Diana Kuzmicheva, author of ‘Love, Space, and Something Else,’ in her own words.
“Wow! You published a book! Unbelievable, that must be so hard!” After I published my book, I heard it again and again. I used to be just as surprised. But looking back, publishing my book wasn’t truly as hard as people make it seem. After reading my story, you will understand why.
Some of the best ideas you have often come in the most unexpected of ways. You sit in your chair in your apartment, sipping a hot flowery tea, with your mind flowing somewhere there, between dreams and reality. And then “BANG”… I mean “BOOK.” That’s how the idea of publishing my book came from.
One year ago, I started to write my poetry. I didn’t write it for publishing; I wrote it for myself right in my private notes. It was in the midst of the global pandemic. Would you agree with me if I would say it was the best time to start?
I had plenty of time to analyze the things that had happened to me months earlier. These things couldn’t fit in my head, so I felt that I had to release my emotions and write about everything. In one year, I had more than one hundred poems written in my notes. When I reread them, I was surprised to see how powerful I found them. “What if I make a book?” I asked myself. The exact minute I started my research.
I found so much information, and the more I read, the more questions I had. Everything was new for me. I dropped myself in the sphere where I didn’t know anything, but I was so excited to learn about it all.
How can I name my book? What kind of cover would look better? What should I do to have my book published and printed? How can I minimize my expenses? What size should I choose? What kind of formatting should I use? Can I do it by myself? ISBN? What is it? To find my book in my arms, I had to find all the answers. I knew I could do it.
Let me tell you about my experience step by step.
Step #1: Realization
I was just a student, and I didn’t have so much money for my book production, so I opted for the cheapest method of publishing – self-publishing. I found some platforms that allow you to publish books by yourself and for free. I used two of them to start with: Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble Press. After I understood that I could publish my book despite my small budget, I began creating it.
Step #2: Content
From a hundred poems I have written, I chose those that I wanted to include in my book. They all were so different, but they all were an essential part of my story. Some of them I still wasn’t ready to show. I arranged them this way, so they would segue from one vibe to another, so a reader would follow the mood and feel the full range of emotions that poetry tends to provide.
Step #3: Naming the Book
Any book’s name represents a crucial aspect – it’s the first impression people will have of it, a glimpse of what the book will be about, and the feelings that it might evoke in readers. I felt a massive responsibility on my shoulders to my inner critic. I already had some options in my mind, but I asked some of my friends for advice. “Love, Space, and Something Else… Hmm, sounds really catchy,” they said. And that’s how the name of the book was chosen.
Step #4: Design
I am a visual learner; I want everything to look good, especially if it’s my art product. I contacted some people and found an artist on the same page with me from the first poem she read. After reading my poems, she could personally relate to both my and her story, so we built an immediate connection. Her drawings made me scream: “Yesss! Here it is!” Tanya Novikova, my artist, is from the city I lived in for five years, Saint Petersburg – one of the most beautiful cities in this world, full of art, love, and water. Her drawings gave my book color and made my poems visible.
Step #5: Cover
I was also planning to find somebody to make a good cover for me, but first of all, I wanted to experiment by myself. I opened Cava Pro and started to test a few designs around. I did it just for fun, but I actually ended up liking my creation. So I sent it to my close friends and asked for their honest opinion. They liked it a lot, so I decided to stay with it.
Step #6: ISBN
International Standard Book Number. I had to read a lot to understand how I am supposed to use it. In simple terms, that’s a unique number that can be used just for one book and one type of edition. This number can be given while publishing on different platforms, but you will share the rights with this platform as a result. If you want to save all your rights, you will have to buy the numbers from the official website. Unfortunately, you will have to spend some money on it. This part was the most expensive for me in my book production.
Step #7: Formatting
Amazon and Barnes & Noble require different formatting for electronic and paperback books. So I started to learn about formatting. I tried to do it by myself, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough knowledge for it. I wanted my book to look like a team of professionals was working on it, but I had to be wise about my limited budget.
I was advised by my friend to check Fiverr. It was my first time using it, and I don’t regret it. I found a person who had about sixty good reviews and I worked with him for about a month. Yeah, it took me longer than I thought, but we needed some time to understand each other.
For instance, the first draft he sent to me was completely the opposite of what I actually wanted. So I tried to explain myself clearly again and again, and the second time, I got almost everything I wanted. Together, we then chose a font and a page decoration. He sent me the final versions of the e-book format and paperback format and helped me upload them.
After publishing the book, I was able to order some author’s copies. The price of the author’s manuscript is equal to the price for book printing, plus I had to pay for tax and delivery. From Amazon, I was waiting for my books for two weeks. For some reason, the buyers even got their books faster. From Barnes & Noble, my books came in seven days. I was surprised by the quality of the printing.
I was happy. I took the courage to write my book. Today, I am proud to say that I’m a published writer. Now, you know, you can be too!
You can buy Diana Kuzmicheva’s book “Love, Space, and Something Else” in Barnes and Noble and Amazon.