Proven Steps for Self Publishing

A Dozen Proven Steps To Writing And Self Publishing A Quality Book

Self publishing is now open to almost everyone but creating a quality book requires considerable knowledge and often authors and would-be publishers jump in without learning even the basic steps involved in the process. Lacking this basic knowledge often leads to poor quality books because it even affects the selection of competent publishing services contractors who might improve the final product.

To be successful in self publishing involves a lengthy learning curve but you can definitely get started in the right direction by following the ten basic tips listed below.

1. Find the readers for your book. Learn who they are and where to find them. If your objective for writing and publishing is to sell books, knowing your readers is critical to success. It also helps you develop the concept of your book to make certain you meet the readers needs and is an excellent guide for planning your book.

2. Flesh out your concept with a detailed plan. Books, like other important projects, require a comprehensive plan. Create a good plan and then use it, with all your knowledge and research on the subject, to create a complete and detailed outline and organize it into a sensible and easy to follow order.

3. Create a great title and subtitle. Titles do sell books. In spite of the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” many people do just that and the title is a critical part of the cover. The title of your book should be brief enough to facilitate a large, easy to read font even on a small web site image and the detailed subtitle must tell readers what to expect from your book before turning the first page. Peak the reader’s interest with the title and they are more likely to buy your book.

4. Write your first draft using the outline as a guide. Use Word or some other word-processing application set to Normal style to type the draft. Even if you are a word processing expert, save that expertise for your office productivity work. Avoid special formatting while creating your first draft as it makes final formatting difficult.

5. Establish a writing schedule and stick to it faithfully. This discipline not only helps you finish the book but also keeps your topic fresh in your mind and makes writing easier.

6. Start marketing once you have a draft. It’s never too early to start marketing your book. Set a publication date, create a media kit, create a web site, contact potential reviewers, and tell everyone about your new book.

7. Do a quick edit of the draft. Don’t hesitate to add content during this initial edit. Once this edit is completed, put it aside for two weeks. Follow this quick edit with a detailed edit without hesitating to add details as necessary. Do this two or three times before proceeding to a final edit or hiring a professional editor. Even if you are hiring an editor, follow this thorough editing process. Once you or the Editor you hire have finished, you will have a final manuscript.

8. Layout and format the final manuscript to create a print ready file for the POD printer. For paperback books use a desktop publishing application not an office productivity application like Word. Serif PagePlus is an excellent and inexpensive desktop publishing application if you don’t already own one. New versions of PagePlus are available from Serif, Inc. at . You can get older versions that will handle the task well at for much lower cost.

9. Do a final edit/review of your print ready file. This edit will find any typos and/or formatting and layout mistakes. Check the manuscript and the formatting by reviewing each page carefully no matter how long it takes. After this edit, order a proof using a generic cover. At this stage the important thing is the content.

10. While waiting for the proof, create a great, attention grabbing cover for your book or hire a graphic artist to create a cover. You can also get good results using the cover application provided by your POD printer. Createspace has an excellent cover creating tool. A great cover makes an excellent sales tool. Createspace is an excellent POD (print-on-demand) printer and is at .

11. Edit and correct your first proof carefully. Then upload all your print ready files, including the cover, to your POD printer. Order another proof for a final edit in printed form. Make this a thorough edit as mistakes always appear in this final printed form. If many errors still appear, make the corrections and order another proof. Your final proof is an exact copy of the book your readers will receive when they purchase your book.
12. Promote! Promote! Promote! Get the message out to all the readers you identified in Step One and others who can spread the word.

Bill Benitez
Positive Imaging, LLC

Bill Benitez owns and operates Positive Imaging, LLC and has published over 40 books and ebooks for himself and many others. His book Self Publishing: How To Publish Your Print Book or Ebook Step by Step is recognized as an amazing publishing guide for anyone wanting to do it all him or herself. Check out his book and get your copy now at or contact Bill at with any questions. Also check out his blog at for valuable self publishing information.