How to Self-Publish a Book

So you want to self-publish your book? You’re in good company. Plenty of authors have gone ahead of you, working to prove that high-quality books can hold their own in the marketplace without the support of a traditional publisher. Amazon, of course, has changed the entire publishing landscape, but authors have been taking control of the publication process as far back as Charles Dickens, or the Brontë sisters. Self-publishing works, if done well—and for the right reasons.

Even though you’re reading an article titled “How to Self-Publish a Book,” the first question to ask is should you self-publish your book? I’m going to assume, at this point, that you have a book; it might not be revised, it might not be edited, but it is drafted and you’re starting to think about the publication phase.

I’m also going to assume that you want to publish your book at the professional level. If you want to just put your book on Amazon and not worry about professional copyediting or a large-scale marketing campaign, that’s cool. Plenty of people do that, and Amazon has excellent step-by-step instructions. You might even make a few bucks.

But this guide is for people who want to self-publish a book that can hold its own in the current literary marketplace—and help you build a reputation, if not a career, as an author.

It’s also for people who want to self-publish because they’ve decided that’s the right choice for their book. 

“Some people do come to self-publishing saying ‘I know this is right for me, I’m excited about it, I want to get my hands dirty and figure all this stuff out,’ and for some people it’s very much a backup,” Brooke Warner, co-founder of She Writes Press, explains. Although it’s perfectly fine to choose self-publishing after querying your book in the traditional publishing…

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