What Does Self Publishing Entail?

 There are numerous tasks involved in self-publishing. Before you commence a self-publishing project, you need to ensure you are willing to deal with the following issues.

Prepublication

  • Ensure you have edited or get your hands on editing for your manuscript
  • Proofread or find access to proofread your manuscript
  • Acquire any artwork or illustrations you may wish to add
  • Put in place the necessary measures to establish yourself as a legal entity retail business. This step involves selecting and registering a name for your “press”
  • Get ISBN, Bookland EAN/UPC code and Library of Congress “Cataloging in Publication number” among others.

Publication Process

      • Do manuscript formatting which includes a number of processes such as inserting headers and footers, including appropriate margins, typeface, design interior layout and interior art/graphics among others.
      • Add both “front matter” and “back matter” if available. Front matter includes table of contents, copyright page and any other relevant material.
      • Ensure you have provided or obtained cover art for the book as well as design font and back covers.
      • Research and find printing quotes; get quotes for the number of pages, trim size, binding and paper quality among others.
      • Find out how manuscript should be sent to the printer i.e. determine the kind of format used as it’s often in a specified format.
      • Make arrangements to pay for printing costs as well as delivery of completed copies.

Post-Publication

      • Come up with an ongoing book marketing campaign
      • Dispatch books to reviewers
      • Receive your completed books and store them
      • Take care of handling orders i.e. receive orders, invoice customers, process payments and organize packaging and shipping of books.
      • In the case of electronic books, make the necessary purchasing and logistical arrangements to ensure customers receive their books on time.

Ongoing Marketing

      • Come up with press releases and customize a nice PR package for the press and reviewers
      • Decide whether to use space or print advertising. Consider other advertising channels that will reach out to targeted niche.
      • Design an appealing website to sell your books
      • Consider coming up with an internet promotion campaign to market your book. Appropriate advertising channels to use may include email, chats, online banner ads, groups and reciprocal links among others.
      • Use direct mail campaign. Find suitable mailing lists and find a creative and appealing way to advertise your book.
      • Use online bookstores to promote your book. If your book is listed in print but available in a digital format i.e. CD, it will be accepted for automatic listing by online stores. You can include additional information in the listing such as table of contents, excerpts, review and summaries among others. For smaller presses, Amazon’s “Advantage” program is a good choice to consider.
      • Plan to have the book available in bookstores and libraries. In addition, provide or obtain outside distribution rights.

Bookkeeping (Ongoing)

      • Design a system that will effectively track your expenses and income associated with your press. It’s important to separate these records from your personal finances or any other unrelated business finances.
      • Open a special business bank account to take care of all your book related transactions. You need to have a license and other important documents to prove legality before being allowed to set up an account. This way, you can carry out transactions using your business name rather than personal details.
      • Incorporate technology that allows credit card purchases. PayPal is an excellent payment platform to consider.
      • Design a robust invoicing system. If you sell print books to libraries and bookstores, it is often done on “credit”. It is good to ensure these entities are invoiced professionally.
      • Understand income-tax reporting regulations and what is expected from you.

Need anything additional? Drop me a line below because I really like questions, input and suggestions!


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2 thoughts on “What Does Self Publishing Entail?”

  1. Hi Ron, brilliant, detailed article, thank you. I can absolutely tell you’ve self-published books by reading your article. I’m bookmarking it just in case I decide to self-publish one day (depends on the success of my e-book). Can you perhaps provide the links in your article to getting ISBN numbers etc? The formatting also sounds complex. Is there perhaps a simple plug and play program (e.g. MS Publisher) that you recommend for formatting the book? Or can everything be done in MS Word? All tips and resources welcome. 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren

      Good point in providing ISBN Links in the article. I usually do but in this case my logistical conduct had me overlook that bit of common sense. I use CreateSpace to publish over to Amazon and their system allows me to use one of their free ISBN’s. I simply got spoiled. Many of the self-publishing services are offering this perk. I will revamp sections of that article in the future or, do an independent article covering ISBNs’ Thanks for that suggestion!

      I have been told that MS Word tosses in some stray code stringers that mess up formatting. I am not a coding expert but just in case there is something to that – I do post my final drafts over to Open Office (it is a free open source software).With Createspace, they require you upload your book as a PDF Document. They have many sizes you can use for uploading just as Word and/or Open Office offer under their Layout Options. You choose the size, check for errors, page breaks, etc., convert to PDF and upload.

      Ron

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