Are you or someone you know an aspiring author? Do you FINALLY have a completed manuscript but aren't sure what the next steps are? You are at the right spot! This blog serves as a quick overview of the steps involved in self-publishing a book; from editing and formatting to printing and setting up E-Book websites to marketing and getting sales. The process is quite complicated, so feel free to comment below with any specific questions.
Alternatively, did you know NJP can publish your book? We are networked with printing and E-Book platforms to take the stress off your plate. Not only can we assist in editing your manuscript and format your print and digital files, we can send it to print and launch it online as well. Just contact us today to get started.
If you prefer to do this yourself, see below for our quick guide to getting it done.
You have your final manuscript, covered in blood, sweat, and tears of your labor. Now what? Editing is an essential part to producing a professional book. You can find editors online but be CAREFUL to check their legitimacy as there are plenty of scams out there. You can also work with local writers to edit each other’s work or find some family and friends to serve as "test readers" to catch typos or check the overall cohesiveness of your book. Keep in mind with editors that there are several types of edits available.
Once you have a 100% finalized manuscript, you will need to format for print and/or digital (aka e-books). You will need cover art, and in the case of printing - spine and front and back cover art. If you have not already, think of what else you want in your final book - such as the essential page regarding copyright information, a dedication page, a biography, table of contents, a character / pronunciation guide, or perhaps even a preview for your next book in the series or something up and coming if a series isn’t involved.
Depending on how you are printing your book, the final format you need may differ. This is honestly the most complicated process - converting and designing your final manuscript (likely in a Word Document) into a properly formatted print format and/or digital format for E-Books. Amazon has some great services for printing-on-demand as well as listing your E-Books. However, you will want to consider hiring a professional to make the correctly formatted E-Book formats (.epub for most and .mobi for Amazon).
A professional E-Book editor can generate your .epub and .mobi files to include a linkable index, and ideally as a Reflowable format. E-Books can either be Fixed-Layout or Reflowable. If your book is a standard text-based format (with little to no graphics/images), reflowable is BEST for your users. This means there are no "fixed" pages, but instead your content can fit the screen size of the user’s device, as well as have the font size adjusted to their preference.
WAIT! Before you do anything else, you will likely want to copyright your book, as well as claim your official ISBN.
Once you have your ISBN, be sure to ADD this number to your Copyright page of your manuscript. You will also eventually want a barcode set up and will want the ISBN listed here as well on the back cover (here is a handy website to create your barcode with a price using your ISBN). Both of these steps will make it easy for any retailer to list your book in their inventory.
Since there are so many options for how to print and sell your printed books, we are not going to go into the details of this process. However, don't forget that NJP can assist in the PRINTING of your book, no matter what stage you are in and no matter what quantity you want to print (even just a single book!). Just contact us today to get started.
There are many great platforms to list your E-book on. The top 4 contenders are: Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, Barns & Nobles Nook, and Google Play Books. Each have their own complex process for setting up your author/publisher account, and then allowing you to list your actual E-Book. Here is a very brief overview, but PLEASE comment below with a specific question if you are stuck anywhere in the process.
For all the below accounts, we highly recommend creating a dedicated email address (even just a new free Gmail that forwards to your preferred inbox), just so you have a clean hub to keep your publisher information organized at.
It is worth mentioning that ALL the above accounts are FREE to set up. The only fee's you have are when an E-Book is sold. If at any stage you are lost and find yourself somewhere asking for money, you are in the wrong spot. Hit us up in the comments below for help.
Phew, you did it! You have printed books in hand or at a warehouse ready to go, and/or you have your E-Books listed and ready to promote. Now, how do you sell these babies? Undoubtedly, marketing is a complex beast and we do not want to bury you with information. However, step one is to build a landing page of some kind for your book. Since you are offering multiple formats of your book for sale (print and/or E-book on 4 platforms), you want to have a single "link" you can direct traffic to that gives them all these options. NJP is a website developer that can assist with this for you. Here is a sample landing page we built for author Sarah Maree and her first book: Positivity Camp.
Note the characteristics of this page: An image of the book, description, links to buying in all formats, reviews, etc...
Now with this page in hand, your best "free" solution is to use Social Media. Get the word out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok, everywhere you can! There are also a plethora of websites you can submit your book to for some free publicity.
Now, if you want to BOOST sales more you may want to consider paid ads on websites like Facebook and Google. You can design your Ads with targeted audiences, all funneled to that beautiful landing pages of yours.
Last, you can network locally with libraries and bookstores to get your book on their shelves. Most public libraries will allow you to give them one free copy of your book to have available. If popular, they may purchase more copies.
That's that! We know this is a lot to take in, and so we are dead serious about leaving a comment below with any questions. We are more than happy to help with our expertise! If at any stage you decide - you know what I just want to WRITE and not WORRY about all these steps - just contact us and we can help out, no matter where you are in the process.
Founder and visual artist, specializing in all aspects of a businesses presence from imagery and video to graphics and web. A graduate of IPFW with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Concentration Photography as well as an Associates Degree in Business. His personal photography works are focused on landscape, travel, and aerial photography.