Self-publishing a book for the first time is exciting, a lot of work, and maybe a little bit intimidating. Writing a book is hard, and sending the book you worked so hard on out into the world can be scary, but worry not, we are here to guide you through it.

There is a lot that goes into publishing a book, and some of the questions you’re asking probably include the following:

By the end of this article, you’ll have the answers or be on your way to figuring them out. Even better, you’ll feel more confident, and you’ll be ready to tackle self-publishing your book.

Are you ready to learn how to self-publish your book? Yes? Then let’s get started!

Weigh Your Options: Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing involves querying agents and getting agent representation, having an agent submit your book to editors at publishing companies and negotiate on your behalf, and hoping for a book deal. If that part of the process is successful, then most of the work and financial costs of publishing a book is taken care of by the publisher, not the author.

Meanwhile, self-publishing gives the author 100% control over all aspects of the publishing process but requires the author to put in their own time and money to successfully publish a book.

Both publishing routes have their pros and cons, but which method is right for you and your goals? If you’re not interested in waiting months or years to get a book deal, if you want complete control over the publishing process, and have the time and money to invest in making your book successful, then self-publishing is likely the best choice for you. However, before you settle on a company, watch out for certain self-publishing companies to avoid that may scam unsuspecting authors.

This article is going to focus on the steps to self-publishing a book, so don’t let lack of knowledge about the process or industry hold you back from your publishing dreams. Keep reading to find out what the next steps to publishing a book are!

6 Steps to Publishing a Book

While every author and book have a different publishing journey, there are a few standard steps that nearly all books require during the publishing process. Here’s how to self-publish a book.

☑️Step #1: Write an awesome book! ✍️

First of all, you need to write a good book to publish one! Many of you may have already started this step if you are interested in publishing a book, but if you haven’t, writing the book is where you must begin.

  • This step often involves the following:
  • Researching topics, places, or events in your book
  • Writing a first draft (this is often the hardest step!)
  • Revising, revising, revising!

Once you have a solid, well-written draft, the next step is to polish it and make sure it’s ready for an audience. Recruiting a few beta readers is a great way to get feedback before turning your manuscript over to a professional editor.

☑️Step #2: Hire editing and design services to get your book ready for publication. ????

The next step involves hiring editing and design professionals to package your book for publication. This could involve hiring an illustrator to create custom designs for your book, a cover designer, an editor and/or proofreader, and an interior book designer or typesetter.

It may be time-consuming, but it is important to find editors and designers that fit your needs, budget, and understand your goals. You can make sure you pick the right professionals by contacting multiple editors and designers to make sure their skills, price, and how they communicate is right for you.

☑️Step #3: Create a marketing plan to sell your book! ????

Many authors forget this step until very late in the process, losing out on valuable marketing time and opportunities. It is never too early to start creating a marketing plan for your book, even if you’ve just started writing it.

Building an online presence, creating excitement for your book, and making sure your audience knows you exist and will have a book published soon are things you can get started on right away.

☑️Step #4: Get your book distributed to all major retailers so your readers can buy your book! ????

Of all the steps to publishing a book, this one is pretty straightforward: make sure your audience can purchase your book. Make sure to contact retailers, requesting they sell your book.

For some retailers, like Amazon, this can be relatively simple; however, if you plan on distributing your book in print, it can be more complicated. While you can do this yourself, it can be time-consuming to contact all retailers yourself. To streamline this step, you can find distribution services that will handle this for you, like Gatekeeper Press. Look into all of your options to find the best route for you.

☑️Step #5: Launch your book! Promote, promote, promote! ????

This step is easy once you’ve completed step 3: marketing your book. After making a marketing plan and generating some interest and excitement for your book, your book launch should be a piece of cake.

Bonus tip: Part of the publishing process is constantly learning the ropes. Once you’ve learned how to self-publish a book, you’ll want to learn how to market your book, how to edit your book, and so much more.

For a successful launch, you might want to recruit relevant media influencers in your field or genre and excited fans to help promote your book along with you. This can involve sending out advanced reader copies to influencers in your community and asking for reviews, interviews, and advertising if they enjoy your book.

The best advice for promoting your book is to keep promoting even after your launch to continue reaching new readers.

☑️Step #6: Keep writing and build your reputation as an author! ⌨️

One way to keep promoting your book, your career as an author, and your business (if you have one), is to keep writing! The more books you publish, the more reputable you are as an author and expert of your subject or genre.

If this step isn’t for you because your book is a one-time marketing project for your business, consider a recurring blog or podcast where you offer relevant content to your audience to keep them interested in you and your book.

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

Publishing a book is an investment that can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, but the cost depends on several variables, such as your word count, whether your book requires illustrations and your marketing plans.

How much does it cost to self-publish a book? The answer isn’t straightforward. However, there are several resources to help you determine the cost of publishing a book.

How Long Does it Take to Publish a Book?

How long does it take to publish a book? This varies on the services you need, the editors/designers you hire, and your book. For example, it will take much longer to publish a book that is 80,000 words long than to publish one that is 25,000 words long.

In general, each service and step can take a few weeks to several months to complete. As an estimate, you can expect the publishing process to take at least 2-3 months, but it can often take longer.

Now You’re Ready to Become a Published Author!

You’ve learned how to self-publish a book, but don’t stop here. Talk to professionals and successful self-published authors to get advice and hear what their personal publishing journey was like.

No matter which step you’re on, you can get a quote or schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Gatekeeper Press to learn more about editing, design, and distribution services so you can be prepared for your publishing journey.