What you need to know about self-publishing and how it works
It’s a long journey from writing your book to having it available for readers to buy, but if you are ready to publish and need some guidance, you are in the right place!
Below we listed 10 essential steps you need to take to self-publish a professional book. If you are still wondering if self-publishing is the right solution for you, we put together a list of pros and cons that may help you before you continue. Read our blog post: Is Self-Publishing Right For You?
Whether this is your fist book or your tenth, we can help you through every step of self-publishing your book.
If you got to this page we assume you are done (or close to done) with the first step you need to take to become a published author: writing the book.
Need a complete overview of the publishing process before the step-by-step checklist?
Yes, send me a free copy of Six Steps to Successful Self-Publishing: The Beginner’s Guide.
Now, let’s dig into the list.
Not finished writing yet?
If you’re still in the process and need some help or tips, we collected some resources on how to approach book writing.
Ten steps to self-publish a book
Average time to publish: 120 days
Here is the list of the steps we follow at Luminare Press to go from a finished manuscript to a professionally published book. At the end, you’ll get an interactive checklist to help you track your progress.
- Define your goals and determine what you need to achieve them
Writers publish for a wide variety of reasons, and you should understand what your goals are. Once you do that, you can determine what you need to have a successful publishing experience. We provide a wide range of services and packages you can choose from, and we’re happy to help you figure out the best options for YOUR book.
Whether you tackle it yourself, work with a friend, or choose a professional editor (we offer three levels of editing as optional service) this is something you MUST do. Publishing an unedited book can doom your project from the beginning—the last thing you want is readers complaining about your spelling in reviews. Why editing is so important? What does an editor do? You can read all about it in this article, but the short answer is: an editor is going to assure that your book meets the professional standards that your audience expects.
- Determine the size and scope of the book
Are you publishing a novel with a black-and-white interior or a picture book with a full-color interior? Will it be hardback or paperback? Standard or oversized? You need to determine what your book is physically going to look like and make sure your ideas are compatible with the printer. The type of binding, the interior color, and the number of pages will affect the layout and determine your final retail cost.
- Asset review
What’s an asset? Anything that it’s not text. Books are made of many different pieces: images and graphics, author photo, cover and back cover text, title, blurbs and more. You need to make sure everything is in order.
- Book Cover
Nobody should judge a book by the cover, but everybody does. Book covers are the best and easiest way to make a first good impression. We strongly recommend investing in a well-designed cover that represents your book and resonates with your audience. Unless you are a professional designer you should consider design service.
- Interior design and formatting
If content is the king, esthetic is the queen. Your book and your readers deserve a beautiful and functional page design. Spacing, font dimensions, page size, and layout are key elements in making a book enjoyable and easy to read. This process involves more than one person on our team, and it takes time, but it’s absolutely crucial in the self-publishing process.
- Final check
This is the time for a final review. Upload your files to a Print-on-demand (POD) printer and order a proof copy. We always take the time to review an online proof and a physical copy and correct any errors before the book goes to press. This is not a time to rush—your book deserves a thorough review before you make it available for sale or order large quantities.
This is when the magic happens. You hit the publish button, place your first order, and distribution starts. From this moment you are a published author, ready to embark on a new phase.
Distribution and accessibility are keys to your success. Whether you want to share your story with family and friends or reach a wider audience, we suggest you create a digital version and make it available on the online stores, ready for people to buy and read. With our ebook service we create the proper ready-to-publish files. Amazon, Apple Book, Kobo will be home to your book.
- Marketing and publicity
Don’t forget to share and promote your book! If you publish with us we’ll advertise your content to our community and on our social media pages, but the more you do, the better your book will sell. Consider in-person events and book signings, creating a website as a storefront for your book, and building a social media presence to promote your personal brand. You may want to go further and invest in advertising to reach your audience, but there are many inexpensive ways to start your marketing journey. Download our free marketing guide to get some ideas.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU REVIEWED THE ENTIRE PUBLISHING JOURNEY.
Now keep up the hard work. Download the interactive checklist, track your progress, and mark the important steps you’re taking toward the publishing moment.
Fancy some help?
If you are ready and you want to move faster with your book, or you know you need some professional help for some or all the steps, book a free consultation call with us.
It’s a 15-minute free conversation that will help you clarify your personal roadmap and what you need to do now to be able to publish your book without wasting time or money.