In every individual there is one good story. The difficulty is in finding a way to break through the slush pile that is the agent’s in-box and get noticed; not an easy thing to do if you have ever tried. There are countless books written about how to go about getting published. I want to relate one of the many ways.
You might want to try the CreateSpace website. It is simple, straightforward and self guided. There are word processor templates that you can use to set up your book (a word of caution, some templates were created for Mac so they use fonts that Microsoft Word does not recognize so you may get errors in the review process that says you are missing fonts. Don’t worry too much; the system replaces them with a default font.)
You should first decide on the exterior dimensions of the book. There are several default sizes that are less expensive to print than custom sizes. Down load the appropriate template and start writing. You can of course cut and paste your existing novel into the template or if you are experienced copy the page layout parameters from the template and put them into your existing file. I like to use Microsoft Word so that is the basis from which I will be explaining the process.
Once you are satisfied that you have written the best novel you can, go back and edit it, and then edit it again, and again and again. You can never edit it too much. I tend to put the novel aside for a time then go back and edit it. It helps me read the words that I put on the page and not the words in my mind that aren’t really on the paper yet.
Now comes the publishing part. Log into CreateSpace and create a new book. The system is quite user friendly and it even allows you to have a free ISBN code for your book. The code is important as it is what allows bookstores and libraries to track your book.
Next you will see a screen that allows you to put in many of the novel’s details: title, subtitle, author’s name, logline and other pertinent pieces of information. Then you select the book size, cover style (glossy or matte) and then you can upload your file. I upload the word file as it works more efficiently for me. I haven’t quite gotten the hand of the subtleties of uploading a PDF file. Patience is wanted here as the process may take time depending on the speed of your internet connection. Once it is complete, the system performs a cursory review and you are allowed to view a “galley proof”. Review this file carefully for visual impact, content, spelling, grammar, format anything that might detract from a professional appearance that will make your mother (not to say your fifth grade English teacher) proud. Go back and correct anything that isn’t right and upload the revised text.
Now you get to create a cover. You can select from thirty or so default designs and customize them using your own artwork or use some from their file. The design system is flexible in that you can choose from a selection of fonts, colors and backgrounds. Have some fun. There are many websites that will provide useful suggestions on designing a cover such as The Book Designer and The Creative Pen.
Okay, now you have a book and a cover. You must submit them for a second round of reviews by the great computer in the cloud and CreateSpace may ask for additional changes. Make them and go through the process again.
You will then be asked where you want to sell your books, which countries and at what price. CreateSpace allow you to set prices independently in each country or to convert the currency automatically based on the US price you set.
You can select the outlets you want to use, verify you have the publishing rights and there you have it. In a few days the system sets up the necessary websites and you are now published. You are given a link to set up an e-book for sale on the sister site Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Use the site pretty much the same way as CreateSpace to set up and format your book.
Good luck and as Stu Hunter always said, be of good cheer.