How to self publish a book:
Option one … Do it yourself.

You can create your book interior in a program as simple as Word, save it as a PDF and upload it to an on demand printer/publisher like KDP, aka Kindle Direct Publishing (previously Creatspace). Ingram Spark is another big player in the arena of on demand publishing. There is very little up front cost

The cover of your book you can save as a .jpg file and create it yourself in an image editing program like Gimp or Photoshop.

The ebook version is little trickier because while some programs will convert to or save into the ebook format, and ebook needs to have an interactive Table of Contents to work properly on a device such as a Kindle. KDP has guidance and software available on how to create the book in Word and then use their own Kindle Create to convert it into an ebook.

Here’s a great article by Kate Sullivan on how to format from Word to Kindle.

Read more about self publishing in our Publishing Tips Blog.

How to self publish a book:
Option two … hire a graphic designer

You have to ask yourself, what is the reason I am publishing my book? If you want to just produce a book for the sheer joy of doing so you may well want to design the cover and interior yourself. However, if you’re looking to break into the publishing business by gaining a reputation for yourself with a self published book and you want to be taken seriously, it may be worth investing in working with a professional.

Besides making your life a lot easier, a designer with a background in publishing can save you from making mistakes and make your work look professional. We recommend the sponsor of our site, Innovation Design Graphics, a small agency run by Tony Iatridis who’s background in publishing spans 35 years. He kindly donates his time to make this free forum available for authors to promote and help one another. Services for independent authors are available on the innovation site. Book cover design, interior design, ebook, companion website and social media promotion packages are available.

how to self publish a book and promote it

How to self publish a book:
Option three … do most of it yourself

Maybe you need help only with the ebook, or making a cover design. Find a graphics agency or individual who will provide only the services you need. One option we heartily suggest however, is that you let a Professional Editor proofread your book for grammar and content. We can put you in touch with editors who are themselves independent authors but have a degree in journalism and have taught at the college level who will work for another independent author at a very reasonable cost. When you’re trying to build a name for yourself nothing will sink you faster than mistakes in your manuscript. It’s an odd thing but we never notice out own mistakes. We once saw an author who spelled something wrong on the front cover! Yes, that’s why God invented the spell check. Use it.

Can making a name for yourself now as an independent author land you a deal with a major publisher later?

wool by hugh howeyOkay it’s tough road to travel since there are so many book out there, but yes, definitely. Wool by Hugh Howey was a self published novella series that generated over a million dollars for the author, was optioned to be made into a film, and then snatched up by Simon & Schuster in a major publishing contract. Would this have ever happened if he hadn’t self published? Probably not.

A Naked Singularity self published by Sergio De La Pava won the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

So get your book out there, and then bang the drum. Make the rounds and get seen, Publicize the hell out of it on social media. Try Facebook ads which can get you a following on Facebook inexpensively of people who are really interested in your book. See our Publishing Tip on Facebook Marketing.

Additional resources for authors:

The Creative Pen – get a free ebook by self publishing guru and New York Times best selling Author, Joanna Penn.

The Reverso Spell Checker – A free online tool which check the grammar of text you cut and paste into the interface. – For those author’s looking for an agent to further their professional endeavors, this is a free to use and extensive database of literary agents.

Duotrope – An award-winning resource for writers and artists looking for publishers and agents.

Elements of Style – A free writing style guide by William Strunk. Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any student and conscientious writer.

Poets & Writers – Information on publishing and promoting writing.

If you have any specific questions about how to self publish a book, drop us a line on out contact page.

services for independent authors

Providing innovative solutions for creative writers.

Our site’s sponsor Innovation Design Graphics has helped many authors realize their dream of publishing their first book (and their second, and third).