Launch

Complete DIY Self-Publishing Pt. 5: Publication

HammerComplete DIY Self-Publishing Pt. 5: Publication

This is the fifth part of a series about self-publishing a short e-book as a completely DIY project. Part 1 introduced why you should consider trying to self-publish on your own at least once. Part 2 dealt with some of the tools you will need to gather at some point to accomplish the project. Part 3 addressed the importance of formatting and using the tool of a style guide. Part 4 covers – well – the cover.

So you’ve arrived at go time with your book publication. Your book is formatted and the cover created. You’re ready to get this book into the public eye. But is there anything else you should do? Here are some checkpoints to cover before you upload your book.

Add the Tidbits

The style guide from Smashwords suggests using several pieces of information at the beginning and end of your book. First make sure to add the legal copyright notice and any necessary disclaimer are included. Do you have a proper cover page inserted? Is there a linked Contents page? Have you inserted an Author page at the end with your contact information and previous credits? All these pieces are useful elements needed in your book so verify they are in the manuscript and contain correct information.

Test the book

Save the book as an ebook format and use Adobe Digital Editions to view the finished product. When you view the book make sure the appearance is consistent. Also test your contents page and chapter headings to ensure the links are all working correctly. If you are using Scrivener you can compile the book in to a digital format. If you are using Word you can save it in PDF format.

Re-check your cover

Does your cover contain any misspellings? Is the appearance effective like you anticipate? Lastly, is the cover the correct size for your vendor(s)? As I shared in a previous post, I had to do some extra photo editing with Gimp to get the cover to the correct size.

Space Shuttle LaunchVerify the manuscript is ready

The manuscript should be saved as a Word document for uploading to your chosen vendor(s). But you created a digital version to test, why upload the Word version? When you upload a digital version it is basically “as is” so Kindle and Smashwords won’t determine if you have problems. Also, save two versions in Word – one for each vendor with different legal notice that you are publishing this through a specific vendor.

Create your accounts

Each vendor will require that you create an account. As part of the process you will be required to provide information for legal and tax purposes. Make sure you create these accounts so you’ve got your details and decisions completed before uploading to make the act of publication easier. As part of your process when you publish, the book will be assigned an AIN (Kindle) or ISBN (Smashwords) as identifiers for your book. Read the requirements from each vendor so you know what to expect.

Conclusion

Once you’ve published the book you can sit back and wait for the vendor(s) to verify the content has no mistakes that need correction. If there are mistakes or changes that are required you must address them before the book will be available to the public. If you have no issues you’ve launched the book. Now comes the hard part – selling it. But now you have the experience that goes with self-publishing in all aspects so you know what to expect from the process on a larger project.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Do you have a short project you’d like to self-publish? If you’ve published previously what experiences can you share? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.

What is Needed – Part 2

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Author’s Note: This is Part 2 of the prequel blog serial entitled “What is Needed”. This series is a companion to The Bow of Destiny (Part 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga) as expanded writing samples for the concluded Indiegogo campaign for the novel. The events of the blog series pre-date those of The Bow of Destiny by several hundred years but include several long-lived characters who appear in the forthcoming novel. This material is copyrighted and not intended for reproduction except at the author’s consent. Note: I’m releasing this part in sections so there will be more to read on Sunday.

 

What is Needed (Part 2)

by P. H. Solomon

 

Hands grasped Hastra. She screamed. It’s killing me! Her heart thudded in her ears. I’m dying. She stared into the blackness.

“Hastra!”

“Get it off me!”

Zelma’s face, ringed with light, replaced the darkness. “Sister, what’s wrong. You’ve fallen.” Tears brimmed in Zelma’s green eyes.

“It was here, a hobgoblin. It attacked me.” Broken crockery and ruined food lay strewn on the rough stone. Hastra groaned, lay back on the cold floor and grabbed her head. “Another vision?” Tears streamed on her cheeks. Breathe. Her chest heaved.

“What’s wrong?” Someone called. “Do you need help?”

Zelma helped Hastra sit up. “My sister is injured and fell.”

Someone stepped closer. “What do you need?”

“Howart? That’s Howart.” Hastra twisted and placed her back against the stone wall. The gaunt Withling stood in the pool of light at the corner.

Zelma coaxed Hastra to her feet. “Send a student to clean the mess and have another bring more food to our room. It’s second level, seventh door on the right. Hastra’s weak from her travels.”

“Can you get her to your room?”

Zelma nodded and displayed a weak smile. “What is needed is given.”

Hastra trained her voice to a low tone. “Good, I’m not ready to share visions yet.” There was no impression for action or meaning—yet. She winced when she put weight on her leg.

Howart frowned, nodded and left.

Hastra leaned on her sister as they hobbled away. They arrived at the stair and struggled at each step until they gained the next floor. Hastra hoped there was a prayer for her hip or she expectd being gimpy for a while. She sucked air through clenched teeth as her boot soles scraped on wooden stair.

“You’ve had visions?” Zelma huffed and grunted as Hastra pushed against her.

“Yes, the first knocked me off my horse and that’s how I got hurt. Thank Eloch, Kregen helped me.”

“Tell me what you’ve seen.”

Hastra shook her head. “Not here, not yet.”

They shambled to their door and Hastra hopped to her bed while Zelma closed the door.  The young woman rounded on Hastra with arms crossed and brow creased. “Tell me why this vision’s so secret in Withling’s Watch.”

Hastra rubbed her leg and related the exact details. “Darkness howled from the gate with a gust of wind and punched me from the saddle. There was fire-“

Zelma whirled at a feeble knock and snatched the door open. “Good, this is good. Is the floor cleaned?” The young Withling closed the door as the student mumbled an answer.

She handed the plate to Hastra who nibbled and waited as the student’s footsteps faded. She related the condition of the gates, the screams and everything else between mouthfuls of warm food. Zelma stood with her head cocked and the furrow between her eyebrows unwavering. She had Zelma’s attention now. Hastra paused, bit into her bread and chewed.

“And in the passage?” Zelma motioned in the direction of the stairwell.

“A second vision.” Hastra nodded with vigor. “Yes, on the heels of the first. A hobgoblin stepped out of a door and attacked me as darkness descended again.”

Zelma sat on her bed and leaned forward with her elbows braced on her knees. “That’s rather emphatic, two in one night.”

“But there’s more.”

“Ah, good you haven’t told me your impressions or inclinations. These are pivotal to interpretation.”

Hastra frowned and set her plate aside. “That’s just it. I have none.”

Zelma leaned further forward. “Nothing at all? There must be something.”

Hastra brushed crumbs from her skirt. “It’s like an empty well. It should have water but the bucket brings nothing up.”

“You need to write it in the Book of Prophecies. Someone else will know what it is for, what the interpretation is.”

An edge crept into Hastra’s tone. “Didn’t you hear me? I have nothing from Eloch instructing me what to do, not even that.”

“Then maybe it’s not real. If I didn’t know better I’d say you were…” Zelma fell silent and lowered her head.

“What, crazy?”

Zelma displayed a weak smile. “Perhaps over-worked. You said yourself you pushed to return before the winter snows.”

“I’ve only been allowed to tell you this. There is warning and likely danger but it is not to be spread, at least not yet.”

Zelma stood and opened the door.

“Where are you going? Give me something more since I’ve been allowed to share this with you.”

“I have. Enter your visions in the book or go to sleep and forget them. Either way I’m due to say prayers.”

The first snow of winter blew drifts in the courtyard for three days and Hastra’s leg ached worse each day. She left her haggard reflection in the mirror and shuffled with Zelma to prayer on the morning after the snow ended.She refrained cursing the stairs on the arduous descent to the main floor. Stray words meant to her and all Withlings.

Other Withlings milled outside the chapel. Someone in the crowd laid a hand on Hastra’s arm. She paused at an old man in a felt hat. Hastra bobbed her head for a better view of the stranger’s face but got none in the morning shadows.

Zelma kept walking. She waved at one of her friend’s and turned to Hastra. “Stay here, I’ll be right back.”

Hastra nodded with a grimace as she rounded on the other Withling. “Good morning, I don’t think I know you.” Hastra avoided putting weight on her injured leg.

“We’ve met.” The old man waved his hand.

Hastra glimpsed a twinkle in his eye just under the brim. “I just don’t remember—perhaps it’s the hat?”

“You need that hip healed. May I?” Without waiting her consent, he reached around her and touched her lower back and spoke words Hastra didn’t quite understand.

The pain dispelled in a moment.

Hastra sighed. “That’s a relief. Thank you.”

The old Withling nodded with a wisp of a smile.

Hastra didn’t find Zelma close. Where’s Zelma? There’s a message in that injury and the timing. She wheeled back to ask her healer’s name again. And he’s gone. Hastra brushed past the three smiling sisters from Grendon. What are their names? Zelma’s hair blazed in the crowd where it thrust from beneath her head scarf.

“There you are, sister. I’ve gotten a healing this morning.” Hastra flexed her painless leg.

“Who?” Zelma’s head swayed as she searched the crowd.

“I didn’t recognize him but he’s wearing an old, wide-brimmed hat.” Hastra sat on a wooden bench beside Zelma.

“In here?”

“Oh, he’s probably left it outside.” Someone cleared their voice as the morning cantor started prayers.

Halfway through the intonation Hastra’s head rose before she remembered herself and bowed again. She’d serve in the Hall of Silence until she had more direction. Her smile grew throughout the end of the prayer as the dour mood of several, painful days crumbled from her face like melting ice.

 ***

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed on 11/10/14 so take a look.

Thanks for reading.

P. H. Solomon

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

What is Needed – Part 1

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Author’s Note: This is Part 1 of the prequel blog serial entitled “What is Needed”. This series is a companion to The Bow of Destiny (Part 1 of The Bow of Hart Saga) as expanded writing samples for the current Indiegogo campaign for the novel. The events of the blog series pre-date those of The Bow of Destiny by several hundred years but include several long-lived characters who appear in the forthcoming novel. This material is copyrighted and not intended for reproduction except at the author’s consent.

 

What is Needed (Part 1)

by P. H. Solomon

 

Withling’s Watch squatted in shadow as the dregs of sunlight dwindled behind the Gray Spires. Hastra’s head bobbed with the motion of her mare’s hoof-dragging gait. It’s good to come home. She yawned. She longed to see Zelma. Hastra’s stomach rumbled. But first some food.

The expansive stone building loomed out of the dusk as the horse climbed the cobblestoned incline to the walled keep. Lights flickered in windows and smoke puffed from chimneys.

Cold wind gusted from the eastern flanks of the Gray Spires and flung Hastra’s fur-lined cloak in wild contortions. She tugged the garment under control, held it one-handed against another blast and gripped the reins in her other hand. She chuckled between her chattering teeth. That woke her. They were a house of mystics and miracles but even they suffered from cold and hunger. The Withling’s stomach growled again.

Horseshoes rang on the road as she approached the gates. Lamps in the gatehouse cast a pool of light in the gloom. Hastra pulled her cloak tighter and lifted her head. Snow threatened all day and night arrived fast below those peaks.

Her gaze followed stray snowflakes onto her horse’s head. She gasped at the gatehouse. The lights were out and the keep was dark. Her eyes narrowed. The wrought-iron gates stood ajar and listed like a ship in a gale. She pulled reins and the mare halted with a snort.

The wind howled and exploded past the squealing gateway. Shadow slammed into Hastra and she tumbled off the mare. Screams of terror and snarls of violence echoed from the courtyard. Fire belched from the darkness and roared past her. The mingled voices fell silent while gusts moaned like ghosts around the desolate square.

Boots clattered on the stone pavement.

Hastra recoiled as a figure distilled from the gloom. Her hand fumbled for her belt-knife. “Who’s there?” The Withling blinked and the spectral gloom faded.

“Hastra? It’s me, Kregen.” The Rokan Withling trotted to Hastra’s aide with light streaming behind him. He extended his arms. “You fell off your horse. Are you ill or just tired? Are you injured?”

Hastra stammered for words. He looked like a vulture stooping over a corpse with that bald head and hooked nose. “I’ve had a…” She stifled her tongue in sudden wariness. Best not speak of a vision too soon. “I must’ve nodded off a moment. I’ve pushed hard to return before the snow.”

“Can you stand? Here, let me help you.” Kregen clasped hands with Hastra as she climbed to her feet.

“Just bruised, I think.” She rubbed her hip.

Kregen released Hastra. “You’re young, that’ll heal soon enough unless Eloch instructs someone to heal you.”

“Yes, perhaps.” Hastra cocked her head and arched an eyebrow at her surroundings. Light glimmered from the gatehouse and the gates stood open and whole. Lanterns gleamed in the courtyard while lamps or candles glistened from the keep’s windows. She turned and found nothing behind her except the mare and the gathering night. That was a vision but of what?

Kregen gathered the mare’s reins. “Come warm up in the gatehouse. I’ll have your horse taken to the stable.”

Hastra limped beside the Rokan who held her arm and led her mare. That vision came with neither instruction nor other impressions. She grimaced at her hip and stepped into the gatehouse as snow fluttered thicker on the night wind.

“Noe, please see that mare over to the stable. It should be curried and fed.” Kregen motioned to the door and the young student scurried out the door on the assigned errand. “Is anything wrong, Hastra?”

Hastra stood at the door. The gates leaned on the hinges in that vision. She rubbed her chin.

Kregen touched her shoulder. “Hastra?”

“Hmm? Oh, I’m fine. Just a bump.” Hastra released her frown and smiled. Those gates, the dilapidated keep in darkness. It was abandoned after the screams and fire. She shivered but not from the night chill. “I’ll go up to dinner. Can the boy bring my baggage?”

“As you wish, there should be food on the table even now. I’ll send him around later with your bag.”

Hastra nodded and hobbled into the courtyard as her brows furrowed. She’s speak with Zelma, maybe pray and write it in the book for others to inspect. She winced as she climbed the steps to the door. Hastra turned at the top and found the courtyard dappled in light and dark. Kregen’s head drew back into the gatehouse. He was watching me. By those narrowed eyes he guessed more happened than she had let on. Hastra frowned again and entered the main door of the stone keep. Wind snuffed lit candles by the door.

“Who’s that?” The doorkeeper stepped out of the shadows and held a covered lamp aloft. “Hastra! Welcome back to Withling’s Watch. I’m sorry to discomfort you with candles at the door but I’m still lighting lamps.”

“No bother, I just fell outside is all, Zeld.”

The familial hooked nose of Kregen’s brother cast an odd shadow on his face as he lit a lamp by the door.

Hastra tugged her gloves off her hands and held them folded in one hand.

“Do you need help? You look pained by the fall.”

“No, I just want food.” Hastra removed her cloak and draped it over her forearm.

Zeld motioned across the cavernous entry-hall. “Well there are plenty of our fellow Withlings still sitting at the table. I should like to hear of your journey when you have the time.”

Hastra flashed a brief smile and nodded. “We can speak on the morrow. Good night.” Zeld bowed as she limped away across the marble floor. The vaulted ceiling left the place too cold. It was too proud for their humble order. She grunted at her halting stride. All safe until the end of the journey.

Candle flames fluttered as she entered the passage leading to the dining hall. Muffled murmurs transformed to tangled conversations as Hastra entered the dining hall.

She stood in the doorway as the wave of voices washed away her silent journey. The Withling shuffled among her fellow mystics. Scents of roasted meats and spiced vegetables tickled her nose and her stomach grumbled. If only she could find Zelma. She should hear of this vision. There’s frizzy, red hair down that row of tables. Hastra waved. “Zelma!”

The din of the clattering crockery and chattering mystics drowned Hastra’s call. She hobbled along the aisle and met a familiar face. “Howart, greetings!”

“Hastra? Have you returned on the wings of a night-bird?” The Grendonese switched the pitcher he carried to his left hand and offered his right in greeting. “What is needed…”

“Is given. Yes, but my owl walked the whole way.” Hastra rubbed her sore haunch as Howart laughed. This bruise was given for a reason so don’t linger. “I must speak to Zelma if you will excuse me.”

The gaunt Withling nodded as she stepped away among the trestle-tables.

Hastra picked Zelma’s voice from the mingled voices. “Zelma!” Hastra waved her gloves over her head as she approached.

The freckled face with receding chin and prominent nose turned toward Hastra. A moment of arched eyebrows and thin lips parted changed into wide eyes and grinning.

“Hastra!” The young woman scrambled over the bench and jostled her companions with apologies. “Sister, you’ve come with the night.” Zelma hugged Hastra, drew back and touched her cheeks. “You’re half-frozen. Come warm yourself and I’ll fetch you a plate of food.”

“But I need to speak with you.”

“You can tell me all about the negotiations after you’re warm and full.”

Zelma found space for the two of them on the bench and hurried a plate to Hastra piled with steaming food and warm bread. The others eating around them welcomed Hastra.

“Has the snow started?” Sila, the Shildran, handed Hastra a cup of water.

“Flakes fell as I entered the gate.” Hastra drank. She was thirstier than she knew. She smacked her lips as the dryness washed away.

“Is Last Landing at peace now?”

“Oh, you know it is. Hastra sent word with the bird weeks ago.” Zelma shouldered her way onto the bench next to Hastra with a grin and an expectant glance at her sister’s food.

“What is needed is given.” The others around them mumbled the saying with Hastra.

Her voice sounded smoother after the water. She shifted near her younger sister and lowered her voice. “I really need to speak with you, Zelma.”

“Eat first.” Zelma offered Hastra bread.

“I can take the plate with me but I must tell you fresh news.”

Zelma’s pale green eyes shifted between the food and Hastra’s furrowed brow. The young woman’s head tilted and her smile faded. “As new as when?”

Hastra leaned close again. “Now, at the gate.”

“Well, fine. We can go to our room I suppose.”

The sisters rose and excused themselves from those sitting near them. Hastra took her plate and followed Zelma among the tables with a wince. The hip’s so tight in those few moments. She needed someone’s prayers if offered. They exited into a narrow side-hall where fewer lamps shined against the darkness.

Zelma turned back and gasped. “You’re limping!”

“Now you notice.”

The younger woman’s gaze lowered to the floor. “Don’t scold me, you’ve just returned.”

“You’re right, dear, of course. I’m tired, hurting and hungry.” She patted her sister’s clasped hands.

“You could have eaten in the hall. What’s so urgent?”

They resumed walking and turned down another passage with fewer lights than the last. Zelma’s mass of wild hair flamed red even in the gloom.

“I fell off my horse when…”

The candles faded. A snake-faced hobgoblin stepped out of a darkened door by Hastra.

The troll drew a curved sword.

She uttered a wordless shout and dropped her plate. Hastra thrust her hands at the creature. She stumbled on her sore leg as shadow descended.

The hobgoblin’s dark eyes glittered malevolence. A merciless grin spread wide and revealed discolored fangs.

“No.” Hastra’s senses failed as the sword whistled at her. Darkness snuffed her awareness.

End of Part 1 (Part 2 will be re-posted next week)

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed on 11/10/14 so take a look.

Thanks for reading.

P. H. Solomon

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.