How to Publish a Book in 2020: Learning How to Solve the Self-Publishing Puzzle

The puzzle pieces of how to publish a book

Learn How to Publish a Book with Self Publishing Tips, Tools, and Books by Publishing SOLO Magazine

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

When learning how to publish a book–what is the largest obstacle of all? After being a self-publishing coach for the past decade, my conclusion is that self-publishing’s most serious issue, by far is … lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, both hungry and fat sharks swim about in the ocean of self-publishing. Yet, learning to recognize the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and outsmarting the predators–means getting a good education.

Publishing SOLO magazine by Deborah S Nelson

Education is the core of our work at Publishing Solo Magazine. We provide a solid and thorough education for those who want to learn how to publish a book–before you actually attempt it! Obviously, We do not want to leave you to the wolves, or the sharks! So, in this process, we offer many free and paid tools, book coaching, and other resources for those who are learning how to publish a book themselves. Stick around, and learn the truths you need to know to be a successful self-published author!

The Biggest Challenge in Book Publishing: What You Don’t Know is Costly Beyond Words

One of the first questions most writers who want to self-publish ask is–who are the best and worst self-publishing companies? Which self-publishing companies should they avoid? These questions always bring to mind the truism: You don’t know … what you don’t know! To top it off, not knowing adversely affects your self-publishing costs–another popular question in independent publishing! How much does it cost to self-publish a book?

I cannot begin to tell you how much confusion, miscommunications, time, energy, grief, and money writers spend on learning what they don’t know on the way to self-publishing a book. Without realizing it, many have embarked on becoming their own publisher! Indeed, self-publishing a book goes way beyond just printing a book!

How to Publish a Book Kits
DIY SELF PUBLISHING KITS
by Deborah S. Nelson

“How to Publish a Book” Makes for a Puzzle with a Multitude of Pieces

However, the bigger problem is not which self-publishing company is the best–or the worst, but who is the best match for your book publishing project! But, how can you know that? How do you know which self-publishing company to use in the first place? First, you need to understand the big picture; and you need to know a thing or two.

So, right off you need to understand is that printing a book is only one small piece of self publishing a book. Many people really do think these are the same–but this could no be further from the truth! Consequently, this one issue causes a lot of untold grief. Indeed, a little education can go a very long way to prevent mistakes and keep from needlessly spending money in wrong ways.

Tools, courses, books, and coaching for writers who want to publish a book

What is Self-Publishing Anyway? A Few Definitions

This article covers the basic overview of 2020 self publishing options and possibilities. After a decade of digital book publishing, the dust has settled and systems have prevailed; and stars have begun to shine. Key players, are Amazon Books, Kindle, Amazon Audibles, Ibooks, and IngramSpark. There are many more players in this industry but these are the top ones, for starters.

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Before diving into any one of these venues, you are wise to learn the difference between publishing and printing, self publishing, short run printing, independent publishing and vanity publishing. A lot people companies who print books, refer to themselves and self-publishing companies and they indicate their services are free.

First of all, in reality the “self” publishing is actually produced by the person who has created “the works.” This term has been used loosely or “generically” in the past decade, and it would be wise to get a clear understanding of these terms. You may do so by reading my Dictionary of Self Publishing Terms. This will help you immensely in your quest in learning how to publish a book.

The Chronology of How to Publish a Book

The order of the phases and stages of publishing a book include a lot more steps than just printing a book. This is where a lot of misunderstandings can arise with so-called self-publishing companies. As publisher (self) you are responsible for the design of the cover, the interior layout and design, including front and back matter, and other parts of a book, plus the content editing, copy editing, and proofreading.

As publisher, you are responsible for scheduling, budgeting, hiring freelances; and of course, selecting the printer. Also, you select the distribution options, create author website, social media, and branding and marketing efforts. In summary, for more detail about what a publisher does see the article entitled: Become a Publisher in 7 Strategic Ways.

Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions

Frequently Asked Self-Publishing questions

In summary, it is wise to educate yourself in the brave new world of digital publishing. First of all, learn the correct terminology. Secondly, watch a history of printing and /publishing video entitled Once Upon a Book, here. Third, click on the many links within this article which go into specific subject in more depth and detail. Lastly, read my Frequently Asked Self-publishing Questions to build your knowledge and your confidence. I wish you the best and may your dream to publish a book come true!

Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid & How to Detect & Prevent Author Scams

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

So many roads to take in publishing a book. Which are the Self-Publshing companies to avoid? Which are the best and worst print on demand services for printing a book?

Keep Your Dream to Publish a Book Alive. Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid

Get Educated: Wrong Turns with Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid Kill Dreams to Publish a Book!

As a self-publishing coach, I am often asked what are the self-publishing companies to avoid? What are the worst “self-publishing” companies? What are the legitimate self-publishing companies? How can I make money in self-publishing my book without spending too much money—or getting caught up with scam self-publishing companies?

Who Are Best & Worst Self-Publishing Companies? How You Can Avoid Self Publishing & Author Scams

If you have landed here, you are probably asking the same question–and that’s understanable. The problem with that question is it is an over simplified question. My quick and easy answer is to say that self-publishing companies to avoid are the ones which will not fit the needs of your self-publishing project. In truth a lot of problems with so-called self-publishing companies are with wrong expectations from the client. Your education could say you thousands of hours and dollars spend on a book project.

This article will help you select the best self-publishing companies for your book publishing projects and how to be aware of particular self-publishing companies to avoid. Some self-publishing companies are just scams and yet others are fine–but its us who must manage their services to get the most bang for our buck. All can be averted with the right questions and research! GET EDUCATED. This site provides self-publishing tips, tools, courses, books, to put you in the best possible position to publish on your own.


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Self-Publishing Toolkit to educate those who need to learn about self-publishing companies to avoid

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How to Be Successful in Self-Publishing a Book

If you are preparing to self-publish a book, this article will help you to properly prepare for success in self-publishing. I have worked inside of a traditional publishing and with offset printing for decades. For the past five years, I have worked extensively in the self-publishing industry and have a good grasp on the landscape of services available in the book publishing industry. In this article, we will tackle the questions of which self-publishing companies to avoid.  However, first, let’s consider the following:

  • So-called “self-publishing” companies are in reality, print on demand companies. Many offer extra services, but they are secondary. To get a more clear understanding of what self-publishing or print on demand really is and what other publishing terms mean, see the Dictionary of Publishing Terms.
  • Selecting a print on demand company or printer is only one step in the self-publishing process. If you have decided to publish a book yourself, understand that it is the equivalent of being your own general contractor for building your home. Selecting a printer to publish your book would be like selecting someone to pour the foundation, put on a roof, or frame up the house. It is but one piece of the entire picture.
  • Selecting the best printing company to print your book depends entirely on the type of book you are going to publish. So the “worst self-publishing company” will be one who least likely matches the requirements of your book project. If publishing a four-color hardback illustrated children’s book, you will want to select a different printing company (“self-publishing company”) than if you are printing a black and white paperback. To learn more about the basic steps of how to publish a book, read other articles on this site.

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Best Way to Avoid Worst Self-Publishing Firms and find Legitmate Self-Publishing Companies

To avoid the worst self-publishing companies, the best approach is to do an analysis of the requirements of your book publishing project. Ask yourself the following questions:

What is the purpose of my book project? Is it to sell lots of books, sell books online, sell books in person, enter the speaking circuit, give workshops using the books, or to leave a legacy for your family?

 Will you need a small or large inventory of books?

Is your budget tiny to small? If so, you will want to consider a print on demand method; books are printed as sold, with no inventory needed.

How important is the quality of printing and paper? If your book includes high-quality four-color illustrations or photos; you will need a different kind of printer, than if publishing a normal paperback book.

Make an Informed Decision to Find Legitimate Self-Publishing & Printing Companies

The trick to finding the best printer for your book publishing project is research. Therefore, take some time to define the specifications of your printing job first. To put together the specifications of your printing project answer the following questions:

    • Will my book be paperback or hardback? (hardback is more expensive and complicated to do)
    • How many printed pages will my book be? (roughly double the number of pages of a 12 point Word document manuscript)
    • Will I have illustrations inside the book? Will I need four-color inside the book?
    • What level of printing quality will my book project need?
    • What size will my book be? Will it be a custom-size or a standard book size?

Some of the Best Self-Publishing Companies

Click Here for Your Self-Publishing Toolkit. Learn about self-publishing terms, processes, and which self-publishing companies to avoid with our self-publishing toolsFor paperbacks, I recommend starting your research with legitimate self-publishing companies such as CreateSpace, LuLu, and Outskirts Press. These “players” have been around since the beginning of print on demand technology and they have their game down. Still, I get many comments about these self-publishing companies who sometimes are being seen as scam self-publishing companies. Keep in mind that although it is free to sign up for a print on demand account in most cases, extra services are often quite overpriced, and this is where the “scamming” comes in. People feel mislead when they discover the “extra costs” involved in self-publishing a book. I suggest reading my article on self-publishing services to learn more about this area.

For Small Quantities of Four-Color Books

For small quantities (or even just one published book) of four-color books (lower quality), I recommend starting your research with Blurb, and for larger quantities, I recommend starting your research with Lightening Source. These are just some suggestions as there are many thousands of self-publishing companies available for printing your book. But the very first step is to clearly define the goals and needs of your book publishing project. As for which self-publishing companies to avoid, I urge you to first do your research on your book project. Then you’ll understand which companies will be a better fit for your project. To learn more about the process of defining your book project, see the following articles:


FAQ-Self-Publishing Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the Best Self-Publishing Companies?

Top self-pubishing companies are those who have proved to be legitimate, have been around since the advent of print on demand, and have been proven to deliver. These include CreateSpace (now owned by Amazon); LuLu, and Outskirts Press. Lightening Source (Ingram) has also recently added a print on demand option. To learn more about self-publishing and self-publishing companies, read the articles: How to Avoid Self-Pubishing Scams with Your Dream to Publish a Book and FAQ-Frequently Asked Self-Publishing Questions.

What is Self-Publishing?

Self-publishing is when the writer or author of creative works takes on the role of publishing their own works. The job is similar to that of a general contractor who builds a house. Both roles include project management, budgeting, scheduling, and overseeing sub contractors doing the various aspects of the book project. Printing the book is the most obvious aspect of the job. However, editing, book cover design, proofreading are just a few of a multitude of other aspects involved in publishing and self-publishing. To learn more details about what self-publishing is read the article, The Real Definition of Self Publishing by Deborah S. Nelson

What is the Difference Between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing?

Traditional publishing has been around for hundreds of years. Traditional publishing companies use offset printing to print books. There are many differences between traditional and self publishing, but the primary difference is in the printing. Offset printing requires an expensvie set up, which makes it necessary to print at least 10,000 books. Many pubishers print 25,000 books to make a book affordable to the general public. Generally, but not always, self-publishing uses print on demand printing, which allows an initial print run of just one book, making book pubishing affordable for first-time authors. To learn more details on this question read the article Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand came into being about a decade ago. It is a revolutionary technical advance in the field of printing and publishing. In a word, print on demand is digital printing. With ophisticated digital printing presses, once the set up is done properly, it is extremely less expensive than offset printing. The quality is also quite good, with only experts able to tell the difference. Print on demand has given rise to the easy and inexpensive ability to self-publish a book. For further reading, click on my article, FAQ-Self-Publishing Frequently Asked Questions


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Have a Dream to Publish a Book—
But Lack the Time or Know-How?

Look no further. This potent and detailed DIY publishing guide grants the time and know-how. Learn how to self-publish a book by doing it! Once you become a published author, friends, family, peers see you in a whole new light! This unique system propels both aspiring and seasoned authors through the publishing process step by step. You won’t even need a completed manuscript to start!

Includes downloadable template
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Displays book parts in chronological order
Publish your book blueprint proof in a week


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