Self-publishing process: a how-to guide. Kindle book on desk with glasses

If you’re thinking of self-publishing your novel, here is the self-publishing process you need to go through.


So you’ve done everything as outlined in the proofreading process, and now you want to move onto the self-publishing process. If it’s your first time self-publishing, you might be feeling anxious, excited, but most of all, confused. Who do you publish with, how do you choose a printing company, how do you choose a book price?

This guide will provide you with the answers to the above questions, and hopefully answer some more that you didn’t know you had about the self-publishing process.


Have your book edited/proofread

Before you send your book to print, you need to ensure that it’s error-free and that you’re absolutely happy with it. Maybe even get friends and family to read it whilst it’s in manuscript form so they can point out minor errors too. Hire a qualified proofreader who can really help you make reasonable changes.


Choose your self-publishing option

It’s not just a case of choosing a printer and having the novel printed. You need to think about the format your book can be purchased in, e.g. eBook, paperback, hardback. How you visualise the book’s format will have an effect on who you decide to print with.

It seems Amazon is your best chance of selling the most amount of books, so their programme CreateSpace is a popular one. It allows you to send books off to be printed, but also for Kindle and e-editions. It’s a print-on-demand service, that you don’t pay for. You simply make a commission whenever a book sells, however this means Amazon may take a large cut. It’s a good idea to shop around.

If you can afford to pay to have your books printed, you might make more money per copy without Amazon taking money too.


Top Tip: Apply for an ISBN

Every book, including eBooks, needs an ISBN code.


Work out the cost

This is the boring bit of the self-publishing process, but also very important. You need to sit down and work out your finances. You should work out how much it’ll cost to have the book edited, or proofread, and how much it’ll cost someone to format the inside, and design the front and back covers.

You’ll need to work out how much it’ll cost to have the book printed, and therefore how much you want to sell each copy for.

Just remember to set realistic budgets for each stage. An editor can cost from £500 upwards. A graphic designer might be £200-300. You will have to put quite a lot of money into your book before you can begin selling it.

This might be why eBook format is a better option for you. It takes out the printing costs, making the overall cost much less. Perhaps choose to print hard copies later.


Get your book formatted and designed

Once you’ve decided all of the above, it’s time to send your manuscript off for formatting and to request cover designs. It might also be worth asking your graphic designer if they can create some social visuals of the book cover too which you can use as promotional material.


The hardest part of the self-publishing process: deciding on a publishing date



Once you’ve decided on a publishing date, you need to start promoting your novel. Give yourself plenty of time to do this.

You need to build up some interest before your publishing date. It’ll make people aware of the book, and aware when it’s coming out. This is the time for setting up any Facebook pages specifically for your book, or for you as an author. You should do the same with Twitter and Instagram accounts too. You should also consider some kind of author website too.

You’ll need to begin pre-selling your book to. You could send Advanced Reader Copies to book bloggers to review. This means excellent promotion for you and your book for free.

You should be sending out press material, or promoting the book to distributors. However, if you decided to take the eBook-only route, it’s more beneficial to do online promoting instead. Perhaps you could look into getting your book listed with online retailers, so they can download a copy.


Publishing day and beyond

Publishing day is exciting, but try not to get your hopes up hugely. Your book won’t suddenly sell thousands of copies in the first day, unless you’re a hugely renowned order. Things might be slow at first, but that’s fine. You’re still building up a name for yourself.

After publishing day, the work doesn’t stop unfortunately. Your book won’t get anywhere unless people are aware it exists. You need to continue to focus purely on your social media pages. Build up followers so your posts are getting shared. Be active on Twitter and communicate with other authors, book bloggers, or bookworms.

Writing a book is actually your way of creating a business, though not many people are aware of this. You need to view it as your product that you’re trying to sell. You can’t just be a writer, but you have to be a marketer, social media manager, salesman, web developer, all at the same time. It’s a big responsibility, and may take up a large amount of your time.


It’s a bit of a long process, and may take a while for you to fully understand it and work out your next move. But self-publishing has been around for years and only shows signs of speeding up, not slowing down.

I hope my self-publishing guide can help you to publish your novel.


Have you had any experience in self-publishing? Share your experiences below to help others out!

The Self-Publishing Process: How To
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