Self-Publishing 101: 6 Steps To Get Started

Whether it’s your first novel or a self-help book for healing, writing and publishing a book is a huge achievement. But talking about it and making it happen are two different things. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Before you set off for your dreams you must do some cleaning up first. This step could take a week, months, or more than a year to do. Remove or distance yourself from toxic people. They carry the frequency of being stagnant, negative, and chaotic. And, you may carry some of that energy too that you need to let go of. The next step is to make sure your living space is not only clean but organized. You can’t expect success in a cluttered environment. There is nothing wrong with an occasional alcoholic drink or eating unhealthy foods once in a while but cutting back and incorporating healthy energy boosting foods and smoothies will give your mind and body what you need to succeed. And last but not least, make your free time more productive. Turn off your favorite Netflix series about cooking and watch a documentary on entrepreneurs or a free Youtube class on book publishing. You can still have fun, because everything is about balance, but make sure you are also incorporating discipline to streamline all aspects of your life.

I suggest that you don’t focus on the technical parts in the beginning. Once you know what you want to write about, don’t worry that the person’s name in chapter one is Trudy and in chapter three you accidentally called her Sherry. Just write! Make sure you stop and write your story whenever you feel inspired, even if you have to put it in a text message or notepad to add later. If you are having trouble tapping into your creative juices, do something completely out of character. If you are shy, go to a park and force yourself to go up to strangers saying something silly. If you hate dancing, take a dancing class. The point is, to get creative you must loosen up and tap into your free “wild” side. It’s the side of you that is uninhibited, driven, and focused. Or, you could try sitting still. Get your computer ready in front of you and meditate taking deep breaths, sit quietly and wait for that boost. Once it comes, just write from the heart.

When you decide to self-publish you must know the steps involved…
-Writing (the purely creative part)
-Editorial Evaluation (consider hiring a professional to help shape your creative work and make sure it’s headed in the right direction)
-Editing (You should edit your own work and then hire a professional)
-Proofreading (You should proofread your own work and then hire a professional)
-Cover Design (Hire a professional or use
-Interior Design
-ISBN Registration
-Printing & Distribution 

You don’t need a full business plan, but you do need one or two pages that include a strategy. Here are some things to contemplate…
-Why did you write your book? (to help advance your business or for more personal reasons)
-What would you like readers to take away from this story?
-What is your timeline?
-Who is your audience?
-How much will your charge?
-Will it be offered in print and as an e-book?  

IngramSpark and AmazonKDP are two Print on Demand companies (and there are tons more) that will print your book as people order it.  They also offer distribution to online retailers and book stores. You can also purchase your book directly from them (at only the cost to print) and then sell it at events or sell them to book stores at whole sale prices.

This is an extremely important step. Without a marketing plan in place you could run the risk of zero sales. Make sure you have an author profile on sites like, a website or Facebook page for your book, and social media accounts where you can promote your book. You can reach out to local book clubs to see if they will consider reading it. You can also reach out to the head of acquisitions at local libraries to pitch your book. You can set up a book reading/networking event at your house, a friend’s house, or a local book store.  Once you have done these steps, research who reviews books in your local paper and find out the process for submitting your book for consideration. Another great way to get the ball rolling is to create a social media campaign where you do a giveaway (maybe 10 or 15 books). Then, wait a few months and contact the winners asking if they would be willing to write a review on Goodreads and Amazon.

  1. This info was very encouraging & insightful. I’ve been stuck for the longest time. I keep procrastinating out of being frustrated over the things I don’t know because of not having someone or something to guide me. I’d inquired info from on-line publishing companies, but was over-whelmed with constant emails. I’m going to make every effort to get it together so I can get my book completed. Thank you for this info.

  2. Self-publishing journey can be overwhelming for a few of the authors however the tips which are enlisted in the article will indeed help throughout the process. Great tips!!

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