How to Self-Publish a Book
Advantages of Self-publishing
One of the biggest advantages of self-publishing your book is that you have control over every aspect of the process.
You control the pricing of your book
You may start out at a low price and then raise it. Or start high or lower it for a promotion. You may test your price with access to sales data right away.
That control is huge!
When you go with a traditional publisher, you’re pretty much stuck with whatever they decide.
And we know that a lot of traditionally published books are priced kinda high–12.99 or more for an eBook!
If you’re trying to do lead generation, which is one of the huge advantages of getting your book out there–to be able to grow your following and generate leads for your business.
Even if your book is for a non-profit, you’re still getting people who are going to be interested in helping your cause.
You control the content of your book
When you go with a traditional publisher, they’re looking at how much money they’re going to make from you and your book. So the publisher controls how the content is put into your book, the order, what can or can’t be put in.
As a self-published author, you may want to have an ad at the front or the back of the book, something that gives readers a way to connect with you further. That could be a Facebook group or a landing page where they can go to get more information.
Many authors will include a link to more resources or a checklist at the end of the chapter.
You get to help your reader more and sell them more if you want to.
The control you have as a self-published author allows you to use your book as a sales funnel. Your book is the first step where people find you and learn about you and you can connect because you’ve included a lot of information and value in your book.
You want to be able to have that control!
You may find out that you need to change something in your book. The great thing about self-publishing is you can go back in, edit your book, and upload a new version. Within a day or two, people are downloading the new version.
All this happens very quickly, which isn’t something you can do with traditional publishing.
You control the distribution of your book
Traditional publishers have great distribution channels. But they are also very limited. When you control your distribution because you chose to self-publish, yes, you can book your book on Amazon! But you can also put it on Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and Kobo.
You could also send it to your list and sell it through your website. With self-publishing, there’s no cost for this. But with traditional publishing, you’ll have to buy your book at cost. That makes distribution a lot more difficult.
That control is huge!
You’re not giving up your rights
Use your rights to do foreign translations. Sell your rights to make a movie. Once you start getting into book rights, you’ll see that many authors give up their rights unknowingly when they sell their book through a traditional publishing house.
As a self-publisher, you retain your rights.
Do I need help?
Are you afraid of publishing on your own?
That fear is valid. There are some significant pieces to getting a book out there that normally a traditional publisher handles for you.
The good thing is, you don’t have to do all the work yourself.
You just need to know what needs to be done, and you can hire people to do the work you don’t want to do.
There are many authors that do none of the work. And companies like ours, JetLaunch, can help you self-publish without you having to do all the work.
5 Steps to Writing Your Book
First, what are you going to write and who’s your audience? You’re putting yourself out there as an expert. So you need to know who you’re writing for an what problem you’re solving for them.
Step 1: Write
There are various ways to approach writing your book.
- Create an outline and write 15 minutes a day
- Record it. Then transcribe your audio.
Don’t do this on your own! You need another set of eyes on it. Our brains are so good at filtering, you’re going to miss a lot of your own mistakes.
Read your writing out loud so your brain can process it in a different way.
Edit and clean up, but still have someone else read it! Send it to a good proofreader.
I do a lot of proofreading and I’m good at it, but I still send my own work out to someone else.
The three big parts of the design of your book are:
- The cover
- The layout of the interior book
- The ebook
If you aren’t a graphic artist, then the cover design will be the hardest. When I first started this business, I tried to do some covers and they were terrible!
When I hired a professional cover designer, everything changed. And people were saying how much they loved the covers!
So book cover design is something I highly suggest you hire someone to do. That’s something JETLAUNCH does, but you can find designers at other places, also.
There are some nuances though…
The thing most people don’t think of is the final product has to be in the proper format. It has to be the right type of pdf and the right size.
Some book self-publishing platforms like Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark have downloadable templates. There are other tools that can help. But make sure that whoever does your cover design understands what’s needed for the final product.
Otherwise, what you’ll get for a final design won’t be correct.
For the interior of the book, I recommend Adobe InDesign. Some people try to use Word, and that won’t really work!
The problem is, there’s a learning curve using InDesign. Margins and the gutter where the pages come together, and the bleed. JetLaunch has a team that all they do is the interior. So while you can figure it out, we are here to help you if you decide that’s what you want.
The ebook design requires certain formats and you need to understand how to design an ebook that looks good on a phone, Kindle, computer screen or other device.
So there are many technical aspects of ebook design, like CSS to make sure your links show up correctly. Or aspects of setting up your table of contents.
All of this takes time. So if you’re time is better spent on other aspects of your business, by all means, hire someone to do the design for you.
There are many aspects of publishing, like getting an ISBN, where to publish, or are you going to do KDP Select. There are many different pieces, like your book description.
So you’ll need to understand copy and how to get someone’s interest. And you’ll need to understand keywords and SEO because Amazon is a search engine for books. So you need to understand these things to help people find your book.
I can’t tell you how many authors complain about their book not selling and I tell them, you haven’t done anything to help people find your book…
YOu can’t just put it up on Amazon. You have to do things to help people find your book. You wouldn’t expect your books to sell if you just set them on your front porch, right!?
There’s so much to book marketing, I won’t even cover that here. You could spend all your time just focusing on this and still struggle with marketing your book.
Examples may include:
- Creating and designing Amazon ads
- Doing a free + shipping funnel
- Bestseller launch
The bottom line comes down to how much time you want to spend not just putting into the work, but learning how to do the work. And if you aren’t an expert, are you going to get the full benefit?