On Self-Publishing

Harper’s Harpings – Releasing a Paperback



As I carry on my journey as an indie author, the next stage is paperbacks.

Making the decision between Lulu and CreateSpace, was straightforward this time.  I hadn’t had much success with Lulu in the past in terms of sales and getting my cover uploaded for the paperback.  Amazon was easier.

I have formatted Loving Lilly to CreateSpace’s requirements, faffed around with the cover and then sent off for the proof copy.  When it arrived the inside look brilliant, cream pages and decent paper.  It felt great to have it in my hands that was until I looked at the back and it was completely blank.  As was the spine, what a stupid ass I was, I had forgotten to click the button for the spine and back with the blurb.

So, back to the website, click the button and order my first ten.  Great stuff!!

No, not great stuff because later that day I discovered that I had uploaded the wrong blurb.  Loving Lilly was at one stage going to be called Rescuing Lilly but I changed my mind because I altered the story line.  I had written the blurb way back in February.  I can’t believe I didn’t spot the words in the final paragraph. The number of times I checked it as well, just goes to show the power of someone else editing your work.

Off I went to Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads and WordPress to change any blurbs that had the old blurb and then of course I have to change the paperback.  Any changes that are made to the blurb has to go back through checking, Amazon did it in 24 hours, Smashwords in 48 hours and CreateSpace three days.  I spent those three days unproductive switching between the purchases link to see if it had been dispatched and also the page that tells you that you have had your changes approved.

If I were a sane person I would just wait for the auto emails but I am not and somehow think that repeatedly clicking on a link will make it change.  Similar to hitting the lift button to get to arrive faster.  It won’t work but it makes you feel better.

So it all worked out for the best, the books arrived, beautiful and with the correct blurb.  Next comes the tricky bit.

I want to be able to sell signed copies direct as I have had requests.  I want to be able to sell them safely so the recipient’s money is safe, I want it to be easy.  Well that is not too much to ask for?

If you are a novice like me it was a whole load of faff and frustration.  This blog as you know is on WordPress, WordPress will only allow certain coding for PayPal.  I wanted one link choose your country and away you go but no, you can’t do that.  If you want multi options on PayPal WordPress won’t let you.  Ok, not too much of a faff, just put four links on, UK, Europe, US and The Rest of the World.  It will make the page look busy but that is the price I pay for settling with WordPress for my website.

PayPal next, another faff, I write under a different name to my legal one so setting up a PayPal account if not done correctly means you are committing fraud.  When you set it up you have to put your legal name in, you can then say which name you want to appear on statements.  So I did and then did a tester and then I got an email to say “You have sent £1 to blah blah”, I didn’t want it to say blah blah I wanted it to say you have given £1 to Grace Harper.

Lots of head scratching and clicking of buttons, swearing and hand gestures.  I phoned PayPal to ask for help.  They were fabulous and helped me no end, I needed to set up a business account (free) and then my real name address and details remain in the background and then Grace Harper stays in the forefront.  Yay!

That solved, I now need to decide on pricing, so researched again, the postage prices vary so much.  In the UK we have royal mail, so their website was explored and I have had to plump for the average cost to each region to get a price.  Hopefully everyone will be happy.  I also looked to see how other authors have done this and not many have.  There might be a reason for this, I am sure I will discover this soon but in the meantime the others have used the price that is on Amazon/Lulu and added on the postage to that.

I have copied the same format, if it is wrong I can always change it.

The next thing is, do I just send the signed book or do I send other stuff too, postcard, bookmark, something else.  I tried to do the bookmark thing and failed miserably but I do now have an offer of help with this.  Postcards in the meantime I think as they are easy to do.

I have no idea really if this is the way to do it but it is all trial and error the first time round I guess.  I have set up a page in this website so that you buy signed book direct, should you wish to.

Thanks for reading



Harper’s Motto: You will not be everybody’s favourite flavour, but that’s ok, because they will not always be your favourite flavour.   Be who you want to be and you will attract the people who will support you no matter what.



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