Self Publishing Process

Hey All,

I’ve had some PM questions into how to self publish a novel (or at least how I do it), so I thought I’d make a post to explain and make reference to.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. Please don’t blame me for an mishaps from the below info. This is just what I’ve had luck with, after a bunch of trial and error. You may find the below doesn’t really work for you.

Why I did it – I chose self publishing for the control, but also because I’m impatient and couldn’t wait for some agent and/or some publishing company to maybe decide to take my books on (then find out they might want to change things as a stipulation to taking on the works). I did send queries out, but I had had enough waiting by month three. Like I said, I’m impatient. So I looked into self publishing and haven’t looked back.

Self Publishing can get expensive or it can be pretty inexpensive depending on the route you take. On my Patreon page I explain that my first goal would be to reach $3000 a year. This is what I estimate it would take to publish one novel and one novella a year; if I were to delegate some of my tasks out to professionals and upgrade my website. However, at this time my costs are around $150 a year.

If you don’t have a lot of money to drop on your books, you can certainly keep it as inexpensive as possible.

Reasonable expectations – Unless you already have a huge fan base (say maybe a bunch of fans off Wattpad who have shown interest in purchasing your book), chances are that you are only going to be selling to friends and family for a while. Expect to make anywhere between $0.50 to $2.00 a sale (if you want to keep competitive prices for comparable books).

I read somewhere that they estimate it takes an average author multiple books and about ten years to make a livable wage of their books. So, don’t be discouraged if nothing happens immediately.

Not everything has to happen at once either. I started out just publishing my books only as eBooks (no expense except that of cooking supper for friends who helped edit). Alexa’s POV in Dezirah was the first book I published (about three years ago). I didn’t get paperback until about one year ago when I published Dezirah V1 with all three POVs inside. (With extra mistake expenses.)

  1. Write a novel – I mean this one is obvious. Can’t publish anything if you don’t have a novel written to publish.
  2. 1000 spell/grammar edits – Edit your novel. Have a friend or family edit, or two or three. Edit your novel again. *Pay someone who edits for a living to edit.
  3. More editing – This time it’s a formatting edit. Edit the book into the different versions and printability you need. (Different requirements for whoever you decide to go with and what you decide to do.)
  4. Read it over again – One last final read through and I bet you will still find at least one spelling/grammar/formatting error that needs fixing.
  5. Figure out who you are publishing with (if you haven’t already decided). I use (ebooks – free) and (paperback and ebooks, Amazon, set fees).
  6. Get an ISBN for each version. I’m in Canada, so as long as I send over a paper version of my paperbacks to an archive, then I can get my ISBN’s for free. Different self publishing sites may offer ISBN’s with the publishing as a package or extra cost. Also you can buy directly from the distributers. Beware of fine print and who you are buying from. Some sites will place themselves as publisher on the ISBN, so you can’t take that ISBN with you if you go elsewhere.
  7. Cover – No joke, I’ve used a combination of Word and Paint to make some covers. So if you don’t have a fancy photo shop program, or are not an expert cover designer, there isn’t a need to rush out and get one. Or you can jot down what you want and have someone else create it (lots of the artists will throw in extra marketing promo for little extra cost at the same time). Just make sure that, no matter what route you take, dimensions are correct, and that all the formatting is correct. Each company will specify what they need and have different expectations.
  8. Create your blurbs (short, medium, and long summaries). Figure out what genre book you have. Figure out ten tags (keywords for search-ability).
  9. You should have all the things you need to input and send off for approvals by the companies you went with. If you’ve done everything correct Smashwords will put your ebook up immediately (or you could set a date in the future for presale), and within a few days you’ll know whether it was accepted into their distribution for other companies (Kobo, B&N, etc.). If you’ve done everything right with Ingramspark, then you’ll get access to a proof for you to approve, once approved they will start putting into distribution. They say to be prepared for it to take 4 to 6 weeks, but I’ve seen some of the companies they deal with start to have it in as little as two weeks.
  10. Start your marketing and promotions. Social media (as many channels as you can manage) can be a great way to get the word out for free. Put yourself out there.

Other basic info:

  1. Pay the extra amount for a paper copy proof if you aren’t confident that it will turn out. It can get expensive to resubmit once you have accepted the proof. Then again, if you’ve gotten to the proof and spot an error, I believe, you have to pay a resubmission fee anyway with Ingramspark. Sometimes the extra money involved is not worth it when you are trying to keep costs low.
  2. Print companies usually let you buy your book in bulk for cheaper (or at least cheaper shipping). Get a bulk order together from friends and family who live close to you so that everyone can save on shipping.
  3. Buy an extra copy or two with your bulk order. There is always that person who didn’t see your post, didn’t answer the text, or changed their mind. Or that distant aunt you didn’t think would be interested, lives too far away, or what have you, that happens to come to town and would love to have a signed copy from you to put in her china cabinet for sentimental reasons. It’s cheaper to stock an extra couple copies with the bulk order than to have to put in a separate order later. If not, you can always sell to someone on Kijiji or a buy and sell in your local area.
  4. Sign your books for friends and family.  I got yelled at on my first round and had to return to sign books because this hadn’t even crossed my mind.
  5. Play with the pricing quote. I had an initial idea of the size of book (length and width) I wanted and ended up publishing with a larger size. Print companies vary their quotes but it has a large part to do with the number of pages. A smaller book with 800 pages will cost more than a larger book with 500 pages. Can mean the difference between having to price a book $40 versus $25, and pricing yourself out of people’s pocketbooks. All for the same $2 royalty in your pocket.
  6. Free. Ebooks, have no cost to you when you give them out for free. While, I don’t believe in free forever, I believe that free can be a useful tool for getting people to take a chance on a new author. Free can also be a great way to thank existing fans. (Ex. 100 free copies on launch date.) has an easy price setting and coupon system. Wattpad is a great place to accumulate fans. You post your book for free and people read it there. It’s a site for authors and readers.
  7. Ingramspark will sometimes give a promo for free title set ups. If you can manage to time for these free set ups, you can save around $60 in fees. This certainly helps if you don’t have the money to spare.
  8. Have a website. People like to have a place to go to as an anchor. Learn about you and the books; where to buy them. It looks more professional. You can get a domain name for cheap at a place like WordPress is cheap for hosting and mapping if you do free plus a small charge for mapping. Use a free theme. When you have money to spend then you can upgrade.
  9. There are hybrid companies you can pay to publish your book. Freelancers of all types who will get you to the publishing stage. Pay them if you are confident that you can do something yourself.

Words on Wednesday – Share a Writing Success

Hey Everyone,

That time again for Words on Wednesday; an author link up hosted by Lynn Sollitto. This week’s topic is to share a writing success. To shamelessly write about ourselves, and our success(es).

Just to have my books out there and to have people reading them, I think, is a writing success in itself. I still remember the feeling of selling my first book to someone I didn’t know. There was disbelief at first and running through my list of friends and family to track down who bought it. Then, when I realized a stranger bought my book there was a crazy smile, and happy dance.

However, I also LOVE when I get response from fans (another writing success). I love to know what people are thinking and what they have to say about what I’ve written. I’ve received short blurbs (Like I’ve attached below. Copy and Paste did something really weird to my post, so it’s going to be at the bottom of this post.), tweets, reviews and I’ve received a few detailed analyses through private messages. I’ve appreciated them all.

It gives me incite into how people are interpreting what I’m writing, coming from the unbiased view of someone who isn’t my grandma (who has loved everything she’s read so far). As much as I love my grandma, I think she’s pretty much obligated to love everything I write (or at least tell me she does).

There’s just something different about having a stranger like what I’m writing.

Another writing success, that goes hand in hand with fans, is that I’ve started a fan club on Patreon. Fans can pay different amounts for access and exclusive information. It’s just starting out (a few days old), but I have 21 posts on there right now and plan on adding more in the days coming. I’ve wanted to start a fan club for a while, and Patreon seems to be a great platform to do it. Plus it’s an artist crowdsourcing site which can help me fund ideas I have to make my books the best they can be.

Alright. I’m going to stop talking about myself now, and let these fine reviews finish off this post.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!


Cady_Cheshire Aug 25

Your character developments are really good! Keep it up! 💕

   Disapointedsheep Apr 10
I've been meaning to read this book for a long time now, and I've gotta say; you have one lovely writing style. The description is well done, and makes both the characters and the environment feel alive.
I'm not too much of a fan of this kind of setting, but this is certainly a good, well written story, and this book is certainly going to my reading list.
Keep up the good work!

   Bludragon28 Apr 07
your story it good, you explain it very well, keep up the awesome work!!!

   JRShepherd Apr 06
Your writing is very descriptive helping me to see every detail. Well done!

Patreon – Fan Club

I have discovered Patreon. For those of you who don’t know, Patreon is essentially a crowdfunding site for artists.

I’ve decided to give it a try because there is so much that I would like to do. I would love to hire professional people to do some of the work for me and give me a more professional product; professional editor, book cover artist, and website designer. I want to pay for a website hosting that would allow me to remove the company’s ads from my site. Consult with a marketing professional, or maybe hire a promotional agent. I have ideas for trinkets and bobbles (jewelry, bookmarks, shirts, notebooks, etc.). Set up a fan club and post box. Have book promotional trailers created. Official art for the books and characters. Expand the versions of my books to include a variety of sizes and hard cover. Go on a book tour.

With Patreon I can make one of those things come true simultaneously, while crowdfunding for the other items I wish to do. So, I am pleased to announce that I now have a fan club up and running. Access to which, depending on amount invested, will get you exclusive access to behind the scenes information, read chapters as I finish writing them, copies of my ebooks, or care packages including signed book copies and swag.

Check it out here.


Words on Wednesday – Share Fav Writing Quote or Meme

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

For this WoW we are to share our favourite writing quote of meme. If you follow my Twitter you may have already seen that I post quite a few writer/author memes. From that comes my favourite of the moment.

The meme I chose, while funny and relatable, also sums up my writing life right now.

I have a toddler. For those of you who have had this pleasure, you also know this means that anytime you pull out the laptop or notebook, magically the toddler appears. They might want cuddles, a diaper change, food, for you to draw a “meow” (or a hundred), or to help you type. The only true, undisrupted writing time you get is when the bundle of energy is sleeping. And, consequently, when you should be sleeping.

Do this often, or on a up till 4 am roll, and you may have some interesting mental capacities the next day. Which, since having a toddler, will start at 6 am.

Until next time,



Words on Wednesday – Share your Writing

Words on Wednesday hosted by Lynn Sollitto can be found here.

Good Morning People,

This month’s Words on Wednesday prompt is Share your Writing. I’ll be sharing a WIP.

Dezirah Volume 3, Chapter 7. The excerpt you will be reading is from the beginning of the Chapter 7. It’s unedited from the final version that will be published because it is fresh. Just finished writing Chapter 7 on Sunday.


SPOILER WARNING! – Of course it contains spoilers. Lots and lots of spoilers. If you don’t like spoilers, then don’t read on. Just cover your eyes and exit.



Chapter 7 – Jaiden’s POV

Bodies, what’s left of them, are strewn about. Red brown blood, some dry and some sticky and wet, is spread everywhere. The flashlight shines highlights in what’s wet.

Long ago, I stopped caring where I stepped as the blood was unavoidable to my human capabilities and limitations. My shoes and pant legs have been sacrificed to the cause. The sleeves of my shirt pulled up to my elbows in an attempt to save my shirt from the inevitable shared fate of the garbage.

I scratch my palm to rid an itch from the dried liquid. The dried bits peel away with each rub, while the wet spreads further.

I can’t wait to shower.

Desensitized to all the blood, skin, and unimaginable horror, I enter the house for the hundredth time for one last look around and collection.

A solar generator provided enough electricity to continue to run the fridge, and a freezer in the basement. To our surprise and delight there was homemade ice cream in the freezer, flavoured with chocolate chips and mint extract. The mint breaks through fresh, but overpowering; they added too much to the mix. The chocolate chips are too large to melt in an instant on our tongues. Despite all of this, the ice cream is a welcome treat I look forward to devouring on the ride back.

It was discovered then, as we figured out the deafening hum of an old tuned out noise, that the lights worked. The true horror of the massacre more picturesque and detailed in the light, but not as creepy. I miss the expansive light as I navigate by flashlight.

All the food and gas were obvious easy picks from their designated areas. The solar generator attached surprisingly easy to the back of a commandeered truck, though a thread of doubt lingers that maybe it was too easy because we missed something. It would be horrible to lose the generator after going over a bump, because we missed a pin or something to hook it up.

Tricky, and nauseating, at first, was the scavenging for everything else. Weapons had to be unbelted from the dead bodies; none of them safe from the fluids of their owners. Some pockets held treasures like pocket knives and lighters. Other pockets held rocks, tissues, and personal knickknacks.

Pilfering drawers as bodies lay in their beds; oblivious to their danger as they slept, then died.

Whatever happened, it happened fast. Bodies lay where they died scattered throughout the house. No one had a chance to group and fight.

Not one person hiding in a closet hoping to not be noticed. Not one person made it outside, or close enough to the back door to unlock it.

The people who did this acted in monstrosity. The goal was clear, to kill everyone here; no doubt in that. A horde of supernaturals descended on these people.

Necks are torn open it what Leah expressed as the type of bite a vampire leaves when they aim to kill quickly; messy and wasteful.

Scratches and punctures of all sizes and numbers got most of the rest. A few still have a blade left inside them where it struck. I yanked out what I could. A couple blades stuck inside, stuck on bone and impossible for me to pull out without seesawing and disturbing the body’s internal organs. The couple blades were not worth the effort and body desecration.

I walk through to the bedrooms. Like a scanner I start from one side and work my way to the opposite side of the room, and carry this process on through the house.

The two bedrooms were picked clean personally: clothes, weapons, and some children’s books. Leah had gotten the bathroom: soaps, toiletries, and linen.

Linen closet provided more linen. The living room was turned into another bedroom; movies, and looted items from the bodies.

The image of Crystal pecking and slurping up the soft eyeball of the victim laying on the ground pops up as I see him again. An opportune meal from the man who had his face slashed open to the bone and further.

On and on I check list the upstairs, only obtaining a screwdriver I suppose could be useful. Right off from the kitchen I walk downstairs.

The basement area is both finished and unfinished; half and half. I want to finish with the ice cream, so I walk through to the far side.

A stuffed owl watches from its mount on the corner to a little hall; a grey great horned owl if I remember correctly. The eyes appear to follow me. The realistic bird is a sign of great taxidermy. I can’t help but feel it could jump out and attack me at any time.

To the left is a teen’s bedroom decorated in boyband posters and pink. Leah went through the rooms down this way, so I go through with extra diligence. This room is untouched from a carnage aspect. It’s a nice break, but it feels wrong to trudge through; like I’m desecrating a tomb.

Supplies from the previous people scatter through the room. Leah likely tossed the sleeping bags to their current crumpled positions. Drawers left open from her inspection.

Small shirts and pants will never fit me, but her closet holds shoes in my size. Most are heels, and therefore completely useless to me. A few are gaudy in size and colours. Flower patterned flats that look uncomfortable, and blister inducing; not to mention hideous.

There is a pair of black All Star shoes. They look like Converse but without the ankle edges coming up so high. I think these look better and more comfortable. I nab them as replacements for what I have on, and two pairs of socks. If the shoes fit, the socks should too. They’re black too. The colour is safe as safe can be from stains; namely blood stains.

The room is done. I won’t find anything else in here.

A closed and locked room is next. It has a hole in the center of the nob. The dismantled pen from the desk easily lets me in. I burst in for an element of surprise, but I don’t need it. No one is in the bathroom.

Maybe someone locked the door to keep people out of the contents. Leah wouldn’t have done that.

The bathroom is decorated like a beach. Seashells hang in picture frames on each side of the mirror. A seashell acts as the soap bar holder. Sandy walls and blue floors; I’ve never seen a blue tub and toilet before now.

On a whole, the bathroom is very neat and tidy. There is no cue that this room has been opened in the last few months; not counting a lack of dust.

Many of the drawers lack anything inside. It is behind three rolls of toilet paper that I find black bottles with reminiscent labelling of a popular sun block for vampires.

The bottles have some weight to them. The one feels full, while the other may be half empty. Both will be vital to the vampires back home and to Leah. This could open us up to being able to search during the day. No longer would they be restricted to the ever shortening night.

Summer is coming and with it the shortest night of the year. Imagine only being able to leave your house for six hours over a period of a few months. As a private person and a homebody I likely could, but the opposite spectrum of personalities may have issues with it.

My arms are nearly full after the bottles and toilet paper, so I cut my last sweep short. Finishing up requires the acquisition of the ice cream.

Straight ahead into the unfinished multiuse kids play room and storage, I grab the ice cream and balance it on top.

I trek back to the upstairs. Leah isn’t here, and is likely outside still. She’s probably waiting for me to get going; impatiently as she would be.

On the way out the house, above the door, is a message in blood. I pause to view it one last time. A reminder of the violence and purpose of the events that had taken place here.

A brutal message, as any would be written in blood, by the hands of someone looking for attention in the worst way possible.



Words on Wednesday – Introduce Yourself – Writer Linkup

Introduce Yourself prompt – Words on Wednesday hosted by Lynn Sollitto can be found here.


Good day,

Thank you Lynn for hosting this. Should be fun getting together. The author community is a great one, full of crazy crazy people.

Let’s do this.

About me.

I’m an indie author. I came about that decision after months of waiting for the business to get back to me; even a No Thanks would have been better than absolutely nothing. But I received nothing back, and was antsy waiting the whole time.

I looked into being an indie author and haven’t looked back since. I enjoy being an indie author because it’s very hands on and I’m in complete control of my works.

Writing wasn’t something I was into until later in my young life. We didn’t have much for free writing/story writing in school. When we finally had a free writing short story assignment in grade six, I blew my teacher out of the water. My three page recommended story was fifteen pages. I didn’t think anything of it at the time so I didn’t continue writing stories. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I started writing stories after my mom passed away that I really delved into writing. That’s when the Dezirah Universe started.

And, that’s why two of the character start off their stories in high school, because I was in high school when their stories were started, so it was a natural move for me to make.

That was nine years ago.

In August, it’ll be one year since I published Volume 1 (a conglomeration of each of the three main characters POV stories following them during the same time period before they start gathering together) and Volume 2 was published in March. I am writing Volume 3 now, and expect that to be out in January 2018.

I also have a couple novellas: Hypocrites and Blood Mountain.

I try to write a novella in between my Dezirah books to help get out the other story ideas that don’t fit. It helps to keep things fresh and gives me a short break between Dezirah books to gather all my notes and ideas for the next book in the series.

Other than my books, I am a stay at home mom to a beautiful two year old daughter. Majority of my writing happens when she is sleeping because she’s a toddler and constantly going going going. It’s hard to chase her around while juggling a laptop, and she steals my notebook and pencil to draw if I bring those out.

As I was writing this my daughter woke up from her nap, so I am now typing with one hand with a stuffed duck on my lap, and she’s wrapping pieces of tape around my fingers.

Goodbye for now,

Jacey K Dew



Blood Mountain is Available!

Blood Mountain is available to purchase today as both a paperback novella and an ebook.

EbookKara never thought she’d have to go back to the city in the crux of a mountain. When her mother falls terminally ill, she returns only by her twin sister’s request and fiancé’s insistence.
Five years have gone by since she was last home. Much of the façade has stayed exactly the same. The Drugs sign is still off kilter. Drunken Will’s vehicle has been parked at the bar since she left. The Gerald’s house is a blinding highlighter shade of yellow.
But, underneath the surface lurks a slew of small town drama.
What life changing consequences will her return put into motion?

Order Today


Barnes & Noble Chapters/Indigo

eBook – Available at various ebook retailers. Check your favourite first.

Barnes & Noble (NOOK) (Kindle) Smashwords Chapters (KOBO)

Something Special…

100 lucky fans can download Blood Mountain for free at Smashwords using promo code: AL29W