How to Self-Publish a Book

Self-publishing is where an author publishes their book or any other media without involving an established publisher. If a book is physical, it is referred to as privately printed. The author is in charge of every process including the design of the interior and cover, formats, distribution, public relations, price, and marketing. The author may decide to do all these by themselves or include companies that issue these services. 

Self-publishing is not a new concept. The Joy of Cooking was self-published and printed in 1931. Fifty Shades of Gray, a best-seller by E.L James was also self-published due to public demand. 

A while ago, authors had to spend a lot of money self-publishing since they had to purchase so many copies of their title and then find somewhere to store the inventory. Today, the ebook and print on demand technology enable authors to print a book or deliver it digitally when an order is placed.

Technology has brought a lot of improvement when it comes to books. Some of those advancements include;

•    Online stores. Now readers can purchase books without physically visiting a bookstore.

•    Tablet computers and e-book readers enable readers to have multiple books on a portable device.

•    Anyone can access global distribution channels through online stores. 

•    The print-on-demand technology produces high-quality products.

Every book should have an ISBN to uniquely identify its title—unless the author sells it directly to the public. It is advisable to obtain an ISBN and copyright rather than use one that belongs to a vanity press. Each book edition will require a separate ISBN. 

    Electronic (e-book) Publishing is the most popular among authors because the e-books can be created without upfront or per-book costs. There are also ebook formats and tools for creating electronic books. Some of the platforms that publish e-books include Smashwords, Pronoun, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Blurb, and Papyrus Editor among others. Ebook formats include PDF, Mobi, Epub, etc. 

    Print on Demand includes printing high-quality books on order. Self-publishing authors consider this method to be economical, instead of printing so many books all at once. Blurb, Amazon,  Createspace, Llumina Press and Lulu offer single book printing services at a fair cost—almost the same as the amount charged by publishing companies. 

Publishing companies used to pay authors a fraction of the sales made from a book. Therefore, they only published books that were more likely to sell. It was tough for upcoming authors to get a contract. This led to the mushrooming of vanity publishers. They would publish any book, but the author had to pay upfront. Also, the author did not own the final book version and had no say in its distribution. 

Self-publishing authors undertake all the activities surrounding the publishing. However, to be referred as self-published, the author does not necessarily have to do all the work by themselves. The author can decide to outsource some of the activities to companies or freelancers.

Do you have a great book idea but you do not know where to start? Or perhaps you have begun writing, and you would like to self-publish it, and you have no clue. Well, this book will give you a thorough understanding of all the processes involved in materializing your book. From writing to publishing and marketing it. 

Before you even finish your rough draft you need to research extensively on your target market. Establish the genre of your book, whether nonfiction or fiction. Learn the market for that particular genre and your sub-genre (self-help, mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi).

Familiarize yourself with the current trends in that subgenre so that you do not flood a saturated market. Look for what is missing and fill the gap. Take a look at existing books that are similar to yours and try to make yours a bit different. 

Before you consider anything else, you need to complete a rough draft of your book. You will need to put in hard work and discipline. It is advisable to set a schedule from the beginning and stick to it. Be patient as this process may take months or even years.

Try to look for advice from experienced authors even if it is online. In the end, the script may not be perfect but you will know what to do next.

Finding an editor is important if you want to create a great book. A professional editor will correct any mistakes in grammar or plot holes. Use the criticism to make your book even better. You can get an experienced content and copy editor on most of the reputable freelancing sites online. 

This is where you utilize all the correction and criticism you get from fast checkers, readers, and your editor. Aim at creating a perfect final draft.

You cannot do everything alone. You may be a great author, but you are not a good editor or designer. Create a team of professionals to help you come up with an excellent book.

When you have reviews, the chances of your book selling are higher than when you do not. Find reviewers in the genre you are writing about. Usually, the reviews will appear on the back cover of your book and maybe on retailers’ websites. 

For a reader to pick your book from the shelf, the cover has to be compelling. Find an expert designer to create a cover for you. A great cover should convey the content of the book and convince the reader to pick it. 

8.     Retail

This involves publishing the final copy to start selling. You can choose between self-publishing and a traditional publisher. If you opt to self-publish, do not overlook design and distribution. Give these two aspects enough consideration. 

9.    Promotion, Marketing, and Distribution

Having your book in the market is one thing; ensuring that it sells is another. One secret to selling your book is to have it ordered by a leading distributor like Amazon. You can hire a professional marketer to market your book and also promote you as an author. 

10.    Keep Going

The whole process of writing and publishing a book may be cumbersome but never give up. Keep going.

Having your book out in the market and selling is not easy, but it is doable. Be determined and go through the above steps thoroughly. Do everything right and enjoy the process, the next best seller might be yours.

Choosing the Best eBook Publishing Platform

There are so many digital publishing platforms that authors can use to publish their ebooks. New services are mushrooming to enable self-publishers and publishers to distribute their books all around the world. There are so many options for an author who is contemplating publishing an ebook. Lately, e-books have significantly flooded the market, especially in the US with English as the primary language. 

It is safe to say that e-book publishing is the best choice for every self-publisher due to the following reasons;

•    EBook publishing is cheaper compared to print publishing. 

•    EBooks’ are less risky due to the low cost of publishing.  Self-publishers have no problem taking a chance on them. If the book does not sell much, you will not have wasted a lot of money. 

•    The digital market is growing very fast with each passing day. The people that read eBooks in the US are almost as many as those that read print books. By 2018, eBooks will be more popular than print books.

What Should You Consider When Choosing The Best Platform For Your Book?

1.    Royalty. Whatever platform you choose, you should know that they have to take a cut of the profits. It varies depending on your choice. Do as much research as you can before committing. 

2.    Pricing. Some publishing services have set price limits. For example, a new author on Amazon cannot offer their book for free and in other cases you are not given any control over the price. This is not necessarily bad but you may not want to be in a situation where you are not comfortable with the price and there is nothing you can do. Always set a price for your eBook so that you can choose a service that can allow it. 

3.    File format. Other platforms out there offer file formatting in addition to their publishing services, although many authors prefer to do it by themselves. If you decide to do your formatting, be cautious because it is not easy. You may want to use formatting software like Vellum and Sigil. 

4.    Exclusivity. A publishing platform may insist on exclusivity, like Amazon’s KDP. If you have several books you can have some of them exclusive to Amazon while leaving others available through open publishing. 

5.    EBook retailers. The top five retailers include: Amazon, iBook’s, Apple, Google Play, Nook Press and Kobo. A majority sell all over the world either through their websites or affiliates. Apart from these five, there are so many others that you can choose to work with. 

Publishing Your Books Effectively To More Stores and Gaining Global Distribution

Some platforms refer to themselves as ebook aggregators—they stand between an author and a retailer like Amazon. To put it simply, they are companies that accept your book, convert it into several formats and make it available to multiple distribution channels. Not only do they aggregate and distribute books but they also offer services like cover design, ebook conversion, print-on-demand and editing. 

Finding a publishing platform is not difficult but you have to know what you want. Once you have evaluated your preferences, search for the service that best suits your needs.

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