Now it’s easier than ever to publish a book!
More and more people are interested in how to publish a book on Amazon. It makes sense: you know what they say, that publishing your book is the new business card. Not to mention the impact your story can have on other people.
Thanks to technology, publishing a book is now simpler than ever. Naturally, you have two options. Publish traditionally through a publishing house or self-publish. While this post aims to show you the main steps to self-publishing, some of them are similar even if you choose to publish through an agent, so keep reading.
In fact, to follow the publisher/publishing house route, all you have to do is simply submit your manuscript to agents and publishers. What most people overlook, though, is the fact that agents, like many publishing houses, usually specialise in a specific genre. But we will discuss more of this in a future post.
So, why would anyone opt for self-publishing instead? There are a few reasons for this, the main ones being that when you self-publish, you get to set your own prices, keep all of your earnings, and market your book any way you want. In other words, you are your own agent and book manager!
When you self-publish, you know your book will be published regardless; you have made the decision, and this is the first significant step. It’s ridiculously easy to see your book listed on Amazon if you are consistent.
On the other hand, if you decide to publish through a publisher, agents and publishers may reject your work in many cases. After all, they’re doing their job: consider the dozens, if not hundreds, of manuscripts they receive each month – they have to be selective!
Basic steps to publish your own book
What are the steps, then, to self-publish?
1. First, decide on a topic/story. This may seem like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know what to write about, how to begin, or what they want to convey. The simplest way? Brainstorm! On a piece of paper, write down all the ideas that you have – but don’t just make a list, write each idea on a random place on paper so you can later draw lines and connect the dots.
2. Turn your ideas into chapters/sections. It’s as simple as that. Decide which of these ideas can be turned into separate chapters so you can get a sense of the overall structure. If you’re writing fiction, there are specific plot outlines you can follow, such as the Hero’s Journey, which has served authors for decades.
3. This brings us to the tools you’ll need: most people are comfortable using Google Docs or Microsoft Word, and it’s always a good idea to use cloud storage as your backup instead of just storing things locally. Scrivener is perhaps the most fully-featured set of tools: in addition to being a word processor, it also has a plot outliner (called the Corkboard) where you can drag, drop, and re-arrange your chapters, track your characters, etc. But if this is all too complex for you, Google Docs will serve you just fine (fewer options but gets the work done).
4. If you find that you procrastinate a lot, you can also use various productivity methods such as the Pomodoro technique. Also, an accountability partner or a book writing coach can be of great help here. Set aside some free time. Try to work at the same time every day so that your brain can form a habit, which in turn will become a routine.
5. When you’ve made some progress, maybe halfway through your writing, you can start building your beta reader tribe, which is a group of friends or people who might be interested in reading the book, buying it, and leaving a review when it’s published. The easiest way to do this is to start a Facebook group, create an Instagram profile, a website with regular updates, or an email list, among other things.
6. When you’ve finished writing, consider hiring a professional editor. If you can’t afford one, consider a freelancer from Fiverr or another cost-effective service. Doing so will help ensure your book is taken seriously. Before you do that, run it through a grammar checker like Grammarly or ProWritingAid.
7. Design your cover. Hire a graphic or ebook designer if you’re not sure how to do it. Save money by purchasing a ready-made template on Canva and edit it to your liking. Alternatively, create your own design from scratch on Canva for free.
8. Prepare your book descriptions: blurb, back-cover info, front-matter, etc., as well as your Amazon book description. This is an important step, and you may need to seek the advice of a professional copywriter or have a coach or someone else help you with it. This is the second thing readers will see after the title and cover!
9. Launch day! If you choose Amazon as your platform, you upload your manuscript, along with the cover and description, and you set the price.
10. Reviews! Your tribe should start reviewing your book right away, and you shouldn’t waste money on advertising while you wait for them to do so. For this reason, you should send them a manuscript at least a month before publishing the final version on Amazon.
11. After launching your book, keep engaging with your readers. Write social media posts, blog posts, and host competitions. Present your book on social media and in person. Reach out to notable reviewers in your genre and ask them to review your book or draw attention to it. Try to be interviewed and be on podcasts. If you’re an introvert who would rather avoid all of this, don’t worry, we can always find a quieter path to follow.
So there you have it: 12 basic steps to self-publishing your own book. Many people feel overwhelmed at this point, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. You can start by using the many online articles, YouTube tutorials, and other resources that are available.
However, if you want to be absolutely certain that you’re doing everything correctly or if you need some extra motivation, I can assist as a book writing coach. Not only will I provide you with advice and guidance, but I will also use my life coaching skills (as a certified life coach) to help you if you become stuck or uncertain about your project.
You can book a free 1-hour consultation with me on Zoom to talk about your book project! Simply click the button below: