So you are thinking of publishing a book yourself. Bravo! There is nothing like being a published author of a professional book–especially if this has been a long-held dream of yours. I urge you to forge ahead, but before you dive in, get a clue. Publishing a book yourself isn’t that hard! And…publishing a book yourself isn’t that easy either. Get the facts. C
heck out these 10 steps and prepare yourself for the journey. And yes, it is a journey. After leading a multitude of writers through the self-publishing process to publish a 100+ books, I found this basic list to make it easy to conceptualize the big picture and also including the specific steps to publishing a book yourself. The video below is a quick overview of the steps required for publishing a book yourself. The steps below are much more detailed and precise. Either way consider the process and “look before you leap.”
ORGANIZE: Write the front matter including your table of contents along with the back matter you have selected to include in your book. These are such pieces as the preface, foreword, introduction, table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, end notes, and a lot of other front and back matter which you can find out about in detail in the Publish Your Book Blueprint in 3 Days by Deborah S. Nelson. Gather and Include these pieces with the body of your manuscript in chronological order. I suggest starting a file folder names with the title of your book in your computer or in your office which will include 2 folders: Interior, and Cover. In the Interior file, include folders entitled: Front Matter, Back Matter, Body of the Book, Interior Images. In the Cover file, include files entitled, Front Cover, Back Cover, and Cover Copy.
CONSOLIDATE: Bring your book manuscript along with the front and back matter in chronological order into a WORD document in double-spaced format. If you have trouble typing into Word, or do not have Word software hand write it and hire someone for a good rate at www.elance.com or www.freelance.com to transfer your manuscript into a Word document. These are inexpensive options for contract specialists.You simply hire and pay online using your PayPal account or credit card. Keep in mind that bringing a book into the world included 3 phases: writing the book, publishing the book and marketing the book. This phase is the publishing phase, where we bring the manuscript into publishable form.
CONTENT EDIT: Select and hire a good content editor to edit your manuscript before publishing your book. A good content editor will correct your manuscript for consistency, organization, flow and clarity. Sometimes when you write, you assume a level of understanding that your readers will not know. A good content editor will create clarity in areas which could be ambiguous, difficult to decipher and out-of-order. organization of the material chapter by chapter and even paragraph by paragraph can help to deliver the information in a clear and consistent way. Input the corrections into the document, or hire a data entry person on elance.com or freelance.com to make the corrections in the original document. The editor will use the “track changes” option in Word, and you can select the corrections you will keep, or you may “select all.”
IMAGES: Select images to include photos, author headshot, front cover art, back cover art, illustrations, clip art, graphic elements, and chapter headers or dividers to enhance the interior design of your book. Be sure all photos are purchased, or you have written permission from the photographer, artist, or graphic designer to use and publish their materials. This is their intellectual property and if you do not get proper permissions and usage rights, you could be sued for damages. This means if your book became a best-selling author and any images or other design work was not purchased by you, you could stand to lose all for which you have worked. All images, graphics, illustration needs to be high resolution for printing–at least 300 dpi.
INITIATE YOUR TITLE: One of the key pieces you will need for publishing a book is an ISBN number. Sign up for a print on demand account. One of the most reliable POD services is CreateSpace which is also owned by Amazon Books, and is a very convenient distributor of online books as the Earth’s Largest Bookstore. (sign up here for a free CreateSpace Account). You will need to decide upon the exact title of your book, subtitle, size, shape, and configuration (color or black and white) of your book to initiate your title. Once you have initiated your title, you will get an ISBN number assigned by CreateSpace (free) to your title and you’ll be able to give the ISBN number to your cover designer and interior designer to include in the right spots of both the cover and the interior.