At one point in your life, you may begin to consider the idea of self-publishing a book. It might be because of its many benefits, such as having a lot more authority with your content, having greater royalty rates, or attaining the satisfaction of putting into paper that core idea you have always had. There are various considerations when choosing whether you go to a publisher or have your book published on your own.
However, self-publishing a book is not an easy task, even for those who have a publishing background. Then again, if you’re looking for a shortlist of how to self-publish a book, here are the most basic – yet most substantial – steps that you need to take:
Step 1. Write and Back-up Your Manuscript
Write your manuscript and transfer it into a word document. It is always best to look for a Word Processor (you’ll end up using Microsoft Word, most likely) and do everything digitally because of its many pros: you can easily edit, go back a few versions, track changes, upload everything in the cloud, etc. Also, what’s important is for you to have more than one back-up of your manuscript, be it through an external hard drive, the cloud, or even in your e-mail.
Step 2. Hire a Content Editor
Hire a professional editor to read or edit your content. Studies have shown how important it is to hire a professional when you’re aiming to write a book; they are masters of grammar, of course, but most importantly, their input on what can be improved with your novel is golden. Of course, as a publisher, you would want more control of your work. At the end of the day, it is always up to you if you want to follow what they say. However, their insights might just be good for your book.
Step 3. Look for a Print on Demand Company
Look for a Print on Demand Company, because it’s the perfect go-to for self-publishers. You don’t need to spend much (or any) money upfront – all you really do is publicize your book and the buyers can get one made when they want it.
Step 4. Design your Book Cover
It’s best if you can hire a designer to select the size of your book, its shape, color or any other visual element of your masterpiece. At first sight, people have to judge your book by its cover, and it’s important if you can make its cover attractive enough for people to get into it.
Step 5. Design your interior and layout
Select photographs, images, type of fonts, and illustrations for the interior of your book. In terms of layout, it is also best to find someone who’s a design professional – unless you can do it on your own – because not only do they know how to use the proper software to make the designs, but also the theories to apply so it can be likened by readers or be marketable.
Design alone can make or break your book, so steps 4 and 5 are just as important. There are many professionals out there waiting for a job, and there are many nifty ways for you to look for them. You can use freelance websites such as Odesk.com where you can find even the cheapest deals for a designer.
Step 6. Submission of the Digital Files
Upload your files and forward them to your publisher. Make sure that you are very specific with what you want, like all the details from the cover of your book, to the layout design. Everything.
Step 7. Order a Hard Copy Proof and Proofread
You cannot see layout and formatting errors easily in the digital file. Prior to publishing, it is critical to do one last proofread on a hard copy of the book. By then, you’re almost ready to publish.
It is important to take now, however, that at this stage you should only be making small typo corrections. If you make major corrections at this point, it can change the entire spacing and formatting. The time and money required to do so may not be worth it.
Step 8. Submit for Final Publication
Submit the corrected files to the publisher, and then look at their first print to see if all the changes have been applied. If you don’t have any more changes, you can finalize your self-published book!