Today I'd like to welcome John Holt, the author of six books, including The Thackery Journal, who's visiting my blog courtesy of a 30-day book tour with Book Tours. Today his guest post is on how to self-publish a book – and he's used Lulu, so he knows something I don't.
In August 2012 I decided to go down the self publish route. With sites like Lulu.com; Createspace; Smashwords; Kindle Direct; self publishing is now so easy, and cost nothing. I now have all six of my novels self published under my brand PHOENIX. I have full control over the book content, the cover, promotion, publicity, and, of course, I don't share the royalties with anyone. The promoting is a full time job, but it has to be done. All in all, and thanks to my friends and supporters on Facebook and Twitter I am glad I made that decision.
So that’s it then, decision made, you are going to self publish. So how do you do it? It really couldn’t be simpler.
First let’s consider the paperback. Decide what size you would like your paperback to be. I use A5. Set the Page Layout on your word processor (I use Microsoft WORD) to the size you require. Type up your novel. I use Times New Roman, 11 point. Page Layout – Margins Top 1.9cms; bottom 1.9 cms; inside 1.27 cms; outside 1.9 cms; gutter 0.89 cms; Mirror margins. Once completed you can then submit that WORD document directly to Lulu.com or Createspace. There is no charge for getting published. There is, of course, a charge to purchase the actual books. (I have used both. In my opinion Lulu.com produces the better product, but they are slightly more expensive to purchase). Both Lulu and Createspace make your work available on Amazon. Follow the simple on-line instructions to get published. You will be asked to upload the file containing the novel. An ISBN number will be allocated (again at no charge). With regard to the cover you will be required to upload a wraparound cover. You will be advised as to the sizes required. And that is that. Your paperback will be ready to purchase from Lulu or Createspace instantly; and on amazon 6-8 weeks later.
Now to the ebook – there are many sites where it is possible to produce an ebook for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and all kinds of ebook formats. I started with Kindle Direct Publishing – KDP, but, through using Draft2Digital, I also have books available on Noon, Kobo, and iTunes.
Once again it is simple to do, and at no charge. Use the same WORD document you used for the paperback. Follow the simple on-line instructions. Upload your cover – for ebook use you will only require a front cover – the ebook will be available within 24 hours on Amazon.
About John Holt
I was born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth. And not forgetting Missy, the cat who adopted us, and considered that we were worthy enough to live with her. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor in local government. I was a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council from 1971 until it was closed down in 1986. I then set up my own surveying practice, retiring in 2008.
I suppose like many others I had always thought how good it would be to write a novel, but I could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, “The Kammersee Affair”, published in 2006, was inspired by a holiday in the Austrian lake district. We were staying in Grundlsee. The next lake, Toplitzsee, was used by the German Navy during the war to test rockets, and torpedoes. As the war came to an end many items were hidden in the lake – millions of UK pounds, and US dollars, in counterfeit currency; jewellery stolen from the holocaust victims; and weapons. There were also rumours of gold bullion being hidden in that lake. Despite extensive searches the gold was never found. In my book, however, it is found, only in the next lake, Kammersee.
The books that followed, The Mackenzie File, The Marinski Affair, and Epidemic, all feature Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective, and were originally published by Raider Publishing in New York. My fifth book, A Killing In The City, another featuring Tom Kendall, was originally published by Night Publishing. In August 2012 I decided to go down the self published route, and formed my own publishing brand PHOENIX. All five novels have now been published on PHOENIX. A sixth novel “The Thackery Journal” was published on 8 August 2013.
I am currently working on two other novels featuring Tom Kendall, and I have made a tentative start on an Adventure novel.
John Holt's Books
On the night of April 14th 1865 President Abraham Lincoln was attending a performance at The Ford Theatre, in Washington. A single shot fired by John Wilkes Booth hit the President in the back of the head. He slumped to the floor, and died a few hours later without recovering consciousness. Was Booth a lone assassin? Or was he part of a wider conspiracy? What if Booth had merely been a willing party to a plot to replace Lincoln with General Ulysees S. Grant. Let us suppose that Booth had been set up by a group of men, a group of Lincoln’s own Army Generals; Generals who had wanted Ulysees S Grant for their President, and not Lincoln. And let us also suppose that the funding for the assassination had come from gold stolen by the Confederate Army. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.
The Marinski Affair began as a dull mundane case involving a missing husband. Okay, so he was a rich missing husband, but he was nonetheless, still only a missing husband. The case soon developed into one involving robbery, kidnapping, blackmail and murder. But was there really a kidnapping? And exactly who is blackmailing who? Who actually carried out the robbery? Who committed the murders? Who can you trust? Who can you believe? Is anyone actually telling the truth? What have they got to hide? And what connection was there with a jewel theft that occurred four years previously? All is not as it seems. Tom Kendall, private detective, had the task of solving the mystery. He was usually pretty good at solving puzzles, but this one was different, somehow. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any of the pieces. Oh no, he wasn’t short of clues. It was just that none of the pieces seemed to fit together. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.
‘To make a killing in the City’ is a phrase often used within the financial world, to indicate making a large profit on investments, or through dealings on the stock market – the bigger the profit, the bigger the killing. However, Tom Kendall, a private detective, on holiday in London, has a different kind of killing in mind when he hears about the death of one of his fellow passengers who travelled with him on the plane from Miami. It was suicide apparently, a simple overdose of prescribed tablets. Kendall immediately offers his help to Scotland Yard. He is shocked when he is told his services will not be required. They can manage perfectly well without him, thank you. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.
The lake was flat and calm, with barely a ripple. Its dark waters glistening, reflecting the moonlight, as though it were a mirror. Fritz Marschall knew that neither he, nor his friend, should really have been there. They, like many others before them, had been attracted to the lake by the many rumors that had been circulating. He thought of the endless stories there had been, of treasures sunken in, or buried around the lake. He recalled the stories of the lake being used to develop torpedoes and rockets during the war. Looking out across the dark water, he wondered what secrets were hidden beneath the surface. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.
Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective, is asked to investigate the death of a young newspaper reporter. The evidence shows quite clearly that it was an accident: a simple, dreadful accident. That is the finding of the coroner and the local police. Furthermore, there were two witnesses. They saw the whole thing. But was it an accident, or was it something more sinister? Against a backdrop of a viral epidemic slowly spreading from Central America, a simple case soon places Kendall up against one of the largest drug companies in the country. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.
Kendall could just see the television screen. There was a photograph of Governor Frank Reynolds. Across the bottom of the screen the ticker tape announced in large black letters ‘Governor Reynolds Murdered'. The voice over was filling in whatever detail was available. Apparently his body had been discovered earlier that morning. He had been found lying in his garage. He had been shot twice. One shot to the upper chest, the other hitting his shoulder. ‘Police believe that the weapon used was a 38 mm caliber revolver,' the reporter said. Kendall froze. Anthony Shaw had also been killed by a 38 mm bullet. Kendall was not quite sure of what it all meant. What connection was there between Anthony Shaw, and the State Governor, and the business mogul, Ian Duncan? And what about Senator Mackenzie? Where did he fit in? And who or what was Latimer? Only a short while ago Kendall was a small time private detective, a Private Eye, investigating an insignificant little murder with no clues, no witnesses, and no motive. In fact, no nothing. Now he had so many pieces of a puzzle he didn't know how they fitted together. He didn't even know if they all came from the same puzzle. This book is available from Amazon – US and UK.