It has been a little over a week since I self-published my eBook through D2D (thumbs up for these guys!). My eBook is available in today's most popular digital stores such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.
However, when you decide to publish your (e)Book on Kindle/Amazon, you will have to do it yourself. I first hired someone to do it for me, but it turned out to be a huge waste of time. Thankfully I was laid off, so I had the time to do my homework, which was research (hours and days of it) and teach myself how to format my book accordingly and all that jazz. It required a lot of patience, which did pay off well. I think all indie writers should do it this way. You have to rely on yourself the most; I find that people let you down even if you pay them. When you publish a book you are nobody's priority. So it's crucial to go the DIY route. But do hire an editor/proofreader to check your grammar, style and content. If it's a good friend then they will give you their constructive input as well.
Anyhow, I thought that formatting an eBook would be the biggest headache, but wait until you format it for the printed version. I felt like I was the dumbest first-timer ever, but eventually when I worked things out I felt relieved and slightly proud. It's a good experience and will help you in the future. Obviously when I first wrote the book I didn't know that you're not supposed to indent the next line by doing TAB. As you can tell I spent a fair amount of time fixing paragraphs, but you learn from it.
The eBook is now out on Kindle and hopefully it won't take too long to get the paperback out there, too. Print-on-Demand may sound great, but there is more to it...Amazon charges for printing. So if you buy a POD book you will have to cover the printing cost which is US$5.99. For a first-time self-publisher it's not easy to set a full price, because he/she only gets 60% royalty or even less. You might think to yourself, 'I spent over ten years working on this book, I can't make it merely $10, because my royalty would only be $2!' I'd like to say I'm over it. The point of it all was to get the book out there and it was obvious to me that costs were involved for marketing and advertising. The money I made so far doesn't even cover the amount of money I paid for this website's domain. But this is just how it is.
I have friends that are waiting on the paperback, because they don't dig eBooks, which is understandable, because I've never been a fan of it myself.
I'm working on it, fast. I need the publication of the book to remain fresh in people's minds. The sense of urgency is crucial. Basically the only thing I can do in the meantime is market, advertise and keep people interested as best as I can. Ultimately no one really cares how much effort you put into something; it's your own personal journey. If you want to share it with people you have to reach out to them, but no one will ever feel the same way you do about your work. Everyone's perception is different. And taste.
I will see how my proof copy is before I release the paperback version. Keep an eye out on what I have to say about IngramSpark next. It's another option of POD, but you will be able to land on the shelves of bookstores.