Friday, July 12, 2013

Self publishing professionalism: formatting your novel.

It's an oft-reported fact that a huge portion of all self published novels available out there on the Internet are poorly formatted, badly edited ( if at all ) and generally presented in a manner that guarantees that anybody purchasing a book from that author won't be coming back for more.

As a traditionally published author, my e-books have had the benefit of editorial teams ensuring that they appear as perfect and professional as possible to my readers. Now that I'm self publishing a few titles, I have to live up to that standard or risk alienating existing fans and driving away potential new ones, and with more and more titles clogging up the system it's getting harder to get noticed by the day. To really stand out, my novel ( and yours ) absolutely has to be presented perfectly if it's not to be lost among the quagmire of poorly written and formatted novels swamping digital servers around the globe.

The bottom line is that getting a novel written well is only the first step in self publishing. A title must be professionally edited, a cover must be professionally designed and content must be perfectly formatted to appear correctly on all e-readers. For the author determined to achieve success, this means hiring an editor, a designer and somebody with HTML skills necessary to convert their beloved tome correctly ( or paying Amazon to do it all for you ).

Or does it?

I'm quite lucky in that my former profession was graphic-design and I'm also fairly computer literate, so this means that two out of three tasks I can perform myself, to a degree. However I'm intending to recruit an editor to check my next self published title out before releasing it to the world. The cover is already designed, by myself, and opinions so far are that it looks great. So that leaves the HTML side of things...

Most people don't like computer coding, and nor do I really. But all HTML represents is a language that all computerised devices view in the same way. During my research I came across a blogger who, for the benefit of millions of aspiring authors, has put online a detailed step-by-step review of how to convert your book all by yourself. The link is here;

I've just used this process on my forthcoming self published thriller, and it has produced awesome results. I really couldn't be happier, so if you're struggling with your own formatting procedure then head over to the site and have a good read. You won't regret it!

I'm just waiting for my editors ( my mum and fiancé! ) to get back to me regarding the novel, which will hopefully be in a week or two. Once the edits are done, I'll start the process of sharing the cover, picking a launch date and hopefully whipping up some interest in the title on-line...


Tina said...

As a big fan of your novels I find it also very interesting reading your blogs and how the whole start to end of a book is created from the idea to the editing,printing and design.I am looking forward to seeing your cover designed by yourself.

Dean Crawford said...

Thanks Tina, glad you've enjoyed my novels so far! Should have some artwork soon, which I'll post here first... :)