The Basics of Self-PublishingPosted by sabrina
Self-publishing allows authors to bring books to life on their terms and within their timeframe. Unlike traditional publishing, in which the publisher pays to produce books, self-publishing authors must absorb all costs.
In return, the authors have full control of the publishing process and timeframe, still own the rights to their books, and get to keep all revenues from book sales. Here are the steps it takes to self-publish a book:
The Basics of Self-Publishing
- Writing: There are many resources to help authors with their manuscripts, including ghost writers, writing coaches, and developmental editors.
- Editing: Professional editing is crucial to successful self-publishing. The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is an excellent place to find a book editor.
- Cover Design: A book’s cover is its advertisement. Authors without a design background are better off hiring a professional.
- Interior Layout: Book designers know how to correctly format a manuscript’s margins, page numbers, and fonts. Generally, book design fees are money well spent.
- Ebook Formatting: Authors can learn to format their manuscripts for e-publishing, but hiring a professional ebook formatter is quicker and yields a better product.
- ISBNs and Barcodes: Books sold through online retailers or in bricks and mortar stores must have ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers) and barcodes, which authors purchase from Bowker.
- Printing: Print on demand (POD) technology is a self-publishing author’s best friend. Visit ParaPublishing to learn about printing options and how to find good POD companies.
- Distribution: Book distribution is the process of making books available for sale to wholesalers and retail stores. This article by Joel Friedlander explains why distribution is a challenge for self-published authors and how they can address it.
- Author platform: A strong platform is essential to a book marketing strategy and includes the writer’s visibility, authority, reach, and target audience.
- Marketing: Book marketing is a vital and ongoing part of self-publishing. Hiring book marketing companies or publishing consultants can help authors reach a wider audience.
Kim Bookless is a Chicago-based publishing consultant, writer, and editor. She co-founded the Chicago Self-Publishing Group to help educate authors on self-publishing, and she is the Publicity Chair for Chicago Women in Publishing. Visit her online or email her at .