Self-publishing your book is a sure-fire way to getting published. Authors go one of two routes, they pitch their book to an agent and/or publisher, or they take matters into their own hands and publish the book themselves. It’s becoming more difficult to go down the traditional publishing route, therefore self-publishing provides you with flexibility to exercise your creative license as well as schedule your launch around your schedule.
If you’ve decided to go down the self-publishing route, here are the seven steps to getting yourself swooning over seeing your name in print.
- Decide what kind of book you want to write. The beauty of self-publishing is that you decide to set your own terms. If you want to write a novel that is part coloring book, go for it. If you want to write a cookbook that has social-political commentary, you can do that too. There are no limitations or restrictions with your book style, voice, or topic. You are the publisher so you can create whatever version of your book that your imagination comes up with.
- FINISH THE BOOK. The hardest step is also the longest step. Writing your book can take upwards of several years, depending on your story. This is where many people get stuck, so it’s important to surround yourself with other authors who can provide the accountability support you need to finish that book.
- Hire a good editor. You are great at what you do but leave editing to the experts. Even if you’ve got a great handle of the English language, an editor can provide that objective eye you need combing through your book. They can provide recommendations and feedback that could strengthen the first edition of your masterpiece.
- Copyright your book. Your words are your intellectual property so make sure you protect it. You can learn more information as well as copyright your book online at the official US Copyright Office.
- Get an ISBN. These are like social security numbers for your book. Each book is registered with an ISBN so that you can easily catalog it in libraries, bookstores, Amazon, etc. You will need an ISBN for every single variation of your book, including but not limited to hard cover print, paperback, versions for Kindle and Nook, as well as the audio version. You can learn more about ISBN at MyIdentifiers.com
- Decide on a digital publishing platform. There are several websites where you can self-publish your book and most of these websites also push your book to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Blurb offers high quality printed books while Lulu offers more variety in terms of book size. CreateSpace.com is the platform which many self-published authors use because it’s an Amazon website and you can get extended distribution through their platform. Do your homework and compare these platforms before deciding which one is best for you.
- Format your book. This is the last technical step for publishing your book. Because you are self-publishing, you can get creative with the layout and look of your book, both interior and the cover. If you are publishing a version for digital devices, such as the Kindle and Nook, then you won’t be able to express much creativity as those type of readers have a specific format. Once you’ve formatted your book, upload it to the platform of your choice and you’re published!
Give yourself enough time to promote your book. When you use platforms such as Lulu, Blurb, or Create Space then your book is available instantly on their websites. Pushing your book for distribution on Amazon and Barnes & Noble can take between 6-8 weeks to appear.
Once you’ve published, make sure to let the world know that your piece of magical prose is on the Internet and don’t forget to change your title in LinkedIn to “published author.”