Self-Publishing and Going Wide
By K.P. Gresham
Since publishing my first book in 2016, all my ebooks were exclusive to Amazon KDP. Now, four books into The Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery Series, I decided to “go wide” and offer my ebooks on all ebook platforms: Kindle, Nook, Google, Apple, etc. For the record, this is not a “bash Amazon” blog. Amazon paved the way for me to get to this point, and I’m grateful. It’s just that now I have an audience that wants more choices, so I decided to take the plunge and “go wide.”
The first step in this process was talking to and learning from my fellow authors who have already gotten the t-shirt for knowing the process. Anna Castle who writes historical fiction and fantasy short stories was a tremendous help, but there have been wonderful helpful hints from many folks in the writing community. It’s important to understand that most authors are willing to bend over backwards to help each other out. Sisters in Crime is an organization based on that premise.
So here are the steps to going wide.
Get feedback (think critique group or book doctor or beta readers, etc.)
Get manuscript edited.
Decide on your book’s cover.
Get book formatted. Or not. (More on that later.)
Seriously. If you’re going to self-publish your work, or you have a contract with a small press, complete ALL these steps. If you’re publishing, that means you want to sell books. Respect your audience, swallow your pride and never assume your first draft is the best you can put out.
Now for the actual “going wide” part. From here on out, this is what I did to get my books out on all the ebook platforms. There are other ways, but this process worked for me.
Upload your edited, polished manuscript to Draft2Digital. Steps to Using Draft2Digital will list the instructions on doing this. Please note, you do not have to use Draft2Digital to format your book. I had an already prepared EPUB file that I uploaded. An EPUB file is the format needed to publish ebooks. You can either contract with a formatting business (I highly recommend Jesse Gordon at adarnedgoodbook!), use the Apple Vellum app, or do it yourself. Whatever floats your boat, but get your manuscript on Draft2Digital.
Once you have a finished product from Draft2Digital, upload your book to Books2Read. This is a reader-facing site featuring book discovery tools. They are 100% indie and 100% free. They currently offer two free services: New Release Notifications and Universal Book Links. Universal Book Links provide a single URL that an author, publisher, or fan can share online. Instead of linking to just one digital bookstore (or posting lots of links to lots of different stores), an author can share one Universal Book Link, and readers can follow it to reach the book on their favorite store.
After you have uploaded your book to Books2Read, you hit the magic button that sends your book to all of the ebook publishers you select. Then you wait for those platforms to accept your book. Yes, you might have to do a little jiggling to get a platform here or there to upload your book, but I found it easy to use.
And voila! Your ebook is now available for all to read, and you can start your promotions.
Thanks to all my fellow authors for helping me to this point in my writing career. It takes a village, and you all are the best.
K.P. Gresham, Author
Professional Character Assassin
K.P. Gresham is the award-winning author of the Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery Series as well as several stand-alone novels. Active in Sisters in Crime and the Writers League of Texas, she has won Best Novel awards from the Bay Area Writers League as well as the Mystery Writers of America.
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The Pastor Matt Hayden Mystery Series