The self-publishing journey so far…

How grateful I am for my background in IT project management, having reached another milestone of self-publishing via Xlibris, from which I will soon add “real” books to my e-inventory!

I’d love to hear from other authors, to see if you have any tips and tricks! So far I have encountered some predictable and other surprising challenges on the journey to getting my book out there. Owing to my tiny budget, I went for the low-cost option and embarked on a series of encounters with my offshore publishing elves.

The IT industry has long been outsourcing work to people in far-flung lands, whose grasp of English is far, far better than my ability to speak their language. Therefore I’m fortunate to have learned how to work with such organisations, who measure the competence of their employees only on throughput. Poor things, with their fake, westernised names, they are so desperate to get that all-important “Approval Form” that they barely consider quality at all. One almost burst into tears when I requested he fix errors in the text for my back cover!

Creating a press release was excruciating, with cultural differences so evident that it almost required a complete rewrite. They are not at liberty to disclose which “100 media outlets” will receive my press release, meaning that I’m not sure what I actually get for my “basic package”…!

Now my book is up on their website, for real customers to buy, and the ^&%*$! website doesn’t even work properly. The search facility can’t find my book by title, only by my last name, and the social media share links sent mysterious HTML code onto my friends’ Facebook pages. To cap it all off, I decided to buy my own e-Book to make sure I am truly for sale, and the website took my credit card without any bother. However, the file it sent me for download won’t open in my e-Reader 😦

Not a good way to spend a Saturday morning, when I really should be spending my time writing Book Two now (or cleaning my house)!  No quick and easy retirement plan for me!!

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