This page contains reports on the state of diversity in the romance publishing industry.
Step 5: Get an ISBN
Through Kindle, you can be assigned an ISBN automatically. I chose to get one from Library and Archives Canada because I want my works registered as a part of Canadian literature.
Once you get account details from LAC you can login to your publisher’s account here. Logged in, you can get an ISBN for your work within a few minutes.
See below my tutorial on how to get an ISBN.
Step 6: Get the Barcode
Kindle generated a barcode for me; I didn’t have to go out and purchase one.
Kindle has a designated area where the barcode will be pasted on the back of your cover. You can see a preview of where the barcode is once you upload your cover.
If your book is created in multiple formats (i.e. print, ebook, etc.), you need to get separate ISBNs for each.
Step 7: Registering on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
You can sign up as a self-publisher here.
Once you sign up, you can add how you’ll receive payment and complete the tax interview.
Note: For Canadian self-publishers, you can prevent the IRS from taking 30% of your profits by using your SIN number as the Tax Identification Number (TIN) during your Tax Information Interview.
Step 8: The Cover
I used this article as a guide for writing author bios. For book blurbs, read other blurbs in your genre and get a sense of how they’re written. You can find blurbs in places like Amazon. Also browse Amazon when determining what kind of cover you want. Determine the physical length, width, and page length of your work; the designer needs to know.
Though you can create a cover yourself, I’d recommend hiring a professional to do it. You can find a freelancer through services such as Fiverr or Upwork. In terms of selecting a freelancer, check their turnaround time, portfolio, and packages they offer.
For a cover image, you can give the freelancer a picture, or you can select something within their database of stock images. You can also ask them for revisions until you’re happy with the end product.
I ordered through Fiverr. The process was straightforward, inexpensive, and took three business days to complete.
Step 9: Formatting and Submitting
The manuscript itself has to be formatted as a proper book before submitting it into Kindle. Would recommend reading:
- 9 Ways to Make Your Self-Published Book Look More Professional
- Check here for official guidelines
- You can download Word templates here
- Dealing with footer and headers
- Copyright page samples
Note: After submitting your book, you may have to wait up to 3 days as Amazon reviews your work. Then your book will be public.
5 Common Writing Mistakes was a workshop hosted by Farzana Doctor. This workshop was free and you could attend wither in-person or online.
The FOLD Festival get credit for organizing this series of workshops. They intend on hosting other writing workshops. Follow the FOLD Facebook page for news.
I intend to self-publish a novella in 2018.
The tentative title is ‘Incompatible.’ It’s a historical romance.
I’ll be documenting my journey, while also providing tips on self-publishing.
Note: The information provided is applicable to Canadian authors.
Step 1: The First Edit
I printed out my draft and started editing.
Scheduling when I was supposed to finish each chapter was immensely helpful with staying on track. Refer to 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing, Revised Edition: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Self-Publishing‘s checklist (pg. 31) to help you plan the entire self-publishing process.
I also regularly attended writing groups to ensure that I worked frequently.
Step 2: Hire an Editor
For tax/legal purposes, I used the contract template available at Editors Canada to formalize the terms with my editor.
Step 3: Get the ISBN
In Canada, the ISBN can be obtained for free via Library and Archives Canada (LAC).
You must create an ISBN Canada account. The publisher name, address, email and phone number you provide will become publicly available online. For privacy/business purposes, consider registering with a business name and/or getting a postal box. You can rent a postal box at Canada Post, UPS, or elsewhere.
Try and register with LAC as early as you can, because processing your account will take 1-2 weeks. You don’t need to have an officially registered business name to use it as your publisher’s name.
Once you get your login information, you can sign in and obtain an ISBN for your work. Note that the hardcopy and ebook version of your book will need their own ISBNs for keeping track of sales.
An ISBN can also be obtained via Amazon, if you publish with them, but I decided on registering my work through LAC.
You can also view my tutorial on how to sign up as a publisher:
I attended the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) recently in Brampton. The FOLD continues to provide diverse authors and audiences with a platform to connect and address the issues of diversity in the literary scene.
You can find some recorded panels on their Facebook page.
I took some photos at the festival and of the city:
Here’s my book haul:
- Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin
- The Conjoined by Jen Sookfong Lee
- Hope has two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
A few hashtags/points I’d like to point out to writers are the following:
- “A story not told is a dead story” – Eden Robinson
For my fellow librarians/information professionals, we too can play a role in promoting and investing in diverse CanLit. It was mentioned at one panel that teachers and librarians are usually the first and best at generating buzz about books and purchasing them for their students/patrons. If we want to continue supporting diverse fiction, we can do so actively through our work.