Handbook to Publishing Your Novel


I’m pleased to announce that my newest ebook, Handbook to Publishing Your Novel: A step-by-step practical guide on how I self-published my books after leaving traditional publishing, is out on Kindle. This release come with a big thanks to the continual prompting and encouragement from a slew of fans and close friends. When tweeting about it, please use the hashtag #HPYN.

While the bulk of the content of the manuscript already exists here on my site as freely accessible posts, I received a substantial amount of feedback saying people would gladly pay $0.99 (and more) for the information if it was assembled in an ebook. After many months of delays, I finally buckled down and finished it, and have kept the ebook at $0.99 because I want as many people being equipped as possible.

I already feel some of the information is out of date, and at the rate of acceleration the publishing world is in, that could be said of a product posted last month. As such, I hope the comment’s section fills up over time with questions until such point that a second edition is deemed necessary.

For those unfamiliar with the nature of this ebook, here’s the back matter:

This 10,000 word ebook is a collection of personal writings and blog posts documenting my journey through self-publishing my novels. After having my books published by two different traditional publishers, I realized that aside from having a built-in sales network, they weren’t really doing anything for me that I couldn’t do just as well, if not better. As such, I’ll cover: editing, interior design, cover design, publishing for print, publishing for ebooks, and marketing.

While some how-to books have the reputation of being obtuse, obnoxious, and providing little in the way of meaningful content, my hope here was to give simple and easy to understand tips in what it took me to get my novels online in both print and digital form. Likewise, you can keep in touch with me via my website as this ebook slowly becomes obsolete (which it will, given the nature of the advancement of digital technology). I’m just one author trying to help other authors make it on their own.

So if you’re a writer and looking for help through the process of getting your first manuscript out to the public, or if you know someone who is, I hope this little ebook is a valuable resource. Let me know what you think!

ch:

IN ADDITION: I feel it’s worth noting for the tech-savvy, would-be content creator out there, that while I emphasize the use of Adobe InDesign for layout in HPYN, this entire ebook was assembled in Microsoft Word and uploaded as a .docx file. It was painless, simple, and has a solid result. So it can be done, and pretty quickly; InDesign simply gives you more power, especially when laying out for print, thus why I lean heavily toward it.

  • Ciara

    Yaaaaay you finally finished it!!! 😀
    Now I just have to go dig up 99 cents. That shouldn’t be too hard… I don’t think :p

    • Ha I should hope not 🙂 Let me know what you think!

    • Ciara

      Believe me, in my house it’s almost impossible XD But I did find the 99 cents, lol. Now I just have to give it to my dad so he’ll buy the book for me :p

    • Ciara

      *bought* AND I’m still gonna manage to be on time for school :p

  • Billy Jepma

    You used Microsoft Word?! (GASP!) Okay, shock aside, I’m really happy you got this finished CH, it helped me a ton when you first wrote it and I have since sent several of my writing friends to it for information. I hope it makes you lots of money! 😀

    • Ha, thanks Billy. You’re the best.

      But it should be known, I only assembled in MS Word. I kept the program closed as much as possible. 😉

  • I purchased a copy. 🙂

    I’ve gotten started on the self-publishing journey myself and I devour any good advice I can find on the subject.

    • Jason: thanks for purchasing it. I would really love your honest feedback when you’re through (ie, was it helpful, what didn’t it answer for you, were certain things pointless or outdated?). Thanks!

  • Got it! Thank you!!!!!!!!

    • Right on. Let me know what you think of it.

    • Read most of it before I commented. Lol.

      Thank you again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      (As you can tell, I liked it :P)

  • Ciara

    I read about half of it at lunch and I really like it so far. The only issue I have is that all the pictures are sideways and when I click on them to full screen them they end up blurry. I don’t know if it’s just my phone doing that, though…?

    • The pics were embedded in landscape mode to present better (turning a device). However, it was my first try with MS Word so I could def try it a different way. I also wasn’t entirely pleased with the compression scheme I was using; Kindle recent put a 5mb cap on a book, so with 18 pics, that gets hard to stay within. Might try a new upload.

    • Ciara

      Okay, because on my phone they’re still too small when I turn it. And if I’m using something like a computer (which is my only other option for kindle reading) then I can’t turn it :p

      MS word always messes up pictures though :/ I can see them on your blog fine on my phone, but not in the book.

      That’s not a lot of space that Kindle gives you for pictures :s

  • Got it! Thanks for publishing, C. This should be good. 🙂

    • Honored! Hope it helps – you *seriously* need to have your voice heard.

  • I downloaded this wonderful book last night and read it all last night. 🙂

    First of all I want to thank you! You answered a lot of questions I had and gave a ton of helpful links to follow. Your instructions and wisdom were easy to understand and follow. I look forward to hopefully using them next year on my fantasy with a Christian twist The Realm of Hearts. 😉

    I noticed only one typo in your book and I thought you might like to know about it. I read up above that you might try a new upload. I must agree that the pics are small… I understood them, but only because I had seen them before. 🙂

    You had “an” when you meant “any” here… In Chapter 3 after you mention istockphoto and shutterstock, the next paragraph that mentions CreateSpace and at the end is where the typo is … It will also display “an” errors it detects.

    Also a few downloads didn’t work. I know what you meant on this one because I’m in the process of making a cover, but I thought you would like to know. My kindle downloaded the file, but could not open it. In Chapter 2 on “Here’s a sample you can download from me.”

    Same on your book downloads in that same chapter on the next few pages. They too didn’t load right.

    I’m not sure if it’s just my Kindle. 🙂 Could be and I’m still learning all what it can do.
    Everything else was great!

    All in all your book was a treasure to have and one I’m going to highly recommend to my other writing friends.

    Thank you again for taking your time to share all of this with us. I’ll be sure to write you a good review on Amazon soon.

    I do have a question and I might have some more in the near future. 😀 No worries if you can’t answer this.
    When it comes to the “bleed” in designing your book, what one should I pick. There are four choices. What one do I use if I’m adding a map and perhaps designs at the beginning of every chapter? Do I choose a bleed or not? And do I choose color (or is that just for picture books) or black and white?
    https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do

    Thank you again and may you and your beautiful family have a very blessed Christmas.

    • Hi Ryan!

      Thanks for downloading it, and subsequently devouring it! That’s awesome. I really appreciate your kind words and willingness to freely leave an Amazon review.

      Your feedback was super helpful, too. Typo dually noted. And as for the pics, I really need to figure that out with Word. (Ugh).

      The few links you mentioned: I realized that those we’re leftovers from the blog post, and they’re actually PDFs, which Kindle probably can’t open at all. Kindle app on iPad probably can, but just never thought that far ahead. I suppose I should replace those with links to the web page AND THEN to the link on that page (so someone could actually note the URL and download it later).

      As for bleeds, a bleed is really only needed when you have background image or a solid color that needs to extend to the very edge of the page. What a bleed does is make the designer extend that image or color further off the side of the deigned page so when the printer cuts the page, they are cutting the page through the color and therefore never risk missing the cut and leaving the final page with an image that may or may not have made it to the very edge.

      So…unless you have a background image on every page, like I did in TWLC second editions, you don’t even need to include a bleed.

      As for color pages, yes, that’s only for picture books or novels with heaven imagery — VERY expensive. You just need black and white. And I prefer CREAM paper; the white feels way too cheap and superficial.

      Hope that helps!

      ch:

  • My husband, Karl bought your little self-publishing book as soon as we got home from Greg’s wedding!
    It was electrifying to connect with you. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m encouraged and feeling empowered too!
    Bonny

    • Oh awesome! Hope it helps you. I’m ever at your disposal for questions as they arise. It was wonderful connecting with you guys too.

  • Rick Macaulay

    Hi Chris,

    Great work so far (I’m half way through at 3:30AM) but I notice you didn’t make your Table of Contents clickable so it doesn’t become a link in the Kindle itself. You can use the previewer file in the publishers area and you see it’s greyed out.
    I look forward to finishing it in the morning when I can see straight.

    Rick

    • @Rick: Thanks for swinging by to say hi! I appreciate it. The TOC was originally formatted properly, and was working fine; not sure what’s going on, and will look into it. Thanks for the heads up! (What Kindle are you using?).