When it comes to getting your voice out in the world, nothing is easy. Sharing the stories you’ve spent months or years writing, editing, reviewing, and perfecting is frankly daunting. We’re not talking about Wattpad either. However, there are some tricks you can use to make the process that little bit easier on yourself and your bank account. In the age of the internet, you don’t necessarily have to sign deals with publishers. Self-publishing has become easier than ever.
Now, let’s assume you’ve already got your story written and perfected, while using software directly designed to be compatible with these resources. Far easier said than done, but regardless. With the right tools and enough patience, you’ll be publishing your stories for the whole world to read and enjoy in no time.
To start off simple, you’ll need your documents in the right file type. Sure, lots of newer software can easily convert it for you, but not all. Depending on your writing software of choice, there may be compatibility issues with publishing it as an ebook. One solution is the program Calibre. Calibre is an ebook manager. It’s completely free and open-source, specifically designed to be as simple as possible. Calibre will download your file and convert it to a .epub file.
Once you’ve got your writings successfully converted, the next step is to choose the right publishing platform. Two of the most popular are IngramSpark and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Both of these options come with their own strengths and shortcomings, so which one you choose will be up to you. Neither of them is free, but prices vary heavily, so that again is up to you. Kindle Direct Publishing is great for beginners. Its user-friendly functionality, user interface, and ease of access make it ideal for those who aren’t super serious about publishing their work, or those who are just starting out. You’ll have access to a wide online bookseller on the internet, but Amazon is not connected to any actual bookstores, so you won’t be able to distribute physical copies to bookstores. Despite this, books on KPD will have a much easier time being promoted, and throwing some money for ad space will only help to that.
If you’re interested in expanded distribution, you should look to IngramSpark. Ingram is established as a distribution partner with most bookstores. If you want to see your book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, you’re going to want to use IngramSpark, even though Barnes and Noble are owned by Amazon. Although Ingram’s print costs are higher than those of KDP, they make up for it with higher quality in the printed hardcovers. Of course, there’s nothing limiting you to just one or the other. You can use both services at the same time to get the best of both worlds.
At the end of the day, using these services is no guarantee of success. Unless you want to throw tons of money at the wall for ad space, these services are a good bet for new writers trying to publish their books. At the very least, it’s damn better than AO3. Hopefully, this has been helpful to you, and soon we’ll be seeing your name on the shelves of bookstores across the country.