Saturday, 28 December 2013

Self Publishing for dummies and monkeys

It has been a busy few weeks since the release of Million Dollar Monkey (Book One)

I've learned lots of things, some more useful than others. Having never been through the self publishing route before I didn't have much of a clue about how to go about things or indeed, what I was doing! I did have a story I was pleased with and a curiosity to see what would happen to it once it had flown the nest.

The starting point was to decide which route to follow. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) seemed like the place to start. There are other ways to go including Smashwords which I'll be looking into further in 2014. Before I really got going the doubt mongers started to circle, whispering in my ear, "just shove it in a drawer - file it and come back to it later - don't show it to anyone else, they'll just laugh and point at you - it'll make a nice bonfire" ... that sort of thing. I decided to ignore all that, open the cage and release the beast!

The first thing I had to do was name the story. Of course, it already had a working name as the document lived in a directory called Cormack, the name of the main charachter. I toyed with the idea of calling it Cormack but I was looking for something that said a bit more about the story and also there was going to be more that one part to it (at least two!). The story is set in Edinburgh and  features Cormack's band, Six Million Dollar Monkey. The lead singer, Johan, is simian obsessed, tries to stage a publicity stunt at Edinburgh Zoo and comes under the hypnotic influence of a mystical monkey figure. I decided that Million Dollar Monkey fitted nicely. I did wonder at this point if there was another book, tv series or film with the name already but searching for this didn't return much except for lots of links to Million Dollar Baby and Six Million Dollar Man. I reckoned I was alright to go ahead.

Next, I had to sign up for Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and get loaded up. I'm not going to bore anyone with all the details of this. The temptation I have is to start researching each step by scouring the internet for information but I've found this is hit and miss at best and mostly just a waste of time which rarely leads to the correct information. Amazon has provided extensive guides on using their system and if a half-wit like me can press enough buttons to get a book up there then anyone can!

Even the cover is covered in the KDP process. It turns out that you can load up any image and then add in your book title and author name using a number of supplied templates. After a couple of false starts on this and the purchase an image from istock I had everything needed and I could press the publish button, which was very exciting!

Next time: Pricing and publicity for dummies and monkeys

istock image used for cover 

Amazon Author Home Page


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