Table of Contents
- Keep reading to find out how to do it.
- Step 1: What Publishing a Book Yourself Really Means
- Step 2: Deciding If Self-Publishing Is Right for You
- Step 3: Write Your Book
- Step 4: Get Feedback on Your Work
- Step 5: Choose a Book Title
- Step 6: Edit Your Book
- Step 7: Format Your Book
- Step 8: Design a Book Cover
- Step 9: Get an ISBN Number
- Step 10: Copyright Your Book
- Step 11: Proofread
- Step 12: Work on Your Metadata
- Step 13: Price Your Book
- Step 14: Publish Your Book
- Step 15: Marketing
- Publishing a Book Yourself
Do you dream of seeing your book on sale for the world to enjoy?
More than 80% of Americans would like to be an author, are you one of them?
Are you wondering how to make your dream a reality?
Publishing a book yourself could be the way to make it happen.
Keep reading to find out how to do it.
Step 1: What Publishing a Book Yourself Really Means
Self-publishing is an independent route, without the use of a traditional publishing house.
You are the one that takes your final draft through the publishing process until your book is on sale. You are responsible for writing, editing, designing and selling your book. You are also responsible for the costs involved in this process, and any profits will be completely dependent on your book sales.
Step 2: Deciding If Self-Publishing Is Right for You
Is publishing a book yourself the right thing to do?
It is for many authors. In 2018, there were 1.6 million self-published books.
There are many benefits of self-publishing. You don’t have to search and wait for the approval of a publishing house. You also have more control over your book, as you’ll be making all of the decisions.
However, it is important to consider the challenges involved. You will have to spend a significant amount of time and money taking your book through the publishing process. Remember that you don’t have any guarantee of income at the end of the process; your profits will be completely dependent on the amount you’ve spent vs. book sales.
If you think that self-publishing could be right for you, then keep reading to find out what you need to do.
Step 3: Write Your Book
No book can be published unless it’s finished.
This can seem like an overwhelming task. Feelings of frustration, procrastination and writer’s block are natural.
The best way to make sure that you’re making progress is to develop a writing process.
Write down your ideas and create an outline to help guide your writing. Make sure you work consistently, in a space where you feel comfortable and focused. Try to create your own goals and deadlines, and work productively to meet them.
Step 4: Get Feedback on Your Work
Try to get as much feedback on your writing as you can. The earlier in the process, the better.
Sometimes, as an author, you can get too close to your work. You need to make sure that your writing makes sense to other people. Plus, fresh eyes can help to identify any mistakes and can give a new perspective on your draft.
Step 5: Choose a Book Title
A book title is incredibly important. This is what will encourage people to actually read your book once it’s published.
It’s a good idea to decide on your title after you’ve finished your first draft. This way, your title will reflect the book that you’ve written.
Try to keep your title short and simple. You want it to be easy for readers to remember and repeat. The title should be intriguing and give readers an idea of what they can expect from your book.
Step 6: Edit Your Book
Editing can make or break your book. It’s an essential and crucial part of the publishing process.
Editing makes sure that your book is as strong as possible, and that it gives your reader something valuable. This is more than just checking grammar and spelling; this is the review of your book as a whole.
It can be a good idea to hire somebody to edit your book. This could be a professional book editor or a more budget-friendly freelancer.
Step 7: Format Your Book
If you want readers to take your book seriously, it needs to look like a serious book.
Chapter headings, page numbers, typeface, margins, and spaced text are all extremely important visual aspects of your book. If these aren’t right, you’ll lose readers.
Remember that formatting will be different for fiction and non-fiction books. Make sure that your book is following the standard formatting for its genre.
It’s also important to choose the size of your book during the formatting process, as this will affect the layout.
Make sure that any illustrations have been created, and included in the layout of your book. You’ll need permission for any photographs or images that you’re using that don’t belong to you.
Step 8: Design a Book Cover
One of the most important elements of your book is its cover.
Everyone judges an actual book by its cover. This is what readers will see first, and it’s what they will use to decide if they want to find out more.
It’s important that your book cover is professional, captures your readers’ attention and stands out from other options.
It should be relatively simple. If too much is going on, it becomes unclear and could overwhelm potential readers. The title should be easy to see so that people can understand more about what your book is about.
If possible, it’s best to hire a professional book cover designer. They have the talent and knowledge to design what you need.
Step 9: Get an ISBN Number
It’s a good idea to get an ISBN number for your book. This is essential if you’re having it printed, and is a good idea even if you’re only publishing your book digitally. (There’s more about this in step 14).
An ISBN is a 13-digit International Standard Book Number. It is unique to every book and identifies the book’s language, publisher and title.
If you’re publishing a book in the United States, you can purchase an ISBN for your book through Bowker.
If you’re publishing your book digitally, check what your digital platform offers. Some automatically give you an ISBN number or allow you to get one for free.
Step 10: Copyright Your Book
It is essential that you copyright your book. That way, no one else can take credit for your work.
You can do this quickly and easily on the United States Copyright Office website.
Step 11: Proofread
Once you’ve worked on the manuscript, the layout and the book cover, as well as the technical information that needs to be included, it’s time to make sure that everything is perfect. This is the last chance to make any changes.
It’s a good idea to print out a copy of your book. That way, you can go through it and make sure that you’re happy with everything. Look at your spelling and grammar, as well as the placement of text and images.
Step 12: Work on Your Metadata
Metadata is just the information that defines your book online; the description, keywords, and category.
It is the description that your readers will see, and the keywords and categories that will help them find your book.
When you’re writing your description, try to grab your potential readers’ attention with an exciting start, and end with a cliffhanger or a hint.
Step 13: Price Your Book
The next step is to decide how much you’ll sell your book for.
It’s a good idea to market it for a smaller amount when it launches. For example, you could begin by selling it for $0.99.
Increase the price gradually, and measure how well it’s selling. When you see sales begin to dip, you know that it is slightly too expensive. You should then be able to find the cost that guarantees book sales while making the most profit possible.
Step 14: Publish Your Book
Now it’s finally time to publish your book.
You can publish your book online through a variety of different platforms including Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Press and Apple Books. Most of these online platforms have user-friendly upload processes.
Be sure to take a look at the different platforms available, and find the best one for you.
You may prefer to print your book and have hard copies to sell in stores.
Contact a range of printers, bearing in mind the costs for printing and shipping. Choose a printer that is right for you.
It’s a good idea to ask your printer to provide references and to print a sample before going ahead with your entire order. That way you can review their work and – if you’re happy – ask them to continue.
Take a look at these book printing services, and see if they’re right for you.
Step 15: Marketing
Now you have a book to sell.
First, make sure that you have a strong marketing plan.
Reach out to reviewers and other authors. They have a huge effect on book sales and will show people that your work is worth reading.
Use all forms of marketing available to you. Set up a mailing list and email people, announce the publication on your website, post on social media, and ask to guest post on other people’s channels and blogs. Run promotions, giveaways and offer prizes to people who buy your book.
Publishing a Book Yourself
Publishing a book yourself isn’t easy, but that’s why it’s worth it. Follow these 15 steps, and see your dream become a reality.
Take a look at our other tips for bringing in business, and advancing your chosen career.