How To Republish Your Own Dang Book

Or: How To Rise Like A Phoenix From So Many Ashes

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Seriously, y’all.

Now that the Ariah relaunch has happened, I thought it might be cool to walk you through what that looked like, exactly, in case any of you out there need similar info/skills in the future times.

What Happened When I Heard My Press Was Going Under
Oh, you know. Irritation. Resignation. Worry. But it’s the new normal, right? You can’t let yourself dwell on it too much. I got the rights reversion language from them, and filed it away. Ariah (and the other books I had under contract with them) was mine again.

And that felt a bit like freedom, honestly. Terrifying, exhilarating freedom.

Deciding What To Do Next
I went into that a little here. The options were pretty clear-cut:

  • find a press willing to reprint Ariah
  • create a press and reprint Ariah
  • self-publish Ariah

Ultimately, I went with option 3, for now, because of timing and resources. Judging by word of mouth and some of the few stats I have at my disposal, there is some momentum and demand for Ariah out there currently. I was afraid if the book disappeared altogether that the word of mouth would dry up, the momentum would turn to stillness, and Ariah would entirely lose the audience its found. It felt, and still feels, important to keep the book out there. It is as entirely legitimate as it will ever be–publishing through a press is not going to make that more or less true–and the text has already been copy edited.

Ariah’s Second Edition – Nuts And Bolts
Ok, with that decision made, I started sketching out tasks to make it happen:

  • Cover – I have always loved the cover art the press secured for Ariah, so when they offered to let me purchase it, I jumped at the chance. Done.
  • Redo Digital File – I took the epub file the press gave me for promotion purposes when the book initially launched, and plopped it into Sigil. Sigil is a free program that I use to edit and manipulate epub files until they are *exactly* how I want them.
    • Change Front and Back Matter – I needed to make changes, definitely, to the copyright page. This is a second edition, since the publisher has changed. I took out some of the language my press had in the copyright page and added some other language. I reconfigured the Table of Contents. I removed some of the back matter and added other back matter, and made the links live.
    • Tweak Book Design – In Sigil, I tweaked some of the chapter titles and section headings to be more my aesthetic.
    • Upload to Kindle – When the Sigil file was done, I uploaded it to a different program, Calibre. In calibre, you can add a cover image. You can also convert the epub to other formats (like mobi). I took the newly created mobi file and uploaded it to Kindle. Bam: that’s your ebook.
  • Redo Print File – Also in Calibre, I converted the epub to a rtf file. I made whatever book design choices I wanted in Word–important note: you have to set paper size to 6×9 and set mirror margins to match the default CreateSpace size. I found this part to be extremely, weirdly, super fun. Then, I exported the word doc as a PDF, which I uploaded to CreateSpace.
    • Upload to CreateSpace – You’ll need to go through CreateSpace’s entire finicky checklist, and you’ll need to go through the cover design process there. This was…less fun, but very thorough. Once it’s all done, and reviewed, then you have a print-on-demand paperback!
  • Update Amazon Author Page – Go to AuthorCentral and add the new versions of the ebook and paperback to your bibliography. I had to add all the extra shizz to their pages (editorial reviews, about the author, etc).
    • I couldn’t get Amazon to link the new editions to the old editions, so the current reviews are trapped forever on the old edition’s page. *sad trombone*
      • although I have found a couple of ways to inquire about this (check out this and this if you wind up with similar issues). So hopefully this will be resolved soon!
  • Update Goodreads – Add the new ebook and paperback as new editions to your book’s goodreads page. If you do this, then your reviews from the old editions will carry over like magic.
    • If you run into trouble with that, the Goodreads librarian group is full of angels.

What’s Next?
The big question is What To Do With Those Other Books Zharmae Had Under Contract. I’ve shopped them around a little, but not much. But honestly, I don’t really know what’s next.

I do know it will work out. And I’ll be around. And it’ll be great! Stay tuned.

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