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Publishing a book, especially if you’re an unknown writer, can get frustrating. First, you have to get publishing houses to check out your manuscript and when they do check it out, there’s no guarantee they would accept it. For some people it’s getting an agent and paying an editor that they’re worried about. All these might make a person want to give up on publishing their book.

No don’t give up, not yet, there are other ways to put your book out there and make money as a writer. I’m sure some of you might have known about it but don’t know how it works. Or don’t know that it’s free too.

This month’s interview is on writing and I invited Rebecca to tell us about her experience as a self published author.

Rebecca is a voiceover artist, a ghostwriter and sometimes she teaches people how to speak using either standard American or British accents.

Which apps do you use in writing your draft

Google Docs. If a thought occurs to me when I’m out, i put it in my notes app – Clevnote

Does it have any special function apart from other apps?

It was recommended to me and I’ve just been using it ever since. It doesn’t lag and it saves automatically, so that’s good enough for me.

As a ghostwriter, how do you get your client?

From another ghostwriter. It’s kind of a middleman thing. You can also get clients through freelance sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Although, I’ve heard you need to pay some amount of money to boost your profile, so you look attractive to prospective employers.

Do the clients usually want to go through some kind of portfolio?

No, just a sample of your work

Can you please explain the procedures you went through in self publishing your book.

Social media will have you thinking it’s easy as ABC to publish your own book. Technically, is. If you know the steps and you follow them correctly.

But before that, I decided to try and publish a book, just as a test run. So I would see what the process was like. With that in mind, I gathered all my short stories into one document. They were already well written, so I only needed Grammarly to correct one or two errors.

After that, I copied each chapter and pasted into Reedsy Editor. It’s a web app (I think that’s what those are called) that allows you to typeset your book. You have to create an account first though. You put in your story, chapter by chapter, then add your acknowledgement, prologue, dedication, About The Author etc. Plus your book cover (I made mine using Canva). You get to set the format as well — Amazon Kindle requires Epub format, Smashwords accepts PDF — and then you wait. Within 5 minutes, you’ll receive an email with a link to download your book. It’s really nice to look at.

Then, I checked for free online publishing sites. Amazon KDP was number 1, which is unsurprising. Next came Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo by Rakuten. Smashwords will distribute your books to iBooks and Barnes & Noble, so I went with that first.

And that’s the story of how i published my first book. Yay! I hope this helps if you’ve been thinking about doing the same.

Was there anything you hated/regretted about the process

Using Smashwords. Two weeks later, my book abruptly vanished off the site because they no longer catered to anyone outside the US. So I’d recommend Kobo, and Amazon Kindle.

How did you get paid with your book online?

How to describe it…? You know how you buy something on Jumia and pay with your card? Same way. My payment method, PayPal, is linked to the website, so automatically I’ll receive it

Is there any other payment alternatives?

Alternatively, you can just put your bank account, or a crypto wallet if you have one.

Any tips you’d give someone who’s looking to self publish their book

Invest in advertising. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the best book in the world. If nobody knows about it, it’ll be a waste.

Welp! that’s the end of the interview. I hope you learned one or two things from it because I certainly did. A big thank you to Rebecca for participating and providing this insight.

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