First step to becoming an ‘indie’ publisher is to make a plan. Things won’t go to plan (they didn’t in my case) but sitting down and writing down the steps required, plus some idea of how long each stage will take, will help you keep you on track, even when the motivation drains away.
So what are the phases in ‘indie’ publishing? Very basically, I would split them into these:
(1) Building a support community.
(2) Writing the manuscript.
(3) Preparing the manuscript for publication.
(4) Decision making about how to ‘indie’ publish.
(5) Formatting the manuscript for publication.
(6) Design of cover.
It is possible, of course, to do all this completely on your own. I would advise against it. If you start by building a supportive community of other writers and ‘indies’ (eg through joining writing groups/classes, going to/volunteering at literature festivals and on-line) then you will be able to call on support and gain insight, information and feedback, via mutual give-and-take with your writing peers.
I would also suggest that there will be moments when you want to pay for professional assistance. This would be possible at any of the seven stages (yes, you could even pay a ghost-writer for stage two, if you wish). By making an honest assessment of where your skills and energies lie, you should be able to work out where best to put your money. It might be wise as well, to have in mind a budget of what you are prepared to spend, since, as with weddings, it’s possible to shell-out an awful lot without necessarily getting value for money.
Personally, my money went on creating a publishing identity, proof-reading and promotion. I will explain my decisions as I go through the ‘indie’ publishing steps in my blog posts to come. My next blog post on ‘indie’ publishing will be January 5th 2015. Meanwhile, do look at my novel, ‘The Art of the Imperfect, the first of a series of crime novels set in Scarborough, http://goo.gl/5r9WBv.