How To Publish Your Own Book

Do you want to write a book? The process can be overwhelming and confusing. This overview will give you a general road map to completion.

Steps to publishing your own book self publish

God is working in your life. He has taught you Truths from His Word that have literally changed your life. These Truths that have changed your life can change other people’s lives too!

What if you could share your insights, experiences, and wisdom in a format that God can use to help others for years to come? He can! A book or booklet is a powerful vehicle to spread the Truth. Additionally, a well-written book increases your credibility in your field and establishes you as a thought-leader on the subject.

The problem is that publishing a book seems overwhelming.

Doubts, fears, and excuses flood the mind! Things like:

  • I don’t have enough time to write a book.
  • I don’t have enough money to publish a book.
  • No one cares what I have to say.
  • It’s just too hard to get published today.
  • And countless more.

These lies and fears will paralyze you if you let them.

Here are some truthful statements:

  • If God wants you to write a book, He will empower you to do it.
  • Resources come in the path of obedience.
  • People need the Truth. Someone with the Truth needs to publish it.
  • It has never been easier to get your book published.
  • You are not alone. We are here to help.

This article will give you a quick overview of the steps to publishing a book.

Honestly, each of these points could be a long discussion. Don’t worry about all the details yet. Learn the road map and then take baby steps. At the end of the article, I will tell you 3 ways we can help you get your book done.

10 Steps to Publish Your Own Book.

1. Choose Your Topic.

Your topic should be worthy of your medium. Some topics are great for a blog post, article, or chapter. These are not big enough to support a book. Others topics would make a great booklet. However, a book requires a “big idea” that requires time and space to flesh out.

Choose your topic wisely. There are many things you could write about, but what does GOD want you to write? What are you uniquely equipped to write about? What do people want to know? Choose a topic that fulfills those questions.

2. Create a Book Proposal.

This is standard practice when getting your book published by a traditional publisher. With non-fiction, you don’t have to write the entire book before you shop your book. (More about that another time.) A book proposal is the tool agents and editors use to see if they want to publish your book before it is written.

While most self-publishers don’t write a book proposal, I think it is an extremely helpful step in the process.

A book proposal forces you to think through your book before you write it. It becomes the backbone of your process and helps you when you get stuck.

A book proposal usually identifies and explains:

  • Title
  • Premise
  • Unique Selling Proposition
  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Chapter Outlines
  • Marketing Plan
  • Etc.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it is really useful information. With some guidance, it’s not that difficult and will save you a world of trouble later.

3. Write The Content.

This is the fun part. Just write down what God has put in your heart.

Don’t worry about grammar, etc. Turn off your inner editor and get the info on the page. I call it “throwing up” on the page. I know that’s gross, but it works. Perfection is your enemy during your first draft. Just write it!

Chapter outlines you created in the Book Proposal will keep you from getting stuck.

After you get a section/chapter written, you can go back over it quickly to fix any obvious mistakes.

4. Peer Review

Let some other authors or trusted peers read over it. They can give you constructive criticism and help you identify trouble areas that you may not see because you are too close to the project. Also, they may provide ideas that will strenghten your manuscript.

WARNING: Put your ego in check. It is a humbling thing to put your heart and thoughts on paper. Allow people to have their opinions without getting hurt, discouraged, or upset.

Some people won’t like your writing. That’s ok. They are wrong about other things too. 🙂

5. Rewrite

Read through the content with fresh eyes. See it from the reader’s perspective. Does the book flow logically? Do you explain necessary terms and backgrounds so an unfamiliar reader can understand what you are saying? Is there enough conflict and tension to hold the reader’s attention? Does each promise have a payoff? Is there enough movement and activity on each page? Are you telling them what they are dying to know?

Don’t be afraid to delete and rewrite portions that need it. Don’t be protective of bad content.

6. Editing

It is impossible to edit your own book. You may not believe it at first, but you will. You see, your brain knows what you meant to write. It will see your content as you want it to be rather than what it is.

If you have a connection to an English teacher or skilled editor, you can get some free help. If you don’t, you will need to pay for a good editor. There are different levels of editing with different costs.

The 4 common types of book editing are:

  • Developmental editing Book level – This is a big-picture edit that addresses the structure of a book — how everything fits together. Includes a check of the book’s organization, structure, presentation, marketability, competition, etc.
  • Substantive editingParagraph level – This edit identifies and solves problems of clarity, accuracy, readability, tone, pacing, etc. It also makes content recommendations.
  • Copy editingSentence level – This is a word-by-word edit that addresses grammar, usage, and consistency issues. Copy editors will check for typos and spelling errors along with correcting grammar, language, and syntax errors. They will also pay particular attention to punctuation such as commas, semicolons, and quotation marks.
  • ProofreadingWord level – This is the final check before the book is published. It is intended to pick up the final typos and spelling mistakes and to correct inconsistencies, like making sure the word “proofreading” is always spelled as one word and not “proof-reading” or “proof reading.”

Proofreading apps and tools are helpful for small projects, but are insufficient for print material. Hire some good help.

7. Formatting

It is vital that your book not look “homemade.” A good self-published book should look like it has been professionally designed.

There are 4 areas of formatting that require your attention:

  1. Front Cover
  2. Marketing Info
  3. Page Content
  4. Back Cover

You can spend many hours learning how to do this yourself or pay others to do it for you.

8. Marketing

In this step you begin putting the pieces of your marketing plan together.

  • Finalize your title and subtitle.
  • Write sales copy.
  • Purchase your domain.
  • Set up social media accounts.
  • Create product images.
  • Create a sales page.
  • Put together ads.
  • You can create a lead page at the beginning of the process to capture email addresses of people interested in our book.
  • Create pre-sale bonuses.
  • Begin offering your book for pre-sale.

9. Publish

Set up your digital version of your book in various formats.

This is when you finally get your book printed. There are discount book printers that we recommend. Also, you may consider a hybrid publisher that allows you to self-publish, but offers some of these services. The problem is that many of them are overpriced and ineffective. You may be better off with the consultation option below.

Your book exists now. You have it in your hands!

CONGRATULATIONS!!

10. Sell

This final step is one that most new authors never consider fully. Also, it is one of the most important.

It is one thing to write a book. It is another thing to get people to buy it. Many talented writers have boxes full of books taking up space in their basements and closets.

There is no New York Times “Best Author” book list. It is called the “Best Seller” book list for a reason. Sales matter. You need to have a plan to get your book to the public.

How will people know that your book exists? Where can they go to learn more about it? How can they buy it easily?

You must have a process to make your books available to others. This is called sales and distribution. If you have no sales plan, you won’t sell any books. No one will get helped.

There are 2 main ways to accomplish this: you can set up your own sales funnels and/or partner with existing platforms.

Truthfully, writing your book is the easy part. Selling it is the hard part. Today, even traditional publishers expect the author to help sell books.

The time and energy to write your book are worth it when people are helped. Keep your eyes on the prize. Take baby steps through the process. Get the proper help when you need it. Your book will be here before you know it.

Let me know how it goes!

Have you published a book? Mention it in the comments.

If you are working on your book, tell us where you are in the process.


OVERWHELMED? I CAN HELP.

The process is simple, yet difficult. Don’t feel bad if you are overwhelmed. You are in good company!

There are three ways I can help you get your own book published.

1. Free Help.

Sign up for updates to this blog. We will talk about the publishing process occasionally in addition to other helpful Christian and ministry subjects.

2. Join Christian Writers Club

I am partnering with other Christian authors to provide a training club that will help you get your book published in 12 months or less. We will go over each of these steps in detail with articles and training videos. In addition we will cover many other writing and publishing philosophies, tools, and techniques.

Sign-up for updates here to learn when the club is accepting new members.

3. Hire Me As A Consultant

Some people have more money than time. Why pull your hair out trying to do all this for yourself? I know who to call, what vendors to use, short cuts to the process, etc. I can coach you to finish your book and consult on its quick publication.

Coaching is the most expensive option, but it will save you countless hours and headaches. Get your book done for as little as $1000.

I love input. I look forward to your comments. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your thoughts?