How to Self-Publish a Book as a Beginner

Do you dream of making it as a self-published author? Sure, so do thousands of other people. The road to publishing your first piece of work is challenging. The high barriers to entry are why so many aspiring authors fail to get their work into the public eye.

However, if you have the right resources, you can make it work for you. Technology changed the landscape for self-publishing authors, and now it’s much easier to get your work the attention it deserves.

In the past, self-publishing writers and authors would need to visit premises, buildings and spend time on the phone to get what they needed to publish their work. Now, with the advent of the internet, you have everything online, available right at your fingertips.

This post unpacks a few actionable strategies authors can use to self-publish a book.

Up your Game

If you’re planning on self-publishing a book, you need the right resources to help you through the process. Inspiration is easy enough to find with a bevy of blogs and video streaming sites providing millions of hours of content in all trending categories.

By using writing and editing tools, you get better results with your publishing efforts. These tools are available through software solutions and online courses. Take some time to invest in your skillset before heading out into the market.

Use the Right Formatting

When you have a final polished product, you’ll have the option of uploading it to a self-publishing website. It’s important for authors to remember that some sites have different file requirements than others.

For instance, EPUB files are the benchmark standard for ebooks, and they offer easy access for mobile users. MOBI files are the better choice for publishing your work through Kindle on Amazon

Some platforms may also require you to upload your content as a PDF file. However, you’ll need to convert the PDF to the right file format using a paid service or conversion software.

Look at Retailers

Many bookselling websites and retailers have independent guidelines offering you royalty rates, linking opportunities, favorable pricing, or useful distribution information. 

Some online portals let independent authors publish books for free in digital formats, while some charge a flat rate that includes advertising services and even print-on-demand services.

POD helps you avoid the expense and hassle of holding stock of your book. When the seller gets enough orders, they print the book and distribute it for you. It’s a great option for presales as well.

Acquire an ISBN

To make your book available in public libraries or physical book stores as a hardcover, you’re going to have to register yourself for an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Fortunately, that’s not as much of a hassle as you would imagine. You can apply for your ISBN through the online portal at the official website. While it’s not absolutely critical to get an ISBN, you’ll find it opens a lot more self-publishing avenues for your work.

Marketing and Distribution

Finally, after publishing your work, you need to promote it to capture an audience. Posting on free sites like Medium can help you capture a targeted audience. Promoting your book through a social media advertising campaign on Facebook can also help you reach a wider audience.

There are dozens of free courses available on platforms like YouTube that teach you how to market your book. Authors can build a free website and use it to promote their books and capture leads to grow their list.

By using an opt-in marketing option, your fans could leave you their email address for your mailing list in return for access to a chapter of your new book.

Tips when writing a book

Oh, where do we start from! Writing a book is such a chore. Yet you will find authors with hundreds of bestsellers — just think of the Witcher books. How do they do it? There they are, and here you are – struggling to get your first manuscript ready even by your relaxed deadline iteration.

There’s no magic. Writing a book is a professional job. It’s not a hobby. Those who take book writing seriously and love their work can always find time to work on writing.

Paragraph by paragraph and page by page – you’ll also get there. All you need is confidence in your written word and some tips to guide you along the way.

And that’s precisely why you’re at the right place. Today, we’re going to talk about some very effective yet less popular tips for writing a book.

In the words of the great Mark Twain, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Oversimplification, yes, but an accurate one.

Strap your seatbelts on. We’re going for a ride.

Just begin

First things first.

If you’re still just planning on then it’s time to start. Forget about the formal beginnings. Just write the first chapter. Let out your mind. Write what you always wanted to. Remember the thrill of the time when you first came up with the idea. Revolutionary, wasn’t it?

Stop reading this article. Write faster. Come back here again and thank us later.

Break it down, organize, and schedule

Next up is breaking things down.

No problem is unsolvable. Break your problems and obstacles down. Even if you are not facing problems, divide your writing project into tasks and sub-tasks. Keep this project management list of sorts handy. You can use tools like Trello or Google Tasks to build a detailed multi-level list.

Monitor the lists. Don’t be too strict on yourself. Give yourself time to finish the tasks otherwise you’ll start to hate these tasks and won’t bother with them.

Just keep them for the sake of documentation and slowly start to build a schedule around your well-organized tasks list.

Make feedback an integral part of your writing

Feedback doesn’t start when you’re done with the manuscript. Share your progress with people you trust. Alternatively, share minimally with your fans online. Having your own blog or website is nice, but so is sharecropping (like Medium or Wattpad) or your favorite social media platform.

Know what makes you more productive

Coffee? A quiet place? Some meditation? Lots of water? What makes you tick?

If you don’t know what gives you a productivity boost then you’re not doing it right. We’re all living in a world full of things to do, people to please, and money to make.

Find out what makes you tick so you can use it as a boost even amid all the chaos and to finish that next chapter soon!

(Optional) Get an accountability partner

Get someone who holds you accountable for your writing. You’d be surprised seeing how well it works.

This isn’t a tool usually deployed by authors, or anyone in general. This is something that always works. If you had two similar projects – and one of them was with a partner who was also invested (not necessarily monetarily) in some way – then that project will be accomplished faster.

Have someone who holds you accountable.

“You didn’t make any progress today? Ah, that’s fine. Oh, yesterday was the same? We might have a problem.”

Over time, you’ll be programmed to give the project a fair deal of time and attention no matter how packed your day is.

Other tips:

  • Remove distractions. You have greater things to do now. That book won’t finish itself if you’re stuck wasting time on 5 different things. At least move a few distractions out of your life.
  • Set aside time specifically for writing.
  • Take frequent breaks when you’re working. Stretch between long sessions. Get up and take a walk.
  • Read, read, and then read some more. Being a better reader automatically makes you a better writer. Focus on the same or similar genres as the one you’re writing in.