Introduction to How to Self-Publish a Book
In this article I will give a short overview of how to self-publish a book. Today, many options are available for self-publishing, but the one we are addressing here is the printed book. The printed book is still alive and well! Publishing a printed book to sell on Amazon through other online booksellers or even in bookstores or in person is a key step to becoming a self-published author. Once you organize the concept, content and flow of your book, and set up the basic file for printing, you will easily be able to created the other digital versions from that foundation.
Digital Publishing Options
Once you create the digital file for printing a physical book, the options are almost endless. From here, you may create an audio book (either downloadable or on a DVD), an e-book, Kindle or Nook, and many other options which can be distributed from various book publishing online networks. You can also create a digital flip book version and make it downloadable from your website. Consider the many top book publishing platforms which include Kobo, Kindle, Smashwords, and CreateSpace. Do your research to find which options are best for your book. Books which are graphic intensive, four-color, or with photos are not suitable for Kindle. However, you can create a four-color digital version of these types of books to be read from a computer screen with animated pages that flip and turn. Some of the digital publishing platforms are helpful to bring your book to market, but with self-publishing you will need to be involved in marketing and sales of your books.
Basic Phases of How to Self-Publish a Book
Through my curriculum, courses, and private coaching I have taught many writers how to self-publish a book. As a publishing coach, I first explain to clients and students the three phases of bringing a book into the world:
After self-publishing and assisting many self-published authors to self-publish some 100 plus books, I strongly suggest any self-publisher to focus on each stage separately. You may experience overlap between the phases, but these are best limited to transitional only. Similar to building a custom home as your own general contractor, you can unknowingly and quickly create a nightmare situation if you are not clearly focused on each phase of the process. Each one depends on and is defined by the earlier phase. Finish one phase completely before moving onto the next. When building a home, you pour the foundation first and then let it cure before proceeding. When writing a book, write the book first. To go back and change the foundation once the framing is finished is not a good idea. Likewise, to go back and rewrite your book once you are in the publishing stage is an invitation for disaster. Write your book. Pause. Publish Your Book. Pause. Market Your Book. Pause. Carefully learn the steps of how to self-publish a book before embarking on this compelling mission.
Editioral, Copy-Editing and Proofreading Services
Learning how to self-publish a book is easiest if you start with a small project first. Digital publishing is not a simple matter if you have never done it before. Many steps are involved which need to be taken in chronological order. For example, many people confuse editing with proofreading and copy editing. These are three distinct and separate skilled tasks. Learning how to self-publish a book and therefore becoming an independent publisher is no less complex than becoming a general contractor to build your own home. To proofread a manuscript before your content edit would be like painting walls before you put the wall plastic on top of the sheet rock. The beautiful paint would get covered up by the plaster finish. The same is true if you proofread before the content edit is completed. First hire the content edit, next the copy-edit, and lastly, at the very end, you may have the proofreading done (i.e., painting). Of course, you are absolutely encouraged to run spell check after you have completed the writing of your manuscript, but after that, forget about proofreading until the very end. Concentrate on organization, content, and flow. The Once Upon a Book Video Series outlines the ten basic steps of how to self-publish a book.
How to Publish a Children’s Book or Other Four-Color Book
Starting with a four-color book is more complicated and difficult to carry out for a first self-publishing book project. If working on a children’s book which requires color illustrations, to increase your chance of success I suggest first you start with a creating a book blueprint in black and white. The reason four-color is complex is because instead of printing one color (black on white paper) we have introduced the spectrum on colors, and this requires a more time-consuming and expensive process. The books are from three to five times as expensive as the black and white counterpart. The set up and printing job is more challenging. To get this right, I suggest that you first create a book blueprint. Be your own architect and get this part right before you print in expensive four-color book run. First create the book in black and white and use one of the print on demand companies such as CreateSpace of LuLu. Then simply print a black and white proof for about $10 on CreateSpace (sign up here for a free CreateSpace Account); and work out all the bugs on this black and white blue print. Next you can enter into the four-color phase of printing your children’s book or other four-color book. First learn the steps of how to self-publish a book before you publish a complex book. Another way create a full-color book blueprint sample is join www.blurb.com. They do four-color books one a time. However, Blurb is not a good option for a final print run if you plan to sell and market your book. Although reasonable for producing one four-color book, the price per book is quite high, but well-worth doing as a book blueprint, to get the bugs worked out before moving forward in your book project.
Hiring Book Publishing Specialists
Selecting and hiring book publishing services is a key part of learning how to self-publish a book of professional quality. Do your research and your homework. The level to which your sub-contractors do will define the end quality of your self-published book. First you will need to decide which areas to hire done, and which you will do by yourself. You may possess skills that make you qualified to take on a certain part of the work, which may save you money or time. The only process that I would recommend that you absolutely hire, is the proofreading process. A phenomenon occurs when writing a book. As writers we become immune to our own errors because we are focused on the content and the concept. After reading and writing, rewriting, and self-editing we can no longer see the missing words, the duplicate words, misspellings, or formatting issues. I recommend you hire a proofreader, even if you are a professional proofreader! The following is a list of the areas you may need to hire an outside contractor:
1. Content Editor
2. Copy Editor
3. Proofreader ([email protected])
4. Book interior layout artist (highly recommended hiring a specialist)
5. Book cover designer specialist (highly recommended you not do this yourself)
7. Headshot photographer (for author bio photo)
8. Promotional writer (synopsis of book and author bio)
10. Printing Company
Trials and Joys of Learning How to Self-Publish a Book
Learning how to do anything has its risks and rewards. Learning how to self-publish a book is a phenomenal economic skill to develop. By becoming a published author once, it is easy to repeat time and time again. entrepreneurs, home makers, artists, and grandparents are discovering the joys of publishing their own books. Take the steps and you, too, can feel the exhilaration of becoming a published author, and share your inspiration with your circle of influence.