This is a self-publishing checklist for anyone just starting out to learn the process of publishing a book from concept to publication. To help simplify the process and organize the tools on the website, the Self-Publishing Workshop has broken the self-publishing process down into four basic steps: write, format, distribute, and market. The steps aren’t necessarily linear but it’s easier to see them as different categories of action.
⧠ Write the book
⧠ Copy edit your book. You may want to set your manuscript aside for a few days if you’ve just finished it then give it a read through. Are there any glaring plotholes? Any inconsistencies in characters? Any scenes that don’t really make sense or need more detail? This is your time to catch these issues.
⧠ Find beta readers. Beta readers can help find places in your book that don’t make sense or that aren’t really working. They can be a very important for finding plot issues that you aren’t able to see because you’re the writer.
⧠ Edit/Proofread for grammar and spelling. Make sure your book is typo free. There are tons of great editing software programs that can help you find inconsistent spelling and grammar problems as well but it doesn’t substitute for one final proofread.
⧠ Create your book cover. You may need to source artwork or stock images for this and find a new non-default font for your cover. There are tons of great photo editing software and websites you can use to create your covers or you can also hire a cover designer to do this for you. That is your choice.
⧠ Format your print book. You may need to decide which company you are using to print your book with first so you can know their formatting guidelines.
⧠ Format your ebook. Again, You many need to research the websites you want to upload your book to before you begin formatting. Check out their style guides and what file types they accept.
⧠ Test your eBook using your own eReader or previewing software on your computer.
⧠ Write your blurb. A good blurb can make or break a book.
⧠ Proofread your blurb. No one will buy a book that has typos in the blurb.
⧠ Buy your ISBN. Some companies may provide you with an ISBN but if you want to purchase your own, do it now so you can include your ISBN numbers and barcodes inside your books and on the cover (for print books).
⧠ Choose keywords for your book strategically. Make them specific enough for your readers to be able to find your book among all the other titles on the market. “Romantic story” is not descriptive or specific enough.
⧠ Set the price of your book.
⧠ Upload your print book and eBook! This is the big moment!
⧠ Order proofs of your print books. Read them. Look for any formatting errors, overset text, typos, anything that might have gotten through your editing. Does your cover look okay? Is your name spelled correctly on the cover? Check these things. If everything looks okay, go ahead and approve your book and put it up for sale. If not, fix the errors and repeat.
⧠ Buy your own eBook. Make sure it looks okay. If there are formatting issues, make some changes and reupload.
⧠ Prepare any ARCs for reviewers and promote them well ahead of your publication date. Give your readers time to read and review your book thoughtfully.
⧠ Host a giveaway around your publication date. Giveaway a physical copy of your book if you can.
⧠ Post about your book on social media/your author website or blog. Just remember to post about things other than just your book on your social media pages. No one wants to follow someone who only posts “buy my book.”
⧠ Buy some advertising ahead of your publication date. Forward planning is an abolsute must as most sites run a packed editorial schedule.
⧠ Join communities related to your book’s genre. There are lots of online communities where readers and writers interact. Join in the conversation and people will take notice.