Let’s face it. In the world of self publishing, not every book is equal.

When you head to your traditional book store and pick a book off a shelf, you are guaranteed a few things. One that it is as close to perfect as you can get it in regards to editing. Traditional publishing houses will not put out sub-par books. You can also guarantee that the cover is fabulous. Not always awesome, but better than what the average joe could create.

Not so with self published books. Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought a self pubbed book – whether in cover or ereader – and regretted it (my hands raised and I bet you a box of chocolates, yours is too).

I read this awesome post on self publishing.

Here are some quick tips if you are considering the self-publishing route.

1. Not all formatting is equal. If you have been writing for years and trying to grab an agents attention, you are used to formatting in a certain way. Double-spaced, 12 point font, 1-inch margins ect … but with self publishing its different. If you decide right off the bat to go this route, save yourself a lot of time and format accordingly. To format for Smashwords use this style guide for formatting an ebook. To publish on Amazon check out Word for Kindle Guide. Basically – you upload a word document for Smashwords and an HTML or Epub document for Amazon and both have different formatting guidelines.

If it seems too difficult – find someone to help you

2. Editing. This is crucial! Please. Please. OMG PLEASE do NOT neglect your editing. Hire a freelance editor. Do your research too – not all editors are equal. I learned this the hard way – please learn from me. If you want to hire an editor – as them who they have worked with and try to find them on twitter or facebook or through a blog and ask them their experience. And AFTER it’s been edited – edit it again. If you have a beta reader with a keen eye – ask them to go through it. Things can and will be missed. Trust me on this.

3. Have a kiss-ass cover! This is not a do-it-yourself project unless you know what you are doing. I tend to buy a book first based on its cover if its an unknown author. Then I’ll read the sample pages and the the reviews. If it’s a poor quality cover – I pass. 100% of the time. Hire someone to help you with this.

4. Don’t rush the process. Let your story sit for a few days. Nine times out of ten, if the story isn’t ready – you’ll realize it. Another plot line will come to you, a change in a setting, a different ending. If it doesn’t – then you’re ready to upload it.

5. Promotion. Whether you are traditionally published, epubbed or self pubbed -self promotion is the name of the game. Learn how to do it. Buy books – yes – buy books that will help you do this. Dollars & Sense: The Definitive Guide to Self-publishing Success is the number one book I can recommend for taking you through the steps of everything you need to do. Another great one is Kristen Lamb’s book – Are You There Blog? You should also be following Kristen Lamb’s Blog btw 🙂

On that note – today is my birthday. Want to know what an awesome birthday present from you would be? Yes – lots of birthday wishes and links to some awesome chocolate desserts would be wonderful – but buy one of my books too 😉

Remember, in the end, all things succumb to chocolate!

If you’re a lover of romance, I hope you’ll pick up on of my books where I write under the name of Anya Winter. Be sure to fall in love with The Master, Stampede Fever (Stampede Sizzlers) and The Blindfold!