A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing a Book in 5 Steps

Is this the year you finally get this book out of your brain and bring it to life? Is this something that you have dreamed of doing for a while, but you don’t know how to go about it, what it’s going to cost, and how to get people to buy your book?

Self-publishing is quickly becoming a popular option for writers of all styles. Are you planning to write a children’s book, do you think your blog content would make a good ebook, or have you always wanted to write your memoirs?

As an author, there are several self-publishing templates to choose from, so to be successful you will need to plan carefully as you will be handling every step of the publishing process. Let’s see how to self-publish a book in five steps.

1. Research the market

Before you embark on writing your manuscript, you will need to do some market research. Are there a ton of other books on the same subject? How will yours be different? If there aren’t a lot of books in your niche, look more into why there might not be demand. Know your market and write a book that satisfies them.

2. Write and edit your book

Once you’ve written your book and self-published it as much as you can, you can choose to have it reviewed by a professional editor. Professional publishing will cost between $ 30 and $ 55 an hour, according to The Editorial Freelancers Association. So ask for quotes and find the right publisher for your budget and needs. There are also different types of editors, so familiarize yourself with the options available. You might just want someone to proofread your book for typos, or someone to review the entire structure of the book.

3. Design the cover and format the book

To create a beautiful, readable book for your readers, you can hire a professional cover designer (pricing will depend on their experience), or you can go it alone with the help of apps, such as Canva. Don’t forget to explore tools that will help you shape the inside of the book, like Scrivener. These two design steps are extremely important, so if possible try to leave that to the professionals. Your book needs to look its best inside and out – that’s what will attract readers and make you sales!


You will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) before working on your book cover. It’s a unique barcode that you’ll need to purchase for each version of your book (Bowker charges $ 85 each).

4. Plan your self-publication method

Self-publishing used to mean paying up front to print thousands of copies and then trying to sell them all. Fortunately, some solutions have now simplified the whole process with a print on demand service. With POD, you can upload your book file and the service will print individual copies as you purchase them. Here are the two largest POD services in the world:

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

KDP is an authoring platform that allows you to upload your book and list it for free. Readers can choose to order it as an eBook or create a print copy for them with the click of a mouse. It takes less than 5 minutes to publish, and your book will appear in Kindle stores around the world within 24-48 hours. You set your prices and earn up to 70% royalty on sales in many countries.


IngramSpark offers authors the ability to self-publish a book and make it available to over 40,000 retailers and libraries (in-store and online) through their global distribution network.

How much does it cost to download a book with IngramSpark? For a print (hardcover and paperback) and an eBook, it’s $ 49; for a printed book only, it’s $ 49 per title; and for an ebook only, it costs $ 25 per title. Check their website to see what’s included in their fees. The cost of printing and shipping a book depends on the number of pages, cut size, interior color and paper, and shipping address. Check out their printing and shipping calculator for an estimate.


You can choose to go the digital book route alone. To distribute an ebook, you provide it to online retailers for sale. Some of the major e-merchants include:

  • Amazon
    (Kindle) offers many benefits to entice you to publish exclusively on their stores. In return for not listing your book elsewhere, KDP Select (Amazon’s Exclusive Program) will give you access to Kindle Unlimited, discount offers, and free promotions. Do your research, make a choice, then stick to it.
  • Apple Books is available in 51 countries. Publishing your book is free. However, Apple takes a portion of your royalties. For example, if your book sells for $ 9.99, the royalty rate is 70%, so you will earn $ 6.99 on each sale.
  • Kobo writes life
    allows you to upload your manuscript, set the price, and you’ll be added to their catalog within 72 hours. Your eBook will be available from major online book retailers in over 190 countries. You will receive 70% of the list price of the book, provided the price is equal to or greater than $ 2.99.
  • Barnes & Noble Press Gives you access to millions of readers within 72 hours of posting. You will have promotional opportunities and earn royalties of up to 65% with no hidden charges.
  • Google Play Books
    allows you to easily reach billions of people on Android devices. You will receive a 70% royalty, but you can make an additional 7% commission on your ebook if you sign up for their affiliate program.

5. Market your self-published book

Now that you’ve written a fantastic book, done your research, and decided how you’re going to publish your book, the next step is to get involved a little more.

  • Create a blog or website.
  • Increase your online presence. Guest post and contribution to related forums.
  • Use social networks.
  • Use SEO keywords that your readers are looking for.
  • Find out what helps other books sell in your genre.
  • Get reviews for your book by offering a free copy and asking for comments.
  • Use the promotional tools and programs of your publishing platform.
  • Join the Goodreads Author Program and create a profile page, where you can organize giveaways, lead discussions about your book, research reviews, and connect your blog.
  • Paid advertising.

Related Reading: 5 Quick Tips to Promote Your Self-Published Book Via Social Media


The journey to self-publishing isn’t necessarily the easiest, but seeing your book come to life can be a deeply rewarding experience. You absolutely can do this as long as you set realistic goals, prepare yourself through research (then more research!), And surround yourself with other freelance writers who have been through it all.

What are the advantages of self-publishing? Self-publishing has many advantages, including the absence of literary agents or publishers getting in the way. You can publish quickly, and you can earn more than you would with a traditional publisher taking a big chunk. You have full control over the publishing process, and with improved technology your book will look like any other book on the shelves.

How much do authors earn? Now that you know roughly the costs involved, you are probably wondering how much a self-published author could make. Well, there is no easy answer. It all depends on your genre, the quality of your book, the quality of your marketing and what is popular at the time. Like most artists, you do it for love and not for money, but if you are determined to be a bestselling author and willing to work hard – what are you waiting for?

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