Self publish a book?! Are you crazy??
Is it going to be easy? It can be with the right choices and guidance. Following this guide will help ease your anxiety so you can self publish a beautiful looking book that people will enjoy reading.
Self Publish the book you've been wanting to create but didn't think you'd be able to
It's never been easier to self publish a book. If you will resist the urge to cut wrong corners to save a few bucks, you can create an excellent product that you can be proud of for the rest of your life.
The benefit of using a vanity publisher is that you get a published book without having to figure out the details of the publishing industry or finding freelance professionals you can trust.
Our Self Publishing Guide is here to help walk you through your self publishing concerns
First off you must ask yourself... Is self publishing the right choice?
What you need to decide first when self-publishing a book, is WHY you want to write a book. We encourage you to go through a brainstorming process as it’s the only way to ensure that you are fully committed to writing a book.
There are substantial benefits and hurdles to both traditional and vanity publishing. Before you decide which route to go, be sure to weigh your options.
- Are you an entrepreneur or freelancer with a new business trying to get a leg up on your competition by publishing a book?
- Want to leverage your skills and knowledge to become a paid speaker or coach?
- Is your business well established so you are ready to to write a book to diversify your income streams and land speaking engagements?
- Do you already have a successful story, and want to build an asset that will share the knowledge and skills you’ve gained over decades of experience?
Self publishing will give you total freedom, but there will be some up front costs. The other side to this is that the book is 100% yours and depending on the choices you make, you will keep whatever revenue it produces.
Now the fun part...Writing Your Book
Hopefully the brainstorming session mentioned earlier went well for you and now you are able to write your manuscript. Don't get to down on yourself if writer's block creeps in. Lucky for you we can provide help here too. Check out our help suggestions for writer's block. The key is: don't get too frustrated, it's normal. Take a break if you need to. Relax your mind for a bit. Work on something else... the words will eventually return.
Just know that it does get easier. Writing a book will probably be the hardest step for you on this wonderful journey.
Here’s are some more effective ways to develop the writing process:
Create a calendar. The best way to have your book complete is to have a calendar that schedules your goals.
Create an outline. An outline is like a map of your book that provides direction to your story. It keeps you on track and ensures that your ideas are organized.
Create a writing routine. Condition yourself to write every day. With this practice, it will soon become a habit that will make writing a book automatic.
Write the best book you can write. If this part of the process takes a little big longer than you planned, its okay. It's better to have a solid 1st draft manuscript that'll need a few touch ups or edits. Also just having a good feeling about your overall work will do wonders for the next steps in the process of self publishing your book. Your manuscript is the foundation, so make sure it's strong before proceeding.
Using an Editor
As much as you'll think your manuscript is final draft ready, trust us when we say... IT'S NOT!!! In no way is this a knock on you, your writing ability, your ego, your pride or even your education. It's just a fact that there will be errors that need to be corrected long before it goes off to the printer. Even the well known authors need editors too. I'm sure their editors have some behind the scenes horror stories to tell from their time working on great books of literary art ever written.
We want your book to look the best in every regard so for every book we work on, we run the manuscript by our professional editors. It's totally up to you if you'd rather use your own editor to make the proper changes. If you don't have one, we'll gladly set you up with one of our own.
In general though, even if you send us your "ready to go manuscript" we'll still let one of our editors go through and give it the final "okay" before we're ready to send it off to get printed. It's just better to have as many sets of eyes on your book as possible. Once it's printed, it's printed.
Do you know why self-publishing has gotten such a bad rap? Because some authors do shoddy work — both in writing and design. We've seen this pop up more and more because of the various pop-up publishers out there that offer cheap deals that in turn, produce a cheap end product.
Don’t let your neighbor's cousin's dog sitter design a cover for you that looks reeks of clip art. A book is definitely judged by it's cover. People will look at a book cover's design and quickly decide if it's worth investigating more. That's just the way most of us are wired. If your book doesn’t look professional, no one will take it seriously.
Just like with editing. This can be something that you go out and find your own professional graphics designer or you can work with one of ours. More info on our Book Cover Design Services
Formatting Your Self-Published Book
It might not seem glamorous but book and cover layout is a very important part of the process. Choosing the right person is key. I'm sure you've run into issues while trying to format an email to look a certain way, or creating a flyer for a side project. Now just imagine having to layout a 200+ page book that can be made available in different book formats.
Formatting can be a frustrating experience for the uninitiated. It's best to leave it to the professionals who have experience laying out various types of books.
Self publishing doesn't consist of just physical books anymore
Will you go print, eBook, or both?
We suggest both... depending on something we'll touch on later on which is distribution. The option of only creating an eBook is cheaper in regards to not having to print out physical copies. The previous book creation steps will still apply though. You will still have to write a manuscript, edit it and create a cover design.
It is wise to pay a professional to do the eBook formatting for you. We have experience with this: eBook Conversion
Once an eBook is create there are multiple places to upload the file to and start selling it including through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Pricing Your Book
One of the most important decisions when it comes to self-publishing a book is how to price it. The most common question we get from new writers is, “How much should my book cost?”
For physical copies of their books, we tell our authors to formulate the cost it took to make each book. Quick math formula... how much did you invest into this adventure? Divide that by how many books you are having printed. Sweet spot is under $5 a book. That's your break even number and gives you wiggle room for your overall asking price.
We suggest researching the pricing of similar books in your genre/niche. More than likely you're looking at about a 3 to 4x markup over the break even number. That markup will also give you flexibility to lower the pricing at times and give deals to your customers.
This is another aspect that choosing an eBook format might make you take a different perspective. With less overhead and bigger sales potential, eBooks are generally priced a bit lower than physical copies.
With either self publishing versions, an ISBN will be given. For more info: check out our ISBN page.
It's about time to put it all together
Hopefully after just a few trips back and forth to the editor, your final draft is ready to go. Along with your final book cover design and approved book layout, your final draft will be sent to our printer. A blueline will be created. This is a version of what your book will look like. This is the final time to go through and find any mistakes and make sure everything lines up and that pictures are in the correct place.
Once you sign off on it, it's set up with the printer and your books will be sent off to the press. This by far is our favorite part of the process. We feel proud of your work. We feel even prouder knowing how good you will be once you see your dream of self publishing has become a reality.
Tell EVERYONE and make it easy to find you and your book
Maybe your neighbor's cousin's dog sitter wasn't the best option to help with book cover design but you should certainly let them know that you just self published your own book. There are millions of books out there and more self published ones hitting the market every day. The best way to get noticed is by making yourself get noticed. In this day and age, it's easier now more than ever to reach millions of people without even having to leave your house or get out of your pajamas.
Use social media to your advantage. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc are all great places to broadcast your new creation. Much like new parents letting everyone know that their little bundle of joy has arrived, let your connections know what you've created.
Focus on looking more professional by creating a website for your book along with setting up a professional account on Twitter, Facebook and other sites that might help you spread the word. Within these mediums, create a daily/weekly blog so you can keep your name out there and people's interest. Offer up information that relates to the content of your book. Create contests or inform your followers of any upcoming book signings.
It's probably worth setting these sites/accounts up before your book is even printed. Some of our authors have set up pre-sales that actually helped fund their self publishing projects and gave them a good idea of what kind of response the book was going to receive once it was printed and ready to go out.
Remember when we talked about book pricing? Here is a good place to offer a sale on your book.
It's all worth the effort because creating a loyal fanbase will help you... self publish your next book!!