Self-Publishing a Book

Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

Self-publishing a book isn’t as easy you may think. This article provides an overview on putting together a quality book bundle, an essential prerequisite for self-publishing. It’s a quick introduction to the self-publishing process.

The goal for self-publishing is to produce a quality book bundle to hold your quality content. To achieve such a book bundle, you have to complete the self-publishing tasks as perfectly as possible. This involves time and money. And it just isn’t your time we’re talking about. Others are involved in the process and their time needs to be factored into the project. These others are: beta readers, cover artists and editors. While these people may be sympathetic to your launch date, they have their own problems and workloads. Cover artists and editors especially will have other clients and you may have to wait in queue for your project to get worked on.

Quality book bundles for a print book and for an ebook are quite different. Print books are easier since what you see on your computer screen is usually what the print book will look like.

To produce a quality ebook bundle however, it must be formatted in accordance with the Epub3 standard. What you see on your computer screen will most likely not agree with this standard. For instance, to meet the Epub3 standard, you will have to eliminate headers, footers, page breaks and page numbers. In addition, you cannot indent the first line of a new paragraph by using the space bar or the tab key; you must use the indent command. This Epub3 formatting effort can be a tedious and it may require outside help. Hiring such an expert represents another possible interval and expense that has to be accounted for. Smashwords keeps a list of authors who will do ebook formatting and book layouts for a fee. They are not Smashwords employees, just experienced authors looking to pick up a few bucks: https://www.smashwords.com/list. It is also possible to deploy software. Some products or websites are: Reedsy, Upwork, Fivver and others. Most of these software products will require money to either subscribe to the site or buy the software. Before investing the money, investigate if their output will conform to the Epub3 standards.

To self-publishing a book, you need a packager. Packagers and publishers are not the same thing.

With a publisher, you submit a manuscript to a publisher and, after reading the content, they either reject or accept it. If accepted, the publisher will perform all the tasks and absorb all the expense of producing the finished book.

A packager takes your manuscript file and the cover file and puts them together to produce the book and then distributes it to book sellers. Packagers are not concerned with the content of the manuscript and will not reject any manuscript unless it violates their submission guidelines. Some packagers will offer assistance with covers and other aspects of publishing, but these services always come with a price. Kindle is a packager so is IngramSpark and Smashwords.

The process of self-publishing a quality book bundle may seem daunting at first blush, but thousands of other authors have pulled it off. So why can’t you? If you were capable enough to write a book, you’re capable enough to self-publish your book.

Don’t give up!

This material is taken from my forth-coming book How to Self-publish and Market a Book. It will become available in September 2019 in print and ebook formats.