How to publish a book

How to publish a book

If you want to publish your own book all you need to do is write it and make it available as an Ebook on the Internet or as a physical print-on-demand book.
These days publishing a book is easy and far less expensive than it used to be. You can even do it for free if you are prepared to roll up your sleeves and become your own publisher.

Let’s go over the basic process step by step.

1. Write your book, or pay a ghostwriter to write it for you.
2. Design the cover, or pay someone to design a cover for you.
3. Format the book, or hire someone to format it for you.
4. Publish your masterpiece on the platform of your choice, or outsource the work.

Depending on which route you take and your skill levels, there will be challenges, but you can find free information and advice to overcome all the obstacles on the Internet.
So, let’s break it down a little more.

Step 1

If you decide to write your book yourself you can access masses of information online about spelling, grammar and editing.
There are hundreds of books on the subject of writing books. Many are rubbish but there are several excellent books on the craft of writing, such as Stephen King’s On Writing, which is also an entertaining read.
The biggest obstacle to writing a book yourself is the time and effort it takes to learn the various skills needed to produce a quality book.
No author and no book is perfect, but it’s the indie publisher’s responsibility to ensure the spelling, grammar and editing is of as high a standard as possible before making a book available to the public, especially if you are hoping people will buy your book.
Hiring a ghostwriter or professional editor will speed the process up enormously, but it will still involve time and effort in finding the right person or persons to carry out these tasks.
Before hiring someone to write or edit your book, you will need to conduct due diligence to make sure they are the right person for the job. Pretty obvious advice I know, but vital to state all the same.

Step 2

Creating a cover yourself is easy, even for the artistically challenged.  Amazon Kindle and Creatspace have free online cover creating software and you can find free book cover templates online, which you can adapt to your specific needs.
There is a learning curve to using these tools, but if you have the ability to send email and surf the net, you shouldn’t have too many problems.
If your tech skills are more advanced, you can design your own cover from scratch, either using a paid application such as Photoshop or a free image editor like Gimp. Once again the information you need to learn how to use these tools can be found online.
There are plenty of low-cost book cover templates to buy online if you are concerned your own design looks unprofessional.
You have a choice of hundreds of cover creating services and thousands of graphic artists online too, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get a nice cover made. In fact you can pay as little as $5 at a freelancers-for-hire site like Once again do your research before hiring anyone.

Step 3

Formatting a manuscript to be published online as an Ebook, or as a physical print-on-demand book, can be tricky and the psychiatric hospitals are full of indie authors who have gone insane trying to format their own books.
You can avoid the same fate by doing your research before you begin formatting your book. There is plenty of information online about how to format books, but most of it is confusing or out of date. So, be prepared to spend some time finding a good guide.
Instead of picking your way through the free information, you could buy a course that will teach you how to format a book, or hire someone to do the formatting for you. Alternatively,you may wish to consider purchasing software to perform the task.
The easiest to use software for sale that I have come across for formatting books is the Ultimate Ebook Creator, which you can check out by clicking HERE

At the time of writing the price was $57 (£49.70 inc VAT in the UK) and when you buy the UEC you also get 30 editable book-cover templates and two Ebooks by the software’s creator about indie publishing as bonuses.
The UEC creates Amazon Kindle Ebooks and Barns’ & Noble “The Nook” Ebooks.
The UEC could potentially save you a great deal of time, and maybe even your sanity!
I will earn an affiliate commission if you buy the Ultimate Ebook Creator directly through my link, but you will pay the same wherever you purchase the software.

Step 4

The Internet has revolutionized the publishing world. The rise of Ebook readers and print-on-demand physical books has made it possible for anyone to publish their own books and sell them across the globe.
Before the Internet, if you couldn’t find a traditional publisher, but were determined to see your book in print and you had plenty of spare cash, you could go to a “vanity publisher”. Those companies still exists, but Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple IBooks, Smashwords, KoboBooks, Lulu, Createspace, Lightning Source and others now provide a multitude of opportunities for the indie publisher to make their work available to the masses.
The information on how to publish your books on this new generation of publishing platforms is freely available online.
As in the 3 previous Steps you will need to sort through a mountain of information until you find a system which works for you and, if you don’t want to do it yourself, there are plenty of people willing to take your money to do it for you.

You can do everything yourself or outsource all 4 steps or just the steps of the process you don’t wish to do yourself.

If you want to publish your own book, there is a third way of reducing or eliminating costs by partnering with someone in a joint venture. For example, you may have design skills while the other person is a good writer. However, such arrangements can quickly turn sour, so be extremely careful before going down this path.