Steps to Publish Book

Self-Publishing Checklist & Book Blueprint Video

Self-publishing steps

Publish a Book! Self-Publishing a Book can be Exhilarating!

As digital publishing becomes within reach of ordinary people, you may be considering self-publishing a book, and may need the following self-publishing checklist. If you are an entrepreneur, business coach or consultant in any area, having a published book is key to establishing your credibility and creating success. Besides that, published entrepreneurs make more money!

However, self-publishing a book is no small task for even those who have a publishing background. The digital aspect, software issues, and the entire publishing process is often confusing. We have created this basic self-publishing checklist for first time self-publishers. This checklist is for publishing a printed book, not ebooks. If you understand the main processes and the order in which to do them, that makes it much easier.

You might also want to download the Dictionary of Publishing Terms to help you understand  the different phases and aspects of self-publishing without confusion. This self-publishing checklist is chronologically ordered, so be sure the follow the steps in this order. Some of the steps may overlap, and that is expected.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 1 Step 1. Write your manuscript

Write your manuscript and transfer it into a word document. If you do not know how to type or how to use word; you can hire someone on or (for $25-$75) to scan your manuscript and get it into a Word Document file.Sign an Intent to Publish Agreement with yourself.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 2 Step 2. Hire a Content Editor

Hire someone to content edit your manuscript. This process is for CONTENT only. If you are putting up a house and choosing walls and floors that is one step. To finish the walls and floors with paint or floor finish is another step. Do not confuse content editing with proof reading. This can cause a lot of frustration and time lost, if you are using the term “editing” and hiring someone to edit, when they have a completely different concept of what editing it. Input the editorial corrections (or have the editor do that) into the word document.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 4 Step 3. Shop for a Print on Demand Company

Select a printer, a “self-publishing company.” Keep in mind this is a misnomer, as you are actually the self-publisher. Open an account. The most economical service in my experience with print on demand, is CreateSpace, which is the print on demand division of Start a new account at CreateSpace. Keep your login and password in a handy spot.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 5Step 4. Select Book Size, Shape, Colors

Select a standard book size for your book. Create the book cover: Most likely you’ll hire a designer to do this. It must be in a digital file of the correct size and specifications required by the printer. (often referring to themselves as “self-publishing” companies). Decide, discover, and define the exact file specifications of the cover; and of the interior of your book.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 3 Step 5. Create Interior Layout & Design

Select photographs, images, type of fonts, and  illustrations for the interior of your book. Be sure that all illustrations or photos are in 300 dpi and have been converted to black and white. Next, if you know InDesign or another publishing software you may create the interior layout file of your book. If you do not have a design software and do not know how to use it; it would be best to hire an interior book designer to prepare the interior file of your book to the printer’s specifications. Find someone through,, or O-Desk. Be sure to hire someone who knows book interior design, or it could turn into a nightmare—seriously.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 6 Step 6. Design Book Cover

Hire a book cover designer or use the cover designer in Createspace to create your book cover. If you want a professional custom cover, look for an experienced book cover designer on O-Desk, E-Lance, or Freelancer, or someone you know locally. The front cover should have a large graphic image; and the title and the subtitle must exactly match the title that will be created when you initiate your title in your print on demand account. On the back cover include an author photo and bio, along with a synopsis of the book.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 7 Step 7. Upload the Digital Files

Upload the cover file and the interior file to the printing company; and submit your interior and cover digital files for review.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 8 Step 8. Order a Hard Copy Proof

Once the files are approved, and all proofreading errors corrected, order a hard copy proof of the book. I strongly advise not to skip this step. You cannot see layout and formatting errors easily in the digital file. Prior to publishing, it is critical to do one last proofread on a hard copy of the book.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 9 Step 9. Proofread Proof

You are almost ready to publish. It is important to make only small typo corrections. If you make major corrections at this point, it can change the entire spacing and formatting. The time and money required to do so will be disproportionate to the improvement gained.

Self-Publishing  Checklist-Step 10 Step 10. Submit for Final Publication

Correct the errors in the files and resubmit to the printing company for final publication.

Self-Publishing Checklist is Oversimplified

I provided you with this self-publishing checklist as an overview to help you understand the basic process and chronological order of self-publishing a book. This Self-Publishing Checklist is extremely simplified, but gives you a brief idea of what you might be getting yourself into. Creating and publishing a book blueprint is a process that teaches you all these steps by actually doing them. (see video below) If you need further help, Publishing SOLO offers courses and publishing coaching to lead your dream to publish a book to a reality.