How To Self-Publish Your Short Work, So You Don’t Mess Up Your Masterpiece (Part 2)

Don't Mess Up Your Masterpiece - Part II

The worst possible thing is to be unprepared when your good fortune shows up. Have your bags packed, and your maps ready. As a writer you should know that when opportunity knocks, it's just the beginning of the adventure. - E.C. Stever


But...But... Advice for the Hesitant Writer

If you want to make mistakes in a consequence free environment, just use a Pen Name. Then, no one will know that awful cover and poorly edited story was written by you.

A Pen Name (Pseudonym) allows you anonymity, and experience. And if your work does poorly, you can just remove it from Amazon, and try again. Or keep it up there and perform experiments on it. Experiments?

How does the book do when you advertise? How does the book do when you advertise on Tuesdays? How does the book do when you advertise at five places on its release day? What if you change the cover? What if you add a cover art of a guy taking off his shirt, even though the book is about dolphins learning algebra? What if you make it available on iBooks? Since you are trying to learn (not trying to sell 1 million copies) you can write down various experiments, then record the results. To misquote The Martian you will be "sciencing the shit out of book publishing."

Can't think of a pen name? Just take your middle name, and the name of the street where you grew up. I grew up on Shady Lane, so my pen name would be Charles Shady. Or maybe... Chaz Shadelaine if I wrote a romance novel.


No more waiting. Get out your kite and your key and go into the lightning storm that is Amazon. 


How To Self-Publish Your Book in 120 Minutes for $0

There is so much to learn about the business of writing. The worst possible thing is to not be prepared when your good fortune shows up.

I suggest you stop waiting. Get out your kite and your key and go into the lightning storm that is Amazon. Here is how I did it....

I decided to try self-publishing shorter works while shopping my novel to agents. I figured it was a low risk maneuver. I retained reprint rights for some short stories that were already published (and already edited), and I had some new stories that could be constructed around a theme. If you want to read about my step-by-step approach from way back in March 2018 (I wrote this in September 2018), I've documented my initial questions and subsequent research on my blog: .

My theory is that to build a platform you must reach the right readers with your work (not your relatives and not your friends). The simplest way to do that is through ebooks, and the easiest way to reach the right readers is to give your work away for free wherever the readers are (hint: they are on Amazon).

Yes. Free. It's just a short story, so calm down. Grocery stores give away free samples all the time. You are doing essentially the same thing. Eventually you'll build up readership to the point that you can release a novel to a platform of readers, and then you'll make some sales. For now, Amazon may require you to enter a price, so just pick $0.99 if you need to.

Self-publishing is going to change your life, and since I'm feeling generous, I'll give you two hours to do it. That's how long it takes. Yes, you can just use MS Word. Yes, you can make your own cover on Amazon (free). No, Amazon does not charge a fee for the right to publish (they work on consignment). No, it's not going to be perfect.

Try it out, and soon you'll have the skills and confidence to make new, larger, more spectacular mistakes on your BIG novel.

Do it today, the yard work can wait.


Copyright (c) 2018 E.C. Stever. Please don't reproduce without author's permission.

Eric "E.C." Stever has been self-publishing for over 341 days. He has four collections on Amazon, and has broken into the top 30 in Science Fiction, finding his book alongside Hugh Howey's Wool. Eric's first full novel Dragon Removal Service will be coming out this spring.  Claim your copy at: 

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