I couldn’t find a clear guide, so I’m leaving this trail for my future self.
When I wanted to rerelease American Lady Creature: A Feminist Reckoning in Qatar*, self-publishing was not in my wheelhouse. I did it as a strategic step in publishing my forthcoming second memoir.**
Though the stories are wildly different—in the first, my ex disappears while I’m trapped in a patriarchal culture, whereas the new one is about my salvation tour with various gurus, a sex ashram, and even a cult—I wanted to make the book available at a deep discount to entice potential readers.
Finding a guide to accomplishing this task, however, was nigh on impossible. So I’m leaving this trail for you (and my future self).
None of the links included here is affiliate. Where you see a clickable link, it’s a service I’ve at least tried. If you’ve had luck with something else, let me know in the comments. This information is current as of this writing and, I hope, general enough to be useful.
Where to start
Most “how-to” articles I found included lengthy passages on making sure you have a professionally-edited book in your genre. I’m starting with the assumption you’ve done that work already. Your book and title are ready to go and so are you.
I broke down the work in the order listed below, but you can pick and choose from this list. If even reading this information feels like a lot (and various bits in here do get detailed), know you can come back. This process can be done piecemeal. The only sequence you really need to follow is to get an identification number for your book before uploading the file to Kindle or Ingram Spark (if that doesn’t make any sense, just keep reading).
Whether you’re launching a new book or reissuing an old one, establishing the visual identity is an important part of marketing. There are three elements to consider:
- Your book’s interior
- Kindle has a design program, but I used Vellum. You can upload direct from a Word document, but you’ll want to go through the manuscript and tweak the formatting. It’s very intuitive. The program exports both print and…