In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.
The end is in sight. You have written a draft book, you have spent months editing and revising it, while also building followers on your blog. You are finally ready to self-publish and release your book. You have many options, and the choices can be overwhelming. A simple approach is to go with Amazon’s self-publishing services.
Why use Amazon? From a teaching perspective, I want my students to see how to self-publish using one of the main services available, and Amazon is the biggest, most diverse self-publishing service out there. It is also free. It may not be the best option for some students or other authors. Nevertheless, for the first-time, self-publishing author, using only Amazon’s services keeps things simple. If you want to look into other services, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch describe several of them and their pros and cons in APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book. They also ended up using Amazon, and that is why I chose it for my first book. For these reasons, Amazon was the logical choice in teaching my students.
So what is the process to self-publish on Amazon? I am following Kawasaki’s and Welch’s advice in the approach I am taking with my students. We will first create a print book for publication on Amazon’s CreateSpace. Using that file, we will convert it to an ebook and publish it on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Both of these websites have a step-by-step approach that takes the author from creating the draft, through formatting, pricing, selecting distribution channels, and publishing. We are doing the print book first because its formatting is more complex, and it is easier to simplify it for ebook publishing than the other way around. For more detailed instructions, you can click to download my Self-Publishing Checklist for Amazon and use it in a way that works best for your students.
Finally, the day of publication and release is important—it shouldn’t just happen when you get to that point, but instead should be part of an overall marketing plan. Make the release a celebratory experience for your students that they will not forget.
Next week, my post will have a tip on how to market your book, including the book release.
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