The Basics of Self-Publishing a Book


META: Do you have a book you’re itching to get out into the world? Read our guide to understanding the basics of getting your book published.

Are you looking at all the fanfiction books like Fifty Shades knock offs hitting the shelves and thinking, “I can do that”? No one could blame you. If you’ve got a story up your sleeve that you’re looking to get out there, you might want to look into publishing. Book publishing can be a very long process, taking anywhere from weeks to years, to even decades. Everyone likes to mention all the classic writers like Edgar Allen Poe who, can you believe it, died penniless? That’s because publishing is a long hard process that doesn’t guarantee riches. However, there have been advancements in the market since Poe’s day.

There is too much to get into book publishing here, but if you’re looking to understand the process, take a look at our guide.

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Perks
Self-publishing is a very attractive option nowadays. There are resources available online that make self-publishing a lot easier and accessible to everyone.

Vanity publishing is notoriously difficult to nail down. Every author you have heard of has no doubt been turned down at least once before they hit the ground. Harper Lee’s notorious sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird was actually a forgotten first draft that was rejected by publishers. So self-publishing can be a good way to side-step the system.

Blogging
The internet is filled with blogs covering a myriad of subjects from “grandma's best recipes” to “the best sites to play online slots UK NetBet”. A great upgrade from the old ways of publishing is that often, these blogs are just a print and binding away from being books. Whether it’s an ongoing narration of fiction, or a collection of non-fiction tips like a craft or cook book, you can publish your blog and have it distributed across book shops.

However, there are some basic rules as to what blogs sell the best. For one thing, keep your blog current. Keep it well-written, free of grammar and spelling mistakes, and up to date. Don’t slack off because now you’ve got a book to put together.

What it takes
However, self-publishing needs you to be more than a storyteller. You will be editor, designer, marketer, business manager, and will have to handle a million other things you probably haven’t accounted for. You will have to make sure your spelling, grammar and sentence structure is sound, which will always improve with an outsider’s perspective. You will have to design your cover and think about your font and font size. You will need to think about pricing, and how to secure an ISBN for your book. Who will print your book, or will it be exclusively an e-book? Who will sell your book? Will you need to set up a company? What about tax? And the list goes on.

Initially, it sounds like the simplest option, until you look into it. But maybe that excites you. The main perk of self-publishing is that it is exclusively your voice going out into the world, without the interference of dozens of eyes pressuring you into changes.

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