DIY: Your Ultimate Guide to Self Publishing a Book

You wrote a book! Congratulations!

Of course, you want other people to read the book. You can look for an agent or submit it to a publisher’s slush pile. You might get lucky.

You can also pursue the other option. That’s right, you can self publish your book.

Not sure where you should start? Keep reading and we’ll give a solid guide for self publishing a book.

Polish the Book

It’s a hard pill for many first-time authors to swallow, but your first draft is not ready for publication. It absolutely contains at least some of these problems:

  • typos
  • grammar errors
  • stilted passages
  • logical errors
  • structural problems

Assume that you’ll end up writing as many as five drafts of the book before you send it out for feedback from beta readers.

Hire a Professional Editor

No matter how well-meaning or insightful your beta readers, they aren’t a substitute for a professional editor. Odds are good that they’ll consciously or unconsciously hold back to avoid hurting your feelings.

A professional editor won’t give you a pass because they have no emotional investment in you. Giving you honest, actionable advice is a professional editor’s job. They’re also a lot more likely to catch those typos and grammar errors that your eyes just slide over.

Book Formatting and Cover Design

The debate rages on about book formatting and cover design.

On the one hand, you can get formatting templates for free. Many sites and graphic designers offer premade covers at a reasonable price.

On the other hand, the templates might not work the way you want. Premade covers vary wildly in quality. They won’t necessarily capture your book’s emotional tenor exactly the way you want, either.

When in doubt, you can also hire a professional for formatting and cover design.

Choosing an Ebook Self Publishing Channel

Amazon controls around 80% of the total ebook market, which is where self published authors tend to thrive. Kindle’s domination in the e-reader market helps account for this dominance. It makes self publishing a book on Amazon a no-brainer for most authors.

Amazon also offers the KDP Select program. KDP Select gives authors a bigger slice of the revenue in exchange for keeping your ebook exclusively on Amazon. The tradeoff here is that you give up other channels such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. 

Print Editions

Much like ebooks, Amazon also provides options for creating print editions. This was the domain of Createspace, but Amazon has absorbed those functions into its KDP platform.

You can also work through a short run print company if you want physical copies. These companies can often beat the per unit cost you get from Amazon on larger orders. This is ideal if you plan on doing lots of signings and attending conventions.

Parting Thoughts on Self Publishing a Book

Self publishing a book isn’t always easy, but it’s a lot more certain than traditional publishing.

Polish your book and hire a pro editor. Consider your formatting and cover images options. Choose between Amazon ebook exclusivity and wide distribution through other sales channels.

Even if you create a physical edition through Amazon, remember you can save money with short run printing on larger orders.

InstantPublisher.com specializes in short-run printing services. For questions about our printing services, contact us today.