Dan Fiore had never attempted publishing until his aunt, Charlotte Fiore Gizzi, asked him to look into self-publishing to help with her first book, a novella titled "September Tempest."
What Mr. Fiore, 27, of Greenfield discovered surprised him. Everything involved in a self-published book -- from manufacturing to shipping -- is taken care of to make publishing "very simple and easy to do," he said.
From start to finish, the author did not have to pay any money up front. Ms. Fiore Gizzi will pay fees from her book's sales.
Mr. Fiore, a copywriter for American Eagle Outfitters, used CreateSpace, an Amazon company. First, he electronically submitted the manuscript.
Within days, CreateSpace returned the formatted version in the requested size for Mr. Fiore's approval.
An author may create a cover with the free online tool or, for a fee, work with the service's design team to design a cover.
Ms. Fiore Gizzi's cover was designed by her niece, Jillian Anderson of New Holland, Lancaster County.
Other optional services are available.
Once final approval is secured, the book is posted on amazon.com for purchase within five to seven days. It is also available as an e-book.
The author determines the list price, and Amazon retains a percentage plus fixed charges and a per-page charge for higher page counts.
As an example, a 184-page black-and-white book purchased for $8.99 would result in an author's royalty of $2.34.
Mr. Fiore said he believes self-publishing would be second nature to an author.
"If you have the patience to write a book, you will have the patience to go through this process," he said.
-- Margaret Smykla