Guest Post: Adventures in Self-Publishing with Cedric Cross

I’m Cedric Cross here at POD, Self Publishing & Independent Publishing and I’d like to explain a little how the process of self-publishing has worked for me. But first, I’d like to explain a little about myself and my novel. Enjoy!
I first began writing at age twelve about some boys and their journey through life after running away from home. I quickly dropped this, so I would hardly give me credit if I were you! The next time I picked up writing again was at age sixteen, and this was the start to my current novel, which is at the editing process of publication.
It began for me one summer morning when I woke up having had an extreme urge to write about a character I had imagined when I was younger. I had no idea it was going to take me on this wonderful ride of writing and deep imagination. For some reason, the whole first chapter came to me in full form. This was the true beginning of a thing I had long dreamed of; publication. It took me about two days to write out the first chapter and develop a strong plot. Then over the next year and a half I wrote, imagined beautiful landscapes and characters, wrote and wrote some more. Of course I had varsity football, work and school, and so there was not always time for me to write, but there was always time for me to plot. A few things I tossed out, but the majority I kept; and the final novel? Currently, it is being edited by the self-publishing company I decided to go with, Xlibris. I’ll go into detail soon, but allow me to introduce to you a novel I have truly loved writing.
“Embarking on a dangerous mission assigned by his well respected master, Kaveri Asben’s skills as a martial artist, as well as his character as a person will be pushed to the limit when he encounters an assassin who very well could be the man who murdered his parents six years previous. The important question is not whether Kaveri will survive the mission or not, but whether or not he will betray the honorable way and lose himself as he knows by changing forever into something he has long despised;  an assassin himself.”
Confused? Don’t worry, I’ll explain. This is the paragraph I plan to use on the back flap of my published novel and hopefully it catches your attention enough to read a few sample pages.
On a scale from one to ten, I would give the difficulty of writing this novel an 8 because of football and school and also because I wanted to make sure that I edited it enough to where there was a feeling of closure to the ending.
I began the self publishing process on this novel just a week ago and it has gone smoothly. I am contacted regularly by Xlibris, the self publishing company, and updated on the process of my novel.
The process begins by getting a call from a consultant and they get your name on file and then it continues by working out the money. (Of course!) Then he or she will get you started with the submission, and from there, a submission representative will contact you and send a huge form you have to fill out as well as the services you are ordering. There are a few different services and they fit almost anyone’s budget. The more you pay the more you get. With my service, which was the $2,999 service, I get quite a few more features than the low-priced one, which I believe costs $499. You can choose to pay in installments over a three month period. So, if your budget is tight, this can definitely cut you a break. Some of the great features of my package are the 200,000 person mailing list, and what this does is send the release of your novel to 200,000 emails of people who specifically signed up for news about releases of books in your genre, so it reaches your target audience. There is also a release to 100 media outlets and I get 60 complimentary copies of my book to dish out to friends and family, or even to sell! I’m just scratching the surface, but there is information on the website, www.xlibris.com.
Back to the process; after completing this form, you can choose to email it or send it by regular mail. I prefer scanning and emailing it. Also what the submission representative requests is an author photo, which is the photo on the back of your novel, a biography, a book summary, your completed manuscript and any images you want to put on the novel, such as your own book cover. And to that, if you have the package I have, you get to speak with an interior and cover designer about the design for……well, the interior layout and the cover! Exciting! After I submitted all of these things, I had a choice between having my novel edited by them or move it straight to production. I chose to have it edited because I don’t want to be over-confident in my novel and then it is published with all kinds of mistakes, ha-ha! This process takes roughly three weeks and right now I am just patiently waiting. After the editing I will speak with the designers! So far, the self publishing experience has been great. It builds all kinds of anticipation, but at the same time, it’s a great rush of adrenaline because you know you are so close to finally being published! Phew!
I would highly recommend self-publishing to any author who wants their book in print. There is nothing wrong with self-publishing at all. The reason I chose to self-publish is because—why wait? There is no contract I have to sign with the company I chose, so if an agent or big name publishing company wants to pick me up, then I am free to go. At least with self-publishing there is a much higher chance of getting discovered then having it saved as a document on your computer.
I hope to update frequently and thank you for reading! This is just the beginning so anyone needing advice or help, I will offer anything I can to help. Hope to see you back!
Cedric Cross is a writer from San Antonio, Texas. At eighteen, he has already written his first fantasy/YA novel, The Black Eagle, soon-to-be published with Xlibris. Join Cedric here regularly as he discusses his experience of self-publishing and writing.

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