Step one, make sure you’re happy with your work. I know it sounds like a no brainer, but think of this as a no time limit test and what you put out, that’s what it is. I’m not saying you can’t update, review, or edit your work. I’m saying it’s best to be comfortable with what you have before submitting your work. For this, read it yourself. Give it to people to read, proofread it, revise and review, just be comfortable with it because you’ll be able to publish by yourself :D
Ok, so you know your manuscript by memory. Now you can visit the Library of Congress website.
Since I’m a fan of playing it safe, send yourself a final copy of the document with your final draft to your email to have evidence of date about your work. You should also add the Copyright symbol to the document with the year you finished. (If you need the symbol, here it is so you can copy paste it :D ©).
Back to copyright, go to the above link and follow the steps. It’s pretty easy and although it takes a little getting used to, it’s not rocket science. You’ll create your account, put all your information and the such and you will be able to submit the final version of your manuscript to let it hang out among other works of art.
Next step, create physical and digital versions. For this I recommend visiting CreateSpace.
CreateSpace is the company I use to print my books and it’s an Amazon subsidiary. They have templates available and although it takes some getting used to, it’s fairly easy. You create a new project, new, title, all that info. It gives you pretty easy to follow steps. Then you choose a template for the interior of your book (size of book and you download a template where you will basically copy paste the interior of your book). It’s a little annoying to format but it’s something you have to do to learn or pay them to do it. I’ve formatted all of my books, just in case. Later you pick the interior whether it’s full color or black and white, the type of paper (white or cream) and if your cover will be mate or glossy. It all depends on your taste.
When you finally format your project, you will upload it and verify using the online preview to see how your book would look in physical form. It’s real simple and honestly, what you see on the screen is what you will get. I’ve done it four times and it’s always been pretty faithful. When you’re happy with how the book looks, order the physical proof version of the book. You receive it, check it out and then decide whether it’s good to go or needs adjusting. If you’re happy? Mazel tov! You’ve completed a project.
After you approve that, the website gives you the option of converting it to an eBook which seems highly probable you’ll be interested in doing. Much the same as the physical version, you will be able to launch an online viewer to see how it would look on a Kindle and when you’re ready, there you finalize it. I do recommend saving another file of your manuscript and saving it as an html and uploading a Word document. I’ve heard horror stories in regards to uploading manuscripts in PDF so word to the wise, watch out.
Honestly, the worst part is formatting and you may need to adjust a lot. There are no shortcuts and each project has its own set of challenges.
So there you go. If you’d like to ask any more writing questions about publishing or writing in general, by all means, drop a comment or check out my Facebook pages at facebook.com/jdestradawriter and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.
Peace, love, and maki rolls.