How to Self Publish a Book

There are a ton of blog posts and resources out there on how to become a self-published author but I never found the right one that I could follow to a T. So I’m publishing all the steps I took to publish Love Lost, Life Found this year in case you have an inkling of wanting to publish your own book and want to know how.

Love Lost, Life Found

Step 1: Write Book

Easier said than done. This is going to be such a different experience for everyone. I found that I actually had to schedule writing time in my weekly planner every morning during a 5 – 6am power hour or it wouldn’t get done. There was some cottage weekends where I would just write for hours and some months that I wouldn’t write at all. Everyone’s process is different but once you’ve got it written here are the steps you can take to get it out into the world.

Step 2: Edit Book

I chose to work with a structural editor and a copy editor. Because I was so immersed in the text day in and day out I wasn’t sure it flowed properly or made any sense in the order that I had put the chapters in. So about a year before I published I hired a structural editor to review the content and flow. After I implemented all their changes I hired my mother as my copy editor. This also gave me a chance to share my book with her before it hit the shelves which I really loved.

I ended up using the Scrivener trial and then purchasing the software (around $50 CDN) because I loved how the software laid out my book. I could easily see all the chapters and how they were ordered which help with the flow of the book.

Step 3: Put Book Into A Template

This step was probably the most frustrating because it took forever and a lot of attention to detail. I’m assuming when  you have a publisher that this steps gets done for you 🙂

I bought the Focus Non-Fiction template from Book Design Templates for Word to do the layout. What’s great about this site is it comes with complete instructions on how to use the template. I got the Print & eBook layouts for a 5.5″ x 8.5″ Trade Paperback layout for $47 USD (comes out to around $61 CDN).

Step 4: Design the Cover

I used Fiverr to hire a designer to get initial ideas and then I used Canva to complete the final Cover for the eBook. The Print Cover design was much tougher. I thankfully have an author friend who helped me use a template and he ended up doing a lot of small edits and converting from Word to PDF until it was just right. So I’m indebted to him!


Step 5: Upload to Self Publishing Platforms

Early in the process I registered for ISBNs for print, eBook and audio book (which I have yet to record). From there I started the following self publishing accounts

Kobo Writing Life (KWL)

Kindle Self Publishing

CreateSpace – Allows you to publish paperback books on Amazon

IngramSpark – Allows bookstores to order paper copies if they’d like

Note – There are set up fees on CreateSpace & IngramSpark where as it’s free to publish eBooks on the other platforms.

Note – You can publish on iBooks as well I just haven’t gotten around to it yet 🙁

Step 6: Promote

I did this really only 3 ways. There are so many more but with limited time outside of my full-time job I had to double down. I chose to reach out to podcasts to do in person interviews and utilize my social media network to promote the launch. I used Canva to create promotional images and scheduled them in HootSuite to land on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And last but not least I created a website for the book which is essentially a sales page to host links to the different platforms to buy, a synopsis of the book and a place to host the book trailer that I had created.

Book Trailer: I found a new fledgling company in Ottawa that could do the filming. We chose to meet in a lovely area in Ottawa to record so big scenes as well as me talking. We filmed for 4 hours and it took me 2 – 3 weeks to received the first draft. We ended up only making one edit to a font colour on the screen and voila the final draft was in my hands. To be honest this was a more expensive expense that my book sales still haven’t made up in profit but I think it was well worth it to convey what I was really trying to accomplish with this book.

Have a look below 🙂

Now go out and write your book. Happy Publishing!

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