The Self-Publishing Process

Ok so I know the world of publishing is moving more towards Self-Publishing vs. going the route of Publishing houses, this trend can be a confusing one and expensive if not done correctly.  Then again there’s also the side where there’s some cross overs, i.e. E.L. James – she started with a piece of Fanfiction – self published the work, gained an audience and was picked up by a scout/agent, and then a publishing house.  Her 50 Shades of Grey series has boomed (I haven’t read it so I cannot give input on it, didn’t even read it on Fanfiction, I just have a hard time reconciling her characters with the intended ones of Edward & Bella…putting them in a S&M world, so I’ve not read it) and is now wildly popular and the talk of a possible major motion picture.

So if done right the Self-Publishing process can work out similar to the one listed above, so without further adieu according to the website here’s the process one much go through in order to Self-Publish their work:

There are five (5) steps to the Self-Publishing Process:

  1. Learn
  2. Edit
  3. Design
  4. Publish
  5. Market

Let’s break it down:

1.  Learn

What is self-publishing? The author creates own company and uses that company to publish their book, they do all of the work: proofreading, editing, formatting, cover design, printing & distribution, and promotion

Why Self-Publish?

The author has more control of the layout, cover design and promotion, more profit, especially useful when the work is time-sensitive and needs to be published quickly or on the flip side, there’s been no interest in the book from trade publishers

What is an ISBN?

The ISBN is the International Standard Book Number, a new number is needed for each version of the book – each type (paperback or hardback) requires their own ISBN;  The ISBN has two components; one identifies the publisher and the other identifies the version of the book.  The cost of registering an ISBN is generally around $125/each or $250/ten ISBN’s (this is according ONLY to this website)

2. Edit

This can be a longer process and it is reccomended that you not scheduled events or marketing until the editing process is complete.  It is a good idea to consider hiring a professional editor especially if you need assistance with the basics of grammar and spelling or review of the Story line and plot.

3.  Design

Interior Design and Layout and Cover Design

Before formatting – have the book edited and proof read; choose a printer so layout is set to their specifications; then choose your book size and binding method.

Design the book cover

“Make sure your cover grabs their attention and is suitable for its genre and audience”

Exact measurements are determined by the number of pages and the type of paper stock

Complete the interior design BEFORE final cover is made

The Book size and width of the spine and bleed is typically an 1/8″ on all sides

What makes a good cover design?  One that grabs attention on a larger and smaller scale

4.  Publish

Choose your printing method

– Offset printing – large# of copies printed all at once.  Cost will go down as the number of copies goes up

– Print on Demand (POD) – single copy (or more) printed at a time – initial investment is low

Choose your distribution method

– Printing method offsets distribution

– Want to get on the Ingram list – a catalogue of books available for distribution to bookstores

– POD Method – choose a printer that can also distribute through Ingram

5.  Market

Find your niche – or rather your target audience

Start local – local events, newspapers, radio stations, groups, etc.

Use a website/blog/Facebook/twitter

– your books website should always be the main link back – and all social media points  back to this website

Book signings – look for smaller independent book sellers – this is an old school method, and with online self-publishing this is harder to accomplish – J.R. Ward of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series accomplishes this by allowing her audience to order signed copies of her books in a limited distribution – these then become collectors editions because there not common – this could not be done with just Direct-to-Kindle publishing.

Use Trade shows and book fairs

Lastly the Amazon Look Inside preview feature

These are from just one website, for more information I’d suggest doing a more comprehensive search and research before committing to any one process.


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