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What Is Self-Publishing?

“Self-publish” doesn’t mean “do it all alone.

What Is Self-Publishing?

Sep 24, 2013

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You’ve written your book, spent years perfecting the characters, the details… but can’t find an agent or publisher who is interested. No problem, you can self-publish your book.

“Self-publish” doesn’t mean “do it all alone.” A self-publisher controls all the steps and decisions of the publishing process, rather than a traditional publishing house making all the decisions. Self-Publishers select their own designer, illustrator, printer, distributors/retailers and promotional methods. The idea of handling this process on your own can seem overwhelming, but there are many resources to help self-publishers. Some writers enlist the help of a publishing services provider to guide them through the steps. A good publishing services provider offers all of the services needed for publishing, while allowing the author to retain all the rights to the book.

The process starts with the author’s manuscript and ends with the selling of their finished book. Decisions along the way include:

  • Whether the manuscript needs editing (hint: it will)
  • Interior layout and cover design: a cover can make or break your book
  • Paper type and size of the book
  • Printing: will you print in color or black & white, or both?
  • List price and selling price
  • Website design
  • eBook creation: today every author should offer an eBook
  • Distribution to retailers: who will sell your book or eBook?
  • Marketing: a self-publisher is their own salesperson. Who better to promote and sell your book than you?

Not sure if you can afford to publish your book? The cost depends on how many services you select for your book, how many copies you plan to print, and what methods you choose to promote or advertise your book. You can spend as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as tens of thousands.

The best way to get started? Attend free workshops, seminars or webinars about writing and self-publishing, and research publishing services providers. With a little know-how self-publishing is a smart and fulfilling choice for most writers.



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