Self-publishing might seem like an uphill battle, but with experience, it gets easier to get into on this sunny part of the world. There is no reason not to write. A few years ago, the only way to access your money after you sold e-books and your money was in your Paypal account was through a bank. It took eight days for it to process. Such a long time. Well, that’s changed now, thanks to Safaricom’s Mpesa. So, I thought I should post this little how-to today, coz I’m excited about it.
So, Simple how-to self-publish your e-book/book in Kenya:
- Write your book. – I advocate fiction books because that is what I primarily publish, but this works for non-fiction books too. Your book must be entertaining, engaging, and in the case of non-fiction, informative. Don’t cut corners. Find an editor, pay them, do the work and get your book to perfection.
- Design your cover – Great Covers are essential. Find a graphic designer who can create a cover that will market your book in the best possible way. Discover more about genres, and how covers play a role in distinguishing them. If you’re writing non-fiction books, make sure your cover speaks to your audience, and the topic you are discussing.
- Write a Blurb – When you go to the bookshop and are browsing books, you pick one out, read the back, if you don’t like what it says, you return it to the shelf. If you do like that small paragraph in the back, you immediately head to the counter to pay for it. Hehehe…Now, take your book that you’ve spent months writing, and come up with a great blurb to entice your readers with one glance.
- If you’re publishing this book as an e-book on Smashwords/Amazon’s KDP, you are good to go. The next step is to log on to your account, and start uploading the files as specified by each site. Set your price, and hit publish. Then start marketing your e-book like there is no tomorrow.
- Amazon has yet to offer any easier ways of getting paid in Kenya. You still get a check in your mailbox with these guys when your sales reach $100. Smashwords is more lenient. They now pay out monthly to Paypal. And as I said earlier, Safaricom’s Mpesa now has an easy way for you to get your money through Paypal.
- If you’re publishing your book as a physical book, get in touch with the copyright board, get your ISBN, and make sure you have crossed your T’s with them. Then consider your printing options. There are many different types of printers in Nairobi. Some are efficient, others not so much. You need to find your perfect fit, money wise, and emotional-wise too.
- The rest is marketing and awareness. Don’t forget that your book is a product. Create a brand, embrace every reader who comes to you, and give them more with lots of love. Share your work, and if readers love it, they will pay for it.
I write these little how-to’s because I believe the fiction/non-fiction books market is growing in Kenya. We need more authors writing fiction and publishing it. We need a bigger presence in the e-book market, and authors to take ownership of their fiction. Then we can really have a vibrant industry, enough to entice more readers. So, if you’re a writer reading this, get started today. Get published!
Here’s a short fiction story to read for Free!