How To Self-Publish A Book In 2021
Guest post by author Tina Marie.
So, you want to write and publish a book? My advice to you is this: just do it. How? By following these steps.
1. Tell Yourself The Story
AKA, write your first draft. Get the words out on paper. Remember this is just draft one. Only after you're done with this should you even begin to worry about editing it to the best of your ability.
There are a couple of free programs you can use, including Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid. They aren’t as good as hiring a professional, but you shouldn't be doing that at this stage in the process anyway.
2. Develop Your Platform
Now is a good time to start growing your social media following. That can look like a Facebook page or group, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok etc. Yes, it may feel odd to have a social media following when you don’t even have a book published yet, but that’s okay.
Here are some content ideas...
- Share a paragraph at a time to your followers
- Post about your daily life
- Create engaging or inspirational posts
3. Write Your Second Draft
This is when you can add or remove anything that doesn’t quite make the cut. Polish it up as much as you can.
4. Write Your Blurb
You will need to write a blurb for your book. Your goal should be to summarize what it’s about in 300 words or so. This will seem like an impossible feat at first, but do it you must!
There are many author groups on Facebook that you can join that will help you with this task. Or, if you’d prefer, you can hire someone to do this for you. In the end though, you are the best person for the job. After all, this is your book!
5. Create Your Cover
If you can’t afford a cover designer, I recommend making your own. Search for books in your genre on Amazon to get inspiration.
To create your cover, check out KDP. Once you upload your manuscript, it will offer you the option to make a cover on their platform. Or, upload a readymade image, if you have one. It’s free to use and allows for different fonts.
Canva is another great tool that you can use to make your own book cover. You even have access to some of the photos in their library for free.
Note: Do not steal a photo off of the web! Photographers don't appreciate this, and they will come after you.
6. Format Your Book
When I published my first book, I had so much trouble formatting it that I had to hire someone. But, now, KDP formats your eBook, and gives you printing options (paperback, hardback, e-book) with Kindle Create.
All you have to do is download it and follow the prompts.
7. Copyright Your Book
You will want your work copyrighted. To do this properly, Google, "How to obtain copyright for my book in [your country specifically]."
8. Your Digital Sales Page
Now that your book is ready to publish, you will need to write the copy for your sales page and fill in other Internet search-related information.
Include your blurb and any other important information your readers need to know. If there are triggers in your story, make this clear.
You will be asked to enter up to 7 keywords that relate to your book. Think of yourself as the customer. What keywords would you type in the search bar if you were looking for your book?
You will be able to pick 2 at the time of publishing.
Pro Tip: Your book and eBook can be placed into 10 categories each after publication.
For paperbacks, Amazon will provide you with an ISBN number for free. If you decided to publish your paperback elsewhere, you will need a different one.
This is an easy process. Follow the prompts and hit publish. That’s it! Your book can take up to 72 hours to go live. Be patient. It will happen.
A Word Of Caution
Never pay a publisher to publish your book. They sound convincing enough, making you believe your book will shoot to number one. Do not believe them.
They won’t market your book like you think they will. (Or, likely at all.) Nor will you make money. They will, of course, because you already paid them!
There it is. Will this be a challenging road at times? Hell yes. But it's worth it. There is nothing more rewarding than holding your own book in your hands.
So, you still want to write a book? Don’t be afraid of failing. Be afraid of not trying.
Just do it.
Tina Marie's overactive imagination was cultivated in a tiny farming community in Southwestern Ontario. Her Pearl Lake series is receiving rave reviews!