If you don’t already know, I became a self-published writer in May (2021) when I published the ebook version of Floating Tears, a collection of my musings and poetry.
No, I had absolutely no clue about what to expect when I decided to go for the self-publishing route, so you could call me a ‘newbie’ amongst well, sharks (AKA the publishing process, already published authors, agencies etc.). However, after reading a million-and-three articles on self-publishing vs conventional publishing (through agencies), various self-publishing platforms, software to familiarise myself with, how-tos and all that jazz, I kind of understood what the process demanded from me.
I’m not here to advise you on whether you should self-publish your book or not because there are loads of articles online discussing the same and written by far more experienced individuals but I will say this, self-publishing was way easier than getting in contact with agencies because 1) I couldn’t find any local (Pakistani) ones that met my demands or were up to the mark, and 2) I learnt that it was generally quite difficult to have your book idea/proposal/manuscript accepted if you were an unrecognised or a fairly new writer—hence why I chose the self-publishing road.
Along the way, I also came to realise that publishing an ebook was much simpler than trying to figure my way around the technicalities associated with designing a manuscript for a paperback or hardcover, because of which I was able to self-publish my ebook a month or two earlier than my paperback version of Floating Tears.
All I had to do was download Kindle Create, as recommended by Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), and the software gave me a whole step-by-step tutorial on how to end up with a final ebook manuscript. I even got the option to design an ebook cover with Kindle Cover Creator when I got to the uploading-a-cover step in the publishing process, which is so convenient if you’re not the best graphic designer out there.
I skimmed over several helpful articles on the Amazon KDP Help page, through which I found out what the front matter, back matter and body of my manuscript should look like and the steps I needed to take after submitting it.
Overall, the process was super easy and just consisted of me uploading a Word document of my manuscript, having Kindle Create apply the ebook format to it, filling in the front and back matter, and then finally, publishing it!