Self-Publishing A Book: Your 10 Step Guide

Posted on Jun 14 2012 - 11:33am by Editorial Staff

Often in life, you come at such point when you wish to put up your own words and come out in front of the whole world, almost every second person wants the same, but sometimes it would not be possible to bring it in front of all, I am sure you know how to write, but does your words fascinate the publishers out there.

I guess NO, for them, the one and foremost priority is only one thing at first – the content.  Publishers often wants to see how better the content is, and well, even if you have good content with you, still the same publisher will keep a choice in mind that it would be better if i have a known-named writer on  board instead of giving a chance to a fresh writer.

In such a case, Self-publishing can be a smart choice for writer as it is cost-effective, relatively fast, pays much better than standard royalty contracts, and lets you maintain control over the publishing process. Vanity presses, subsidy publishers, micro publishing, POD (print on demand) printing and ‘true’ self publishing are many ways to self publish.


Goal: Decide what your primary goal is that you want to achieve once your book is out. Some writers are happy to share their story (book) by just taking print out and sharing with only their friends and colleagues whereas other wants to do really big, by making the book available to a larger audience, and even sometimes that not only meant for domestic level but across the world.

Understanding the competition: Say you want to write about some tech, and you think that book with some similar information/content is already out in the market, but you don’t have any confirmation, and even if the book is out, you want to know how many copies being sold out that book, just simple Call book distributor Ingram at (615) 213-6803 and you’ll hear a voice message containing the number of copies sold in the last year.

Mentally Preparation: Remember that it is your passion for getting the book out to the public, and you better know that the process from selecting up the topic to writing the article and making the book publish, followed by huge marketing and advertising is not a small step, but you have to make yourself mentally strong at the very first stage itself. And, also not to forget, writing, publishing and bringing the book out to the public is an exciting process either, so do enjoy too.


Writing: So, now you are in the run to start writing chapter-by-chapter, well, don’t forget it is not just copy paste thing, where you copy from one source and make it as chapter of your book. Further, remember don’t consider it as a blog post. A blog post is typically 500-2000 words and a book chapter sometimes want more. Also, do not forget to put up intros and outros for each post. Make the chapters of total 3000-4000 words. This is your duty to explain the reader WHY this chapter is a part of the book.

ISBN: Get ISBN number for your book is an important part then whether you wish to sell it online and offline. ISBN number can be purchased from ISBN directly but also beware they sell only in blocks of at least 10 such numbers, not on per unit basis.

Deciding on format: You are done with book writing and now have to decide which format suits best as per your requirements: hardcover, softcover or an ebook.  Publishing and distributing book on ebook format will definitely reduce your cost as it required no paper printing.


On-demand publisher: Major task, you are done with almost every essential part that makes you to reach at this step with your book, but unless and until you check out with right print-on-demand publishers, your book can’t be reached to the audience you are seeking for. If you want to opt for press house to publish your book, they will certainly charge you big bucks. Remember here, some will print just a few copies for you while other ask you to pay on huge numbers all at one time.

There is one option that picking pace these days, name as Print-on-demand (POD), which is ideal and can publish 25 to 500 copies at one single time. Instead of printing on traditional, huge printing equipments, POD uses highend copier. Some shops like, and offer perfect binding so it looks just like a printed book.

Cost: Keep an eye on costing during the whole of production time, like, for example, typical fees are $3 to $6 per page for editing, $3 to $5 for production, $500 to $5,000 and more for design, plus $3 per 300-page book for printing. View competitor’s books to determine what resources that are utilizing i.e. size and format and see if they are using the same format or different and how much it results in increase or decrease in total cost.

Distribution: Major task, you need to find out the ways by which you will distribute your book out to the people. Some print-on-demand companies handle it in-house. Other method is the old way, go to contact book chains and asking them to stock your book, mainly you have to visit each bookstore individually and even have to handle any mail orders you got on your own. Certainly, there are chances (usually happens) that some bookstores will accept a limited number of your book on consignment basis and you will be paid once the books get sell out else you will collect your books back. Some even sell it through online medium.

Marketing and Promotion: Your book is ready, is on publishing mode, you set-up the distribution cycle, so now what left. There are two main players still required, which let you grab more order, turning into sales figures, they are marketing and promotion. Some examples like in order to make more users to come and buy your book, you can offer the first 20-25 copies totally free of cost and ask them to post good reviews for you on Amazon (thinking the case that your book is listed on Amazon). Engage yourself in speaking engagements from time to time and do the self promotion.  Continuously writing a blog post sharing insights about the book, telling the reader how it is different from others. Writing guests posts for blogs from which a lot more people able to know about you and finally not to forget we are living in the world of social media, so updating as well as interacting on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ are also very helpful.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.