The process is a bit different for self-publishing. An author who decides to self-publish basically becomes the publisher, providing their own talent and funds to design, print and publish, as well as all execute all aspects of marketing, distributing, filling orders, and advertising campaigns. Each task becomes a choice between doing it yourself, or contracting it out to a service provider.
In the past, authors had to decide on the number of copies to print, with many lamenting stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the garage. Fortunately, Print On Demand (POD) technology, now used by most self-publishing companies, means that authors can have fewer copies printed at a time — from 25 to 1,000 is a typical quantity using POD.
Key tasks the self-publisher needs to know and do:
- Develop an awesome book idea
- Research the idea to make sure that it’s viable as a full-length book
- Define your target audience
- Create a detailed content outline
- Research content
- Write the manuscript
- Establish your publishing company (if applicable)
- Have the manuscript edited
- Choose a self-publishing option, such as offset printing or Print-On-Demand (POD), and then hire a printer and publisher, such as Create Space, Ingram Spark, Book Baby or I Universe / Author Solutions
- Apply for an ISBN, copyright, and the other book-specific information, as necessary. This step may be handled for you, depending on the publishing process and service provider you choose.
- Set cover price
- Select publication date
- Have manuscript’s interior pages designed and laid out
- Hire a graphic designer to create front and back covers
- Develop press materials
- Plan and implement a comprehensive marketing, public relations, and advertising campaign