How to Self-Publish a Book in Five Billion Easy Steps ~ Outside the Margins with Shae Connor

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Shae Connor goes Outside the Margins today.


When I decided a few months ago to try out the self-publishing thing, I figured I was in a pretty good position to handle it. I’d been published for a while, I had contacts in the industry, and I had fairly good knowledge about the publishing process from my day job. Yeah, it would be a little extra work, but it should be fun!

Famous. Last. Words.

The first part of the process—writing the book—went as well as it ever does, which is to say, in fits and starts. But I got it written, took the time to reread and revise it, and then sent it off to my editor.

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention the part about hiring an editor, didn’t I? Well, I hired an editor. I know a few who do freelance work, so I checked rates and then emailed my first to schedule slots. That had to be done months in advance of when I’d actually need the work, of course. Editors usually work for at least one publisher in addition to their freelance work (and often write as well), so they plan far ahead. Thankfully, she had room for a novella in the time slots I needed.

So I scheduled (for all three planned novellas) with my editor, put down a deposit, and then when the story was done, I sent her the final file and the final payment. She sent the file back within a few days, and I went through her (excellent) comments to make the changes she suggested. Then I sent off the revised file to a couple of friends for beta reads.

Meanwhile, I got the cover art done. Well, actually, that started before I finished writing the story. I searched for the artists I wanted to contact, sent out requests for quotes, waited for responses, and then weighed all the variables before settling on an artist and putting down a deposit. I then sent off my cover images (again, for all three planned novellas) and went back to work on the story.

By the time the story had been revised after the beta readers, I had cover art! Well, I had four versions of cover art, and I had to choose just one (SO HARD!) and then give the okay to finalize everything. I sent in the final payment and got all three shiny new files (pets the pretties), and I scheduled a cover reveal post. That’s also the point at which I settled on a release date and uploaded the story to Amazon for preorder.

Then I got to work sending out review copies. Most sites want MOBI, EPUB, or PDF files, but I didn’t have the final versions ready to send to a professional formatter yet (though I had by then lined one up). So I downloaded Calibre and used it to create the review files. I sent out review requests or review copies to several dozen sites, following up with those who came back with other requests.

After that, I sent the file off to the formatter. While he was working, though, a few more corrections came in, and with everything else I had going on at the time, I decided to hire a proofreader to double-check everything behind me. It was an expense I hadn’t planned for, but it was worth it to me to make sure the final files were clean. I talked to a friend who agreed to do the job, and once I had that back, I sent those corrections to the formatter.

And the formatter sent me back shiny new files! I was done, right?

Not so fast!

I’d sent the original file to Amazon, but I still had to upload the final version (at least 10 days before the release date). I also needed to send the book to AllRomance, and I’d decided to use Draft2Digital for distribution to other sites. That required a couple of rounds to fix some coding issues with one of the files, but eventually all was okay and I was REALLY done.

Except now I have a newly released book to promote. And oh yeah: novella #2 is written and through the initial edit, but the revise/proof/format/upload/promote process for that one is still ahead.

And I have novella #3 to write.

And I also decided to do a fourth novella, which means another cover and another editing slot and allllllll that other process again.

Fun? Well, okay. That’s one word I’d use for it…

~Shae Connor


Title: Rhythm & Blues
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 06/20/2016
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Romance, Romance


When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.

After a knee injury ended his career, Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins limped his way back from New York to Atlanta to implement Plan B: open a dance academy to train the next generation of song-and-dance dreamers. When model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson answers his request for an estimate on renovating his studio space, Pate hits pay dirt in more ways than one. As construction gets underway, the red-hot attraction between the two men flares, and soon they develop a fledgling relationship. Then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back, and he has to choose between the dream he left behind and the new life he’s building—with his studio, and with Ace.


Rhythm & Blues on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

About Shae Connor

Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at or visit her website at

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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