Have you ever wanted to write and publish your own book? If the answer is “yes” you are not alone. According to an article appearing in USA Today, eight out of ten Americans desire to publish a book.
Until the technology revolution, the dreams of getting published typically remained unfulfilled. Publishing companies received countless manuscripts every day. It was their job to give a thumbs up or down on who would become published. Technology has gone a long way to remove these gatekeepers. Traditional publishers are no longer needed to get a book published. Now is the time for you to self-publish your book. And it is easier than you think.
With self-publishing you bear all of the costs. If you are writing a memoir for your own family and friends there is no need to spend much money making it look professional. But if you plan on selling your book, you will need to make a financial investment to assure a sharp finished product.
Here’s the easy steps I used to publish my own book which is now for sale on Amazon.
First, write your book.
Tap into your inner passion and go for it. Do you have a real story to tell or an imaginary story to spin? Get it down on paper. Strive to write at least 30,000 words. But if you fall short of that number don’t give up. Many self-published books are less.
Second, submit it to the editing process.
Share your book with friends and ask them to find your mistakes. Make corrections as they become known to you. After you’ve taken this step it is best to hire a professional editor which you can easily do using the internet.
Third, design your cover.
This is huge. People really do judge a book by the cover. If your goal is to publish a book for your family you may not want to spend any money on cover design. But if you have dreams of selling your book it is mandatory to get professional help. Don’t let your nephew who knows how to use Photoshop design your cover. You can find professionals online who will help you.
Fourth, use Create Space which is owned by Amazon to produce the book.
There are many vanity press companies who will gladly publish your book but it can be very expensive. Create Space offers help in editing and cover design but it is all optional. They have an easy to follow step by step guide to walk you through the process. When the production process is completed they will make your book for sale on Amazon.
Fifth, decide if you want to make your book available in Kindle format.
This can be confusing because Create Space does not focus on eBooks, only physical books. You must create an account with Kindle Direct Publishing to take your book through the process of turning it into an eBook. Do not try to format the book yourself for Kindle. Spend the money to have it professionally formatted.
YOU can become a published author. But unlike the people who want to but never do, you must take action. If you “hope” to become published, remind yourself that hope is not a strategy. Once you decide to write your book and get words on paper, you are a writer.
But the details of the publishing process I’ve outlined can be overwhelming. I learned through the painful process of trail and error. Towards the end of my self-publishing journey, I stumbled across a helpful course offered by my friend Kellie Frazier. It’s an amazing course filled with teaching videos and all the information you need to become published.
Kellie is an amazing person. In 2007 she had a traumatic brain injury and several family members passed away. Out of those experiences she pushed forward and published 8 consecutive books, contributed to other best-selling books, and has interviewed hundreds of successful people from around the world. She has been featured on HuffPostLive, CBS/CNN Radio, Baby boomer Radio and other forms of social media.
She now teaches people how to become a self-published author. I’ve been through her course. It is down to earth and filled with practical guidance through the confusing process of self-publishing.
I’ve asked Kellie if she would make her course available to my readers. I’m grateful she has allowed me to share THIS LINK to the “Becoming a Self-Published Author course.” I encourage you to check it out. Her materials have my personal recommendation.
Decide. Write. Publish. You are an author. But don’t do it alone. Let Kellie help you!
Mine is in the process right now!! :)
Congrats to you!
Congrats Randy. Welcome to the ranks of the published. My first book was published by Amazon in 2011: SENT TO SERVE…THE CHAPLAINS OF 9II. I worked 26 years as a law enforcement chaplain and served in NYC in 2001. Check it out. It is timley, considering we are approaching the 15th anniversary. I’ll be checking your book out!
Wally! Great to hear from you! I hope you make the ONU class reunion this fall. I’ll check out your book. All the best!
Thanks Randy. This is good information and inspiration for me to get back to the book I started writing before life took over. It has been laying dormant for a while but has recently begun nudging me. I have been feeling like it’s time to get back to it.
Ah! Good luck on that book. There’s no doubt you can do it. Keep us posted!