12 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book
In October 2016 I self-published my very first book, In Due Time: Hope and Encouragement in the Waiting. It’s hard to believe that was already 2.5 years ago! I often get emails or messages asking about the steps to self-publishing a book, so if you are someone who is interested in writing a book, I wrote this post in hopes that it helps you! Had I had a resource like this when I wrote my book I think I would have been much better off.
As a heads up, I am not so much covering the writing or marketing side, but the steps in between.
12 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book
1 – Start Writing. I know it sounds so silly, but honestly, if you don’t know where to start, open up a Word document and start writing. I did all my writing within Word and my editor edited in Word as well.
2 – Hire an Editor. Once you finish writing your book, you will need your book edited. I recommend finding an editor with excellent credentials and references. I didn’t have the best experience with mine and therefore was left doing several extra rounds of editing on my own and with the help of my husband and friends. In my opinion, it is worth paying a lot of money to have a good editor.
3 – Hire an Interior Formatter – I don’t think most people think about getting their book formatted, but this is a very important step. You can’t just upload a document and print it, you will need to have all the margins, headers, font, page numbers and everything else in between formatted. This also caused a lot of stress because the person I hired wasn’t the best with communicating.
4 – Hire a Graphic Designer – Even if you have a picture for your book cover, like I did, I highly recommend hiring someone to do the graphic design for the front, spine and back. This will include your title and subtitle, your name, bio, and description of the book. I would find someone who has experience specifically with designing book covers.
5 – Have People Read Your Book – I created a peer review group and it was so helpful. It was a group of around 10 people and we all went through the book together over the span of about 2 months. They gave feedback each day as we read the book together. This is the number one tip I would tell every author to do!
6 – ISBN. You have to have an ISBN to publish a book. This will cost you $125. It’s super simple process to purchase and you can do so here.
7 – Pick Your Printer – When I published my book I used Createspace which is now Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). From what I have heard/read, KDP is very similar and there are very little changes between the two. Createspace was so fabulous and easy to work with and therefore I highly recommend Kindle Direct Publishing. When I did research on who to use as my publisher 90% said to use Createspace so I do think it’s the best way to go. Also if you aren’t aware KDP is integrated with Amazon and so not only do they print books but they ship books too.
8 – Order Draft and Final Copy – Once you receive your file from your interior formatter, you can then upload your file to KDP. From what I recall it’s as simple as uploading a PDF. KDP will then let you know if there are any errors that need to be corrected. From there you can order as many draft copies of your book as you need/want. I went through I don’t know how many copies before I got to my final product. Mainly because of changes that needed to be made to the cover and interior formatting. Remember to include processing and shipping time for each new proof you want.
9 – Organize Launch Team – I did not have a launch team and don’t know much about them, but why not get a group of people excited about your book and ask them to help you share? This seems to be what most people do. This can also be the peer review group as I mentioned above.
10 – Market Your Book – Marketing can be a whole blog post in of itself, but to be honest, I did not do too much. I shared on my blog and social media and in addition, I took pre-orders through my website which I am so glad I did!
11 – Host a Book Launch Party – I highly recommend having a party because writing a book is definitely something to celebrate. My book launch party was such a fun night with friends and family. I had my books for sale and had a signing during the event as well. My book launch party recap is here.
12 – Sell Your Book – I sold my book both through my website here and through Amazon. To clarify how it works, Createspace, now KDP, prints my books on demand so when someone places an order through Amazon they ship directly to the customer. They make it so easy and their reporting is fabulous. In addition, I sold my book through my website which gave me a much higher margin of revenue and I was able to personalize the book by signing it as well as personalize the packaging too. I am so glad that I sold through both my website and KDP. However, it makes sense that most authors would not want to self-ship as it’s time consuming.
There you go! 12 steps to self-publishing a book!
Just to clarify there is no cost to print your book through KDP minus the actual cost of the book. So the costs you will incur throughout the process is hiring a graphic designer, interior formatter, editor, purchasing an ISBN, and the actual cost to print/ship your books.
A few other tips to be would make sure to give yourself enough time between ordering draft copies and your launch date. I was crunched for time and because I had so many changes it made everything very stressful. I would allow for at least 6-8 weeks between uploading your first draft and the date you want to launch. In addition, I encourage you to join Facebook groups to ask questions as well as ask for references for good editors and designers.
Do you still have questions? Please do not hesitate to send me an email and I would be happy to help you!
Have you picked up a copy of my book? Buy In Due Time, a 60-day devotional for hope + encouragement in the waiting.
I created a group on facebook as an extension of my book + blog to discuss anything + everything. Women only! Come join us!