How to self-publish your book: 5 top tips

How to self-publish your book: 5 top tips

Person reading self-published book on Kindle | Now Novel

Knowing how to self-publish is crucial before you embark on publishing your own book. Here are 5 quick tips to get going with self-publishing:

1. Choose your self-publishing format

There are self-publishing options in both print and digital formats. You need to choose your format both to suit your book and to suit your marketing plan.

If you want to self-publish in print, this involves:

  1. Hiring a good copy-editor and proofreader who will ensure your manuscript is polished and error free
  2. Formatting your Word document to the right size specifications for print.
  3. Changing your manuscript into a PDF format and adding cover art. Once you’ve sent it in for printers’ proofs, make sure everything looks correct.

You can do both print on demand or bulk printing, depending what you prefer. Check out CreateSpace and Lulu for inspiration on how to create your print book.

If you decide to go digital, then there’s a whole new set of tips and hints to take into consideration. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a good place to start. 

2. Match your writing to a proven market

Those authors who have managed to land big successes on indie publishing platforms have several things in common. They:

  1. Know current trends in genres and readership and what types of stories readers in their genre respond well to.
  2. Have an existing platform and presence on social media (and, ideally, offline through events such as book fairs) and know how they will promote their work.

If you’re drawing close to being finished and publishing your work, spend some time building a business case for your book. Table all the costs involved and how many copies you would need to sell at your chosen price to break even. Find out what places on the web your target market frequents and reach them there (for example, by approaching popular blogs for book reviews).

How to self-publish - a self-published author's experience | Now Novel

3. Decide who will have creative control

Who is going to create your book cover? Who will design the book layout itself? (Canva has a good blog post on designing book covers here, including templates). As always, the best result is possible if you’re willing to pay for a professional designer’s time.

For each task involved in self-publishing your book, ask, ‘Do I feel confident enough to take this on? Or would I feel more comfortable handing it over to someone else?’

There are further tasks to consider in some cases. For example, whether or not you need illustrations. These are all questions you need to consider and factor into working out the cost of self-publication.

4. Delegate certain publishing tasks

One of the joys of self-publishing is that you can hand over the time-consuming tasks that go into making a book, from design to editing.

Delegate the tasks that you find the most exhausting so you can focus on crucial steps such as building interest and an audience for release day.

Victoria Strauss quote on how to self-publish | Now Novel

5. Check up on author rights

One thing you must be 100% certain about is that you get to keep your author rights, and that you have the power to terminate your agreement with a third-party self-publisher at any time. You should have full ownership of your books, including the ISBN codes, but you may need to do some research into this and be sure you’re getting the full story.

Self-publishing can be an exciting journey to seeing your name in print, as long as you know all the facts.

Get help preparing a polished manuscript with our manuscript evaluation, developmental editing, copy-editing and proofreading services.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This