publishing a book

You have a story to tell, and you’re ready to share it with the world through self-publishing. Great! I’m here to guide you through each step of this exciting journey. Ready? Let’s get started!

Step 1 – Conceptualize Your Book

Before you start writing, you need a solid book idea. What unique perspective or story can you share? Who would benefit from reading your book? How will it stand out in its genre? Answering these questions will give you a clearer vision of your book and its place in the market. There’s a way to structure books, so they are interesting and enjoyable. You’ll need to learn this, and you can do it on purpose instead of spending a decade wringing your hands trying to figure out book writing from scratch. Think about your readers; look at the books they are reading and enjoying; how can you give them a similar, but different (and better) experience?

Step 2 – Plan and Write

Once you’ve refined your book idea, it’s time to plan and write. Create a detailed outline to guide your writing process. Schedule regular writing sessions and stick to them. Remember, even a few hundred words each day can add up over time. I like to do 20minute sprints and mostly write on my iPhone with a bluetooth keyboard – the tiny screen makes it easier to get into the story (you need to visualize your scenes before you write them, so don’t focus on the words, just get down what’s happening.)

Step 3 – Edit and Revise

After your first draft is complete, it’s time to revise and edit. Start by self-editing: fix any glaring issues and polish your narrative. This could take months – I go through 5 stages of editing. Then, enlist the help of a professional editor to catch any overlooked mistakes and to enhance the quality of your manuscript (you can use an AI tool or grammar checker to fix basic stuff; but you might need a developmental editor to help you find the big picture story structure issues). Also, consider getting feedback from beta readers. They can provide valuable insights and point out any unclear or confusing parts of your book.

Step 4 – Design a Compelling Cover

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, we all do it. Your cover is the first thing potential readers see, so make sure it’s eye-catching and professional. If graphic design isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a professional or using a design tool like our Cover Creator or Midjourney to create your book cover.

Step 5 – Formatting and Choosing a Publishing Platform

Before you publish, you’ll need to format your book for different platforms. Tools like Vellum or Scrivener can simplify this process. Next, choose a self-publishing platform. Kindle Direct Publishing is a popular choice for eBooks, while platforms like IngramSpark or Lulu can be great for print books. Research the pros and cons of each platform to find the best fit for your needs.

Step 6 – Develop a Marketing Plan

Even the best book won’t sell without effective marketing. Develop a marketing plan that includes pre-launch and post-launch strategies. Build anticipation with cover reveals, author interviews, and sneak peeks of your book. Consider setting up a book launch team to help spread the word. After the launch, keep the momentum going with consistent marketing efforts like email newsletters, blog tours, and social media campaigns. If you need some quick help, here’s a free guide to book marketing.

Step 7 – Launch Your Book

You’ve made it to the finish line – it’s time to launch your book! Host a virtual launch party, reach out to book reviewers, and leverage your social media platforms to announce your book release. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take time to see sales, so stay patient and persistent.

Self-publishing your first book is an exciting journey with many steps. By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to seeing your name in print and sharing your story with the world. Remember, every successful author started where you are now. Keep going, and who knows – your book might be the next best-seller.

Stay tuned for more insights on writing, publishing, and book design. Until then, happy writing and publishing!

Derek Murphy
Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy is a cover designing indie author enthusiast, finishing a PhD in Literature and shopping for a castle in Europe.