Jumping Into the Self-Publishing Pool

Let me be clear about one thing, right up front. I am not a Technophile… my phone is smarter than I am, I know Word can do much more than I ever ask of it and I’m not a big fan of Twitter. So, when I decided that I would self-publish the digital version of my first book, “Beneath A Silver Moon” it was with fear and loathing.

First of all, I had to line edit every single word. My first book was published in 2002. And in the years between, there have been giant leaps in the digital publishing world. My first book was mailed to me for final copy editing. My last book came to me totally in electronic form. So I had to create a digital file of the book. From scratch.

I was inspired by the workshops on electronic publishing at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention in April. There were workshops about self-publishing, but more importantly, I met authors who told me they were making more money on their digital backlist books than they’d made on the original print versions. That was inspiration.

So, I hunkered down and revised the Word document from my original book. Word by word, line by line and I learned a lot about my own writing. I actually made some edits I knew were necessary, but that my editor didn’t make. I think I made the book better.

Then the process to turn it into a Smashwords and Kindle submission began. I printed out the free Smashwords guidelines. It is complicated, but everything you need to know is in that guide. I went step by step, taking my time and making sure I worked on it when I was fresh and able to concentrate.

At the same time, I was working with a graphic designer on the cover art. I’d found my model, Shane Rice, at the RT Convention too, he was one of the participants in the Mr. Romance cover model contest and the perfect choice for my hero. I tracked him to his agent at The View Talent. They were actually planning a “cowboy” shoot.

There were lots of steps in this process, and I’ll blog about that in another post. But, after the document was prepared correctly and the cover art was finished — I could submit the book.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of the final product. Selling my first book was an amazing experience, but this is a very close second. And being in charge of the book, from creation to publication was both a learning experience and exhilarating feeling. The book publishing world is changing quickly, and I’m glad to be part of the revolution.

The book can be found at Smashwords – Beneath A Silver Moon.

Deborah Schneider

8 responses to “Jumping Into the Self-Publishing Pool

  1. Deborah, a timely post. I am about to do the same. I have a phone smarter than me, and it is an antique! Fortunately, I have two great supporters who are going to help me through.

    So glad you made it through from start to finish!

  2. And if the cover doesn’t sell it, I don’t know what will!

  3. eden baylee (@edenbaylee)

    Deborah, way to go! Smashwords & the self-pub industry is , in my humble opinion, the way of future publishing. It’s more work for the author, but the control you have is fantastic. And now that you’ve done it once, you’re old hat, right?

    Time to market the book – wheeeee! Congratulations!


  4. Deb, it’s gorgeous – he’s gorgeous – and I’m so proud of you for sticking with it. None of my books are old enough to have my rights back but I am contemplating a couple of things. Later. Later. Later. I’m not ready to learn ANOTHER whole new language!


  5. Great Post and timely as I am in the process of helping a friend self-publish and will hopefully be following suit with two of my own adapted from screenplays I’ve written. This is all very exciting and I’ll admit, more than a bit daunting.

    Thanks for sharing


  6. Thanks guys! I’m a bit late answering because I am up to armpits in stuff for the Northwest Bookfest next week. Apparently I REALLY like to challenge myself.

    My book just went up on Amazon as a Kindle book, and it happened on the same day that Kindle joined with Overdrive to make their books available for libraries to purchase and loan to their patrons. MORE sales for authors.

    Raymond, helping to create the cover was a real learning experience. I think the funniest conversation was when my graphic artist friend asked me “what do I do with the tattoo?” And I said, “Shane has a tattoo?” It was on his arm, but even though I looked at the photo 100 times, I never noticed. Duh!

    Yes, Eden. Marketing. But at least I know how to do that.

    Wally, Kate and Glynis – I say go for it. It’s worth it just for learning the process! But my suggestion is when you buy your ISBN number from Bowker, buy 10. 1 number is $125 and 10 numbers are $250.

    I created my own publishing company!

  7. Congrats on reissuing your book, Deb! Awesome cover, and wow, it’s quite a ride to publish your own work. Worth it, though. There’s a satisfaction that is hard to beat, knowing that you made the entire book, and everything about it is your choice. I’ve read some really awesome reissues and newly self-pubbed books lately, and I’m so excited about the new opportunities we have. You’ve done a great job. I have an autographed first print, but hey, I’ll buy a new one! Love western historical romance, and love them even more on my Kindle! 🙂

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