OK, I'm now fully committed to self-publishing. My "Pyrate Series" is on the verge of ready. But first, I wanted to take a test drive. I've been working on a family history book for years, so I thought - why not self-publish a couple of family branches as a paperback, on Amazon.
I signed up for an account on Kindle Direct Publishing and played with Kindle Create. They have a decent tutorial to walk you through the process. It seemed simple enough. I made the process even simpler by choosing to upload a pdf file that's already set up for 8 1/2 x 11. (I wouldn't do that for my novels but it actually works for this kind of book.) I already had a jpeg file as a cover image (created by combining pictures on MS PowerPoint and then snipping them into a jpeg). So far, so good...I have the cover image and the file all set.
For some reason, I couldn't figure out how to insert "About the Author" text on the back cover. So all I have there is an image. But what the heck, it's just for family members anyway. I selected the paper quality (high-end). They showed a cost price of just under $12. I set the retail price at Amazon's minimum for this partcular book ($19.99 USD) and then submitted. The whole process took less than two hours. That was yesterday.
Today I received an email from Amazon - the book is now available for purchase. I signed on, found the book and ordered a few copies. They're scheduled to arrive Tuesday (2 days hence).
So...self-publishing is NOT the hard part. Marketing and selling...that's where the rubber hits the road. That planning is now underway for my Pyrate Series novels. I'd love to get the debut novel to market in time for Christmas purchases. Cross your fingers.