With only four weeks until The Buddha’s Bone is released into the great wide world, it’s time to start the celebration countdown. Here’s an excerpt from the first page as a sneak preview. I’m very excited for release day. This isn’t my debut novel, but it’s my first book that will be published under my own imprint – my author name, Leilanie Stewart – as I’m now officially a sole trader, registered with Nielsen. Woohoo!

To say that I’ve learned a lot on my journey as an Indie author is an understatement. In three months, I’ve learned how to design my own cover on Canva. I’ve taught myself how to typeset my manuscript to make paperback print copies using the template on KDP. I’ve figured out how to format my word document into an ebook using Draft2Digital and KDP. Words from the world of publishing such as bleed and trim, as well as widows and orphans have expanded my vocabulary. I understand how to use Calibre to convert Word doc files into Mobi, ePub or PDF for use as ARC copies. I know how to enter my book’s metadata into the Nielsen Title Editor, so that it will be available to retailers and wholesalers in the UK and worldwide. I still scratch my head at the notion of wholesale discounts, but I’m willing to have a go at it in order to get my book listed as available for order by online retailers. Admittedly I know next to nothing about marketing – especially on a budget – though I’m an eager student, and I’m doing my homework on this one.

I’ll be writing a separate post about how I’ve found using the various print on demand self-publishing services and ebook distributors that I’ve tried: Lulu, KDP, Draft2Digital, Ingramspark and Barnes and Noble Press. This is mainly because I have so much to say and I don’t want to ramble off on a tangent. For now, all I’ll say is this. If you’re an Indie Author who is feeling daunted by the prospect of self-publishing, don’t be put off. As recently as June, I was feeling overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge alongside the wealth of information thrown at me as a writer going it alone. I found that by jumping right in at the deep end and using KDP to design my paperback print book and Draft2Digital to format my ebook copies, I gained a solid starting point to build my skills. My advice is to make the leap; I got there and I’m sure you will too.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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