Alina Popescu, Writer

My First Self-Publishing Experience

My First Self-Publishing Experience
September 20
15:51 2013

As most of you know, I’ve recently self-published a fantasy short story, Pure Love of the Fallen. As this was a completely free short story that I’d written to reward my Facebook fans, I wanted to make it easier for them to get it online. Not just my website, but also other online venues.

I jumped right in with no proper research and no experience whatsoever. I did have a cool cover by the wonderful M.P. Revita, mind you. Snashwords was quite the challenge. After completely reformatting the word document and getting the copyright page just right, I still got error after error from their dreaded AutoVetter… It had to do with the cover. So I went over the requirements again and again. It had to be rectangular and it had to be at least 1400 pixels wide. Which it was.

When I was completely ready to give up, I tried something on a hunch and it worked out. The real issue? My cover wasn’t rectangulary enough… Just so you know, the ebook shows up on the website even if you have AutoVetter errors. The thing is, unless you fix them, it won’t get into the next stage of being reviewed by a human. Which means no inclusion in the Premium Catalog and no distribution to sites such as Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.

I then added the book on Goodreads and established my author account. Surprise, surprise, there was another Alina Popescu on Goodreads, a translator. I got that fixed, but my profile’s average rating still somehow includes hers. Bummer, cause the average rating displayed is 3.91, although my only distinct work has a 4.8 average. I guess I could email the people at Goodreads about it if I weren’t that lazy!

I wanted to publish the short story on Amazon as well, that’s how I found out you cannot publish something that’s free. You have to charge something. Wondering how there are so many permanent freebies on Amazon? Well it’s a workaround! That takes my back to my tech support days 😀 Pretty much you play Amazon’s policy of not providing something for a higher price than other competitors to your advantage. As it took a while to first get on B&N and the rest (it takes about 3 weeks for the human review on Smashwords and they might require changes), that got delayed quite a bit. I still plan on doing it, but I somehow feel uneasy to have the book up and running and charging for it.

The important lessons I’ve learned:

1. Smashwords is awesome and they provide you with a free ISBN for your ebook, no need to buy one.

2. While researching further, I found out Createspace does the same for print books, if you’re looking to self-publish.

3. *this was more of a re-learned lesson* Don’t jump head first! A little research is sometimes a life saver.

4. There are a lot of cool people willing to help spread the word and share your new release.

5. I have awesome friends online and offline and I love my readers.

6. I trust my writing a lot less than my readers do. I would literally feel sick every time there’d be a new review posted, fearing the worst. My readers would always surprise me with their enthusiasm and comments. I’ve blushed quite a lot ever since publishing it.

7. It really isn’t as hard as I’d imagined, but it’s not a two minute process either.

About Author

Alina Popescu

Alina Popescu

Related Articles


  1. SLM
    SLM September 21, 13:36

    I’m toying with the idea of self-publishing, but I always thought it was way too difficult to attempt on my own and far too expensive. You’ve given me food for thought.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Alina Popescu
    Alina Popescu Author September 21, 16:30

    It’s not exactly easy, especially when you want to release an ebook and a print version. It takes time, an initial investment, and… tons of patience and determination 🙂 It worked just fine for a short story.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Alen B Curtiss
    Alen B Curtiss September 21, 17:21

    Patience is definitely the name of the game. It’s all too easy, especially on Amazon, to press the shiny ‘Publish Now’ button without having checked everything properly. Check, check, and check again.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Alina Popescu
    Alina Popescu Author September 22, 08:18

    That’s true, Alen! Totally agree on checking everything thoroughly.

    Reply to this comment
  5. theBear
    theBear October 04, 06:27

    Loved it!

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment



Join my VIP Readers List