Self-publishing is a challenge but it can be done successfully. It has been exciting to release my first co-authored book that is self-published on Amazon this weekend. Previously, I've published with two major publishers but had self-publishing on my bucket list and have enjoyed the process so far. Stay in the Boat has been the top book off and on since Sunday in its category, so I thought I'd share a little bit about the book and the tools and resources that helped us create it.
Why Write a Book?
Since Fall 2019, I've been part of an encouraging group of woman writers. Little did we know that during the pandemic, we would need each other so much! Our monthly zoom meetings after March 2020 have been encouraging.
During that time, we felt led to write an encouraging devotional book for women, Stay in the Boat: 30 Days of Hope for Hard Times which was released this past Sunday. The book is free on Amazon through the end of Thursday, April 1, so get your copy now in ebook format.
We've encouraged people to read the book — a devotional a day for April. We have a Facebook group (search for Red Ink Friends) of around 130 women and look forward to connecting as we read each day. Each day's author will share some and invite conversation around the topics of the day.
Admittedly, I write more about the spiritual aspects of life on my Cool Cat Christian blog and focus here squarely on edtech and teaching.
However, I want to note that this was a self-publishing project, and I thought it might be helpful to share on this blog some of the tools we used to write the new book for those of you interested in self-publishing.
Why Did We Self Publish?
One of our members is an award-winning journalist; we also have various talents that made us believe we could self-publish in a high-quality manner. I've already had experience with publishing as have some of the other women in the group, so the ability to understand the process of publishing was already in the wheelhouse of some of us.
How We Published the Book.
- We co-wrote the book in Google Docs over several months.
- Certainly, the proofreading process was extensive, and we did use Grammarly Pro with some mechanics of the book but also proofread one another.
- Successful Self Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book by JoAnna Penn has been my self-publishing guidebook. We also composed the metadata, co-wrote the book jacket, and more.
- Then we pulled the text into Vellum, an excellent tool for producing ebooks. Now, we've only got the book in ebook right now but are producing it in paperback next.
- After the book was created in Vellum, I exported the files into a Dropbox folder and we used Dropbox to comment on the files as we had final proof copies to correct.
- We published on KDP Select for the first 90 days and started with the first 5 days free. After Friday, the current book price will be $2.99. We're starting and want to encourage as many as we can. We have added it to be checked out using Kindle Unlimited for the first 90 days at no cost. That is a way many people launch a book.
- Next, we'll publish on a limited basis on Amazon for paperback and then heading over to Ingram Spark for extended publishing.
- We have claimed our author profile and this is a new pen name for me as I'm writing under the pen name Victoria Ruth Davis for this genre of writing in order to prevent confusion with my educator brand of Cool Cat Teacher and Vicki A. Davis. Pen names are often used when an author goes into a different genre, but sometimes authors don't do this. This is an individual decision for you as you move forward with your writing.
How Are We Connecting?
We're just sharing and encouraging now and excited to be on the journey together.
While some are still disconnected, whether we are close in physical proximity or not, we can be close in heart to other people. We all feel the need and desire to connect and encourage each other and the women who join us.
The book launch has been fun as people connect and learn. Some have already read the book, and it is available in a variety of countries. I've learned so much in this experience. Great editing is a must which is why I think many people struggle with self-publishing.
If you would like an encouraging book, feel free to download the book and join us on Facebook.
It has been exciting to watch the book trend in the store. I know the book is free right now and time will tell. But for me, it is about being helpful to the one or two people who need it. If they find it helpful, they may tell others but if not, that is ok too. We've all learned so much about each other and ourselves and we've had so much fun.
I hope as you pursue the things happening in your life, that you'll Stay in the Boat and persist! Download the book if you're curious, we'd love to see what you think.
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