15 Steps to Self-Publish Your Book

What are the steps to self-publish your book? The modern boom of independent publishing has put the power to publish in the hands of authors—if they choose to use it. But even once you’ve decided in favor of the indie route over the traditional path of soliciting agents and pitching to publishing-house gatekeepers, what are the actual steps to self-publish your book?

My main focus with this is site is the mechanics of writing well. I don’t talk too much about publishing and marketing because I feel there are so many resources out there that do it much better. Plus, from my vantage point it’s just more fun to explore story theory than Amazon analytics!

However, because I am often asked about the steps to self-publish a book, and because I am currently in the midst of pre-publication work for new my writing-craft book (for which there might be a cover reveal later in the post), it seems a good time to share my own personal, step-by-step process for self-publishing a book.

15 Steps to Self-Publishing Your Book—Whether It’s Fiction or Non-Fiction

First, I will note that this is my process, streamlined through many years and the publication of over a dozen books (both fiction and non-fiction). There are many different ways to do some of the steps (e.g., choosing how to format e-books), but this is the process that continues to work best for me at this point.

For the most part this is the same process I use whether publishing fiction or non-fiction. The writing and editing process for the fiction is more involved than it is for the non-fiction, with many more rounds of editing stretched out over a longer timeline and involving more critique partners, beta readers, and editors. However, once the book is in fighting shape, the publishing process from there is the same whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

Step #1: Write the Book

Obviously, this step comes first (or maybe not so obviously, since quite a few people start out worrying about publication before they even finish—or sometimes even start—writing the first draft). Although you may have an eventual goal of publishing the book, I recommend putting those plans on the back burner during drafting. The process may be long or short, and you never quite know whether a book will truly be publishable until you’ve finished it.

For many reasons, but not least to make publishing e-books easier later on (see Step #3), I write my first drafts in the multi-functional word processor Scrivener. When writing, I won’t necessarily organize or name all my files and folders in the same I will when publishing, but by starting in Scrivener I save myself the hassle of having to transfer my chapters here eventually.

Story Structure Sections in Scrivener's Binder

Step #2: Compile Front and Back Matter for E-Book

Once the book is finished—and by finished, I mean rewritten, edited, and polished into being truly worthy of publication—I compile the front and back matter of the different parts of the book for the e-book version.

Front Matter

  • Title Page—book title, author name, publisher name.
  • Mailing List Incentive—offer for a free book, which I include in the very front, so it’s accessible to anyone previewing the book. Even if they choose not to buy it right away, they may decide to grab the free e-book, which may, in turn, interest them in my other books.
  • About the Story—This is the same as the back cover copy (see Step #8). I include it at the beginning of the book as a hook and also to remind readers what the book is about if they’ve had it on their e-reader for a while and perhaps forgotten why they bought it.
  • Map—most of my fiction includes a map of some sort, which I include here at the beginning of the book.

Back Matter

  • Mailing List Incentive—I repeat the ad for the free book here so that people who did buy and read the book will have another opportunity to join my mailing list.
  • Note From the Author—a short note thanking readers and nudging them to leave a quick rating or review.
  • About the Author—includes links to my website, mailing list, and contact page.
  • Also By This Author—I include cover images, short blurbs, and links for two or three related books readers might like to check out next.
  • Dedication—if the book has a dedication, I put it at the end, rather than the beginning, so potential readers browsing the preview online don’t have to skip through unnecessary front matter to get to the actual hook that might induce them to purchase the book.
  • Acknowledgements—same for acknowledgements—I always put them at the back since they aren’t a selling point and become dead weight in an online preview of the book.
  • Copyright—finally, I add a standard copyright page, which includes credit for the cover design and any other illustrations, as well as the e-book specific ISBN (see Step # 12).

Step #3: Format E-Book

There are many ways to format an e-book. I use Scrivener, which will export into both epub and mobi formats (among other things). It’s a little tricky to figure out (and honestly, I couldn’t tell you how to do it anymore), but once you get the presets set up in the compilation window, you can use them over and over. The trickiest bit is getting the Table of Contents to show up how you want it to.

Compile Instructions for Scrivener

Scrivener isn’t the best e-book converter out there. There are some clunky aspects to it, even apart from the trickiness of figuring things out in the beginning. But I keep using Scrivener primarily because of the ease it offers for editing. If I discover a typo after the book has been published or need to update a link, making changes is as easy as editing my Scrivener file, then re-compiling the e-book versions. Plus, it allows me to keep master files for the book all in one place.

Step #4: Edit Book

Once I have the e-book in its publishable format, I will generally run through it one more time for a final edit. At this point, as mentioned in Step #2, I’ve already edited the book a lot. All major revisions are finished. This final edit is just a last run-through to clean up any remaining prose problems or catch any last errors. I do this here because this is my last chance to change anything comparatively major before I start proofreading and formatting the paperback version (at which point major changes start causing major formatting headaches).

Step #5: Proofread E-Book

I compile the e-book just as I would if I were actually publishing it. I go over it closely, checking the formatting to make sure there are no errors. When I’m satisfied, I send it to my old Keyboard Kindle, which has the great read-aloud feature.

Kindle Keyboard Reading Storming by K.M. Weiland

In my experience, using this feature to listen to the book while I also read along is an excellent way to find typos. Using this method, I’ve caught myriad typos that even professional proofreaders and copyeditors missed. It’s tedious and can take a long time depending on the length of the book, but it’s vital to a clean and professional end product.

Step #6: Solicit/Hire Proofreaders

Even with the mighty powers of the read-aloud proofreading trick, I still like to get multiple pairs of eyes on a book before sending it out into the Big Bad World. If I were to hire a professional proofreader for a project, this is when I would do it. Regardless, I like to get around five volunteers to read the book over one last time. I like five as my magic number because it gives me a variety of perspectives without the feedback becoming too overwhelming on what is usually a relatively tight timeline before publication.

Step #7: Format Paperback

Once I’m convinced the e-book version is as clean as it can be, I’m ready to format the paperback. This is always my last step because I want the copy to be as close to perfect as possible. Formatting an e-book doesn’t involve making sure every page looks perfect, because the page layout is determined by subjective e-reader settings. With a paperback, however, every page must be controlled to prevent problems, such as the end of one chapter bleeding onto the top of a new chapter’s title page. Any major changes within the paperback file may create a snowball effect that requires the entire document to be re-formatted from that point on.

I use the professional design software Adobe InDesign, which is powerful in its options for typesetting a book. I have occasionally hired out the typesetting, but I generally do it myself for a number of reasons:

  1. I know how to do it.
  2. I’m very picky about the formatting, so it’s often easier to do it myself than try to direct someone else.
  3. I want the ability to make changes to the files later on if I need to correct a typo or something that slipped through.
  4. It’s usually faster and cheaper for me to just do it myself.

Formatting a fiction book is comparatively easy, since the only real formatting required is for the chapter headers. Non-fiction is more time consuming, since it often involves many sections with headers, quotes, bulleted lists, and more.

Step #8: Compose Back Cover Copy

This is the blurb that will appear on the back cover and in the sales information on Amazon and other bookseller sites. It is designed to inform readers about the book’s content, hopefully in a way that entices them to read it.

Sometimes I will do this step earlier in the process (for example when creating the Front Matter in Step #2). But mostly because it’s one of my least-favorite tasks, I often delay until this last-minute juncture before commissioning cover art (see Step #9).

Non-fiction blurbs are usually pretty straightforward, since they are more directly sales copy, telling potential readers what the book is about, what problem it solves, and how it will benefit them. Fiction blurbs are more complicated, and I usually enlist quite a bit of feedback to see how readers react to them.

Three-hundred words or less is usually about right.

Step #9: Commission Cover Design

Since it can take weeks to finalize a cover design, I like to get the process started as early as possible. However, that usually isn’t until the paperback formatting is at least underway, since I will need to submit the final page count to determine the book’s spine width.

I continue to use the company Damonza for all my covers. They’re cost-competitive, straightforward to communicate with, and I have always been satisfied with their work. (If you’re interested, I am an affiliate with them, and they offer a 5% discount when you order through my site using the code HWBA5.)

And… just because I can’t resist, here’s a peak at the cover of my new writing book Writing Your Story’s Theme!

Step #10: Proofread Paperback Proof

As soon as I receive the finalized cover, I will upload the book to KDP Print and order a paperback proof. When that arrives, I will use Adobe Reader to read aloud the pdf version of the paperback, while I read along on the actual paperback.

This is my final proofreading session. At this point, my initial proofreading should have caught most of the typos, but I want to closely monitor the paperback version’s formatting to make sure every line is correct (and that I didn’t accidentally add a slkdfjs09 in the middle of a word).

Step #11: Purchase ISBNs

Once I have the finalized e-book and paperback versions, I will purchase individual ISBNs for each and register them. This involves uploading cover images, so I wait to finalize the registration until this point in the process.

Step #12: Commission Smashwords E-Book Version

I use Smashwords to distribute e-books to sites to which I can’t personally upload them (see Step #13), but Smashwords’ “meatgrinder” for converting to multiple formats is notoriously difficult to work with. I don’t even try anymore. I hire someone on Fiverr to do the formatting for me. Kimolisa is the vendor I’ve used for the last couple books.

For this, I’ll export to a Word .doc file from Scrivener and strip it of references to any specific sales platform, such as Amazon.

Step #13: Upload to Sales Platforms

And now it’s time to get serious! I upload the paperback version to KDP Print and the e-book to KDP, Kobo, Nookpress, Smashwords, and Selz (the sales platform I use to sell directly off my site). I also create landing pages for the books on my websites, as well as updating a few other sections such as the “Check Out My Latest Novel!” in the left sidebar.

This process will require all the information I have already collected for my book (back cover copy, subtitle, ISBNs, etc.), as well as Keywords and Categories, which I often hire Penny Sansevieri’s Author Marketing Experts to research for me.

Step #14: Commission Audio Book

If I’m going to do an audio book, this is where I start working on scheduling the project with my narrator via ACX. I rarely (never, actually) release the audio book at the same time as the e-book and paperback versions. Mostly this is because I don’t want to wait another six months or so in order to be able to release the books all at the same time. But also, it gives me the opportunity to market the book twice, since delaying the audio-book release gives the book two launches.

Step #15: Plan Launch

Finally, it’s time to figure out how to launch the book. I’m always experimenting with this, so it’s always a little different from book to book. But usually I pick a day for the official launch (since the book has probably been up on the sales sites for maybe even a couple weeks already, so it can start picking up reviews), put together some kind of fun launch party/giveaway, and send it out!


How long does it take to work through all these steps to self-publish your book? It depends. I squeeze in this work around daily and weekly tasks (such as writing sessions and working on this blog), so it takes me longer than it would if I devoted whole days to it. Some of the steps, such as proofreading, are tedious and time-consuming. And of course, how long any given step takes will depend on the length of the book as well as whether or not it’s fiction (with it’s straightforward formatting requirements) or non-fiction.

Generally, I plan on eight to eleven months for the entire process. I usually start working on publishing a book in January or February, hope to see it published by September or October, and probably end up actually publishing it in December. We’ll see how it goes this time! I’m shooting for a mid-October release for Writing Your Story’s Theme, but that depends in large part on how quickly we finalize the back cover.

If you’re thinking about self-publishing a book, I hope this gives you insight and direction into how to break the process down into actionable steps!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinions! What are your preferred steps to self-publish your book? Tell me in the comments!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. Maps – What do you use to create your maps?
    Also, exporting from scrivener is smart! I just used Vellum, which is slick, but now my final edits are in Vellum after doing all my writing in Scrivener!

  2. Dennis Michael Montgomery says

    I already knew there was a lot to publishing, but I didn’t know there is this much. Wheewee! Thank you for this information and insight,

    The low down you gave us is it for indie authors or for those working with publishers?

    Are there any authors who just write and let (or pay) someone else to do all this work?

    Did Seinbeck. Eagar Allen Poe, and others of yore have to go through all of this hassle to get published? Were any of the writers of old indies?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      This is the rundown for publishing an independent book. It’s a lot less intensive if you’re publishing traditionally. If you’re wanting to self-publish but don’t want to do all the work, you can hire almost all of it out–but you’ll still have to do the legwork of vetting freelancers and working with them to get the end product you want.

  3. K B Tidwell says

    Thank you for this! It’s the clearest breakdown I’ve seen on the self-publishing process. Now I’ll file it in OneNote for reference after the book is written…
    And a big congratulations on your book! 😊

  4. Thanks. This is a real eye opener, particularly with the amount of proofreading/editing that occurs during the publication process, so after revision. I’d assumed there would be a round to check the final, but this is more than I would have guessed. I’m thinking this would be 3-6 months even for someone who buttoned down on it which is probably a bad idea as a writer needs to keep writing.

    I really agree with using read aloud features and reading along with a narrated voice. I use the one built into word all the time. I find it more dependable than having myself read aloud. When I read aloud, I tend to gradually slide into sub-vocalization, then just reading. I suspect you do both.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Proofreading should be one of the last things you do, since any major edits will inevitably create more typos. I proofread once, very early in the process, before sending the first completed draft to critique partners. But after that I don’t purposefully proofread again until publication.

  5. Louis Schlesinger says

    Thank you for this informative post! I recently finished my debut novel, which was a challenging quest akin to The Hobbit. Earning readers, whether through traditional or indie publication seems orders of magnitude more daunting, like LOTR.

    While I hope to find an agent to represent me, I don’t know that I will; so, this post can serve as that *map at the front of the book* to guide me through self-publishing.

    Congratulations on your new book. I wonder – is it an elaboration of your post on Plot, Character, and Theme – the Greatest Love Triangle ever? That helped me more fixing plot and my MC’s motivation and identification holes than anything else I’ve encountered. So thank you, too, for that.

  6. Eric Troyer says

    Oof! I’m tired already! 😉 Thanks for the insights!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Yes, for better or worse, writing is definitely about more than staring out the window. Although that part is important too!

  7. Xavier Basora says


    Thanks. This is a very helpful guide for self publishing. The steps can be adapted to how we work, etc.

    My only caveat is Adobe In design is really pricey and out of my price range. Also, there are open source software that does the same jobs. In my case I’d hire formatters for the paperbacks/printed edition


    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Several years ago, I was able to get an older version of the perma-download. I’m not even sure if they offer that anymore. They do have a subscription service, which is annoying, but not totally cost-ineffective since you can pay for it only when you actually need to use it. You can also use a Word doc template, such Joel Friedlander’s: https://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/. Templates won’t offer as much control, but they look pretty slick and easy to use.

    • Xavier (and any others in this boat), there’s a new competitor to Adobe called Affinity. They have their own version of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, for about $50, though I hear it goes on sale sometimes. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, because InDesign CS6 still works for me, but they look very promising. Here is the link to Affinity https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/

  8. This is a great breakdown. There are so many things to think about, but with a little organization it appears manageable. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  9. Great post. I’m surprised you did e-book first. It offers the smallest return to the indie compared to paperback edition. If you reversed it, you’d capture a greater $ value for those who have to read the book immediately. Your thoughts? Also, getting graphics that are readable is often hard on an e-book reader. How do you do that on non-fiction and the map in your fiction? What software do you use for you maps?

    Thanks, love you post and blog. You are Helping Writers Become Authors!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I release both the e-book and the paperback at the same time. I format the e-book first because it’s more flexible to changes, before locking everything into the paperback version. As for cost return, it depends on pricing, but paperbacks actually don’t offer a much greater royalty, since Amazon takes the lion’s share for printing costs.

      For maps, I hire Joanna Marie Art: https://www.bookdesigntemplates.com/

  10. I am going to finish writing my book. Before I publish it and also revise it. I may put three maps in my book. Who are your proofreaders when you are done?
    What font do you use?
    What do you think of Lulu or Draft to Digital?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      If you’re wanting to hire a proofreader, I’ve used Odd Sock Proofreading and Copywriting: https://oddsock.me/

      It doesn’t matter what font you use in the e-book, since the e-reader settings will change it. For the paperback, I use Garamond.

      I haven’t personally used either Lulu or Draft to Digital.

      • Thank you. Do you know of any independent publishers? I use google docs or word for my writing. How many critique partners can you have before you print the novel?

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          An independent publisher is the author him- or herself. Independent publisher is another term for self-publisher. You can have as many critique partners as you can find. 😉

    • Great thanks. When I am publishers, I need to do a website. Who or How did you do your website?

      • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

        My website is hosted on WordPress. They have free options, although I recommend purchasing your own domain.

  11. Thank you for this! I’m nowhere near close to publishing, but this is definitely going into my bookmarks bar! Also, I love the cover to Writing Your Story’s Theme!

  12. Sandra Harris says

    Thank you for another informative post, K.M.! I have all your writing books and I can’t wait to buy your new one.

  13. Thank you so much, KM! This was very informative. I’ve formatted a book in InDesign for my writers group and know how difficult and time consuming the proofing process is, let alone the mechanics of layout. It’s really nice that you’ve put in links to various sites. I hope to be using them in the coming year!
    Love all your podcasts/blogs.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Typesetting can be tricky to learn, but once you get the basics under your belt and get your pre-sets locked in for styles, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Hard on the wrists though!

  14. Thanks for the points. I have a question: I’m picking a pseudonym. Do you have any suggestions? Does it matter where in the alphabet you come?

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Good question. It makes sense that there probably is some advantage to landing earlier in the alphabet, although I have never seen any data on it. BTW, as someone with personal experience, I will say that I think using your initials is overrated. 😉 I wouldn’t use initials if I had it to over again.

      • My name is super-ethnic and I’m afraid it would be difficult for most people to pronounce. I’m probably going for the initials, just because of that.

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          I hear you. My last name gets mispronounced (and misspelled) all the time. (It’s WHY-lund, not wee-LAND.)

  15. Thanks so much for this post. It’s very helpful!

  16. Peter Moore says

    Thanks for all the info in this post. It gave me a lot to think about. Writing is hard. The publishing side requires a whole different, and just as intentional, skill set.

    I have a question about the marketing part of publishing. I know you don’t focus on that here, but I’m getting closer to completing Step 1 (finishing my manuscript – WOOHOO!!!).

    As a newbie, I’ve heard from a lot of authors that I need a social media presence in order to be successful. It makes a lot of sense even for traditional houses.

    My question is what does that looks like?

    I can build an author website. But I’m not sure how I would get followers if all it has is my unpublished work, info about me, links to my Instagram, twitter, etc. There are about a hundred thousand writer/author sites (yours is in my top ten). I could start a blog, but it wouldn’t be about writing. I’m not qualified to advise people how to do that.

    I’ve read a lot about ‘Social Presence 101.’ Most of what I’ve found comes down to put up a website, comment on other people’s blogs, and get your name out there. Which all comes down to being active in the author community, not how new authors reach their target audiences.

    Am I missing something? Any tips on what to do and what to avoid?

    Peter Moore

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The social-media landscape is ever-evolving, and I’m sure the “rules” are a little different now than when I started building a platform. But aside from creating content to share (both links to external articles and social-media specific content, such as my Writing Question of the Day), the biggest key is to get involved in the community. Follow other writers, comment on their posts and blogs, join groups, etc.

      • Right, but I am (and maybe Peter is) in need of a reminder about how networking with fellow writers translates to reaching one’s target market. ?

        • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

          My platform is mostly aimed *at* writers, via my non-fiction, so my #WQOTD is of specific to that. You would want to tailor your social-media content to whatever your readers were interested in. However, it’s always valuable to network with other writers for mutual support and content sharing.

  17. Fan-flippin’-tastic! You’re the first person to show how many steps are involved in the self-pub process and I love it. There are at least two steps I’ve never even considered and they turn out to be important steps. Thanks. I can’t wait to get a copy of Theme. 🙂

  18. This could not have come at a better time. A friend of a friend is looking for this exact process, so I’ll forward it on to him. And bookmark it for myself when I’m ready for it! I love Scrivener for getting started with a rough draft, but I end up porting the whole thing into Word for the look and feel. I’m used to beta reading manuscripts from friends in Word, so it feels right?

    Also, I happened to spot a typo on item 7, number 4: “cheaper for me to just to it myself.”

  19. Hi KM,
    Thank you so much for your generous sharing of this vital information. I can see that it took time and heart to put this together. I really appreciate this, in particular, because of the amount of detail you’ve shared. This has given me such a clear path to follow. Thank you.


  20. Estou muito ansiosa pelo seu próximo livro!!!! I would like to know how make a book lauching in quarentine. I love all uour books! Kiss!!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      Launching a book in quarantine won’t look any different for me than for previous books, since it all happens online. How the actual launch will be affected by the pandemic remains to be seen, of course.

  21. Thank you for the specifics. I really appreciate how you list the differences between ebook vs print on the front matter. Super helpful!

  22. Terry Spinks says

    Ugh! That’s an exhausting process. Still, it looks to capture all the possible dropped balls. I’m in the process of getting my first book out. Actually, two books (sci-fi). Both have been rewritten after (paid) beta-reading. They’ve had their major structural edit and subsequent rewrite and are back with the editor. I suspect the next step is a minor tinkering on my behalf and then back to the editor for a final proofread.
    I use Scrivener to do all the writing and rewriting up to the point where it goes out to the editor. I compiled into MS Word for the editor as they don’t accept Scrivener files. So, from that point on, it’s all been done in Word.
    I intend to send the final Word file to Draft2digital and leave the final formatting up to them.
    I’ve been lucky with cover art so far (touch wood). For the 2 written books, I found good covers on Selfpubbookcovers. I’m in the process of writing 2 additional books; one cover was a perfect fit stock cover and the other story needed something a bit more custom. Again, I used the same cover art place. I don’t have the custom cover back yet, so can’t comment, but it should be fine – it’s a simple concept.
    Having read your list, I’m seriously wondering if I’m coming at the process way too lite. I’m super excited about getting a book out and having people read it. And honestly, I’d be even happier if they earn enough to pay for their creation.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The most time-intensive part is the proofreading, but that’s always worth it since typos can affect reviews.

  23. Hi, what perfect timing for me. I am currently working through this process. Can I ask why you prefer Smashwords and not Draft2digital?

  24. Awesome work! Once again you have given us a wealth of useful information.

    I’d like to know why you self-publish versus the traditional route. In your opinion does fiction tend to better suited for independent publishing versus going through a publisher?

    Incidentally, I can’t wait for your new book.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      At this point, it’s more cost-effective for me to self-publish my non-fiction than to go through a traditional house. It really depends on whether you can do without the extra publicity of a publishing house. If you can make it on your own, you’ll retain more of the profits.

  25. Debra Klein says

    Thank you for your excellent step-by-step list. I am at the end of polishing my first MS (step#1). The time estimate of eight to eleven months to complete the 15 steps begins with step#2, correct?

  26. Thanks for this awesome post! I self-published my first novel and figuring out these steps took a while. Now I’m about to publish the next one and this is so helpful! I have a question about Audiobooks. I would love to put my books on audio and I am researching ACX and all the steps involved. It would be awesome if you posted an article on this and your experience/steps to get it done. I know the royalties for audio are not high, and it’s a big $ investment upfront. Worth it? Thanks! I have your books and have learned so much from you about writing!

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      I’ve paid the narrator upfront for all my non-fiction books, and it has been a worthwhile investment. I experimented with my only fiction audiobook to date (Dreamlander) and did a royalty split, since I wasn’t sure how well it would sell. Probably if I do another novel through ACX, I would pay the narrator upfront for that as well. But the royalty split is a good option if you’re not sure you’ll make back your investment.

  27. How do you go about doing all the marketing after you’ve gone through all the other work? Honestly I’ve heard all the stories about self-published authors being stuck with cartons of their own books and being faced with the challenge of getting them to the readers.
    So far I think the only self published book I’ve read besides yours is one about a girl who grew up in foster car and then searched for her siblings as an adult. GREAT book. The ONLY reason I found that one was because the key words ‘foster care’ came up in one of my searches. I bought one for myself, then liked it so much I bought another one for a friend.
    I tell my small business friends that advertising and publicity is EVER THING. So have you found any tricks???

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      The great thing about print-on-demand publishing is that the books don’t print until they sell. Be that as it may, marketing is tricky, especially for fiction. I highly recommend David Gaughran’s work for learning about building an email list, optimizing for search engines, and buying ads: https://davidgaughran.com/

  28. Thanks so much for the clear step-by-step…only now I have a headache – lol

  29. I found myself nodding in agreement with most of your points. However, I made use of the systems I had available (MS Word) and engaged a coach who not only guided and advised me, but had access to the specialist software needed (Adobe) when I needed it. That way I learnt the process myself and reviewed the different options at each stage – and there are many. This prevented many mistakes along the way and reduced the amount of rework I need to do. The main two benefits were that I ended up with a book I was proud off and I learnt “my process” which set me up for my second and third book. The investment in a coach upfront ($600) has saved me heaps in terms of time and money. Thanks.

  30. Hannah Roberts says

    This is really helpful and insightful! I’m looking forward to using this as a guide in the future 😊

  31. I must say that your article is the complete guide to self publishing a book. With the help of your article I am sure that I will be able to write and publish my own book. You have manged to explain each step of the book publishing process in great detail in this article. Thank you.

  32. Michael Moore says

    Thank you for the fresh viewpoints on self-publishing and marketing approaches. I learned a lot through the “why” of your methods and “with whom,” as opposed to the many “what to do” (only) approaches that are available.

  33. Fantastic, easy-to-read guide. This is why I love your podcasts, blogs, and books, you make everything so easy to understand and there’s not a lot of filler. Thank you for all that you do!

  34. Benedikt Portgardt says

    Hello K.M! Thanks for the article. Very useful! But you didn’t say anything about choosing a pen name. As so many authors use these, I thought it would be helpful to know (if I may):
    1) Start by considering the meaning of the name (I used https://www.names.org/ – there are statistics in addition to meaning). Names carry symbolism and emotion, so choose one that evokes the right feelings in your readers.
    2) If ideas are hard to come by, use a generator (https://instausername.com/fake-name-generator ). While using a generator can be easy, remember to make sure that the title isn’t similar or copying someone else’s. To check, type the title you want plus the word author into Google/Amazon and see what comes up.
    2) Also, pay attention to how related the name is to you or your background. It should be a name you feel comfortable standing behind and can promote.

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