I’ve been out of the loop lately, for which I’m sorry, but today I have two things that I’d like to talk to you about.
So, a while back I posted about self-publishing my poetry collection and how you can self-publish, too –> here, and today I have a little follow-up to that, along with the news that I have recently updated the collection itself, both from the outside (you can see the new cover above) and the inside (new and improved content)!
You can check it out on Amazon and Goodreads, but I am also currently looking for bloggers/reviewers/poetry lovers who are interested in reading and reviewing Starlight – if that’s you, let me know in here in the comments or leave a DM on my Instagram and I’ll send the pdf version your way. In exchange I’d appreciate if you left a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon or any other platform you’d like; it could potentially also be just a rating of the book with a few comments/explanations. not a full review.
So, if anyone’s interested in that, I’d really appreciate the feedback!
On to the other matter: at the time I published Starlight, CreateSpace was still active, which has since changed. Now, if you’d like to publish a paperback, you are forwarded to Kindle Direct Publishing (or, if you’ve already published with CreateSpace, your work is carried over to KDP). But worry not – the publishing process is still pretty much the same, and you’ll get the same result, aka publish your work!
There was one problem I encountered while revamping my collection, and that was the cover creator on KDP. I chose the front cover and the design of the entire cover and those things were perfectly fine, but the back cover was not – I could not write anything on the back cover, neither the author bio nor the blurb for the book. And that is not normal, because every tutorial video I watched showed people being able to type their texts on the cover. This became quite frustrating to me – I hopped over to Google to see if anyone experienced the same problem and found quite a bit people who did, but no answers on how to fix it. I watched those tutorials and they all showed being able to write the text; I tried uploading the cover again, and then tried creating a new, separate book to see if it would work then, but it was in vain. I’ll admit this issue stole quite a few number of days from me, and I was toying with the idea of just leaving Starlight as it was, on its pre-updated version.
But that idea felt wrong. I had written some new poems and rewrote some others and was more happy with the updated version than the original and I felt I needed to give potential readers the best version of this collection. So I reached out to KDP’s customer service and was told to try and use either Chrome or Firefox and see if that fixed the issue. I’ll admit, I was not optimistic about that, because I was already using Chrome as my browser; with my fingers over the keyboard, about to write back that the issue was still there, I decided to give Firefox a shot, thinking I was about to deal with another disappointment. But, to my surprise and delight, using Firefox resolved the issue and I was finally able to create the back cover I wanted! So, if anyone is having trouble with cover creator – use Firefox as your browser.
Now that we’ve got that covered, I’d like to touch down on the second part of this post’s title – what to do once you’ve self-published a book?
This will largely depend on several factors – your ambitions, your finances, the amount of your free time, etc. I can only talk from my experience, just to point that out, so there’s a good chance you won’t relate to what I’m going to write, and that’s okay. I’ve written a post on this blog how I was getting no sales for Starlight, and while that is mostly still true, I have made certain progress with getting the collection out there in the world. As can be seen from this very post, I have begun looking for reviewers on several different sites – I’d definitely recommend Reddit, and would not recommend Instagram; maybe it’s just my experience so far, but Instagram is very fluid and based on “I follow you so you can follow me” strategy in which you often get overlooked and brushed past. I have found several people interested in reading Starlight over on Reddit and have actually gotten my first reviews from those lovely people – the current rating my book has on Goodreads may be based off only one person’s opinion, but it feels pretty good to have a 5-star rating, I’ll tell you.
So that is what I’d recommend you – seeking out reviewers, one at a time, and getting ratings and reviews to boost your book’s reputation, so to speak. If you’re financially able, you can always use paid promotions and giveaways to spread the word about your work. Something else you can do – an advice given to me by a dear author friend – join your local writing group, if there’s one. Connecting with other authors and readers is not only crucial for your work, but also a great way of meeting new friends and discovering amazing new writers and books.
But most of all – have faith in yourself, have patience, and remember, your story is worth telling! Good luck to all.
Until next time.
keep wandering xx