It's finally here! As of May 31, 2014, I have joined the ranks of "Indie" publishers on Amazon.com with the Kindle version of my young adult novel, Straight A's. This process has been very educational, and since readers of Straight A's might also be interested in writing for independent publication, I thought I'd share my tips and lessons learned.
1. Read a book on self-publishing on CreateSpace and Kindle (or other platforms, if those aren't your primary ones). It's worthwhile to have the overview and to learn all the "gotchas" in the process ahead of time.
2. Get a notebook for yourself to write down passwords, ISBN numbers, and other things you're going to want to keep together along the way.
3. For myself, working with a professional editor was essential to ensure top-notch quality. Even though I thought I was an excellent professional writer, the editor's redlines showed me that I was not.
4. For myself, working with a freelance professional graphic designer on the cover was important.
5. Be prepared to spend a day or so on formatting the manuscript for print or digital delivery.
6. Make sure to proof the final manuscript on the deliverable device, such as a Kindle or paperback.
7. Create a Web page. Research other author Web pages to determine what's being done, what you like, and what you don't.
8. Spend a lot of time writing the product description for the Amazon product page, selecting the best possible search keywords, and choosing the best possible categories. Research!
9. Consider joining Goodreads to see what readers are talking about in your genre.
10. Be sure to create a page through Amazon's Author Central feature after launching the book.
11. Have a marketing plan once the book releases so that you can get some star ratings and reviews on your product pages.
I hope you find this helpful. Happy publishing!