Self Publishing My Book - Part 2

"What are the steps to self publishing my book?" You'll find the answers here!

This is the second part of our guide to self publishing books. Click here to go to Part 1

Steps to self-publish a book

Here are some of the steps in the self publishing process:

1) Finalize edits of your book. Consider hiring a professional editor to make sure it's ready to publish.

2) Register your ISBN.

An ISBN is a unique number that identifies your book. You need an ISBN to place your book in bookstores or libraries.

Many self publishing services will offer you an ISBN for "free". However, in How to Self-Publish Your Book, author Carla King makes a strong case that it's better to register your own in order to avoid being locked into a particular service.

You can purchase your ISBNs on Currently one ISBN costs $125 and ten cost $250. If you plan to publish your book in more than one format, consider purchasing ten, since you'll need separate ISBNs for printed books and e books and for different e book formats.


3) Choose a self publishing service; for example, one of the options I've listed in Self Publishing My Book - Part 1.

4) Consider asking someone to write a blurb that you can use on your book cover.

5) Hire a cover and interior designer.

If you prefer to do the design work yourself and are not a professional, there are a number of free design tools that can help. For example, one author I know achieved very nice results for her book cover using

Most of the self publishing services I've seen offer their own design tools.

Tip: Make sure that your cover design looks good in a tiny thumbnail size, since this is how it may appear in online bookstores.

6) Plan your pricing strategy. Look at the prices of other self published books in your genre.

Normally, self-published books are priced inexpensively, and a low price may significantly improve sales.

7) Once you've decided on a retail price, purchase a bar code from (currently $25) if you're publishing a print edition. In most cases, you don't need a bar code for an e book.

8) Plan your marketing strategy. For example, consider reaching out to book bloggers and/or guest-posting on blogs relevant to your readers. Look for ways to get reader reviews of your book as soon as possible.

If you're publishing on, pay special attention to your author profile page.

Turnkey solutions

There are a number of companies which offer to manage the whole process of self publishing books for you.

While this may be tempting, in some cases it can also get very expensive -- especially since some of these companies try to upsell to their customers, promoting add-on services that aren't covered in the base price.

I have heard of several authors who spent large amounts of money on self publishing packages and were very unhappy with what they got in return. Before investing in a self publishing package, please research the company carefully. Do an online search for the company name to see what past customers have to say about it.

It's also worth looking at Writer Beware, a website that publishes information about scams targeting authors.

Happy publishing!

Self Publishing My Book - Next Steps

Return to Part 1 of this series on self publishing books

Find out how to get an agent and traditionally publish a novel

More help with getting published


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