Total Publishing Newbie? Here’s a Guide to Self Publishing for Beginners

Unlike in years gone by, nowadays anyone with something to say and a manuscript can share their words with the world.

In the past, self-publishing was so expensive and confusing that few people went that route. But now, it is much more feasible.

In fact, self-publishing a book can be done in just a couple of hours once you’ve got everything ready. 

Read on to learn all about self publishing for beginners. 

Self Publishing for Beginners

The easiest way to publish a book is to choose from among the publishing companies out there.

With free self-publishing models, you don’t pay a cent upfront. You just pay the publishing companies with the proceeds of your sales through a royalty agreement.

This is a great way to self publish a book with little risk. You won’t have to have a garage full of books that you are responsible to sell. 

But First, Hire an Editor

Before you go one step further in self-publishing, you need to hire an editor. Even if you’ve had several beta readers who gave meticulous notes (and we hope you did that already).

A professional editor will ensure that your book doesn’t scream amateur. The right editor will also fix grammar errors, point out plot problems and other subtle mistakes that your readers will no-doubt find.

Format Your Manuscript

Once your manuscript has been polished to perfection by a professional editor, you need to convert it to the right format.

The format depends on which self-publishing platform you’ll be using. Typically, it will be 

Once your book has been polished by a professional editor, it’s time to get your manuscript formatted for the platform you’ve chosen.

Typically, the format will be .ePub or .mobi. You can use Calibre for free to convert your manuscript into the right format. 

Get an ISBN

In case you don’t know, an ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number.

This 13-digit number is used all over the world to identify a book. Many booksellers require an ISBN to stock a book. 

If you plan to skip the book printing and binding and just sell your book as an e-book, you may not need an ISBN.

Beware of publishing companies that offer a free ISBN. Most of the time, you won’t be listed as the publisher. This limits your rights and ownership of your own work.

It’s better to invest the $125 and purchase an ISBN on your own. 

Create a Book Cover

Everyone judges a book by its cover. That’s why traditional publishing houses have entire teams dedicated to designing book covers.

Your book cover is a vital marketing element that you mustn’t ignore. Self publishing a book means that you don’t have access to the design and marketing teams that a large house does.

So you’ll need to consider your cover design options and see what works best for you.  

Bottom Line on Easiest Way to Publish a Book

Thanks for reading. We hope this article has demystified self publishing.

At the end of the day, the easiest way to publish a book is to choose between the publishing companies that specialize in self publishing.

At Instant Publisher, we specialize in self publishing for beginners and experienced authors alike. 

We offer offers quick, affordable book publishing, excellent customer service and a variety of print finishing options.

Contact us today and let’s get started. 

Ready to Publish? Here’s How to Publish Your Next Best Seller

Yes, you can publish your book!

All this time, you may have been thinking that getting published is difficult and time-consuming. The good news? It’s so much easier than you think.

Learning how to publish a book is as simple as clicking on a do-it-yourself website. Let’s get started to see what it takes.

Planning Your Layout and Design

Assuming you’ve already got the content ready to go, the layout of your book can vary. It depends on which direction you’d like the pages to flip and how large the pages are.

Keep things visually appealing on the page by not cluttering them up. Make sure your paragraphs and pictures or illustrations have white space around them. If you use an existing template, you may be able to simply copy and paste your content into the assigned spaces.

It’s great when you can use a timesaving tool like this. It also gives you options you didn’t know existed for page design.

How to Publish a Book for Profit

The length of your book determines how much it costs to print. If this is a first run, you might want to use the shorter version and see how well it sells. Future runs could be revised with more pages if the book does well with readers.

Make sure you stay within your budget, so you create a financial win even on the first publishing run. Check out other books similar to your own to compare length and content styles. 

This research might help you make smarter choices in terms of how many pages and illustrations to include. Keep in mind who your audience is, so you can make the best choices for them.

Forget Your Fear and Publish

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the idea and then back out at the end of the process. Sometimes, fear of failure keeps us from hitting the send button and making our dream come true.

Look at all the time and effort you’ve put into creating something you’re passionate about. Remember how you felt when you finished the first page, let alone the first chapter.

Allow that same excitement to push you forward and complete the project. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from finishing the book you started. Many people never even put pen to paper, let alone see their work in print.

Create Your Book Today

If you’re ready to stop talking about writing a book and actually do it, then today is your day! The tools are in place, the website is ready, and all you need to do is get your content there.

There is nothing like the feeling of holding your book in your hands and sharing your work with others. Gather your content, research prices and see how to publish a book easily.

Contact us today and let us help you create a plan. We are excited to see what you’ve created and even more proud to be a part of it!

Self Publishing Vs Traditional Publishing: Which is Best?

For most of the 20th century, traditional publishing was the only option for many authors. While the technology existed for self-publishing, it proved prohibitively expensive for most people.

The rapid technological development since 2000 changed the game completely. Amazon now offers a stable platform for self-publishing ebooks and print editions through its KDP select program. Authors can also take advantage of print on demandtechnology for short-run printing of physical editions.

With all these changes in the industry, it begs the question: Is self-publishing or traditional publishing best? Let’s jump in and take a closer look at the two options.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing typically means an author places a book with one of the Big 5 publishers:

  • Hachette
  • HarperCollins
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Penguin Random House
  • Macmillan

Of course, that makes it sound simple. It’s not.

The vast majority of titles the Big 5 publish come through author agents who champion the book with an editor. The editor then champions the book with the publisher, which offers a contract.

That means traditional publishing requires an author to secure an agent. While not as difficult as directly selling a book to a publisher, securing an agent is often a monumental task for new authors.

Traditional Publishing Benefits

If you can secure a contract with a traditional publisher, it does come with some benefits. The publisher handles a wide range of tasks.

For example, the publisher handles proofreading, formatting, distribution, and even some marketing. The author’s main job during the process is revisions based on the editor’s notes and promoting the book.

Self Publishing

Self-publishing happens when an author takes on all of the duties of the publisher. The author does face certain limits in terms of distribution. Most major bookstores won’t carry self-published titles.

That means the author must select from a small number of distribution channels, such as:

  • Amazon
  • iBooks
  • Kobo
  • BookBaby
  • Smashwords

Some authors opt for exclusive distribution of their ebooks on Amazon through its KDP Select program.

Self Publishing Benefits

Self-publishing does offer some benefits as well. For one, the author retains substantially more control. The book will only change as much as the author lets it change during editing.

The self-publishing process moves much faster. Once you finish editing the book, you can publish it almost immediately in ebook form. You can also order print editions immediately.

You might wait a year or more for a traditional publisher to print your book.

Which is Best?

The question of whether self-publishing or traditional publishing is best doesn’t offer simple answers.

Traditional publishing offers very long odds of success for new authors. It’s an energy-sapping and time-consuming process to get an agent. Even if you get an agent, it’s no promise of publication.

If you despise managing details and self-promotion, self-publishing will prove an exercise in misery. 

Self-publishing is the best route if you relish control and want a guarantee of publication.

InstantPublisher.com helps authors self publish with short-run printing of physical copies. For more information or questions about our print services, contact InstantPublisher.com today.

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.