As a self-published author, I can now tell you how to publish a book the easier way!
Disclosure: This post may or may not be sponsored or contain an affiliate link. If you click through a link and make a purchase, it may or may not earn me a small commission. At no additional cost to you! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I can’t tell you how much I wish I had thought of this years ago. Sure, the thought had crossed my mind but there was never any inspiration, just fleeting thoughts that I didn’t bother to create a cohesive idea about.
Now that I have, man, it was both easier and more difficult than I had imagined. It’s like inviting people into your head to your innermost thoughts, fears, and desires. Which for me is terrifying. But it’s also such a relief to get those things out!
So if you have ever contemplated writing a book and self-publishing it, here is my advice for you. For starters, don’t wait for inspiration, get started with an idea now.
Write before you publish a book.
Obviously, right? But not just having an actual written book, ask yourself if you even like writing? You may start like I did with a Tumblr account and absolutely despise writing!
That was where I started when I had the idea for this blog and it actually felt great to put words in my head into a physical form, so I went ahead and started blogging. And as I blogged I lacked a direction for where I wanted to take my business, as many do. I love talking about travel, and freedom, and mental health issues, and that’s a lot of what this blog is.
But there was always the greatest love that I was yearning for. I just didn’t know how to incorporate it into my life. That love was books. I’m a voracious reader, and my to-read list is astounding. The life I dream of would be to read books all the time, travel with my family, and get to do what I wanted when I wanted.
So, you like to write, great!
Get started however you can. I preferred to write on Pages on my iPhone because that is always with me and easily accessible. So when the opportunity struck I was able to write right away. With the use of the Grammarly app, I was able to mostly edit while I was writing. The app is amazing it’s a part of your keyboard on your phone and your computer when you download it and it helps catch silly errors. This helps when it’s edited because then you don’t run the risk of being unclear.
So when you want to figure out how to publish a book you’re going to see a lot of noise out there. Do not go down the education rabbit hole! It’s not that serious, even though it kind of is. If you want to make a career, great! You absolutely can! Just progress, not perfection!
Grab a simple book outline online to help you map out your book. Or if you’re like me, just keep writing until you get stuck then you can reference an outline. I don’t love organization I love more free writing and I make my direction as I go.
Get a real proofreader and editor.
They’re different, apparently. No offense to the educated professionals out there that do the job at all! I just feel like you have to do one to do the other. I digress.
Do not spend thousands of dollars on either, you can if this is your Mona Lisa. But if you just love to write and want to use your creativity to boost your income then just hire someone from Fiverr to do the job for you.
Listen to their advice! You’re creating this for an audience to consume, so bend but don’t break.
Create a cover.
Play around with this one until you’re happy. I was dead set on my cover in a second, until I saw it on someone else’s book! So mess with it until you like it and then send it to a professional. I used Canva to find my cover and the fonts that I wanted for it and I sent the rough draft to someone.
I followed one of the branding and marketing queens for all of my knowledge about the subject, and it can be a lot! But if you want loyal, repeat customers you need to be recognizable.
How to publish a book everywhere is with an ISBN.
You can publish for free, for no fuss, through Amazon’s KDP program. BUT then Amazon owns the distribution rights to your book. Similarly, you can do it through Ingramspark and get a free ISBN and barcode but then they own the rights.
So what you’re going to have to do in the U.S. is to buy your ISBN from Bowker.com. I suggest buying the multiple set of 10 because you’ll have to use a different ISBN for your print vs. your ebook formats. If that is the direction you’re planning on going that is.
Amazon is King in the self-publishing world, but Ingramspark is the Queen. The difference is (from what I understand) is that KDP takes a higher percentage of the profits from the books through their extended distribution. Meaning, Ingramspark and KDP use the same channels to distribute your books to libraries and such, but KDP is the third leg, and Ingramspark is the main source, so you’ll make more through Ingramspark.
So actually uploading is how to publish a book online.
You can buy a book formatting software if you want. With KDP you should use their free Kindle create and that’s awesome and easy and you’re good to go. It’s actually a lot of fun and way more capable than I thought so play around until you like what you get.
Ingramspark I was confused. Very confused. But you can’t use the KDP format that you got through Kindle create because you need it to be in a PDF/X format.
So, what I did was I took my original clean copy from Word (you have to export from pages to word or PDF). Then I had to get Adobe Acrobat Pro to change the colors of both my cover and my book content to CYMK from RGB and save it as a PDF/X before I could upload it. My cover was even the wrong size so I had to fix that after they checked it.
Then you do the meta descriptions and you choose your categories. That part is relatively self-explanatory. What is your book about? Some knowledge of SEO will probably aid you there.
Market like it’s going out of style.
So the general rule of thumb in the social media world is that people want to know what’s in it for them. Now, this is all of the knowledge that I have accumulated from trying to market my direct sales company, but I think it applies.
You’re going to want to brand YOU not your company or your affiliate links or even your book. People want to know you first, like you second and trust you third before they want to buy from you. You’re not going to learn how to publish a book online and just be able to sell it like hotcakes if you don’t learn how to sell online.
Share things about you, your life, your interests, and hobbies, educate your audience, engage them, entertain them, and then sell them. Imagine 80% of your social media being light and 20% being business.
So that’s how to publish a book relatively easily.
What do you think? Are you going to take that idea and run with it? Because if it’s on your heart I think you should!
There will always be more to learn about how to publish a book, writing, branding, and marketing, and so on. But just going for it and learning as you go is the best way to do it! Otherwise, you’ll get so bogged down in the details you will never get started.
For learning more about how to drive traffic, how to do ads, and the works you should grab this course that has taught me so much. And don’t forget to remember to relax and allow the universe to help you on your way there.
Before you go, grab my book Fireflies available for FREE for a limited time!