These are companies and services we have used. We are not receiving any benefit (financial or otherwise) for sharing these links. During the initial publishing process, we spent a great deal of time researching the best options and were thankful for other authors who shared their personal experiences. So we do the same.
Why buy a barcode from Bowker for $25 when you can use the ISBN you already purchased and this website to generate one. This one even includes the ability to include a price, which is important if you want your book sold in stores.
We were hesitant at first since it requires an email address, but we have never been spammed by them nor has our email address been sold (we don’t get much email at the business email account). They do accept donations, which given they are saving you $25 and not selling your email is a cause worth supporting.
The barcode has never had a problem scanning quickly and easily. It is high quality.
When you are first writing a book, it can be hard to invest money in an editor when you are unsure if the book will ever sell. But if you have the money to invest, one of the best places to consider spending it is on an editor. Even an author with an English degree can benefit greatly from having a quality editor.
Rhonda Fleming was recommended by a mutual friend. She has been a crucial part of the process: helping with flow, sentence structure, line-editing, and proofreading. Spend months in your own manuscript can blind you to problems and errors you would more easily notice in someone else’s work. Rhonda has been invaluable in taking the book from first draft to published book, and she’s been wonderful to work with. We highly recommend her.
Meagan Davenport reads, reviews, and even edits books. She is a prolific reader and can give you a good idea of how your book stands up to what is already out there. She gives amazing feedback on everything from content, to fonts, to cover designs. If you are looking for content and cover feedback or a review of your book, check her out.
Another place an author has to consider whether it is worth investing is in cover design. This was not an area we had originally planned to spend money, but when it came down to some of the final design details, we splurged.
Although much of the Pharisee Set Free cover design was done in-house by our marketing and graphics manager, our final design still needed some extra help from a professional with more experience.
Fox and Hound Design is run by some of the most quality people you will ever meet. They are highly talented at what they do. It was their work that took the book cover design from a good indie cover and turned it into an excellent mainstream cover.
When you self-publish, there are many things you have to do yourself or pay others to do. Draft2Digital has no upfront cost, helps with formatting, and publishes your book to a large number of channels at once.
When publishing Effortless Fruitfulness, the discovery of Draft2Digital was very exciting since it meant getting the book into places like Apple Books and Scribd, which were channels that Pharisee Set Free didn’t get into the first time around. While all our books are upload directly to Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and Google play, direct uploading to Apple Books or Scribd were not possible. So far, our Christian non-fiction books are not on Ingram Spark because of their fees but that meant less distribution channels before we found Draft2Digital.
Not only does Draft2Digital have many distribution channels but they also have other amazing features like quickly and automatically adding front and back material to your ebooks, free formatting help (We typeset our own ebooks, but may never have gone that route if Draft2Digital had been an option the first time around), and their Books2Read Universal Link creator.
Other links and things to consider:
- Cover template exact sizing – This is the link to templates for cover size
- Self-Publishing School – The page linked has great information about how to choose good keywords and get your book in more categories.
- Pixabay and Unsplash – Both of these are great places to find images to use for free even for commercial use. You are not required to give credit, but I always make an effort to do so when possible to support the people who have made them available. If you are willing to pay for photos, I highly recommend Shutterstock.
- Affinity Publisher – If you plan to format your own print books, do yourself a favor and format it in professional software to start with! With Pharisee Set Free, we stared in Google Docs, then redid it in MS Word, and then redid it in Adobe InDesign. We couldn’t manage to make the lines of the page line up or the word and character spacing to look right any other way. But Adobe InDesign is subscription based, so every time you need to make a change or edit a new book, you have to subscribe again and pay more. Before typesetting/formatting the interior of the second book, we did a bunch of research and landed on Affinity Publisher. It costs less than three months worth of Adobe InDesign and you own it forever, which is well worth the cost if you plan to write and typeset more than one book. (The one downside is that it doesn’t come with any fonts, so you have to use use open source, ones you already have a license for, or purchase a font license separately.) Alternatively, you could hire a good book formatter/book interior designer and save yourself a great amount of time and frustration.
- FontSpring – This is one of the best places to purchase font licenses. They are quick to respond if you have any questions or concerns, unlike some other font sites. They also have a Worry-Free guarantee. If you are going to purchase font licenses, start by looking here.
- Library of Congress Number – Not necessary to sell your book, but important if you hope your paperback book might end up in a library. You do have to submit an actual copy of your book once it is published.
- NBKC – After weeks spent searching for the right small business bank account, we finally found NBKC. We have been very pleased with them for our banking needs and all parts of setting up an account went smoothly. (Before publishing, you should consider how you are going to manage your finances related to your book expenses and sales. You are technically considered a business for tax purposes when you sell your book. Be careful not to pay for personal things out of your business account or you could end up in trouble.)
- Spark Business Credit Card – Another possible thing to consider is a business credit card. This is one we recommend. (Be careful not to pay for personal things with your your business credit card or you could end up in serious trouble.)
- SumUp Card Reader – If you want to consider taking credit cards to sell physical books, SumUp is a good option. The card reader is very inexpensive, and the only fees after that are card processing fees, which are quite reasonable. For our purposes, they were a better option than the other card readers such as Square Reader. Don’t forget to research and apply to take sales tax with your state (and others if you sell out-of-state) if you plan to sell physical products yourself.
- Business Credit Score Information – Starting a small business means considering many factors. As you plan your business, understanding business credit scores may help.