Here you will find a collection of self-publishing resources that writers new to self-publishing have found useful. While the focus is on Victoria, BC, most of the resources listed are relevant to anyone interested in self-publishing. Much of this information was gleaned from writer’s workshops. Resources are updated frequently. In addition, if you have comments or suggestions, please send an email.
first, What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing means you are responsible for all the tasks that a publisher would normally do for you. This includes: editing, formatting, cover design, finding a printer, or turning your book into an ebook. Also, let’s not forget the essential tasks of marketing, promotion, sales and distribution. Some hands-on self-published writers have the skills to do some of these tasks themselves. However, even experienced indie authors will outsource specific tasks like cover design and proofreading. And some authors with a long term plan will learn the skills they will need to use frequently such as how to format an ebook.
On the other side of the self-publishing spectrum are writers with a bigger budget and less time. They often seek out a (hopefully reputable) self-publishing company that offers a variety of publishing services.
Bad quality = Bad saleS
Regardless of the path chosen, all self-publishing writers will have to put in as much effort to launch, promote, and market their finished book, as they did to create it. And this means they need to be meticulous in each step of their book creation process. A bad cover, bad proofreading, bad formatting, or rushing to publish without first getting feedback from test readers… all these problems with quality will impact the quantity of people who will read your book.
While it is good to be meticulous, you also should avoid getting stuck in a pre-publishing phase because you are a petrified perfectionist. With ebooks and print-on-demand, you can make changes and corrections without it being a costly disaster (because you can upload new corrected editions). This is less risky than having a large number of books printed at a high cost, only to find errors post-publication.
quality and quantity – advice for Genre writers
While the quality of your book is very important, if you are a genre fiction writer the best way to increase your books sales is to have quality and quantity. According to many successful self-published genre fiction authors, when you publish a higher number of books, you have a higher likelihood of gaining readers. But even if you labour to write a series of books, you still must ensure you don’t inflict distracting errors on your readers. Therefore, it is wise to seek professional editing and proofreading. See the Pro-Help page to find professional editors. Also for more on writing advice not taken, check out Kevin McLaughlin’s post on this topic.
Finally, if you are new to self-publishing, read this helpful article on the difference between vanity publishing and today’s independent (indie) publishing.
Self-publishing resource pages
Also listed as a drop-down menu under Self-Publishing Resources
Ebooks (A list of resources to help you publish an ebook.)
Scams Targeting Writers (Learn about what to watch for to avoid falling for a publishing scam, a bad contract, or an over-priced publishing package.)
Self-Publishing Companies (Selling a package of services)
Professional Help (Find professional editors, proofreaders, cover designers, ebook formatting etc.)
Tech Tools (Find information about barcodes and ISBN numbers and more.)
Business Side of Writing (Information and tips for writers who have a long term plan to write as a business.)
Book Marketing (Resources to help self-publishing writers with the dreaded task of promoting and selling their book.)
Traditional Publishers (For self-published writers who want to try to get published with a traditional publisher.)
Writers’ Organizations (Opportunities to learn and network.)
Zines, Digital Magazines & Chapbooks (Publishing beyond books.)
Bookstores in Victoria BC & Beyond (Support your local bookstore!)
Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource to add? Please send an email!
Updated November 2017
Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified and links do not indicate endorsement.