I started writing On Swift Wings just for the fun of writing a story. As it developed, I started thinking about actually publishing it. This involved a bunch of other people whose skills, time, and talent complimented my own:
I contacted several potential editors, but I found Bobbi’s feedback and attitude to be the best. She was excited and thorough, and provided great feedback and expertise for a first-time author like me. The voice and style of my work presents a unique challenge and Bobbi was fantastic. She quoted me a price that was in line with what I expected based on my research. Her comments and edits were detailed and clear. She provided some particularly helpful big-picture feedback that I happily incorporated in the final draft. She provided her work on schedule and within the budget. If she is amenable to it, I’ll use her services again. I’d paste her emails here with all the detailed suggestions she gave freely about next steps. I can’t imagine doing better than Bobbie. She was great.
I looked around at cover designers, but thought I could probably come up with something good enough on my own. After a while, I decided that I should get a cover prepared professionally. This was a pretty crucial decision. I can’t imagine creating a cover that suits both IngramSpark’s and Amazon KDP’s requirements. The cover is the first thing people see, and JD&J took my concept art and came up with a very professional version that made upload super-simple. They came up with two other designs that were very good. Most importantly, they were extremely responsive to messages. Great team they have over there.
As with just about everything else, I didn’t think I needed my interior to be formatted. After all, I’m have a pretty advanced level with Microsoft Word. My editor, Bobbi, suggested that I get formatting done and recommended Indie Publishing Group. For a very reasonable cost, IPG was able to make the book look so much more professional than I even thought possible. I had no idea what I didn’t know, still don’t, but I know that the result was great, and was perfectly prepared to upload to the printers. They made my life dramatically easier.
When I set up the second cover, I contracted Jawad Tanloust to prepare an animation out of the cover page. I think it looks great. Check it out!
You might not have even noticed because it is subtle, but on BW.Literature, I had Nataliae777 create an animated version of my original book cover. Watch the clouds and the water and you’ll see the banner actually moves. She did a great job of it quickly and with little costs.
Printing: IngramSpark and Amazon (KDP)
After a lot of research I decided that going with on demand printing made the most sense for me. Amazon was an obvious choice as the biggest book dealer on the planet, so I wanted to include them, but they don’t do hardcover and aren’t available for physical bookstores. I didn’t want to be online-only so IngramSpark filled the remainder. IngramSpark is a worldwide book publisher and distributor. Publishing on Amazon’s platform is very easy, but generally your book is only available on Amazon. Ingram’s platform is a little more difficult, but seeing the book available in other countries and through other retailers was rewarding. Also, the hardcover is much more of a collector’s item, and something I really wanted.