Self-publishing a book for the first time is exciting. It means learning new skills, which is always fun.  It has been less than a week since I decided to self-publish the manuscript of my new memoir. Already I’m feeling a little daunted.

Thanks to Peter Stone at The Big Picture Factory, much of the process will be easy. For him this is just another book on a very long list.

Peter, our sister and I grew up around the printing industry. Printing has changed enormously since then, most rapidly over the last ten years. Long gone are the old physical presses of our childhood. They have been replaced by digital technology, which is a mystery that I have not yet fully fathomed.

Early printing press
Early printing press

My manuscript will be turned into a book that will be printed-on-demand. I won’t need to order a zillion copies which could sit in my writing room for months.

Peter will also format the manuscript for publication as an e-book and assist with sales and distribution.

There are still many things that only I can do. For instance, only I can write acknowledgements to all the lovely people who have supported me and helped me think in different ways during the process of writing.

In a couple of months time, when I start a new writing venture, I plan to make a note of everyone who helps from the beginning. Then I won’t experience this anxiety that I might inadvertently leave someone out.

The other night a friend told me she smiles when she reads my blogs and finds yet another list. As some of you know, list-making is one of my passions. I believe making a list is a creative activity. List-making also stimulates creativity. You can read my blog about lists and creativity here. Writing a list is almost as good as writing a book but quicker!.

Of course, a new project means a new notebook or two. These seemed suitably colourful for my project.

Note-books for self-publishing adventure
Note-books for self-publishing adventure

Self-publishing to-do-list

This is a short, random sample of the things I must do before I’m ready for the adventure of self-publishing.  Then I’ll start on my marketing and distribution plans.

  • Decide on a title. My working title doesn’t quite fit the story anymore.
  • Write a two or three paragraph biography.
  • Write a blurb for the back cover.
  • Decide on a cover that delights me and (hopefully)  is attractive to readers.
  • Decide about style of printing and internal design.
  • Work out how many print copies will be needed initially.

My numbered list has now reached 68 items.

I’d really like to hear from anyone who has self-published and would be willing to share their to-do list with me.

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