Christopher Metcalf
Writer - Author - Prevaricator

Self Publishing

On this page of the site, I share the self-publishing process. After trying to get an agent and/or publisher to read a couple of chapters of The Perfect Candidate for a year, I set a goal to begin self-publishing the novel in April 2011 with a goal of having the book available for purchase by July 1. I missed my goal, it was up and live on Amazon on July 4, 2011.

I just published book II in the Lance Priest series -- The Perfect Weapon -- on April 1.

People are as interested in the self-publishing process as they are writing a novel or children's book. I didn't do anything new in my process. I followed the direction of industry experts and copied some of the steps Phil Bruns, a fellow Tulsa author, employed to publish his first book.

I'll share steps and secrets and resources here on this page. Please contact me if you have questions. I'm always glad to share and help other writers get their books out there where others can buy and read them.

Long term, I do plan to publish others' work, but time and full-time work don't allow flexibility to do this now.

I have spoken to several groups about self publishing and would be glad to speak to you or your group. Please use the "contact" page to send me a message.

Self-Publishing Steps (an outline)

  1. Write your book
  2. Edit, edit, re-edit, edit again
  3. You only thought you were done editing
  4. Review self-publishing outfits (Createspace, LuLu, 48Hour Books, Etc.)
  5. Choose the firm you will use
  6. Download the template to design your book's interior (will be a Microsoft Word document)
  7. Design your cover (or pay to have it done). I designed my own, using PowerPoint, believe it or not.
  8. Purchase ISBN numbers or use ISBN numbers supplied by your chosen vendor. I decided to purchase 10 ISBN numbers for $250 from Bowker (the U.S. ISBN sales agency)
  9. Upload your book to the service
  10. Order a print proof to review (Priest is i before e)
  11. After reviewing your proof and doing yet more editing (yes, more), approve the final version and order a few copies to give to your mother/wife/husband/kids/friends.
  12. Upload electronic version (with its own ISBN to Kindle)
  13. Upload electronic version (with its own ISBN to Smashwords -- they will distribute to B&N Nook, Sony, iTunes/iBooks, etc.
  14. Set up a website -- your name, the book's title, etc.
  15. Email all your relatives and friends to let them know the book is live and available for purchase
  16. Write a press release about the book and yourself and send out to local and regional media
  17. Monitor your book's sales using handy reports and analysis
  18. Write your next book, rinse, repeat!
  19. Don't forget to celebrate. Do it by yelling, jumping, rolling on the living room floor, hugging friends/relatives/strangers.