Are You Ready to Publish Indie? (Part 2)

Where Did the Magic Go? The Production Phase of Writing

Are You Ready to Publish Indie? (Part 3)




E-book or Paperback or Both?


So, you’ve been marketing away with the social media of your choice and your book is written and edited. Congratulations! These are major accomplishments. Now you need to decide how your book will be read.

Are you going to publish an e-book only or e-book and paperback?

There is a huge difference between the two. I admit, publishing an e-book is easier. You only need a cover (instead of a cover, spine and back), you can format the manuscript yourself in Word, and off you go!

But is your target audience known for being voracious e-book readers? How many people do you know have one? Out of a large number of family and friends, I can count on both hands the number of people who have an e-book reader. That’s it. And while I’m involved in marketing (see Part 1), word of mouth is a great way to build sales, especially for a new novelist. But first they have to read your book.

I decided to publish in both formats. I thought I’d produce a Word doc and use it for both e-book and paperback. Yes, I can see some of you shaking your heads. Hey, you in the coffee shop with the cappuccino and blueberry muffin, stop smirking. It’s a learning process!

Fortunately, other writers set me straight before I got very far. And I’m happy to share what I now know.

To put your paperback up for sale, the interior pages need to be formatted differently from an e-book’s. And while Word is fine for the e-book, it’s not the program of choice to put out a professional-looking product in paperback. Currently, Quark and InDesign are the most popular programs to do the work.

When I realized this, my heart dropped into my stomach. Not only did I not have the cash to buy either of those programs, I didn’t have the time or inclination to learn them. A friend who is a writer and graphics designer came to the rescue and offered her services. Otherwise, I would have had to hire someone.

(You may have noticed that putting a book up for sale on your own does have a number of costs. Hiring someone to create a cover, someone else to format the pages, getting an ISBN number…oops, I’m getting ahead of myself.)

See you next week.




* Image courtesy of adamr at



  • Jan • March 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    There are so many things to think about when indie publishing, aren’t there?

    • J. M. Levinton • March 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      I had no idea. The learning curve slowed my production process by far more months than I would have believed.

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