008: How I Publish Books

The original title for this episode was “How I Sell Books”–but as it turned out, I had a lot more to say about the self-publishing process than I thought. So this time I’m going over how I get my books ready for publication and upload them to Amazon and other book-sellers. I’ll address the subject of marketing in the next episode so I can give it all the time it needs.

Some of the stuff I’ll be tackling in this show:

  • Do people judge books by their covers? (Spoiler: Of course they do. Let’s be honest, did anyone really think that proverb was going to do any good?)
  • More importantly, should you design your own covers? (It is possible! And human sacrifice is not required! I mean, it helps, but…)
  • Is print dead? (*pokes print nervously with a stick, then hides behind the couch* I think it moved. Meep.)
  • Wide or KDP Select? (If you have no idea what the heck that means, then you’re not neck-deep in the minutiae of indie-publishing yet, and I envy you. *pounds head on desk repeatedly*)
  • How high should you price your books? (a.k.a. Who wants to be a hundredaire? If you don’t, then quit giving your books away every two seconds, you foolish person.)

Resources mentioned in this podcast:


How to Compile an Ebook in Scrivener

Free stock photos for cover design:



Cheap royalty-free Photoshop brushes:

Obsidian Dawn

Free fonts:

1001 Fonts

Google Fonts


One thing I neglected to go over in this ep is how to price paperbacks. OH THE GUILT. Don’t worry, I’ll take a few minutes to talk about that next time.

Also, if you hear background noise, it’s my new Golden Retriever puppy, Muffin. Bask in her cuteness.

The next FF episode, “How I Sell Books,” will be released on April 11.

You can support the podcast on Patreon for as little as $1 a month, and get worksheets pertaining to each episode. More awesome rewards for patrons on the way!

Email: kyle@kylerobertshultz.com
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Comments (4)

I totally love the way you’re forthright and upfront about Amazon’s issues. Personally, I nearly had a nervous breakdown just reading the instructions for KDP, hence why I went with Barnes & Noble. šŸ˜› Also, I’ve found B&N to be fair on royalties, easy with the formatting, and cool about providing customer support. (As someone who tends to panic over the smallest glitches, this is a BIG deal.)

And print is SO alive — less and less ebooks are being bought or requested from libraries by “casual” and frequent readers alike. I was just discussing this yesterday (I’m in a library book club for the next few weeks) — we were saying how more and more parents are encouraging their kids to stick to paperbacks and physical books and not get into Kindle, etc., because of the overall value of reading something tangible and not just on the screen. Plus you don’t have to worry about if the battery dies, etc.

MARKETING, UGH. The dreaded word. At least for me. It’s where I struggle. I liked what you said about making your cover blurb a pitch rather than a summary. That’s how I try to market my work on social media, anyway (it’s still hard since I am not a natural salesperson, heheh).

I like B&N a lot, especially for print books. It’s far less of a headache than Amazon. I don’t know why Amazon can’t just get their print program in gear instead of leaving it so clunky–especially since print is definitely making a quiet comeback. I will admit, I have tapped the pages on paperbacks without thinking from time to time, forgetting that they’re not touchscreens. XD (In my defense, I was sleep-deprived at the time.)
I’m looking forward to diving into marketing–hopefully it will be helpful. It occurred to me as I was working on the script for this next episode that a lot of people are probably scared off from indie-pub altogether by the daunting aspects of marketing, so I think it’s very appropriate for me to address the subject on FF. I’m not a natural salesperson either–at least not in the gimmicky, numbers-focused sense–so I basically HAVE to make it work through organic interactions on social media instead of ads or pitching in the traditional sense. If I had to become an advertising expert to make all this work, I wouldn’t even bother in the first place.

And I am happy to bask in Muffin’s cuteness.

Though I am going to refer to her as Muffin 2.0, or the Furry Muffin, something that helps me remember when I am thinking of the puppy rather than my 3 y/o.

LOL!! I understand. The Furry Muffin works well, I think. XD XD

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