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.

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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