Ramping up for self publishing!

I was a shark in my last life, as I can’t sit still on any project…Agents and publishers only take 1% of the pile of stuff they get, so I think I will have to go the self-publishing route as my multicultural vampire book query has received multiple rejection letters. Apparently there are too many vampire books on the market right now.

I was hoping for a happy ending to avoid self-publishing as it is a very expensive endeavor to undertake! You have to do everything from hiring an editor, to doing the marketing, to creating the print book and ebook.

It feels like I’ve stepped into a tornado! I know, I should think about things as I need to cross the bridge…but I’m the type to scope out the bridge ahead of time and consider the different possibilities before I cross the bridge!

(Think I’m also feeling super hyper on this Chinese medicine stuff. Can’t sleep properly because I feel too awake all the time. Will have to tell doctor when I see him next…)

Come rain or shine, The Undead Sorceress: Book 1 of the International House of Vampires will be available May 2014.

The next steps I need to do over an 8 month period I’ve scheduled for myself to make this book happen:

1) Find editors who offer consultation services, ask for quotes from different editors

2) The editor quotes determine how much money I should try to raise from Kickstarter to cover some project costs

3) Running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds – write and rewrite text for campaign page, shoot and reshoot video to explain the project and why I need the $$, look around other people’s pages/videos and decide what incentives to entice future investors in the project (aka what carrots should I offer?)

4) Learn video software properly to add close captioning, splitting scenes and not to overuse special effects as my first video made my producer friend nauseous

5) Follow up with artists I’ve hired to do artwork for Kickstarter campaign. Have 3 of them on hand, hoping one of them will give me some drawings to buy from them! Got a 4th artist name, will wait a few weeks before I overdo it with asking artists for stuff…they need time to ‘create’

6) Start looking at books on my bookshelf to determine size of paperback I want to make.

7) One editor who wrote back said that I used 2 spaces between sentences instead of 1 – which led me on a route to read about formatting stuff for printing. OMG! Have to destroy all formatting and start over…after editing is done.

8) Found out I shouldn’t think about pretty text for the first letter of each chapter or life will become more difficult. But I want pretty text, so when I reach that point I will have to decide what to do.

9) Decide if I should hire someone to format for print book, Amazon e-book and Smashwords e-books. They all have different formatting rules = pain in the butt.

10) Can’t make the cover for printing until I know how many damn pages the print book is, as this will determine the size of the spine which affects front and back covers. So I have to wait on this one. If it is too complicated to make, will have to hire someone to do it for me.

11) Upload book into print book and e-book formats, look at proofs (print book could take a few weeks to receive in mail) and make sure things look ok. If something goes wrong, start over with formatting.

12) Amazon and Smashwords have different programs you can take part in. For Amazon, to get into publishing catalogues, it’s an extra $25 USD per year and then there is some Kindle borrowing program thing.

13) Then there is the issue of different ISBN numbers. Print and e-books have to have different numbers. I can also apply for my own ISBN for more control or just get a free one from Amazon or Smashwords…decisions, decisions…

14) Look for tax forms. Eventually if I make more than $10 profit I will have to ask Amazon or Smashwords to send me a letter to vouch that I’m not American. Then I have to contact IRS and ask them for a special number to avoid paying US taxes which are automatically taken off all book sales through Amazon and Smashwords.

15) For the book launch, I have been talking to a convention I volunteer at annually in May, so this is my drop dead date to have everything done by then. Hopefully they will let me do a panel on vampires, do a book reading and throw a party there. After confirmation of permission, need to think about banners, what to give away, food to bring, etc.

16) Once Kickstarter campaign and convention confirms things are a green light, start emailing, blogging, posting a link with details to people. This is where you find out how many friends you actually have and if you have to depend on the kindness of strangers to make things happen!

17) Keep blogging, posting when I don’t have a headache!

There is a wedding in between all this in Korea, so a few weeks is a write off as I travel. Or maybe I can do research on stuff for the next book! My end goal is to break even in regards to expenses, although time is net negative! But if this all works out, maybe I can end up with a series that gives me some money to buy a few cups of coffee every year!

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