How to Self-Publishing Print Books Without a Traditional Publisher
Self-publishing is an excellent way to break into becoming a book author. Your book can become your calling card and garner you more respect, expert status, and business than almost any other method. But, a lot of people get side tracked when trying to self-publish and get ahead of themselves. Let’s go through the steps to get you to the finish line without losing too much sleep.
Write Your Book — Yes, this is the very first step to self-publishing. In fact, if you don’t have a book written yet, you’re probably making one of the first mistakes of self-publishing. Not writing. You’re not a writer until you write a book. There is nothing to publish until you write a book. So, get to writing. If you need to know more about the process of writing, that is what you should research at this point. Once you have something to publish, then it’s time to research publishing. Until then. Write.
Proof & Edit The Book — Once you’ve written the book, after you’ve gone through your own editing process, and you think the book is finished, it’s important to let someone else proof your book. There are professionals who will proof and edit the book for you. You can hire someone to do a variety of levels of proofing and editing duties from grammar, to sentence structure and word usage, to making the book more interesting, to ensuring the formatting is done properly. It’s up to you how far you want an editor to go. But at least have someone edit for grammar and errors even if you just ask a few trusted friends to do this for you.
Create a Telling Title — A title is an important component of marketing your book. If the title doesn’t explain the book very well, the people it’s meant for, might not read it. Ask for advice for the title from those whom you’ve allowed to read the book, and from editors. Take a day and brainstorm various titles and ask people what the title says to them. Then choose a title, and move forward.
Get a Professional Cover Designed — If you’re not a graphic designer, please don’t try to design the cover yourself. This is where you should spend money to ensure an excellent cover is designed in the formats that you’ll need as you go through the publishing and marketing process. There are designers at all price points, ask people for recommendations. If you already have a following you could even make it a contest. If not, seek out portfolios and choose someone whose work you admire, within your price range. Fiverr.com is a great place to get a Cover for $5
Copyright Right — Adding copyright legal language is legally enough to copyright your work. However, it’s best to submit your work to the copyright office to ensure iron clad legal protection on your work. You can find out more about copyrighting by visiting Copyright.gov. It’s not difficult, so don’t let this scare you.
Buy an ISBN Number — It’s important that you purchase an ISBN. This number will be a unique number that identifies your title. If you use a self-publishing company they may give you one of theirs but ultimately it’s better to have your own. The problem is that you have to buy them in groups of 10. To get an ISBN you can go to https://www.myidentifiers.com. As of today, you can get ten ISBNs for $250.00. If you plan to publish in multiple formats you may need many numbers per book.
Choose a Printer — There are many ways to have your manuscript printed toady on line. But, now that you’ve got a book, it’s okay to choose a printer! The POD printers today are createspace.com, lulu.com, lightningsource.com, and others. Research the various options to decide what you want to do. Some of these services offer add on services such as editing, formatting, cover art, and ISBNs so ensure that you use the service you’re most comfortable with.
Market your Book — That’s right, after you finish writing and publishing the book, your work is not over. Now you need to market your book via every method you can such as online via blogs, youtube, blogtalkradio interviews as well as offline via book signings, talks, readings, newspapers, magazines, and more. Leave no stone unturned. If there as a place you can be that your target audience will see you, be there.
The big secret of traditional publishing that they don’t want you to know is that the marketing part is the hardest part of publishing. And guess what, unless you’re already super famous, they don’t market you very much. They expect you to do that for yourself. So, you’re not at a disadvantage by self-publishing in the least. If you’ve followed the steps above, created a product you’re proud to promote, get out there and promote it.
All the best,