How to Self-Publish a Book: 13 Simple Steps to Publish a Book Yourself

Have you completed writing your first book and now want to publish it yourself? Or have you had some bitter experience with publishing houses and now don’t want to take their help anymore?

Whatever the case is, you can always self-publish your book. It can be stressful for the author to have to do many things alone, but it can surely be hassle-free if you follow certain steps.

Publishing Style Pros Cons
Self-publishing ➔   Faster publishing time.

➔   Complete creative control.

➔   Higher margin.

➔   Custom distribution.

➔   The author has to bear the total publishing cost.

➔   The author has to be in charge of the overall promotion.

➔   The book will be less eligible for bestseller lists and mainstream prizes.


Self-Publish Your Book by Following 13 Steps

You may have already completed writing your book. If not, you may complete it first and then follow the steps below. You can even consult companies that provide self-publishing help to authors before embarking on your self-publishing journey.

Step 1: Title Your Manuscript

Think of a title that completely goes with your story. If readers can’t relate the story with the title, the chances of getting bad reviews and poor sales are higher. Some quick tips:

  • Keep your title short yet intriguing so that people get curious about the book and can’t help buying and reading it.
  • Your title shouldn’t sound similar to the works of others. Otherwise, it will create a negative impression. So, be careful and do your research properly.

Step 2: Edit the Draft

After completing your writing, you need to edit your draft thoroughly because no one enjoys reading a book full of typos and plot holes. So, never publish unedited work. Some points to remember in this regard include:

  • It would help if you allow at least a few days between completing your writing and editing your manuscript. You can wait a week or more. It will let you look at your work with fresh eyes as if you were an editor.
  • Read the draft thoroughly to see if you have maintained the proper sequence of your story, if you have written the characters well, or if you have an impactful ending, and so on. Take notes while reading and rewrite where necessary.
  • While editing, check and correct mechanical errors such as typos or spelling mistakes.
  • Reading aloud works like magic. It will help you identify what changes you need to make in your writing.

Step 3: Compose Publisher-ready Book Description

Compose the copy in a way that will inform the readers about the book’s content and will entice them to read the whole book. For better sales, this step is very important.

  • Hook readers with a headline using a dramatic statement or an exciting line from your book to get readers invested right away.
  • You need to include the main idea of your book here. Never summarize the whole thing.
  • Leave readers wanting more. You can give a hint at a twist and end it on a question or cliffhanger so that it becomes impossible for readers not to read the whole book.
  • Writing around three hundred words would be enough.
  • To take ideas on composing book descriptions, you can read some reports of bestsellers in your genre and then write yours.

Step 4: Compile Front and Back Matter of the Book

Once you edit, rewrite, polish, and finalize your draft for publication, you can now concentrate on working on the front and back matter for the different parts of the book.

For instance, the front matter must include:

  1. Title Page: You must mention your book title, author, and publisher.
  2. About the Story: What you have written in step 2 should be added here.

Furthermore, the back matter should ideally include:

  1. About the Author: Here, you can add some information about yourself and mention your mailing address, website, and other professional contact address.
  2. Note from the Author: You can leave a message for readers. You can thank them for reading your book and request them to leave a quick review.
  3. Also By This Author: This section helps to increase the sales of other books written by you. So always mention some of your best books with cover images. And if you are publishing e-books, include links to your books here.
  4. Copyright: You must include a copyright page where you will mention e-book specific ISBN, credit for the cover design, or any other illustrations.

Step 5: First Proofread Yourself

After writing everything, it is the time for you to proofread the writing one more time. It’s important to make the end product clean and free from typos. Go over it closely and carefully. Reading aloud can help you a great deal.

Step 6: Hire a Proofreader

Getting professional help is always a good call. The mistakes you couldn’t find out during proofreading, the professionals can notice in the draft. They are fast and efficient. They can even share some suggestions with you.

As a result, the quality of your book will surely increase, and you will be able to publish your book within the timeframe you have fixed.

Step 7: Format Your Book for Publication

Once the manuscript is polished, it’s time to format your book, including headings, page numbers, and aligned text.

Because professionally formatted books that look clean and not distracting can help you make a good impression on readers; otherwise, your book will earn bad reviews.

This step is easy for those authors who publish their books through agents. They need to format their draft in a standardized, readable way. The publishing house takes care of the rest.

However, as a self-publisher, you must format and ready the book 100% to publish.

Though writing a book and formatting it requires different skill sets. However, you can get it done by paid or free book formatting software. And if you are thinking of printing your book, you should hire a professional typesetter to perfect your book’s interior.

Step 8: Design an Attractive Book Cover

An eye-catching cover design will entice and send readers the message that this book suits them.

Professional illustrators can create the book cover you dream of. But you can always share your views. So don’t get busy making the cover yourself; hire the professionals as they are the intellects and know what to do.

In terms of your book cover, bear the following in mind:

  • The book cover should be tasteful and catchy. It can be illustration-based, photo-based, or typography-based. But do not overdo it; it will make it unprofessional.
  • The cover should reflect the book genre. Because readers look for the design elements in their favorite genres, do your research to develop the ideas.
  • Tailor your cover based on your publishing medium. You will need a spine and back cover design to print your book. However, if you are self-publishing an e-book, a beautiful front cover would be enough because it will be the only thing readers see.

Step 9: Ask for Peer Review

Third-party feedback is always precious. If you want, you can ask for notes from your family and friends. However, this is a delicate process, and it’s better to ask for feedback from anonymous people because it’s likely that families can get biased with their feedback.

You can ask for constructive feedback or criticism from your trustworthy writer friends, beta readers, writing communities, and critic circles for better output.

Step 10: Purchase ISBN

The ISBN is a unique identifier that indicates the edition, format, and publisher of a book or book-like products. You should purchase an ISBN for your title.

Reasons why an ISBN is important:

  • An ISBN increases the chances that your book will be discovered and purchased.
  • It links to important information about your book.
  • Most retailers ask for ISBNs.
  • ISBN allows you to sell and distribute your book more effectively.
  • It helps you collect and analyze book sales data.
  • Some countries charge a higher tax on a book without ISBN.
  • ISBN is an international standard for identifying books.

Step 11: Create a Book Launch Plan

Before publishing your book, make a killer launch plan to raise awareness among your existing and new audiences, and kick up a fuss about your book.

A solid book launch plan should ideally include the following steps:

  • Form a team with your collaborators and friends and ask them to promote your book on their own platforms.
  • Create a website and mailing list to acquire more readers. For this, you can hire a web designer.
  • Request reviews for your book. Because people will think your book isn’t worth reading if it has no reviews when it first comes out.
  • Throw an online launch party. Do every possible thing to let your audience know about your book.

Step 12: Publish Your Book

Now you should feel thrilled because you are all set to publish your book. You can either publish it on online platforms for your audiences who prefer reading e-books, or print your books to attract the readers to love to read and collect books.

You can easily publish your book through Amazon or other retailers such as Apple Books and Barnes & Noble.

Going Amazon-exclusive is considered the best option for first-timers because it offers so much in return. KDP (an Amazon-only program) allows you to offer promotional prices and adds your book to the Kindle Unlimited library, allowing more readers to find your book and read it.

However, if your target readers live in areas like Canada or Germany where Amazon has less control over the online book market, you should consider other platforms. So, before publishing your book, do your research.

Step 13: Promote Your Book to Increase Sales

Publishing your book doesn’t mean your job is done here. That is just another start. To attract more readers, you must promote your book in every possible way and effectively.

So, promoting your book to the fullest is the final step of your self-publishing journey.

You did a bit of promotion with your launch plan; however, you need to consider some other essentials this time.

  • Increase your blog tours and connect with authors who might want to promote your book.
  • Make the most of exclusive offers. Unless your book is permafree, customers can always get a better deal. If your downloads are declining and you haven’t run a price offer in a while, that’s what you should do next.
  • Look for third-party promotional services if you still don’t have mass influence regardless of your self-promotion. Book promotion services can help you in creating an impact on your sales.

Final Thoughts

As an outstanding writer, you must convey your beautiful thoughts and lines to the readers. We know that self-publishing a book is a huge undertaking. But the best part is that in this modern time, you can do this on your own by simply following the above steps.

Be confident and achieve your goal! We hope to read your book soon.

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