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HomeCalendarOnline Class: Self-Publishing 101 with Instructor Abigail Drake

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Online Class: Self-Publishing 101 with Instructor Abigail Drake

Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 7:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Dan E Arndt
Online Classes
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Available Slots:

All Pennwriters Courses are conducted in a “live” presentation format utilizing the Zoom platform. If a conflict arises based on the required meeting times, please contact the instructor and Online Courses Coordinator to find a possible solution. ALL sessions will be recorded.

4 recorded 1-hour Zoom sessions, Tuesdays, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
4 assignments (one per week)

Description: Are you intrigued by the idea of self-publishing, but don’t know where to start? Are you a traditionally published author who wants to rerelease a previously published book on your own? Never fear. Abigail Drake is here to take you by the hand and teach you step-by-step how to do it, and it’s not really as scary or as difficult as you might think. 

In this course, we will:

1. Make sure your book is ready to be self-published.
2. Evaluate editors and cover artists.
3. Create a Kindle Direct Press account.
4. Build your Author Central page.
5. Analyze the merits of Kindle Unlimited.
6. Discuss going wide, and what it could mean for your books.
7. Dive into the merits of IngramSpark.
8. Learn about copyrights and ISBNs.
9. Work on blurbs, bios, and formatting.
10. Decide when and how to hit that magic “publish” button.

Week One: Get Ready: Taking the First Steps Toward Self-Publishing

The first step toward self-publishing is often the scariest. This week we’ll talk about the pros and cons of self-publishing, and whether or not this might be right for you. We’ll also discuss preparing your manuscript for self-publishing, and what is involved. We’ll talk about editors (developmental, line editors, copy editors, and proofreaders), and we’ll discuss finding and working with a cover artist.

Week Two: Get Set: Preparing For Success 

This week we’ll make sure you have a KDP account and build your Author Central Page. We’ll discuss the benefits of KU, and we’ll also cover what it means to “go wide” (and whether or not it’s right for you). In addition, we’ll talk about IngramSpark, and other resources, like Draft2Digital.

Week Three: Almost There: Putting Your Book On KDP

During week three, we’ll go step-by-step on how to put your manuscript up on KDP. We’ll talk about choosing your genres and keywords. We’ll discuss the back cover blurb. We’ll do troubleshooting and learn about using Vellum for formatting. Last (but not least), we’ll also go over pricing, preorders, and distribution.

Week Four: Go: Publishing Your Book 

After you hit the magic “publish” button, what happens? In this lesson, we’ll discuss next steps. We’ll touch on marketing your new book baby, and I’ll show you some tools I love to use. We’ll talk about things like newsletters, your online presence, and how to promo your book without being annoying. We'll also talk about where to invest your marketing buck, and what might not be worth your time.

Customer Benefits/Takeaways:
Detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on self-publishing.
An understanding of the whole process
A list of resources
Instructor feedback on exercises

About the Instructor: 

Abigail Drake is the award-winning author of twenty-one novels, but she didn’t start her career in writing. She majored in Japanese and economics in college, and spent years traveling the world, collecting stories wherever she visited. She collected a husband from Istanbul on her travels, too, and he is her favorite souvenir.

Abigail is a coffee addict, a puppy wrangler, and the mother of three adult sons. She writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and young adult fiction, and has taught workshops for many different writing organizations. In her spare time, she blogs about her dog, Capone, and teaches in the writing and publishing program at Lincoln Park Performing Arts High School.

In 2019, Abigail was awarded an honorable mention for her book "Love, Chocolate, and a Dog Named Al Capone" in the Writer's Digest Self-Published E-book Awards. She is the winner of the 2017 Prism Award for her book "Traveller", the International Digital Award for her young adult novel, "Tiger Lily", and the Stiletto Contest for "Love, Chocolate, and a Dog Named Al Capone." In addition, she was named a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

Abigail is represented by Lauren Bieker of FinePrint Literary Management and she is the cofounder of Romancing Your Muse ( For more information, visit her website at

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