Digital Self-Publishing 101 with Novalee Swan

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Once upon a time, there was a postgraduate student who was writing a novel as part of her thesis. She had a scholarship that paid for her living expenses, allowing the as-yet-unpublished student to pretend that she was a full-time author. She loved it. But she knew that when her scholarship ended, she would have to get a ‘regular’ job in order to pay the bills . . . unless she could find a way to make money while writing.

Enter digital self-publishing.

In 2015, she (okay, I admit, it’s me). In 2015, I attended a class on eBook publishing facilitated by my local writing centre. I came home inspired, wrote a short romance novella, and then published it as an eBook.

Discouragingly, I sold about ten copies during the first month of its release. But I’d already started on the next novella and published it shortly thereafter. This was fortunate, as Book 2 saw dozens of sales in its first month and Book 3 produced hundreds of sales, which made me think ‘there might be something to this self-publishing business after all’.

Fast forward several years and several full-length novels later, and I am now an Amazon bestselling author in multiple romance categories, and I’ve sold tens of thousands of copies of those first three novellas.

That is probably the most compelling reason to self-publish today—royalties. Specifically, the high royalty rate that accompanies self-published eBooks when compared to traditional publishing. But it can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start.

That’s why Digital Self-Publishing 101 is designed to walk you through the entire process, step-by-step, with the support of someone who’s ‘been there, done that’.

In Week 1, we’ll examine the digital self-publishing industry and the major retailers, platforms and digital devices used for e-reading. You’ll learn how to locate industry freelancers such as editors and cover designers.

In Week 2, we’ll focus on book covers and descriptions. You’ll learn what makes a ‘clickable’ cover, the importance of genre specificity, and associated costs. You’ll also learn how to write a book description for the online environment—and one that converts into sales.

In Week 3, we’ll look at the Kindle Direct Publishing platform, which is the biggest self-publishing platform in the world. You’ll learn how to use it and how to create an eBook from an MS Word file. I’ll also show you how to create an eBook using either Kindle Create or Vellum software.

In Week 4, we’ll discuss pricing and marketing strategies, how to find reviewers, and how to grow your author platform.

Throughout, you’ll have the option to do homework exercises, such as completing a Guided Self-Publishing Plan questionnaire, writing a book description, writing a marketing strategy, and producing an eBook. I’ll provide feedback on each of these tasks to ensure you’re on the right track.

I’ll also be there to help you every step of the way, and by the end of this course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge you need to write your own self-publishing fairy tale.

RWA ACADEMY SHORT COURSE: Digital Self-Publishing 101

RWA Course Dates: 1 Feb to 1 Mar 2020

Cost: RWA Member—$55. Non-RWA Member—$66.

Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform

For more information and bookings:

About the presenter

Novalee Swan writes paranormal and contemporary romance and is the author of the Shifter Town series. She loves creating alpha heroes who know how to scorch the sheets. Her books are fun, sweet, sexy and satisfying.

Novalee has a creative writing degree that she puts to all kinds of use, including editing and blogging. She lives down under where she writes with a fur baby called Emma for a foot warmer. She reads too much — is that possible? — likes pretty things, and jumps at any chance to travel.


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