Last week I talked about answers to the question, “what happens when my publishing contract expires?” I’m going to assume you chose the option to republish your work as an Indie title and will use Createspace or Kindle in order to accomplish that. (By the way, self-publishing as an Indie should not cost you a dime provided you have the necessary items. Any company who tells you otherwise is a scam. I have a step by step book that can guide you in the process, more on that below… or just Follow and go deep into my blog articles for the same basic content.)
You will need a few things in order to move your book into the Indiesphere:
- A new ISBN
- Cover artwork
- Enough time to match previous formatting
- A platform to relaunch
- Createspace or Kindle Account
- Contact Customer Service to link books
Firstly, ISBNs usually need to change. Here is a message I got from Createspace:
“You are welcome to republish the book with CreateSpace once your contract ends with the other publisher.
You can use the ISBN if you purchased it independently. If the ISBN was provided by the publisher then it will most likely belong to that publisher and will be unusable on our platform… [if you] need a new one, we can provide you with a new ISBN for free. The book would then have different ISBN’s but we could link the Amazon detail pages provided that you do not change the content, title name or the author.”
Secondly, if your publisher provided the cover artwork then you will need to change it, unless they give you a rights release that gives you permission to reuse it in future sales. Remember, there is an artist out there who sold/created it to a specific person for a specific edition. Reusing it without permission violates their creative rights just like if someone stole the content of the book and published it under a different name. There are many places and ways to get new cover art—don’t settle for anything of lesser quality than you originally had in place.
Next, if your publisher formatted the book a certain way (and it conformed to market expectations) then you might consider matching formatting styles on the manuscript that you upload to your new publisher. This is a perfect time to tweak and change things and repair additional errors that your readers may have spotted since the first release. You may experiment with font sizes and line spacing, but aim for market standards. They are in place for a reason. You can find more about this in older articles on this blog or in my book, The Indie Author’s Bible).
Do you have a platform? Even knowing that you are not losing your old customer reviews, etc. this is a perfect opportunity for a renewed publicity push. Consider this a major announcement to your readers. Schedule blog tours, press releases, email blasts, social media campaigns, or whatever else is in your toolkit (if your toolkit is small, make attempts to grow it immediately!)
Obviously you will need an account with a publisher such as Kindle or Createspace (others include Ingramspark, Bookbaby, Lulu, Kobo, Xlibris, Smashwords, and many others.) Regardless, you will also want to be on Amazon as they account for +60% of all books sold and Createspace/KDP automatically pushes books to Amazon as they are owned by them.
Once the book is published you can contact Amazon customer support and have them link the titles together so you can retain reviews. Remember, everything takes time so plan well in advance!