13 Steps to Self-Publish an eBook in 2019
Writers today are overwhelmed with the abundance of information about self-publishing, what will cost, how do I it right, how do I come up with a good book idea, and much more.
So we created a self-publishing guide that will walk you through step by step of how to write your book all the way to how to self-publish it.
Do you have what it takes to become a published author?
1 – Decide Why You Want to Learn How to Publish a Book
What you need to decide first when self-publishing a book, is WHY you want to write a book.
Here are some questions to help you decide why you want to publish a book:
- Did you read an article that said it was easy money?
- Are you an entrepreneur with a business trying to get ahead of your competition by publishing a book?
- Do you want to take your skills and knowledge and become a paid speaker?
- Do you have a well-established business and want to write a book so you can diversify your income streams and land speaking engagements?
- Do you have a successful story, and want to write a book to share the knowledge and skills you’ve gained?
- Do you have a larger number of book ideas?
Come up with all the reasons that you want to write a book. Put those ideas on paper or in a Document on your computer.
2 – Write Your Book
If you’ve ever tried to start writing a book, you had moments where writers block set in and you’ve stared at a blank page for hours with nothing to show for it. Then you got frustrated and started procrastinating and got nothing done!
All normal, writing a book is hard work and not an easy task.
Just coming up with a book idea that will sell can be very tricky. To start writing your book, you have to develop a writing process.
Here’s are some effective ways to write a book worth self-publishing:
- Use your Gmail or Outlook Calendar. The best way to have your book complete is to have a calendar that schedules your goals per day/week.
- Create an outline. Outline your book then use that outline as a map that gives you direction to your story and keeps you on track and organized.
- Develop a writing habit. Condition yourself to write at the same time every day. With this practice, it will soon become a habit that will make writing a book automatic.
- Get an accountability partner. You can hold each other accountable to write and finish each task on time.
- Build your writing environment. You don’t actually have to build anything, just find an area where your head is clear, there are no distractions, and where you can write in peace.
Create a plan and follow it! Find the methods that work for you. The methods that work are the ones that keep your negative brain noise to get you and keep you in the writing process.
3 – Get Feedback on Your Book Before Publishing
While you are working on your book, start getting feedback from friends and people that do not know you as early as possible.
It’s essential to listen to feedback so you can improve your writing.
Everything from creative writing to factual, non-fiction works needs feedback in order to produce a book that will sell!
As a writer, it is easy to retreat into your brain, spend hours writing what you think is the perfect first draft, only to find that either your draft makes no sense to anyone else or no one including your mom is as interested in the topic as you originally thought.
Writing tips can come from anywhere and the best usually come from those reading your book for the first time.
Giving your book to several pre-launch readers before you give it to an editor can also cut down on the time and some of the cost you must pay a professional editor.
Reach out to people who could provide good unbiased feedback, and ask them if they’ll be willing to read a chapter or the whole book!
4 – Choose a Book Title
You should never decide on a book title until after you are done writing your first draft.
Choosing a book title first can results in writing yourself into a corner because you’re trying so hard to align your story to the title of the book instead of writing what needs to be written.
The magic to choosing a perfect title is: the simpler the title, the better it will be.
Your book title must be clear on what your readers will receive when they read your book. A promise or a guarantee of results will further intrigue your readers.
Some things to consider when creating your book title:
- Can your book solve a problem?
- Does your book elicit an emotional response?
- Can your book impact someone’s life?
- Is your book going to teach a high demand skill?
- Is your title short enough to read in a thumbnail image on Amazon?
Once you’ve come up with some titles, email your friends and family and pre-launch team or put a poll on your website asking what title they’d prefer. Make sure you also give them the ability to make changes to the words you use. Do not assume you are smarter than they are!
5 – Hire a Great Book Editor
Hiring a great book editor can mean the difference between becoming a bestselling author, or self-publishing a mediocre book that only your mom will buy.
Depending on your budget, you can either hire a professional book editor or hire a more budget-friendly editor from an online site. Just be careful and check references and portfolios of work.
Make sure the editor is interested in the subject of your book.
Get them to edit a chapter for you. Spend a few dollars ($25 or so) so that you can make sure they are a good fit for you. Check out their edits and make sure that they make sense to you. If they don’t you leave that $25 on the table and do some more looking for an editor that will fit you instead of tossing more money on the table for a partnership that may not work.
Find a professional editor who can make sure your book is error-free, and start working with them sooner rather than later!
6 – Design a Book Cover that Sells
A high-quality book cover that fits your book genre is one of the most important elements that will get your book to sell!
People do judge a book by it’s cover! A shopper will immediately determine whether they want to read your book or not.
Make sure your book cover is created professionally and that it will stand apart from the rest of the books in your genre or category.
What makes a good book cover?
- Minimalistic and Simple is the Key. Too much going on will make readers unable to figure out what your book is about. Keep the cover simple and it will sell.
- Professionally designed. Book cover designers know how to create book covers that sell. They have industry knowledge and have know what works and what doesn’t work.
- Clear title and subtitle. The title on your cover does matter. The easier it is to read, the better.
- A design style that fits your intended audience. Know your audience and design the cover to fit them and not you!
Prices will vary depending on what type of service you want, but the end result will be well worth the spend. You can spend $100-$200 for a quality cover that will sell.
Find a book designer with any of these sites and your book will stand apart from the rest of its competition!
7 – Create Your Kindle Direct Self-Publishing Account
Amazon has a self-publishing service called Kindle Direct Publishing where you can create and manage your Kindle eBook, paperback, and audio books.
Amazon purchased the well-known book printing company CreateSpace and they’re now merged as one.
So now you can offer print books to your audience. It’s the best way to learn how to publish a book and start selling quickly.
Here’s how to set up your KDP account on Amazon:
- Visit https://kdp.amazon.com and create an account with either your existing Amazon account or your email address.
- Next, you must complete your tax information. You will not be able to submit your published book if you do not complete this step.
- Once your tax information is complete, hit “Finished” and your account is complete!
Follow the steps above to create your KDP account! With this platform, you can figure out how to publish your book within minutes and soon have it appear worldwide!
8 – Format Your Self-Published Book
There are many resources online that can tell you how to format your book yourself for free. You can start by looking at Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing forums where there are plenty of discussions on book formatting.
You can also use KDP’s free resources to help format your book.
Formatting can be a real pain so if you have a few bucks to spare, you might consider paying someone to help you.
Remember that formatting will look different for fiction versus nonfiction books.
Typically, nonfiction books don’t have an indent between paragraphs but instead, they have spaces whereas fiction books are indented with each new paragraph.
Be sure you hire someone who knows how to format your books genre.
Make sure your book is formatted properly.
9 – Self-Publish Your Book
When you feel confident your book is ready for the public, you can create a KDP account and upload your book.
You must select two different categories on Amazon your book might fit into so you can reach more buyers.
Include a bio, photo, and link to your website or blog to help you stand out among authors.
Then you’ll be ready to publish your book. Click “save & publish” in your KDP book dashboard. Then Click “save & publish” in the book editing screen!
Upload your book to Amazon. You can upload your book as many times as you need. Each upload overwrites the last so if you find a mistake take are of it immediately and upload your book again.
10 – Pricing Your Book
One of the most important decisions when it comes to self-publishing a book is how to price it.
Normally your eBook needs to be between $2.99 to $5.99. In launch I would start at $0.99 for the launch period.
Then I would set the price to 2.99 or 3.99, and then increase the price by $1 every week and keep a measurement of your book sales. When you see a sales dip, you know the exact price that will guarantee book sales.
Find the perfect price by using this strategy that will attract your readers and best drive long-term success.
11 – Form a Launch Team
Your launch team is a group of people who are dedicated to helping make your book successful.
They should be a passionate group of raving fans. They must be eager to make your book launch successful.
To find quality candidates, here’s a questionnaire you can use to assess applicants and see if they’re qualified to market your book:
- Why do you want to support my book?
- What goals are you trying to reach with this project?
- How would you market this book?
- Which influencers would you reach out to and why?
- Do you have a genuine interest in my book and its genre?
Create an application with questions that align with your thought process. Try to be open-minded with those who think outside the box – they may be the perfect candidates that can get your book to become a bestseller.
12 – Get Book Reviews to Maximize Book Launch Exposure
It’s not enough to learn how to publish a book and be done with it. You still have to sell your book! Many authors miss that point but being self published you must do all the sales or hire someone to market it for you.
It is called a Best Seller and not Best Written.
Before your book goes live on Amazon, make sure you are leveraging your launch team and your audience to help you market your book!
It may be odd to ask your fans for help, but your fans are there to support your project and want to see you succeed.
You might be surprised how willing they’ll be to help you if you just ask!
Here are some marketing initiatives you can assign your team and audience to do:
- Share content from your book as blog posts across social media
- Submit reviews on Amazon
- Help build your book’s website
- Reach out to influencers for a future guest post or podcast feature
- Share a book review on their YouTube channel
- Buy extra copies to give their friends
The additional exposure generated from your launch team and audience will help push your book up Amazon’s rankings, which will drive more sales!
Create your book marketing launch plan using these methods. Measure each of these methods to see which will best get your book in the hands of new readers and convert into sales.
13 – Celebrate Learning How to Self-Publish a Book!
Publishing after writing a book is just the beginning. Depending on your goals for your book, self-publishing can get you more customers, free publicity, and establish you as an expert in your niche.
This can help you land speaking gigs and build a business within your area of expertise.
Your book sales can also help fund your lifestyle with passive income.
Dream big about what you want your book to do for you. When you have a vision for where you want your book to take you, it will be easier to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Getting clear on what you want will also help you to be more effective when expanding your network along on your journey.