33 resources to help you self-publish your book like a pro
You’ve finally written your business book, or maybe you’re still polishing the edit. Congratulations!
But now you’re stumped. How the heck do you get it published? You’ve heard it takes months to get a traditional publisher (true), and you’re not sure you want to spend £££/$$$ on a partner publishing service.
Surely there’s a way of publishing your book yourself and staying in control of the process? You’re an entrepreneur after all. But where to start?
Once you know where to go for what you need, it’s a lot easier than you think. Here’s my bumper list of top resources for getting your business book published and out there.
All the companies in the list have either been used by me (to my satisfaction) or have been recommended by people I trust. They’re in a logical order: first editing and proof-reading, then book design, then publishing and distribution, and finally marketing.
Find the perfect editor to buff your manuscript to a shine
Your manuscript will need some luuuurve, so check out these editing and proof-reading resources. These are two steps you really don’t want to skip.
How to find the right editor for your non-fiction book – a blog post by Cathy Presland that explains the difference between various types of editing, and gives resources on where to find the right one for you. A great place to start.
The Proof Professor – easy to use proof reading service
Copy-Proof – Julia Bodie both copy edits and proof-reads manuscripts
Libro Editing – Liz Dexter offers transcription, proof-reading and copy editing
Bubble Cow – structural and line editing packages
Kris Emery – Kris copy edits while keeping your ‘voice’ intact
Rachel Small – Rachel offers all levels of editing and proof-reading
Seduce your readers with a WOW cover design
We buy with our eyes, so your cover design and layout is vitally important for attracting readers. Don’t try to do this bit yourself – start with the professional resources I’ve listed here.
99 Designs – choose your perfect designer through an online auction.
Fiverr – a bit more hit and miss with quality, but for $5 per design this is a great way of testing out different design options, and you may find one you love. A great option for getting a ‘work in progress’ design done to pin up on your wall for inspiration while you write.
NessGraphica – specialist book cover designer
Book Design Templates – because your book will need an internal layout as well as a brilliant cover. This site allows you to design your own using their templates.
Print and upload – this is where it all comes together
Now you’ve got the perfect manuscript and a cover, you’ll need to obtain an ISBN, get your book printed and then into the retailers (if it’s an e-book it will need formatting and uploading). Here are the main options:
ISBN purchase (UK) – Neilsen is the seller for ISBNs in the UK
ISBN purchase (USA) – Bowker sells ISBNs in the US
CreateSpace – Amazon’s self-publishing arm. Use this service to create print-on-demand copies of your book to sell on Amazon.
IngramSpark – similar to CreateSpace but there are some significant differences (see below).
IngramSpark v CreateSpace: battle of the print on demand services – a great post explaining the pros and cons of IngramSpark and CreateSpace. Read this before you decide which one to go with.
Why you need both CreateSpace and IngramSpark – Or this one which explains why you need both!
Scrivener – more of a writing than a formatting tool, but part of its functionality is to export your manuscript in the various different e-book formats. I use this to write all my books and it’s extremely cost effective.
Publish Your Book on Kindle – Extremely comprehensive Udemy course from Cathy Presland, taking you step by step through the process of formatting and uploading your e-book
Amazon KDP – of course
Apple iBook Store – a great video showing how to upload your book to Apple’s iBooks store
Kobo – important for Canada especially
4 resources for making your book a bestseller
Getting your book out there is a major achievement, but you won’t get it into the hands of your readers unless you put some marketing muscle behind it. You don’t have to spend a lot, though. These resources give you a mixture of DIY and paid-for options.
6 simple rules for pricing your book – what to charge? It’s all part of your marketing mix. Great advice in this post.
Literally PR – Helen Lewis specialises in getting your book publicised
The Book Booster – Chantal Cooke helps you turn your book into a bestseller
How to Market a Book, by Joanna Penn – a practical and detailed book about marketing your book from self-publishing expert Joanna Penn. Highly recommended.
And in case that’s not enough …
There are many guides out there which talk you through the whole self-publishing process, and some of them are excellent. They’re great for dipping into to solve a particular problem. I’ve listed my favourites here.
APE: How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki – takes you through the process from A to Z, in a light-hearted way
Write, Publish, Repeat, by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant – covers fiction and non fiction. A truly comprehensive book about the writing and self-publishing process.
Successful Self-Publishing, by self-publishing champion Joanna Penn – does what it says on the tin. In this book Joanna helps you to turn yourself from author to entrepreneur.
Joanna Penn’s blog (The Creative Penn) – chock full of up to date advice and tips
The Self Publishing Podcast – if you like to listen rather than read. Great for keeping up to date
The Self Publishing Formula – a podcast from Mark Dawson, who also runs a successful Facebook ads course for authors (you can see more information about that on this site)
Phew – now you’ve got the resources you need to make your book a reality. Imagine what it will feel like to have your finished book in your hands, and to see those sales figures go up and up once you’ve implemented all the advice you’ve found here.
Don’t feel overwhelmed. You have two options: either read one or two of the overview guides in my final section, or just start at the beginning, with the editing and proof-reading, and work your way through. Once you see there’s a sequence of steps to follow your book will start to take shape.
Soon you’ll be a self-published author with a book to be proud of.