© 2019 by ROSA

  • Blogger - Black Circle
  • Facebook Black Round
  • Twitter Black Round
  • Pinterest - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle

Proudly created with Wix.com

Recommended resources for indie authors 

There are many sharks out there, preying on the unwary and the ignorant. ROSA is determined to educate new writers, especially those looking to indie publish / self publish, so that they do not fall prey to the sharks.

The first thing you need to know if you are considering self-publishing is that this doesn't mean you pay someone to publish your book (which is known as Vanity Publishing) but instead you become the publisher. You make the business decisions, hire the suppliers, and decide what your budget is and how you will spend it.

While you should be prepared to invest some money into this new career, it should not be in the tens of thousands, especially when you are just starting out. Anyone asking you to pay that kind of money might just be on of the sharks!

So what do you need to invest in? The first two items on the list below should be non-negotiable. The last two are recommended, but not essential, if you are computer savvy enough to manage them on your own.

  • Editor

  • Cover

  • Formatting

  • Marketing

What can you expect to spend on publishing your first book? As with all things, you get what you pay for, so depending on your budget, you can either spend a little or a lot - but what you invest will be reflected in the quality of your product. The good news about self-publishing is that nothing is cast in stone, so you can always go back later and replace a cover or re-edit a book (retailers like Amazon might insist you do this if your book does not meet their quality guidelines).

Reasonable pre-made covers can vary in price from $20 to about $200 (about R250 - R2,500) and custom covers from $100 to about $500 (R1,250 to R6,500). For a debut author, we wouldn't recommend spending more than R3,000 on your first cover, unless you're rolling in cash and desperate to spend it.

Editing will be your biggest expense by far. Editors can charge anywhere from 10c per word to 50c per word. At a typical novel length of about 65,000 words, you could be spending as much as R20,000 on an editor. For a first time author, you should definitely not be spending in excess of that amount. If your word counts are extremely high (over 100k words) then you should give some serious thought to cutting back on your book length before submitting to an editor.

 

There are cheaper editors available, but always shop around, check the editor's credentials and experience, don't go with the first editor you find, and don't go with someone just because they're cheap or fast. Beware vanity publishers who offer editing services but cannot back it up with referrals or quality work.

Below are a number of sites we recommend for those just starting out. There are many others, and we recommend you do your homework and research before you spend a single cent.

You can also ask for referrals and recommendations in the ROSA Facebook group or in the ROSA Forum, or in any of the other wonderful support groups for Indie authors on facebook, Kindle's forums, or the wider internet.

 
Editors and Proof Readers

Several ROSA members, listed below, offer editorial services. You can also check out the South African editors listed with SAFREA or PEG, however you should note that members of these two latter organisations do not necessarily specialise in or understand the conventions of genre fiction, especially Romance..

Tamsyn Bester

A BIS Publishing graduate from the University of Pretoria, Tamsyn is a freelance editor, and digital copywriter. 

Kathy Bosman

Based in Durban, Kathy is a long-time member of ROSA. She writes in a variety of genres, and freelances as an editor for Clean Reads.

Kim Hunter

Kim offers proof reading services through her company Tango with Text.

Suzanne Jefferies

Suzanne is a founding member of ROSA, and is able to assist with both developmental and copy editing, as well as writing coaching.

Zee Monodee

Formerly an editor for Decadent Publishing, Zee is now part of the team at Divas at Work.

Romy Sommer

HarperCollins author, writing coach and ROSA Chairperson Romy Sommer offers developmental and line editing services, and manuscript appraisals.

Please reload

 
Book Covers

There are loads of wonderful book cover designers out there, with prices ranging from affordable to eye-watering. But you get what you pay for! Check out the designer's portfolio before hiring, and ensure the designer knows the Romance market. If you can't afford a custom cover, there are also many designers who sell pre-made covers at very affordable prices. Here is just a small selection of our favourites.

Covers by Tallulah

Support local! South African cover designer Tallulah creates custom-designed covers for very reasonable costs, and also has a number of pre-made covers available.

Go On Write

Buy credits, then spend to your heart's content. This site features a wide range of covers in a variety of genres, and they often run sales.

The Book Cover Designer

With prices ranging from just $15 up to $500, this site really has something for everyone.

Romance Novel Covers Now

Devoted to covers for romance novels, this site also has sale items from only $20.

Please reload

 
Book Formatting Services

Tamsyn Bester

Tamsyn is an editor and book formatter.

Ashleigh Giannoccaro

Ashleigh offers formatting for both eBooks and print books at very reasonable prices.

Romy Sommer

Romy offers eBook formatting services only.

Please reload

Additional eBook Services

If words like formatting, uploading, keywords and metadata leave you cold, then you can hire an eBook service company to do all this for you. Below are South African companies which can assist with a variety of services, as well as a few websites that every indie author should know.

Blurb Butterfly

ROSA member Lelanie Watson is a book description make-over guru.

Kindle Direct Publishing

For those choosing to go it alone, Amazon's KDP Program is essential. Sign up for an account, follow the instructions, and voila! Your book can be available on the world's largest book store.

Draft2Digital

If you choose to 'go wide' rather than making your book exclusive to Amazon, then Draft2Digital is the easiest way to upload your eBooks to all the other major online retailers. A one-stop-shop, and easy to navigate.

Payoneer

Receiving payments from Amazon can be a painful process for South Africans, especially since Amazon does not pay via PayPal. We recommend Payoneer - you can use the account for payments from other retailers too, and withdrawals to South African bank accounts are quick and uncomplicated (though they require a minimum threshold of $200).

My eBook

If you want to self-publish but would rather pay someone to do everything rather than do it yourself, then My eBook can help.

Please reload