Is Self Publishing a Book Really Free?

self publishing a book seems to be free and magical, but not necessarily the case.

Self Publishing a Book Seems Magical & Free–but, Truthfully, it is Hard Work & Costs Some Bucks

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

Now that digital publishing has spawed the concept of self publishing a book–the book publishing industry has entered the field of the World Wide Web. Therefore, the obvious question rises on the horizon of online book publishing. Is it possible to make money when self publishing a book? In this article we address the question for those considering entering the ring of digital book publishing.


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History of Book Publishing

Book Publishing reaches back into history; and traditionally was an pricey venture. The printing press was an expensive piece of equipment in the first place, as well as the set-up for printing just one book. Consequently, this required an up-front investment for printing at least 10,000 books to make one book affordable. See the video below which explains in more detail the difference between digital publishing and traditional publishing.

Now that digital publishing allows any of us to print just one book affordably, that makes self-publishing doable for a one-person or small enterprise.

Money Required for Self Publishing a Book

Before we can talk about making money in publishing a book, we need to talk about the costs involved to get started. Since expensive printing equipment or set-ups are not required, anyone with a simple computer and an idea for a book can enter the field of book publishing. With no large investment required, the potential profit obviously skyrockets.

However, expect to put in some sweat equity, or pay labor costs to prepare the digital file for publication. For more details about costs involved in publishing a book read, Real Self-Publishing Costs to Publish a Book.

Millions Made by Publishing a Book with Digital Publishing

Book Publishing Coaching by Deborah S Nelson who saves your hundreds and thousands of dollars

How Much Does Self-Publishing Success Cost?

Digital publishing equipment has made a new self publisher era possible. No longer considered ‘vanity publishing,” many successful traditionally published authors are getting excited about the size of their royalties made by publishing a book themselves. Take Barbara Freethy, for instance, author of 34 novels including the Wish series and first author on Kindle and Nook to sell one million books. She has been writing for 20 years and was published through four different publishing houses. Freethly is now self-publishing. “Once I saw how well my self-publishing books were doing and how much more attention and focus I could put on my own books, it was a pretty easy decision [to continue self-publishing] because those books have been doing so much better,” Freethy comments.


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Amanda Hocking has made millions with her romance series on e-book platforms as well. Considering now, that the self-publishing industry is estimated as a 52 million dollar industry in 2012, there is big money to be made in publishing a book. Self-publishing figures appear to be eclipsing traditional book publishing numbers many times over.

Amanda Hocking and Barbara Freethy are just two of the most well-known millionaire authors. Indeed, this article just barely scratches the surface. Huffington Post Live has a comprehensive video interview with some of today’s most successful self-published authors. Therefore, with the publishing playing field leveled, they interview Hugh Howey, Darcy Chan, Bella Andre, Jasinda Wilder, all New York Times Best Selling authors, and all approaching 1 million or more in book sales. So, with royalties what they are in self-publishing, you can bet those sales numbers has brought each of these authors millionaire status.


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Learn the Process of Publishing a Book

The Process of self-publishing a book

Learn the 7 Steps of How to Publish a Book By Yourself | READ MORE

Creative & Powerful Process of Publishing a Book

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

The process of publishing a book comes up again and again from clients and students. Years ago I worked in a major publishing house, and for the past 5 years I have passionately dedicated 6 days a week to self-publishing!

As a publishing coach and instructor, I am excited to answer this question: What is the process of publishing a book? As always, if you find this information valuable please share what you appreciate on your favorite social media option above.

Keep in mind, I have outlined these steps for the process of publishing with a broad brush stroke for simplification. Therefore, some of these action steps are implemented at the same time. However, this is the general order for the process of publishing a book.

Publishing is not Just Printing!

Phase One: Preparing Book Contents

Step One–The Manuscript: First, find, write, and contract the creative work. Also, you will need the manuscript in the form of a Word Document. If the publisher is traditional, a contract will be given you to sign. If you are self publishing your own book, I suggest you sign An Intent to Publish Agreement with yourself. These contracts and agreements serve to create deadlines, and definition of royalties and goals for the publishing of the book. Gather front and back matter, such as preface, dedication, index, and lots more. For more information about book structure, read Self-Publishing-Parts of a Book

Image with OOPS on the keyboard representing Content Editing Services for Self-Publishing Services

Learn the Nuances of Copy Editing, Content Editing and Proofreading.

Step Two–Editorial Process:  Next, or concurrently, the publisher, self-publisher, or your book coach will direct the first content editing, copy editing, and proofreading of the manuscript. Importantly, it is best to assign these three tasks in that order, since doing them in the wrong order requires extra work. This part of the process is likely to include identifying and obtaining permissions, credits for illustrations and photos, as well as creating front matter such as table of contents, title pages, copyright pages, interior images, along with front and back matter. To find out more about what needs to be included in a book,  read What are the Parts of a Book?

Phase Two: Printing the Book

Step Three–Interior Layout & Design: Next, your polished manuscript will be assigned to a graphic artist. An interior book designer will create the book layout to specs required by the printing company. Notably, his final layout is often called galleys and will enter another round of proofreading later. Lastly, the final corrections needed will be sent to layout artist for corrections to prepare for printing.

Book Cover Design is a basic Book Self-Publishing Services

A Professionally Designed Book Cover Sells Books.

Step Four–The Book Cover: The book cover includes a front cover and a back cover. For the back, include an author headshot, author bio, and synopsis of the book. The front cover includes the title, subtitle, and author name plus an intriguing graphic. The name of a book in a traditional publishing company setting is normally decided in meetings with the marketing and editorial departments. The title and subtitle of a book in self-publishing is usually done by the author, or by the author and publishing coach, or publicity agent. Keep in mind, the title and book cover are one major key to book sales. For more information, see Judging Book Covers: How to Design a Compelling Book Cover.

Phase Three–Publishing & Disributing the Book

Step Five–Registering Book Title: While registering the title, your book will be assigned an ISBN by the publishing company, independent publisher, or print on demand company. Of course, this depends on how the book will be published. Additionally, the ISBN is associated with the title, subtitle, and author of the book. Once completed, this cannot be changed. If you want to change these,  you will need to start the process again, and purchase another ISBN number. Once done, create the copyright page with this information along with the credits for in the front matter of the book.

Step Six–Print the Book: If a traditional publisher handles the pringing, a first run of books are ordered and printed. Prior to that, a print check is offered to check that the cover is printed in the right colors. However, iff priting using a print on demand company, digital files will be submitted after a hard copy proof is approved.

Step Six: Distribution & Marketing: If a traditional publishing house will handle the distribution of your book, you will likely be assigned a publicity manager. In this case, this person will schedule media interviews and book signings to launch your new book. However, if self published, you will need to sett up an online shopping cart, or sign with Amazon Books for online distribution and use their portal for book sales.

Process of printing a book from Lapto to ebook.

Information transfer. Books flying in tablet from laptop isolated on white

Other Reading about the Book Publishing Process

This article has covered the basics of the process of publishing a book. As always, if you find this information valuable, please share on your favorite social media.

For more detailed information, you may also read the following articles:

Becoming a Publisher in 7 Strategic Steps
DIY Publishing: How to Publish a Book Yourself
The Steps to Publish a Book–Part 1
Steps to Publish a Book–Part 2


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