Publishing your own book is now easier than ever. You can even save big money by doing most of the work yourself! Here’s a simple step-by-step plan to accomplish every item on your list quickly and without breaking the bank.
If you have a basic knowledge of how to work a word processor, simple formatting for Kindle and paperbacks shouldn’t be a problem. If you need a free word processor, I highly recommend and use Open Office.
Paperback tips: Make sure you have your margins set to “mirror.” Your font size can be the standard 12 points in Times New Roman. Your chapter numbers and titles must be consistent throughout the book, and you will need page numbers for a paperback.
Kindle tips: Page breaks are different on every device you read an eBook on, so the important thing to remember is to insert a firm “page break” at the end of every Kindle chapter. Remove all page numbers (or just don’t add them in the first place), and avoid using gigantic fonts and large amount of spaces because they don’t look great on tiny smartphones.
If you want to self-edit your book, you can, and here’s how. Although self-editing can be accomplished, I highly recommend hiring a professional in this area if you can possibly afford it. An editor will see things an author can’t, and you will be grateful you didn’t skimp on this as it will most likely increase your sales in the long run. I highly recommend Celtic Frog Editing as an affordable and professional option.
The easiest way to get a DIY eBook cover that looks professional is to log into Canva.com and pick a template to begin the design process. Look up the best selling books in your genre on Amazon to get an idea of what your cover should look and feel like. Be sure to watch every YouTube video the very talented Derek Murphy has made on this topic before designing anything. For paperbacks, you’ll need to download a design program like GIMP, Inkscape, or Photoshop and check into the requirements for margin size and file type with the publishing company. If you just can’t get that creativity flowing, check out my cover design offer here, go to Self Pub Book Covers, or hire a recommended designer at Fiverr.
Beta readers are the amazing group of people who read your book and give you honest feedback before you publish. You can ask friends, family, acquaintances, or Facebook and Twitter followers to volunteer to read your book and give you their opinion. This is almost always free and almost always beneficial to your final product.
I have always used Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing to publish my paperbacks and eBooks. They are both 100% free, and they both list the book on Amazon for you so you can start selling books immediately. Create Space will give you a free ISBN also, and though there has been debate on whether or not you should buy your own number, I’ve always just done the free one because I exclusively sell through Amazon.
If you don’t have a Facebook page, get one. If you don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t blame you, but you really should sign up. If you don’t have a blog or website or some sort of landing page where you can list and promote all your books, you need to remedy that situation now. Bite the bullet and dive headlong into the world of sharing posts, retweeting tweets, and gaining a fan base. Oh and yeah, read these posts. All of them.