Once I complete my written and edited manuscript, it will go to my beta readers. While it’s in their hands, that will free me up for a few background tasks.
I have to build the digital book, including metadata and different file formats
It’s not just going to be a matter of making an .epub file, (or .mobi and .pdf). There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, including obtaining an ISBN. There’s a few different sites that offer all this information and can even help build it. I’ll review these options once I reach that stage. First I need a polished, ready to go manuscript.
I have to research, choose and learn to use a store-based website.
Even though for the moment I have one novel in its final stages, there’s another hot on the heels (a co-authored vampire romance). It would be wise to set up everything from the start rather than being forced to change it later. I’m looking at long term websites and am currently leaning towards Squarespace because I love their crisp designs, it looks easy to use and maintain and supports blogs and stores (among other things).
I have to research, choose and learn to use email management software.
As I intend to send a serialised novel (chapter by chapter) to subscribers until the book goes ‘live’, I’ll have to figure out the best engine for this. I don’t want to be sending emails manually to subscribers, especially if someone subscribes after the first few have been sent. Definitely want this to be automated.
I’m skipping a few details, but these three points are the big picture and each have quite a bit of work behind them. I’m also looking at and considering on-demand print books as an option also, using createspace which is an Amazon company. There are a plethora of options for the indie publisher at this point in time… a very exciting time.