How I Self-Published my Book (Part 2)

Self-publishing. Anyone can do it. If you wonder how it’s done, keep reading.

As you see, this blog is part two of a longer segment. The earlier blog talked about writing the book, cover design and finding an editor. Those are essential items in the process, so read it first.

Now, on to the actually publishing process.

Publishing the Book

Amazon is the largest seller and distributor of books in the world. It would be unwise to ignore them as a means for getting your book into the world.

However, you don’t have to give them exclusive rights. There are other publishers and distributors that reach smaller audiences, and if you would like to see your print book in a physical bookstore, you won’t be able to do that with Amazon.

Once my manuscript is edited and proofread, I’ll send the MS Word .docx file to a formatter. She’ll return three files to me, one of which will be a PDF that is meant for producing a printed book.

Those files get uploaded on my KDP author dashboard. As the publisher, I set the price and determine the release dates.

You don’t have to use a formatter. KDP provides Word templates for every size of book, and you can copy and paste your edited manuscript into that document and upload it.

In either case, I recommend uploading files earlier enough so you can order a proof copy of your printed book to ensure everything looks the way you want it to.

In the past, I’ve used Ingram Spark hoping to get a book in a physical bookstore, but that didn’t work well for me. If you know a small bookstore owner, you might be able to sell directly to them, but they may want you to buy back any copies they don’t sell after six months to a year. Those books will need to have an ISBN- a unique identifier that is used to track sales of the book- that you’ve purchased separately.

In the US, all work is copyrighted to the author by the author claiming that copyright in their printed work (on the back of the title page). There is a long and expensive process to register the copyright with the Library of Congress, and I’ve never done it. If you feel like that’s the only way to protect your work, an online search engine will help you figure out how to jump through those hoops.

Once a book is published, an author can sit back and watch the money roll in. *sarcasm strong in this statement.

This book will be available in digital and print on May 9, 2023

Without reviews, books won’t be recommended by Amazon’s algorithm, and it will be nearly impossible for readers to find your book. I have advance readers who promise to review the book on Amazon and Goodreads in exchange for a free digital copy of the book. Most publishers require advance readers to purchase a copy of the book, too.

That’s how easy it is to self-publish your book. Any questions?

What do you think? Add to the discussion here.