyone could possible make. I eventually learned how not to do things; hence, the title of this series. I thought by sharing my experiences on ‘how not to self-publish for free’ would be the best approach to take as it will show you from someone who has been there, the pitfalls to watch out for.  I really hope this will save you an awful lot of time and frustration – so that you can get on with self-publishing for free, or at least very, very little money (depending on how far you want to go). This series is aimed at guiding you so that you can self-publish creatively and achieve what most of us want: simply to get our words and ideas OUT THERE for others to read.

By the end of this series (and eventual e-book when it is all published in one place), you should be able to make a more informed decision whether to go this route or go onto websites such as: ELANCE (free-lancers with track-records, payment history etc). It  works on a bidding system similar to the way  Ebay works where buyer and seller’s, data and payments are protected. Or find someone who comes recommended by friends or get advice from other self-publisher for your cover design/layout etc. There is lots of help out there and a few links on different articles on this blog.

Basically, whatever route you choose, hopefully after reading the entire series/ and/or e-book when it comes out, you will come to see that self-publishing  doesn’t have to cost big money. Personally, I decided to try it all myself and technically it doesn’t have to cost you any money at all. Self-publishing companies can cost up to several thousand of pounds/dollars/Euro etc, to do the same as you can do by following this blog or a small fraction of the price by getting others to do the trickiest bits for you.

You don’t have to find an agent to get an agent, and just hope and pray that somehow, eventually, a publisher will find your great work and then you’re great work will finally get read, oh, and you get to call yourself a proper published author. Well, you might be a long time waiting. Just follow the advice here, over the coming months, and you will see that you can get your words out; you will become a published author and you can put your time to better use than trying to float your manuscript to the top of the slush pile in the hope that some agent might get bored one day and find your beauty!

Fortunately, these days,  self-published authors are actually being taken very seriously and great stories can be found on the internet of real-life success stories of authors who ‘made-it’ because they were self-published. It is your words that matter and your stories and/or concepts and information that people are interested in.

mistakes I've made cover ready for text final 101

Above is the working title and cover idea for an e-book, currently under construction(along with my normal publishing projects – see links to books by DiG-Press on menu bar). It will be a fully fledged e-book (not a paperback as the info is too changeable) when this series finishes. You might notice that I have not included the: ‘for free’ to the book title as yet, but I think I might as this is a key point in my own experience. It was doing it for free, (I call it my Everest as I believe everyone has their own personal Everest to climb relative to themselves) that made my publishing journey so difficult, convoluted and time-consuming, but very rewarding, in the end. You see, I set myself the task of learning all of this without any fancy software programs, or particular skills, beyond basic computer literacy and an essential knowledge of common programs such as Microsoft word, Powerpoint, Picasa and Paint (the 3 ‘Ps’ of image production – my way of producing book covers and all the non-interior related stuff – that’s all down to Microsoft word) and teaching myself to use some open-source (free) software to get my books out into world-wide distribution, particularly when it came to fancier formats on Kindle and for my paperback books outside of the Amazon stables. So if you are willing to learn the easy way and are also familiar with the basic tools, we can get started in this series.

If you are interested in following my experience and advice on ‘how not to self-publish for free’, stay tuned to this blog. You can just drop me a line at diggingupthefuture@gmail.com and let me know more about your own publishing project and/or experience.

The forthcoming blogs in the series of self-publishing for free (how not to), will focus on e-books and then unto paperbacks. The E-book topic will start with ‘how not to do cover design’ and deal with mistakes and pitfalls from getting non-copy-righted images, to making your image fit for publication (high enough resolution and appropriate size to upload to any of the main e-book outlets).

Cheers, until the next time


101 ways not to self publish your books for free slide mss quote


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