Ahi Keleher Novels

Ahi Keleher


Self-Publishing FAQ

What is Self-Publishing?

Self-Publishing is the "indie" alternative for authors to get around the hoops and fuss of trying to wrangle a publisher.  There are pros and cons to both approaches to getting a book out to market.  I've outlined just a few below.

Traditional Publishing
Traditional Publishing
 -Professional support
-"Big" name backing your work -
makes it more legitimate to some
-Design assistance/resources
-Marketing assistance
-Difficult to get a publisher, takes more time & expect rejection
-They take big commissions
-Give up control
-Cheap start-up cost
-Keep majority of sales $
-Retain total control
-Publish on your time, minimal waiting
-Marketing is all on you
-May need to seek editors & cover designers yourself
-Depending upon the platform you use, some stores may refuse to carry your books

How do I Self-Publish?

Self-Publishing is a remarkably easy undertaking.  All it takes is some word document know-how and connections to people with designing skills, if you need help with that.  Self-Publishing can be broken down into a couple simple pieces:

*Write the manuscript.

*Edit the manuscript for content, grammar, spelling, plot flow, etc. (If this is not your strong suit, I highly recommend engaging the services of a professional editor.  I edit all my own work and offer editing services.)

*Compose an "elevator pitch" for your book.  Think of what you will put on the back cover and listings to grab the attention of potential readers.  (Again, I suggest going to outside sources for help with this.)

*Think up a couple ideas for cover designs.  Contact someone who offers professional cover design services.  Trust me, a good cover is worth the expense.

*Format your text according to the guidelines of the publishing platform you are using.  These are available in the help files on the publishing site.

I have published all of my novels without spending a penny.  I am fortunate enough to have the skills needed to cover all of the above points.  This is the most ideal scenario for self-publishing, but even if you have to pay for services, you still will probably spend less than going thru a traditional publisher.

You mentioned a "Publishing Platform" - what is that?

Publishing platforms are the websites used to self-publish novels.

The most well-known and most popular one is Createspace.com (an Amazon company.)  This is the platform I use and I have only good things to say about my experiences with the site itself.  The only caution I have for writers thinking of using Createspace is that I have had smaller bookstores refuse to carry my titles because they were published thru Amazon's company.  There is a battle between the large online retailer and small bookstores, so I can see where they are coming from.  www.createspace.com

The only other platform I have any first-hand knowledge of is Lulu.com.  As I recall it was simple enough to use.  The benefit Lulu has over Createspace is that you can get hardcover copies from them.  www.lulu.com

How long does it take to Self-Publish?

That all depends on you!  My fastest concept-to-publish rate is 6 months.  But remember to take whatever time is needed to make your book the best it can be - in the long run the extra wait will be worth it!


SP-Focal is a brand new group created for the documentation and advertising of quality self-published works.  Authors may submit their works to be listed on this online catalogue for those interested in self-published works to browse.  Since marketing is always tricky with self-publishing, this platform has a lot of potential if we can grow it!