Last week we explored the idea of self-publishing and the difference between managing the project yourself and hiring a company. This week, I’d like to jump in to the different steps in the process and how to determine when and where to seek professional services.
Self-publishing your book is a lot like managing a home remodel. There are things you know how to do yourself, like painting. There are also steps for which you may feel more comfortable hiring a professional, like installing new lighting or granite countertops!
Here is a list of steps in the self-publishing process:
- Brainstorm/Outline/Organization of Ideas (YES! You should still write a book proposal/outline, even if you decide not to pursue traditional publishing.)
- Set a timeline for publishing. (I recommend using resources to help. I used some of Christa's tools from her site, Do a New Thing to keep my project organized.)
- Writing the Book
- Final Editing
- Determining Whether to Publish in Print, E-book, or Both
- Getting ISBN Number
- Creating Front and Back Cover Design
- Formatting the Interior
- Extras – Copyright page, Acknowledgements, Dedication, Endorsement page, About the Author page, Back cover copy
- Marketing Assistance – Book Release/Launch, Graphics, Social Media assistance, etc.
- Publishing the Book in Print Using Createspace/e-book using Kindle Direct Publishing
It is possible to hire help in any of the above areas. Some writers even offer ghost-writing services to help with writing the book. You must first decide if you will need help with any of the above tasks and then determine a budget.
HOW DO I DETERMINE A BUDGET?
I have good news! It is possible to self-publish, even when you have no cash to spend on the project. Uploading files to Createspace is a FREE service. Createspace offers assistance and other services for a fee, but I personally did not use any of the paid services. They definitely are worth exploring, and can be found by clicking here.
Fun fact about using Createspace: They actually have LIVE people to help you! I know. Crazy, but true.
HELPFUL TIP: Enlist the help of friends to read through a PDF version of the manuscript and find any grammatical errors.
A few dear friends helped me with this, and they found a bunch! I also asked my endorsers to let me know if they saw any errors as they read the PDF. Many sets of eyes made for a clean final copy.
I worked with a personal budget of $1500. Here are the services I contracted out with links to companies I used:
(I will not disclose the amount for services provided, as fees may vary depending on the project. Please feel free to contact the companies to get quotes for services. Note: You have to send a PDF or Word copy of a finished manuscript to a formatter in order to get a quote for the interior design.)
Basic editing (first round) – Next Step Editing Services
Cover design – 5 J’s Design
Interior formatting – 5 J’s Design
Graphics/Tweets for book release – Sweet to the Soul Marketing
Creating a book page on my website – Primavera Studio (This company also created my blog design.)
I completed the rest of the steps myself, including: Writing a proposal/outline, writing the book, revisions, final editing, setting up account, getting ISBN, writing all extras, working with designers, creating a book launch team and blog hop schedule, all launch team communications, uploading files to Createspace.
Here’s one more tidbit for today…
HOW DO I FIND ENDORSERS?
Let me be honest with you here. It is a big misconception that you need to have well-known authors endorse your book. My suggestion? Look at the topic of your book. What is the felt need? Pray about people you know, and determine who would represent the message well.
For example, my book Over It is about overcoming comparison and living out God’s unique plan for your life. I asked four women I knew who have very special ministries. Each of these women boldly uses her own gifts to reach others with the love of Christ. They were the perfect women to endorse my book! And because of our friendship, they also encouraged me along the way and were happy to help in any way they could.
If you’d like to learn more, set up an account on Createspace. Explore the services they offer. Read articles and take notes.
Write down any questions you have and ask them in the comments here. I’ll do my best to answer them or point you in the right direction. Below are a few more companies that offer help with specific services…
Although I did not work with these companies personally, I corresponded with them and found each of them very helpful.