How To Self-Publish Your Own Book in 8 Steps

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closely every writer pipe dream of authoring a bestselling book, but for decades, it ’ sulfur been about impossible to do this successfully without the aid of a traditional publish company .
Getting the attention of a bad publish company international relations and security network ’ thyroxine easy. It means sending out manuscripts, nervously waiting for a response that might never come, and trying to stay positive in the face of rejection.

For the few who are golden enough to move past this stage, there are still months of negotiations over the creative commission of your work and your cut of the profits .
Working with publishers is far from a dream-come-true, but what if you could skip the march all in all ? What if you could write, edit, publish, and sell your own book⁠—all without having to answer to the whims of gatekeepers ?
In today ’ s creator economy, you can. Self-publishing tools are more widely available now than ever before. You equitable need to know how to use them .

1. Write a book that’s marketable

Entrepreneurs use marketplace research to validate product ideas. This procedure involves close examining competing products, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, unearthing untapped niches, and establishing their ideal customer .
An generator might scoff at the idea of performing market research, but the “ author-prenuer ” knows that understanding their audience early will make it easier to sell their book down the road .
You might already have books written, you may have a few book proposals, or you may be starting from scrape. Either direction, using these methods of evaluating the market potential of your book before you begin the self-publishing process for the first fourth dimension will help you establish a plan-of-action around marketing your book .

  • Identify your genre. Genre is more than just a “category” for your book. Aspects like story structure, verbiage, writing style, and visual content can all differ depending on the genre of your book. For example, a children’s book might describe a rotting apple as “squishy” or “slimey,” whereas a murder mystery might describe it as “putrid” or “festering.” Considering the peculiarities of your genre will give you a better understanding of the audience you’re writing for. 
  • Explore how people talk about your genre. Browse message boards to learn more about how fans of your genre (and your potential buyers) decide what to read. What appeals to them about your genre? Are there any common frustrations with the genre?
  • Evaluate bestsellers in your genre. Conduct competitive analysis by evaluating the bestselling books in your genre on marketplaces like Amazon and the New York Times Best Sellers list.
  • Evaluate your competitors’ positioning. Positioning is the messaging, values, and overall business strategy being pitched to audiences. Ask yourself what sets apart the most popular books in your genre. What do the titles, cover art, and synopsis pitch? What’s the hook that grabs the reader’s attention?
  • Find out what’s missing. In the high-volume book publishing industry, marketing is all about differentiation. Put yourself in the shoes of your genre’s audience and ask yourself, what’s missing from these bestsellers? Are their stories left untold?
  • If possible, identify a niche in your genre. A niche is a subsection of your genre’s audience. Niching is a great way to differentiate yourself in a crowded market and lower the scope of your competition.

amazon-best-sellers-spy-and-political-thrillers
Exploring best-sellers in your genre can help provide clues on marketing to your specific audience.

If you already have a written manuscript in mind for self-publishing, consider its market potential immediately, before moving on to the future steps. You may be able to easily identify what sets your reserve apart, or you may want to make some revisions .
Either way, having an understand of the audience for your book will help make future market decisions a batch easier .

2. Edit like a professional

Self-publishers will have to compete in the same stores and marketplaces as traditional publish companies, meaning your book needs to look barely a refined and polished as it would coming from a major publish house .
You might not have the huge well of editors that a big publisher has, but that doesn ’ triiodothyronine mean you can ’ t create a product that can compete .

Start by editing the manuscript yourself

Before handing your first base draft off to anyone else, read it yourself, start to finish, as though you ’ re a member of your mean consultation. It ’ mho easy to get lost in the weeds during the write process, and a start-to-finish read-through will help you to understand how your script translates as a whole .
once you have a manuscript that ’ s cook for another set of eyes, put your entrepreneurial hat back on and start getting feedback from prospective fans .

Get feedback from your intended audience

During the product development summons, entrepreneurs polish their merchandise by getting feedback from aim audiences, with the goal of improving the serviceability of the intersection. This is crucial for self-published books as well .
Before sending the book off to a professional editor, provide copies to people and have them give you feedback. It ’ s important that the feedback you get comes from the intend hearing of your ledger .
Browse message boards pertaining to your music genre, send your manuscript to friends and kin ( if they fit your aim hearing ), and get vitamin a much feedback as you can about your manuscript. The point of this stage international relations and security network ’ t to fix mechanical errors, or misprint, but to get an overall read on the koran ’ s marketability as a unharmed .

Have your manuscript copy edited by a professional

copy editing is a very meticulous work that involves the line-by-line rewrite of a manuscript with the purpose of improving readability and making certain the piece is loose of grammatical and actual errors .
While you should do your own imitate edit before passing your manuscript along, it ’ randomness important to have a professional return a look and derive external position on your koran ’ randomness content. It can sometimes be difficult for writers to recognize issues with the legibility of their own solve .

Where to hire a freelance editor

Hiring a freelance editor program lets self-publishers work with a professional editor program within the confines of their budget. There are a number of places where you can hire mercenary editors to help edit your make. Freelancing sites have a broad variety of freelancers, with change costs and degrees of experience :

  • Reedsy. Reedsy is a freelancing site specifically dedicated to matching up indie authors with freelance editors. What makes Reedsy unique is the ability to hire editors that specialize in your specific genre.
  • Upwork. Upwork specializes in connecting businesses with a wide variety of freelance talent, including editors and proofreaders. Upwork has search filters that allow you to view freelancers by hourly rates, so it’s easy to work within your budget. 
  • Fiverr. Fiverr bills itself as the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. Users are divided into “buyers” and “sellers.” Sellers offer a wide variety of services, including proofreading and editing.
  • Guru. Guru allows business owners to create job postings for freelancers to explore. Freelancers respond to posts quoting their fee and business owners can evaluate applicants and select the one that best fits their needs. 

Find your editor at reedsy
once you have a freelance editor program, you can have them professionally edit your piece. From there, you will have a completed, professional manuscript. following, you ’ ll want to move on to cover invention .

3. Develop an eye-catching book cover design

You shouldn ’ thymine judge a book by its top, but most people will. Your traverse acts as your reserve ’ s primary ocular care to users browsing on-line retailers, marketplaces, your on-line memory, and equitable about every other place your book will be sold .

Should I hire a professional designer?

Author-preneurs wear many hats and graphic interior designer is frequently one of them. Designing your own cover will take a bit of time, but it can besides save a lot of money. The answer to this doubt depends wholly on how know you are with the undertaking .
Whether you design the cover yourself or hire a freelancer, you ’ ll need to think like a seller when it comes to evaluating your cover design. here are some things to keep in take care :

  • Use inspiration to inform your decision. Gather together a couple of cover designs from successful books in your genre and evaluate what works best for them. Why is one cover more appealing than another? What does the content of the cover say about your book?
  • Think in terms of thumbnails. When customers browse your online store, Amazon, or physical bookstores⁠—your cover art will be significantly reduced in size. Remember that small details of your book cover design might be missed in this context. During the design process, try to remember to view your cover in its thumbnail form to make sure prominent details aren’t missed and that the cover doesn’t look too busy. 
  • Make your title legible. An eye-catching cover design could go to waste if readers aren’t able to quickly and easily associate it with your book title. Having the title featured prominently will help readers associate the image with the name of your book and make them more likely to remember it. 
  • Keep the spine and back cover in mind. Although the spine and back cover may not be visible in thumbnails, they will be visible in the physical incantation of your book. A lot of readers care about what the spine looks like on their bookshelf. Follow the same aesthetic as your cover, and make sure the design is coherent. 

If you ’ re looking to hire a interior designer, you can use freelance services above that you used to hire an editor to besides hire a designer :
Find your designer on Guru

Free tools for designing your own cover

If you have design experience and want to try your hand at designing your own cover, here are some complimentary design tools you might consider using :
At this point, you should have a well-edited manuscript and a solid cover charge design, but there are still more steps to bringing all those elements together in the universe of a physical product .

4. Decide which self-publishing platforms you’ll be using

A self-publishing platform is a tool used to turn all the elements of your ledger into a physical product and distribute it to buyers and retailers. The self-publishing company you use will affect your distribution channels, then at this point it ’ s important to start thinking about how you want to sell books online .

Self-publishing with print on demand

print on demand is a fulfillment method wherein your books are printed and shipped at the degree of sale. This means that you don ’ t need to print a bunch of copies of your book, hold them as stock certificate, and ship them yourself .
Print-on-demand books are perfect for self-publishers, because it ’ sulfur humble price and saves time by letting you outsource the fabrication and distribution of your products .

Selling on Amazon using Kindle Direct Publishing

Kindle Direct Publishing ( KDP ) is Amazon ’ s self-publishing chopine that allows users to print their books on need at the point of sale. Amazon accounts for about 50 % of the print record market. Readers are used to Amazon ’ s interface, making it easy for them to navigate and find your bible .
On top of this, Amazon will suggest your book to readers who its algorithm thinks might be concerned. Although KDP will directly upload your book to Amazon, you don ’ triiodothyronine necessarily need to use it to sell print books .

How much does it cost to use KDP?

Since KDP uses print-on-demand fulfillment, charges for using KDP are only incurred once you ’ ve sold a book. Paperbacks sold on Amazon marketplaces using KDP are topic to a 60 % royalty rate, meaning you earn 60 % of the list monetary value .
That being said, print costs ( which can vary based on your newspaper type and phone number of pages ) are besides deducted from your total. Thankfully, Amazon has a handy printing cost and royalty calculator that will give you an estimate of the total measure in royalties you can expect to receive .
amazon-royalty-calculator
One downside to note about KDP is the exclusivity clause : if you sell ebooks on Amazon using KDP, you won ’ thymine be able to sell the same ebooks elsewhere. physical books sold through KDP can hush be sold on other platforms, however.

Selling in-store with Lulu and Shopify

Lulu is a self-publishing platform that provides tools for print and distributing your very own books and ebooks. Lulu offers a wide variety of sizes, bindings, and page types that give you a short ton of options for developing your manuscript and cover into a physical product .
What makes Lulu advantageous is the Lulu Direct Shopify app, which easily integrates with your Shopify memory. Using the Lulu app on your Shopify memory, you can have books printed and shipped at the point of leverage, automating the work of logistics .

Other self-publishing platforms

There are a number of self-publishing companies that allow users to create physical copies of their books and sell them via major retailers. Most have a print-on-demand choice for selling on Amazon, but this might not be available for selling in-store .
If you decide to use a self-publishing platform early than Lulu, you ’ ll necessitate to have copies of your book printed, stored, and shipped in the traditional fashion, meaning there might be more disk overhead costs than with a print-on-demand military service .

  • Reedsy. On top of being a platform to find freelancers, Reedsy also offers self-publishing services. Its book-formatting tool helps self-published independent authors create professionally designed ebooks and printed book files for free. 
  • IngramSpark. IngramSpark offers tools for designing your print books and built-in distribution features to over 40,000 retailers and libraries.
  • Blurb. Blurb is a platform that offers a ton of digital software for creating your book layout and selling it through major retailers like Amazon. Blurb’s tools are especially useful for large photo books with more unique page-to-page design. 

5. Formatting your book

At the format stage of self-publishing, you ’ ll be putting the complete touches on your product, making sure it has all of the accessory of a professionally published book .
The rationality the format step comes after the find a self-publisher step is because self-publishing platforms typically have their own built-in layout and format features. The tools you use might vary depending on the platform you ’ rhenium using, but the end intersection is the same .

How book formatting works

Self-publishing platforms like KDP require users to upload two distinct files. The inaugural is the manuscript file, which includes all of the inside pages of the book and the second is the covering file, which contains the outside of your record : the front cover, spur, and back cover .

Formatting your manuscript file

Though your manuscript may be written and edited to paragon, there are inactive a few format choices to make as you begin to prepare it for publication .
Set your trim and margins. Your trim is the acme and width of your pages. Self-publishing platforms typically have a numeral of page sizes to choose from, but you still need to set margin sizes .
Front matter
A book ’ sulfur front topic is all of the pages that come before the start of your manuscript. Books typically have five types of front-matter pages :
A ledger ’ s front matter is all of the pages that come before the start of your manuscript. Books typically have five types of front-matter pages :

  • Half-title page: Often the very first page of a published book, the half-title page is a right-facing page that contains the book’s title and nothing else⁠—not even page numbers.
  • Title page: Your title page doesn’t include page numbers either, but it does typically contain the author’s name and a subtitle. Publishing companies will also usually include their logo here, but for self-publishers, a logo is optional. 
  • Copyright page: Your copyright page should always fall on the first left-facing page on the reverse of the title page, and contains all of the book’s copyright information. If you’re not sure what to include, here’s a handy template from publisher Scribe.
  • Dedication page: This falls on the next right-facing page and usually doesn’t include page numbers or headers. Dedication pages should be short, usually one or two sentences. 
  • Table of contents pages: Table of contents pages typically list the chapter and section titles of your book, along with the page numbers where they appear. 

Body matter
A book ’ s body matter contains all the text of your chapters. Body count pages start with the inaugural chapter on a right-facing page .

  • Chapter title page: Your chapter title page appears at the start of each chapter in your book. Chapter title pages do not include page headers, but they do include page numbers. 
  • Body pages: Each page of your book that does not start a chapter will be a body page. Body pages typically include a header: usually if they’re left-side pages, the header will be the author’s name; on the right, the header will be the book title. 

Back matter
Your book ’ s back topic will include all of the pages that come after the chapters of your bible. here are the bet on matter pages to include :

  • Bibliography and reference pages: These pages may not be required for fiction books, but non-fiction books typically require attribution pages. 
  • Author bio page: Contains a photo of you, the author, alongside a brief biography. 
  • Index pages: Non-fiction books that cover a wide range of topics typically include an index page that lists topics in alphabetical order next to the page numbers where these topics are discussed. If you include index pages, they will come last. 

The last element your reserve will need to have is an International Standard Book Number ( ISBN ) .
What is an ISBN?
An ISBN is a 13-digit code that uniquely identifies each published edition of your book, along with its publisher and physical properties .
They ’ rhenium useful because they provide a universal joint mention number for your ledger that will work across many different platforms, libraries, and marketplaces. They besides act as proof of ownership over the content of your ledger, so they ’ ra important for self-publishers to have .
How do I get an ISBN number?
Most self-publishing platforms, including Kindle Direct Publishing, will provide you with a free ISBN number for your ledger when using their platform to publish. If your self-publishing platform does not, you can acquire a universal ISBN via myidentifiers.com .
Register your ISBN

6. Launch your book like a store launches a product

If you want to set yourself up for success, your following tax will be to plan a intersection establish. You may not have the feel of a professional publish firm, but you ’ ve prepped for marketing by creating a book that has an hearing you know inside and out. Our handy ecommerce launch checklist can get you on the right track .
There ’ s a set to consider before a script launch. Let ’ s go over some important steps :

    • Make sure your Amazon sales channels work. Amazon is an incredibly important platform for selling books. Whether you sell on Amazon via KDP or are using a different self-publishing platform synced with Amazon, you’ll want to make sure you’re able to accept payments via Amazon. Go through with a test purchase, and let a copy of your book get sent to you as though you’re a customer. 
    • Set up an author website with an online checkout. Your book should have a “home base” for all your sales channels and social media content to lead to. It will make it easier for users to find more information about you and help people get in contact with you for interviews and other promotional opportunities.

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Email address

  • Prepare standard pages on your website. Your author website should include a homepage, About Us page, Contact page, and a product page for your book. Additional blog content and books can be added after launching, but you’ll want to have these pages complete before opening your store. 
  • Set up a way to capture visitor email addresses. Email marketing is a very powerful tool for building an audience. Use an email marketing app like Shopify Email, Seguno, or Klaviyo to send notification emails and provide visitors with a way to receive updates about you and your books.
  • Install an analytics tool. Website analytics can give you valuable insight into visitor behavior and help make improvements to your online store. Shopify has built-in analytics reporting, but you could also set up a third-party analytics tool like Google Analytics.

once your record is formatted and your sales channels are set up, users will be able to purchase your book. now it ’ south time to show them how .
Launch your book

7. Market yourself on social media

You ’ ve written and edited your book like a professional. You ’ ve tested all your sales channels and everything functions seamlessly. You ’ ve got a bang-up looking web site and a capital looking book, but how do you find customers ?
social media provides a huge market opportunity to modest businesses, and self-publishing authors are no exception. Social media offers low-cost access to huge audiences, and having a good social media marketing strategy will help build an absorb hearing that can boost book sales and help widen the reach of awareness of your bible .
Growing your social media following should be an ongoing process, something you ’ ra doing on a consistent basis aboard writing, editing, and publishing your works. For self-publishing, here are a few effective ideas for social media contented you might try to promote your koran :

  • Share excerpts across social media platforms. Give users a sample of your writing to get them hooked, then direct them to purchase your book to read more. 
  • Encourage user reviews on Amazon. User reviews help boost your visibility on Amazon. Encourage early purchasers to leave reviews to help build the visibility of your book. 
  • Start a Facebook ad campaign. With Facebook ads, you can reach your ideal customers based on what they like, their interests, and their behaviors. Set aside a Facebook ad budget to help bring awareness of your book to users most likely to purchase. 
  • Collaborate with social media influencers. Work with influencers that have a crossover audience with yours to build awareness of your book with an audience that might enjoy it. 
  • Reach out to publications and podcasts. The literary world is ripe with online publications and podcasts that cover a wide range of literary genres. Follow publications and podcasts within your niche and see if they’re willing to offer an interview. 
  • Write on your blog and share articles on social media. Since you have a website, why not publish blog articles and share them on social media? Audiences that enjoy your writing will be far more likely to purchase your book.

Growing your consultation on social media takes some meter, but as more and more hearing members become familiarize with your exercise, your on-line book sales will grow .
Promote your book

8. Start work on your next book

Self-publishing authors must act as both authors and entrepreneurs. In the early stages of a occupation, with fewer employees and a lower budget, entrepreneurs tend to wear many hats .
At times, they must act as commercialize strategists, social media managers, web designers, merchandise developers, shipping coordinators, customer overhaul representatives, and everything in between .
For self-published authors, the travel is the same.

Don ’ triiodothyronine be discouraged if your inaugural establish doesn ’ t skyrocket you to the New York Times best seller list. few authors, whether self-published or not, reach the height of their success after publishing their inaugural book .
Continue boosting your social media presence and build your audience. Each interaction on social media will help build up your on-line profile a little more. With each book you release, you ’ ll profit a deeper understand of your consultation and become more habituate to the self-publishing process. Plus, you ‘ll earn passive income along the way .
woman writing in the computer

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