How to Self-Publish Your First Book: Step-by-step tutorial for beginners


A few months ago I made a couple of videos about my first book, how I wrote it and how I got it published and ever since then, I’ve, been getting a whole lot of questions about exactly how to self publish your first book.

People have been asking me for a step-by-step tutorial on exactly what you should do to get your own book published. So in today’s, video that’s, exactly what I’m gonna. Do we’re gonna hop onto my computer, and I’m going to show you on the different websites that I use to actually get my book published and the best thing about this information that I’m sharing With you today is that these days, you can actually self publish your book completely for free yeah, that’s right.

There are no upfront cost associated with publishing your own book. Now. Personally, I would recommend you hire a few people to help you like someone to proofread and edit your book and maybe someone to design a great cover for your book.

Those are optional expenses and you can either hire someone who is very affordable or you could pay a whole lot of money for that part of it, but the actual publishing is completely free. So if you are writing your first book or you wrote it or you’re, just thinking about maybe becoming an author in the future, then keep on watching to find out how you can publish your own book for free, alright.

So the obvious first step is that you need to write your book now for this. I like to use Google Drive and the reason that I like it is because not only is it free, but it means that I can access the files anywhere.

I am, and normally what I do when I’m writing a book. Is I just create a different file for each different chapter of the book? I do create also an actual structured chapter outline to keep me on track.

As I’m writing and if I add chapters in the middle, then I put them into the outline, and so each of these documents just looks like this. It just has the chapter name up here and then I put all of the text into the document and then after I have written the entire book that’s.

When I normally start to do the editing now for the editing, I use a multi-step process. The first step is, I just used the little like spell check here, just to catch any small errors, because I find that when you are proof, reading something and editing it that the fewer errors there are.

When you start the more of the errors you’ll be able to catch so that the better the final draft is. If you started editing something that was super messy and full of errors, then it would be very hard to clean them all out.

So that’s, why I use this multi-step process, then I copy all of this control all control copy, and I hop over to this website called grammarly, which is also completely free. Almost everything in this video I’m, going to show you is free, so you just create a new document on grammarly and what Graham really is, is it’s, basically, like a heavy-duty spell checker or a free automatic editor? So you just paste your text in here and then you have to wait a moment as it actually checks the document.

So it tells you about, like the basic grammar out errors for free, but you could upgrade to be told about the stylistic errors. So obviously it just has the mistakes highlighted here and you can click them and they will correct like this, or sometimes I like to actually just like switch between this and the document and be correcting them on the actual document.

But you can do it either way and then, after you’ve corrected all of these errors, then you make sure that you actually have the corrected copy saved. Now after I do this step, then that is when I do my first round of editing.

So then, I go back to the now corrected document and I read through all the words and obviously I have to be careful to read carefully and not just like skim over it and most people like to read through their piece multiple times.

Maybe the first time. Looking for more stylistic things, of course, you still catch any punctuation errors, as you see them, but then the second time, looking very carefully for the punctuation and other grammar things like that.

So that point, your draft is probably mostly clean, but it really helps to have a second set of eyes on it, because you just become so intimate and familiar with your writing that it can be really difficult to see errors.

And it starts to get really boring to read your own writing over and over again, and even if you’re trying to keep yourself interested and engaged the more bored, your mind gets the worse. It is at paying attention to details so to bring in a second set of eyes.

I like to hire someone on up work. I work is a free website for or hiring freelancers to do, work for you online. So you can post a new job here and say that you are looking for an editor for your book and then you can also go in and look at the lists of freelancers and so here’s.

How you create the listing for your job and it’s quite straightforward, and if you’re, not sure how much to pay the person, then that’s. Okay, you can just say that you’re, not sure, or you can give a big range or you can just say like whether you want to pay someone a minimum amount or you want to pay someone who’s more skilled and More experienced and then people are going to bid on your job and tell you how much they will do it for so it’s.

Okay, if you don’t know the exact right price. You can also go in and look at these lists of freelancers and normally when you post a job, it’s, a good idea to go, find some people who seem like a good match to you and then invite them a to bid on your Job because otherwise you might not have any good offers on your job for people who seem like they’re, really qualified and like they can really help you.

So you can click on any of these people. The price range for hiring these people. It varies greatly anywhere from about $ 4 per hour, all the way up to a couple hundred dollars per hour, probably but most of the time it’s between about 10 and 30 or 40 dollars an hour, but just remember that it’s, not all about finding someone who is cheap.

What is much more important is finding someone who can work fast and well, because it would be way better to hire someone for 50 dollars an hour who can completely edit your whole book. You know in five hours then to hire someone who only charges $ 10 per hour, but it will take them a couple days and the end result won’t, be very good.

When I published my first book, I actually hired two different people to edit it on top of all the edge’techni. I was doing because each of them did an okay job, but I was still finding mistakes, so I wanted to run it through to people and to be honest, even after I added it and two other people edit it.

There are still a couple typos. So just be aware of that that you do have to find who is very careful and precise, and you need to check their work. It’s, often a good idea to hire them in phases. So you say that you’ll pay them a certain amount to edit the first couple chapters of your book, and then you check their work and you see how it’s going and then you can decide whether or not you want Them to be editing the rest of your book and whether you want to pay for that or not so just know that you don’t need to just hand someone your entire book, pay them hundreds of dollars and then be like.

Oh wait. Actually, you did a terrible job, okay, so the next phase after you do this is that your book needs to be formatted. So, even if all the words are the right words and there’s, no typos, it still has to be on the page.

In a particular way to show up right in the book because you don’t want the lines to be weird or it to be in the wrong part of the page. So, honestly, I would really recommend that you hire someone to do this for you, because otherwise it’s, just going to be a skill that you have to learn and you won’t be certain if you’re doing It right now that it’s super complicated.

It’s, just a very particular sort of thing. But if you want to do it yourself, you can download this free software called Scribus and it is very similar to Adobe InDesign. It allows you to or to like format text on a page to look attractive like I said it’s completely free and you can use that or if you have Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher, you could use either of those tools also the alternative.

Obviously is to hire someone on up work to actually format your book. You want to make sure that you are hiring someone who says that they can format an e-book and a paperback book, or else you ‘

Ll have to hire two people, obviously, which isn’t the biggest problem, but just know that the formatting for each of those formats is different. So you do need two different book files. Then the next step is to get a cover design.

Now there’s, a few different ways that you can do this but know that the cover design is so important. Honestly, you know it’s, important for your book to be edited very well. But what’s even more important than that as far as book sales are concerned? Is your cover design? Because you need a cover design that really pops but also looks attractive and not tacky? And you want your book to look like it’s worth the money, so there’s, a couple different options.

One is you could hire someone on up work or on Fiverr, or something like that? I don’t like that option. So much unless you know exactly what you want. Your book cover to look like already, and you have a really good idea.

Just because, if you go one of those are at, you will get one design and it’s from someone who doesn’t have the same vision for your book as you do, and you don’t even necessarily know How skilled they’re, so what I would recommend instead is to use the service called 99designs.

Now this is not free, so I’ll, get into that in a minute, but basically 99designs is a place where you can put a kind of like an offer or you put a posting up. That says what you want, your design, for you say that you want it for a book and what your book is about, and then you say any specifications that you do want for your book design.

And then you have a lot of different graphic designers who bid on your jobs that you put up and how they bid on it. Is they actually make book covers for you and they make like draft of book covers, and you can look at all of the different book covers and then you could choose the one you want and you only pay if you find one that you really like now, If you do decide to pay, then you pay $ 300 or more.

Depending on how many designers, you asked to bid on your job normally for, like the 300 dollar fee, you get somewhere between like 30 and 70 different designs, and if you didn’t give a lot of specifications.

They ‘ Ll all be really different. Now that’s great, because if you don’t know what she wants. Your design to look like this can be an amazing way to actually get different design ideas. So then, if you see one design that you like pretty well, but you want some changes, you can pay the fee and then you can start working with the designer and they ‘

Ll. Normally give you a couple additional like changes to the cover so that you can get exactly how you want so a moderately expensive route, but you end up with a really good result. The alternative, which is about the same price, is to hire a graphic designer, and I would recommend this woman.

I’d epheus. If Evanson she works with a lot of different self-publishing authors. This is a list of all of the book cover she’s designed and, as you can see down here. Here is my actual book cover for my own book, but obviously she’s designed a whole lot of book covers because she works with a few different people in the self-publishing industry and she charges a similar rate is a little bit more expensive.

I don’t know what it is off the top of my head. It might be four hundred and fifty dollars. I think that’s, how much I paid her but yeah. I would highly recommend her services. She does an amazing job.

I think her designs are probably higher quality than most of the designs that you will see on 99designs. So if you can give her a little bit more direction, then this could be the best route. If you really have no idea what you want, then you might start here just to get ideas, and if you want the cheapest route, then I would definitely say you know, look around get different ideas.

Look at lots of different book covers, find some that you think are attractive and that you think, would fit well with your book and then give them to an upwork designer as inspiration and tell them. You know what you want different in your book, obviously do not copy, but you can always use other people’s, art as inspiration, and to help to communicate your ideas to one of these designers.

You can say, like I like how this cover looks. You know, like I like how the font on this cover looks, or I like the color on this cover, instead of just trying to be like, I want it to be a Bluegreen color.

That way you just have like a frame of reference. Basically, so once you have your book cover designed and do make sure that you get a front and a back and a spine, obviously books don’t just have a friend.

They have to go all the way around. Then it’s. Time to actually move on to the publishing. So when you are self-publishing your own book, you can just publish an ebook, but I would highly recommend that you actually publish your book as a paperback and the reason for this is because a you make more money B.

It makes you look a lot more legitimate. As an author and C it doesn’t cost anything more. So why not? I think that you end up selling a lot more books, both paperback and ebooks, when you publish as a paper rack also because when there’s, a paperback copy of your book, it looks so much more legitimate that people are a lot more likely To buy the e-book so for publishing the paperback, I would recommend createspace, which is a company that is very closely related to Amazon.

Here you can see it’s as an Amazon company. Originally, it was not an Amazon company, but Amazon like teamed up with them, and now it has actually become an Amazon company. So this is very simple once you have your different files ready.

So once your book is formatted properly and your cover design is formatted properly, then self-publishing is a piece of cake. So all you have to do. Is click start title for free and then you log in and then once you log in you tell them a name for the project and you tell them whether it’s, a paperback or not you CD or dvd.

Obviously we’re. Doing a paperback now it says you can do a guided or an expert. Now I would recommend that you probably do the guided, because you really have all the same features that you normally would, but it just.

They just help you out a little bit more in the process. So then you just click get started and then you type in the title for the book or the subtitle and all of these things are very important, so make sure that you fill them out very accurately.

This is all pretty straightforward, so I’m. Not gonna go through all of this. It walks you right through the process. A great resource on this website for figuring, as some different things out is. If you go up here to books and then you click on publish a trade paperback, then it takes you to this page right here and on this page you can find out a lot of different information about how the cover should be formatted and how the interior Should be formatted, they also have a lot of opportunities here to hire people to do this work for you.

I probably won’t, hire someone to do like art here for the cover, but I might hire someone. I haven’t done this myself, but to do the book formatting, because I think that the people who would be working with them would be very familiar with this, and that is the key to hiring someone to format your book properly.

It’s, someone who has a lot of experience because it’s, not necessarily very technical, but I actually had some people mess up on mine and I had to have it redone because they just were not fully aware of all of These specification, now, if you’re wondering how much you get paid it’s, a very valid question.

They have this cool tool in here, where you can figure out how much you will get paid. You have to tell them about your book so like black and white and then how big it is. Let’s say it’s, six by nine and let’s say your book is 250 pages.

So let ‘ S say that we’re selling this book for $ 14.99, and then you push calculate down here. Okay, so if it’s sold on Amazon, then you get paid five dollars. If it’s sold on there East or which you don’t make nearly as many sales there, but then you’d, get paid eight dollars.

If it gets sold in a bookstore that’s. This then you’d, get paid two dollars and if it got sold on Amazon Europe, then you would get paid three dollars or if it was printed in continental Europe, then it would be four well.

not dollars. Obviously pounds – and this is euros. I believe um, and this also shows the price that it would be being sold for over in Europe, so that can give you a really good idea you can play with these numbers.

You can see like what, if my book was longer, then how much would I get paid and the answers you’d, get paid less because their printing costs are a little bit higher. If your book is shorter, then you ‘

Ll, get paid a little bit more now. One thing that’s cool about this is that this is how much you get paid, regardless of how much Amazon actually sells the book for. So if you list it for $ 14.99, sometimes Amazon will put your book on for sale for $ 12.

99 or 1099, but you will still get the same royalty, which is just a really cool opportunity for my own book. I do make right around five or six dollars very similar to this, that’s about the specifications of my own book for every book that is sold, and that is actually much more than most people make with traditional book deals.

This number right here for being sold in a bookstore is a much closer number to the number that authors make with traditional publishing, and so you’d, make the same amount if your book got sold in a bookstore, but because you’Re working more directly with Amazon, you’re, able to get a much higher rate for sales on Amazon, and I know that I said that this was free.

But if you were wondering like how that works exactly basically when or someone buys a copy of your book, they actually print a copy of it right then, and they a mail it to them. The customer pays this much and you get paid this much.

They pay for the printing cost and they take a cut of the profit. If you want to buy copies of it yourself, it works very similarly, but you get to buy them for a lot cheaper because you’re, not paying your part of the profit.

Obviously so you can type in the same things down here to find out how much your book will actually cost for you to buy copies of it. Let’s say you want to buy 10 copies of it. Then you would pay 325 each.

That’s, pretty common for these books, which means you know that’s, a low enough cost that you can actually self publish them, buy them this way for 325 each and then be able to sell them locally. If you want to now, the final step in the publishing process is to publish it on Kindle.

Now there is a way to publish an e-book through CreateSpace. You can like check a box somewhere in the publishing process and say yes, I want it to be an e-book too, but it doesn’t end up getting listed in quite the same way and it’s a little bit harder for People to find, and for you to edit so I wouldn’t, recommend doing that.

I’d, recommend eBook publishing directly with Kindle direct publishing. This is also a really simple process. Now. What you will see when you got here, though, is that you can do a Kindle eBook or you can do a paperback, so you can’t actually do the same thing that you do with create space via Kindle now right now.

I would not recommend that, because they’re paperback printing still is in beta, and not only is it not completely streamlined, but also the rates that they pay are not quite as good as the CreateSpace rates right now and CreateSpace just work so well That i would go that route.

I think that eventually they’re, probably going to phase out create space. I don’t, know for sure, but seems like, since they’ve brought paperback in to Kindle Direct that that’s, probably the route that they are going.

But for now create space works really well and this is not as tested. So I would use this just for publishing the e-book, so you can see down here my own book and you can see that I’m selling, my ebook for 690 Amazon and for every $ 6.

99 transaction that I sell on Amazon. I make about four dollars four to five dollars, so it’s a little bit less than it is for the paperback, but it is a greater percentage because there isn’t the printing costs.

I think that Amazon takes about the same cut, but there’s, no printing cost involved, so you get to keep all of the rest of it. So when you want to start your own ebook, then you just click add a Kindle eBook and then you’ll, basically go through the exact same process.

You’ll, just be uploading, the actual files for your book and the cover files. It’s very similar here. You just type in your book title and subtitle make sure that you do enter good keywords that will help people to find your book so that’s kind of your search engine optimization here, but know that you can get really fancy with the description You can actually put some HTML into here and make your description be a lot more dynamic with like bolded text or big text and different things like that, but also you can put keywords in here to help people find your book on Amazon, better Amazon lets.

You select two different categories to list your book in, and this affects how your book does a lot, because these categories are very specific. It’s, not just like fiction or nonfiction inside of nonfiction.

You can find a whole lot of subcategories like architecture, but then inside of architecture, adaptive, reuse and renovation or codes standards criticism. So it gives a very detailed and you get to choose two different of these categories, but the reason that it matters so much is because different categories are competitive differently, so one of them might be extremely competitive.

There might be a million books in a category and another category. It might be very, not competitive. Now here’s. Why this matters? Because when your book comes out and a certain number of people buy it, especially when they buy it right away, if you are in a very competitive category, then even if you sell 100 copies of your book, that’s, nothing and you’re not anywhere near the most popular book in that category, so you don’t, get any boost from this.

But if you choose a very popular category with not very many books in it, then you sell 100 copies of your book. That might put you into a best-selling status for that specific category. Now why that matters is because, once you get into that best-selling status, you then get featured on the front page of different parts of Amazon.

So in a person goes and clicks on that category, they will see you up in the number-one spot right away, and it also can mean that you get featured in the like one hundred most popular books. For that day.

This can give your book a huge boost and it’s, a strategy that I highly recommend. So once you fill out all these things, then you just click, Save and continue, and then here you can see is that the next step content you’ll, just actually upload the book, and then you will decide on the actual pricing and they do Help you out with that they give you some recommendations and then you can actually decide when you want it to be published, you can give them a specific date.

You want it to come out. Even if you do everything right, when you self publish your book, that is no guarantee that it will be successful, just sticking it up on Amazon, and then you, you know you post about it on Facebook, and you tell your mom about it and your best friend And you know you’ll get maybe a handful of sales.

Your closest family and friends will buy it. But beyond that, there is so many books on Amazon that your book will just get lost in that abyss of all those books and no one will ever find it. Even if it’s an amazing book and even if you publish it properly so in order to take care of that, there are a few more steps that you need to take, and these things don’t have to be super.

Extensive fancy, marketing tactics or anything like that, but there are just some basic little tweaks that you can make when you’re going through the publishing process. Things like what day you scheduled your book to be released on how you announce it.

Where you announce it, picking the right category to actually publish your book and where that’s, not that competitive and some different things that you can do with offering your book for free for a limited period of time to give it a big boost.

In the rankings different things like this, so I put together this checklist for you that details these things. It’s, just like a simple checklist, with a list of all the different things that you need to do in order for it to be successful, and I also wanted to let you guys know that later this month, at the end of November, on November 29th, I’m, going to be hosting this best-selling a book launch a workshop.

This is a paid workshop. It cost twenty nine dollars, but inside the workshop I’m, going to be going through everything you need to do to have a really successful book launch. So, basically, everything that is on that checklist.

I’m, going to be actually showing you how to do it and then, at the end we will also have a Q & amp A session. So if there’s, anything that you are unclear about or specific questions you have about. Launching your book, then we will get to all of those things as well, but you will be getting the 90-minute workshop and also include a workbook and I’m, adding in a bonus of two free chapters of my own best-selling Amazon book.

So that is an amazing deal for just $ 29. So if you’re interested in joining us for that workshop and learning how to turn your first book into a best-seller, then head on over to the link that’s down in the description bar below it’s.

Just Gillian perkins, calm, slash, bestseller books launch workshop, but I’ll pop the link down below, and I hope that you decide to join us because this will really have a huge impact on how successful your first book ends up being.

I really hope that you enjoyed this video and you found the information helpful. If so, it would really help me out if you gave this video a thumbs up by clicking that, like button down below, I make two videos every single week about entrepreneurship, intentional living and success.

If you haven’t already, I would love to have you subscribe so that you can join me for the next one. All you have to do is click that big red button that says subscribe and it’s completely free. Thank you.

So much for watching my name is Gillian Perkins of Gillian Perkins calm, and I hope you join me for my next video [ Music ]


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