Here you will find a large collection of self-publishing resources. While the focus is on Victoria, BC, most of the listings are relevant to anyone interested in self-publishing. Much of this information was gleaned from writers’ 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, and sales. Some hands-on self-published writers have the skills to do a few of these tasks themselves. However, even experienced indie authors will outsource tasks like cover design and proofreading. In addition, some authors with a long-term publishing plan will learn many of the skills they will need to use repeatedly, 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. These companies offer various publishing services and/or packages.
Bad quality = Bad sales
Regardless of the path chosen, all self-publishing writers will have to put in as much effort to 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, and 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.
Check out this helpful article so you can avoid common rookie book creation errors.
Also, get familiar with libel and defamation laws to steer clear of any potential legal trouble and having to re-edit and re-publish your book. And of course you’ll need permissions to use copyrighted materials and images (see “permissions” for more information).
While it is good to be meticulous, also 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 check out Kevin McLaughlin’s post on “writing advice not taken“.
Finally, if you are new to self-publishing, read this article on the difference between vanity publishing and today’s independent publishing.
And if you are looking for the best non-spammy guide to self-publishing, check Jane Friedman’s introductory guide.
3PP’s Self-publishing resource pages
Also listed as a drop-down menu under Self-Publishing Resources.
Scams Targeting Writers How to avoid falling victim to a publishing scam, a bad contract, or an over-priced publishing package.
Professional Help How to find editors, proofreaders, and designers, etc.
Tech Tools Links to technical tools such as barcodes, ISBN numbers, copyright, graphic design tools, and more.
Traditional Publishers in Victoria, BC, and beyond.
Updated August 2018
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.