August 22, 2011

Self Publishing Experiences

Now that we've got all of those lovely giveaways out of the way . . . Now it's time to dish and gossip!

Now as you know, Everblossom and Iwishacana are now officially published!

Woo hoo!! *throw confetti and dancing monkeys!*

Wait, you didn't know?! *slaps hands* Shame on you! Have you not been paying attention?! If you glance over at the left hand side, you'll my cover for Iwishacana and under it you'll see: COMPLETED AND PUBLISHED. If you click on it, you will be dragged to smashwords to download a sample or even buy it!

And if you look at Everblossom, you will see the same thing.

Now even though I didn't talk about Everblossom nearly as much as Iwishacana/Acanawishi, doesn't mean that it is not as important.

Anyway, here's the skinny on what I did:

Basically, I chose to publish with four main self-publishing companies: Create Space, Smashwords, Pubit, and Lulu.

I know, Lulu is all random, but I thought if I was going to put my books in print form, I might as well get on lulu. Well, I have to say it was more difficult then needed be. I think it was mostly my internet explorer and lulu fighting and I was right in the frigging middle of it.

So not cool.

But once I switched to Google Chrome, it all worked out wonderfully. I am now addicted to it. Seriously. I barely even use Internet Explorer anymore. Even though it has all of my fav websites and stuff.

Anyway, on the scale of 1 being easy as pie and 10 being monstrously difficult/advanced user, I would say lulu rated at about a 5. Not too difficult, but it seemed more complicated then needed be. I did like how it had all of the steps so that you could see your progress, but the catch was the file had to be a pdf. And you had to click on something filter and . . . Yeah, it wasn't difficult but it was still tedious. Ugh. I don't think I'll be using lulu in the future and I haven't gotten any sales from it!!

All of that hard work for nothing! Frustrating! At least I got Google Chrome. :)

Anyway, the next on the list, is smashwords. This was the first one I tried, and I have to say, it was A LOT easier then I thought it would be. It literally took me ten minutes to get everything done.

I didn't like though that your blurb could only be a certain length, so I had to cut down a lot of the extra fluff in both of my novels. And if you look on smashwords and compare it to how it looks on here, it just looks like a rambling mess versus on here, it actually makes sense. Like for Everblossom's blurb, it looks fine, right? But then head on over to Iwishacana's blurb and you're like, "Huh? Is this girl on crack?! Where are the punctuation marks?" The answer: It took up too much space!!

Seriously. But so far, I've had a lot of sample downloads for Everblossom and some for Iwishacana. Weird, huh? I was like, "Hmm, people actually like poetry and short stories over there?! Awesome!"

Oh, and just for your info: Everblossom cost 1.00 over at lulu, but on all the other links (which I put at the end of this post) it is 0.99 cents. Why? Because flipping Lulu wouldn't let me GO that low. Yeah, you see? Extra complicated for nothing. And you know how much my royalty is on that? 0.01! *grits teeth in frustration* But on other sites . . . It's more.

Anyway, anyway, moving on! Smashwords meatgrinder actually wasn't too bad. Follow the style guide and you'll be fine. I didn't make it completely through since I'm trying to figure out how I can replace all of the times I pressed enter with something else. All I've got is pressing the space bar. But that would take DECADES so you guys might have to wait a little bit until you see my stuff in Canada and I think on the istore. Sorry. I'll try to find the time, but no promises. But I will I say, I'm going to get that fixed though. Eventually. Not saying when.

So on the scale of 1 to 10, I have to say Smashwords was a 3. Pretty simple, but the meatgrinder got me. And I still don't like the blurb restriction. Hate it.

Anyway, next one I will share with you is PubIt! Yes, now this one is for like first timers. Why do I say that? Well, first off, it's SUPER easy. Like the website guides you through it step by step. And you don't have keep clicking next, next, next. It's all on ONE page. Oooh! Ahh! So when you reach the bottom of the page, you're done.

So on the scale of one to ten, Pubit is 1. They give you instructions, and guide you and joke you too! :) In a nice way, of course, as barnes and noble should. It's like they took notes on what the other people were doing wrong, and fixed it. Seriously. Like take the problem with Smashword's blurb restriction. Nailed it with pubit! They give you like CRAZY enough space. You could probably fit around 1000 words in it. Which was perfect. I think I had like 800 words left!

Now as you know, I do have a perfectionist side. So what did I not like about it? The calling. After I finished the whole page, I got a note at the top to call this number. Didn't say what time, I don't think and so I called. And called. And called. They do send you an email saying if you don't call them within seven business days, your account will be deleted.


I know! After all of that hard work and you're about to delete it!? Uh no. So I called and finally, I got through. Well, it was quick and easy and it basically took like two seconds to get that straightened out. Then I had to wait until my book went live. And even after I called and fixed it or whatever, it still said I needed to call. :S Ummm, I already did! They said it would take 2-3 business days, but it felt like forever.

But finally, I think after 4 days, my books were on the market. I mean, are on the market. Never took them off. I'm so silly! But yeah, other then that, pubit is a piece of cake. Just make sure you call on time.

Speaking of wait times, I had to wait forever for Kindle Direct Publishing to put my books online. But I have to say, it took me a while to figure out the difference between the paperback and the online thing since they are on two different websites. And they look completely different. Yep. Confusing, right?

Then on top of that, the whole 70% royalty is a farce! Unless you sell at the price of 1.99 which is where Iwishacana/Acanawishi is at. Everblossom is 0.99. Which means I have to settle for a 35% royalty. Which is def bigger than a traditional publishing but still, I wish I would have known that before.

And trust me, I did my research before I did any of this and it still was difficult for me to do it. Not like I was struggling, but the whole paperback versus online thing tricked me. But once I figured that out, it was pretty easy. I think it was a two step process, one being the book and the other the royalty and how they are going to pay you.

By the way, make sure you have all of your bank information like transfer route numbers and checking account number and saving account numbers. I had to like dig through my purse to find those numbers, lol. I just forgot about how they were going to pay me.

Of course, if you are going to go the traditional route and have them mail you a check, you know it will have to be a minimum of $20.00 for them to mail it to you, right? So let's take me for example. So far, I have made on Kindle, to date like a week ago (since I didn't check it today), $4.12. I sold two books of Iwishacana/Acanawishi, just in case you were wondering. At $2.99 a pop. Which I was like, ooopppss! But I changed it back to 1.99, so you guys should be good.

Anyway, by the end of the month, let's say I make, conservative number, 10.00. They wouldn't mail me a check. Therefore, you wouldn't get paid. See what I mean? That's why I'm going the direct deposit route. I might as well.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, Kindle Direct Publishing, a.k.a. createspace, wasn't too bad. I just didn't like how long it took to go live. Also, there was a word limit on the blurb again! Ugh. So from 1 to 10, I'd give it a 2. Pretty easy, but some things I didn't know about made it a little difficult.

I think that's it then. Here are the links, just in case you want to see my results. :)

Links for Iwishacana/Acanawishi:

Links for Everblossom:

As of right now, I do not have any print copies of my work, but I do hope to change that soon. Just for you people out there who like a print book, it should be coming as soon as I get a day off.

Right now, I'm kind of focused on getting reviews done. I've never been so nervous for sending requests for reviews for Iwishacana/Acanawishi. At first when I was done with it, I was at peace knowing I was done and I couldn't be happier with it.

Now I just want to attack it with a red pen! I seriously want to go back and change a few things. And I'm pretty sure this is normal since Meg Cabot, I think, had the same gut feeling to do when she publishes her work. I have the instinct to go back and make it better. I know that's the editor in me, knowing I can make the best even better, even though it makes no logical sense. So yeah. 

Anyway, anyway, I'll keep you posted on that, and if you have any questions about my journey of self-publishing on these various platforms, then drop a comment and I'll try to get back to you asap.

For people who are a little nervous about self-publishing: Do your research on it. I read A LOT about it before I decided to go with it. Go on smashwords, go to lulu or even go to pubit and see what you have to do to publish your works and the process of it. 

Read, read, read and go to kindleboards too. That is my inspiration for continuing my journey. Every time I don't feel like writing, I go to that Writer's Cafe, Let's hear your reason to celebrate thread. Great encouragement. 

Lol, I'm going on like a life coach. Anyway, do your research, inform yourself of your options and come back with a conclusion. You never know. I'm just informing you of my story. Maybe I can inspire another story. 


  1. Dearest L,
    Thank you for this valuable information. It definitely inspires me and I'm sure many more people. Congratulations again.
    G (Liz)

  2. Thanks G! :) I can only hope that maybe my journey can inspire others. I'm just glad to have the option to publish my books which may not have had a chance in the traditional publishing world.