First timers guide to self-publishing
As some of you may know, I self-published my first book last year. It was a scary experience, not knowing what to do or where to go – sort of like the first time you play World of Warcraft (just without the warlocks!).
I joined up to a few webinars and read an awful lot of blogs but still felt like I was still on a dark path to the forest of no-where. Since publishing, I have had a few people ask HOW I did it so I decided to share my knowledge with you so your path to self-publishing is a peaceful stroll in the blossoming parks of Spring!
STEP 1: CONTENT
If you already have your content, great! You can skip this bit. If not, work on creating your content in a good old MS Word document. Don’t worry about pretty finishes or anything at this stage – just get your ideas on paper..(er, screen)!
STEP 2: EDITING
Once I had the content down, I sent my content off to an editor so ensure everything sounded as professional as I had imagined in my head. The wonderful Susie Campbell at Little Black Book Marketing edited and enhanced my text and sent is back with track changes so I could see what she had changed. Susie also wrote a press release for me which I used to promote my book once i had published.
STEP 3: FORMATTING
- PRINTED RELEASE
Being a graphic designer, I did this part myself. If you are planning to release a printed copy, I highly recommend seeking the services of a graphic designer who works in print and publication. This will ensure that everything is set up how it should be and conforms to all print specifications set by your publisher.
You know that word document you have been busy formulating? This is all you need for you e-book. Because e-books formats are adaptable and will look different on every device, you will need to ensure colours and graphics are kept to a minimum when formatting your document. Avoid using templates and word art or you will run into problems. To create the .epub files, I used Calibre – E-Book Management System which is a free software. I found it very easy to use and it did the job!
I also created a downloadable PDF version of my book to sell online through my web store. It is a condensed version of the book – not as many pages or images to keep file size down but you can do whatever you like in this department! Just ask your designer to supply an online copy of the design or, convert your e-book to a PDF. Matt from Off the Hook Marketingset up my web store for me and handled all of the technical stuff in regards to this.
STEP 5: Registering an ISBN
An ISBN is a number that identifies your book when being sold through distribution channels. You CAN NOT publish anything legally and sell it without an identifier. I used Thorpe-Bowker to register my ISBN and barcodes.
STEP 5: Publishing
Now you have all of your content and files, its time to publish! The Publisher I used is Ingram Spark, part of the Ingram Content Group. It’s is free to join as a publisher, and it costs around $50 to submit a title. They handle everything from your Amazon accounts and distribution of your title. You will need to allow at least a month for this step, particularly if you are getting a printed proof before you publish.
And that’s it! All you have to do now is promote your book. Some ideas? Set up a facebook page, send a press release off to your local media and anyone who may be interested to drum up sales. And don’t forget to check out my book – “Guide to creating your business image and branding”.
“If you’ve ever been baffled by design and print jargon and just want the job done, then this guide is for you! Simple, easy to understand and leaves you sounding like a pro! A must have guide. 5 stars for documenting what we have all been asking for for years!” – Little Black Book Marketing