Essential Steps to Self-Publishing a Book

The self publishing market is reaching brand new heights and there’s no better time to self publish your work than right now. If you’ve been sitting on a manuscript that might be ready to see the light or you want to move your book out of traditional publication through to having more control, then it’s likely that self publishing is right for you. 

How do you get from manuscript to published book? It’s not as hard as you think with the best self-publishing companies.

Here are the essential steps to self publication that can help you to make sure that your manuscript is ready to see the light.

Step 1: Get to the Final Draft

The first step to seeing your book published as a writer is to write the book. This can sometimes feel like it’s one of the hardest parts of the entire process, and it’s certainly the part that takes the longest. 

Your book is likely to undergo several different drafts before you consider it even close to ready. The key is to take your time: Never rush a good story, and never think you can fast-track any part of the writing process just because a traditional publisher won’t see it. 

There are no shortcuts to writing and editing until you have that final draft. 

Step 2: Is It Really Ready? 

Is your manuscript really ready for publication? 

If the answer to the above question is either maybe or no, your manuscript definitely isn’t ready for readers – and we’d recommend that you go back to step one until you’re happier with your work – and close to convinced that your manuscript is ready to be a book.

Step 3: Formatting for Publishing Platforms

Have a draft of your book that you’re finally happy with in terms of grammar, language and plot? Congratulations! That’s most of the battle already over. 

Next, you’ll have to format your book for uploading to a self publishing platform like Lulu or Amazon KDP Select. Each self publishing company will have individual guidelines for how to do this – and there are some general guidelines for how things should be formatted versus not.

Formatting is something that a lot of writers imagine a lot harder than it really is. With a little bit of knowledge about the ins and outs of your word processor, it won’t even take you a full day’s worth of work to do it properly. 

Step 4: Choosing Your Cover Art

While it’s a common saying that you should never judge a book by the cover, it’s what most people do when they buy them. If your cover art doesn’t catch a reader’s attention, why should they care about the contents of the book? 

Choose cover art for your book: There are many copyright-free photographs out there that you can use as a base to create your cover, and if you don’t want to follow this route, there are many other ways – including websites where you can buy pre-created unique covers for your book.

Step 5: Adding Other Details

Self publishing platforms usually require a few other small details (like page numbers, an ISBN number and a copyright page): Check your individual self publishing company for the details that they require – and make sure you add these before you move on to the last phase in the process. 

Step 6: Upload and Publish 

The last step of this phase of the self publishing process is to finally upload and publish your book. If you’ve done every other step right, this part of the process is usually one of the most effortless – and one f the most rewarding!