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Created September 24, 2017 19:14
What would you like to do?
Tips to Self Publishing
The most important things to start with:
A title and a one to two paragraph description of your book. You'll need it for almost every step of this process. You'll also need to identify how you'll publish (book, e-book, both?) and the price for each of those platforms.
1. Establish a Publishing Company (Optional)
Creating a publishing company is a simple as registering a business or local trade entity/name at your town hall office. You can also scale up to a larger business however the local trade establishes your publishing brand as "Publishing Company Books" or whatever name you'd like.
2. Register for your ISBN number
The ISBN number is a unique identifier for your book. It is widely used throughout every library and online store to catalog your book. ISBNs should be purchased through Bowker. Don't buy them anywhere else, if you do, they tend to be third parties just buying them from Bowker anyway. If you plan on publishing more than 1 book, I'd recommend buying a block of 10.
3. Register your PCN number (Library of Congress Control)
This is an additional identifier that is used by the government for cataloging purposes. A library will not enroll a book without an PCN and an ISBN so it's important to get both.
4. Get a Barcode
Now that you have the two identifiers. You'll need to generate a bar code that will have the cataloging information as well as the price of your book listed. I've used Barcode Graphics for most of my writing career. You will get an Adobe Illustrator file with the barcode generated, this is the same kind of barcode stores have on products so book stores will use this when cataloging your book by simply scanning it.
5. Choose a printer and distributor
The printer is important at this point because some have limitations on how your book can be designed and distributed. My recommendation is CreateSpace. They are an Amazon company which means that you can easily select Amazon and Kindle as a distribution channel for your book. They also take very little out of your royalties and what they take is based on the cost to produce your book.
Here, you'll want to choose the size of your book as well the type (hard cover, softcover, est page count). Your book designer will need this information in the next step.
6. Design your book
I truly believe it's a good idea to hire someone to design your book to your vision. Boom design is an art that a lot of publishers gloss over. Even if it's just the cover and back cover it's important to design something that appeals to your target audience. To save, you can hire a student designer but you can also find some decent designers for lower costs on websites like or If the designers are using photos, please be sure they have the correct rights to use them. I still do book design also if that's an option.
My rates:
$1000 for 20-100p physical book ($50/additional 20 pages)
$750 for 20-100p eBook ($50/additional 20 pages)
7. Upload the book to the publisher
Your (almost) final step, upload the final cover and pages to the printer and distribution (CreateSpace). Set your price, select your distribution channels and go.
8. While your book is being designed, you should craft a marketing strategy. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of guidance here. I've experimented with different approaches which have all brought mixed results.
Hope this helps.
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