I am poised to self-publish in the next few weeks. Here’s what I have learned so far.
1. Get a JW edit (3 weeks)
2. Re-write as required (6 months)
3. Ask two creative friends for cover designs (nada)
4. Play around with CAVA myself to design cover. Three atempts. (1 month)
5. Use reader friends to gauge reaction to the title. Three changes!
6. Post Beta draft on Bookfunnel. 15 friends and colleagues read and gave useful feedback (1 month)
7. Attend JW Festival of Writers and find an interested Agent (2 days)
8. Agent gets new job (no longer an agent). ☹
9. Send submission to 6 more agents (6 weeks, no response)
10. Start to learn Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and load up and review e-book. Great fun and surprisingly easy (1 day). Start to feel real!
11. Wrestle with formatting a print book. Takes much longer (3 days). Have 3 attempts at formatting and buying a few copies of print preview copies. This cost less than £3 per book and copies arrived in UK, printed in Poland, in around 5 days. Third attempt, got it right! Brilliant to hold a physical copy.
12. Prepare marketing strategy. (More later).
13. Bite the bullet and press the button Watch this space.
In summary you probably need to allow 2-3 months beyond final draft to get everything ready. But unless you know how to promote your book, then it will be struggle. Look at the excellent JW videos on this aspect.