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What You Need to Know About Self Publishing

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/12/2011

You don't need an agent or a major publisher to release your own book, but you do need to know what to expect before you dive into self publishing.

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    Pile of books Deciding to self publish your own writing is a luxury for some and a necessity for others. Perhaps you don't have the writing background to land a major publishing contract. Maybe you are tired of waiting around for responses to your queries from various literary agents. Some writers have found it more economically feasible to self publish rather than get involved with a publisher because that's just another entity that wants a cut of the profits.

    Regardless of your reason for choosing to publish your own work, there are some things you need to know like proper formatting, proofreading, printing options, how to make an eBook and much more. Here we collect some of our best articles and guides on these topics.

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    Self Publishing Guides

    Completed Manuscript Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing: Which Is Best for You?

    To get things started, you need to decide which route to take with how you plan to release your book. There are many pros and cons of self publishing versus finding a publisher. Another thing to consider is the emerging popularity of eBooks and how to get in on that action. As a writer, you have plenty of options.

    Book Publisher Jargon and Terminology

    You had best plan to make yourself an expert in the publishing business if you plan to self publish, and having a list of key words and terms will help get you talking like a pro. Knowing what these industry terms mean will save you a lot of time when researching your options. It will also help you to avoid costly mistakes.

    Booking Publishing Editor or Publisher

    You need to know the difference between a book editor and a publisher. An editor is the person or group that filters your writing and looks into the marketability of the book. They are the gatekeepers to publishing. The publisher is like the boss who gives final approval and disperses funds to make the book happen.

    Tips on How to Get a Book Published

    If you're looking for some magic formula toward wealth and fame in publishing, then forget it. The amount of work it takes to not only write a book, but to get it published, is just a start. Learn more about the steps needed to take your writing to the next level.

    Proofreading Tips for Self Publishers

    Self published works often get a bad rap for having spelling and grammatical errors and it's always the author's fault for not properly proofreading before publishing. In all fairness, you will still find typos and errors from major publishers, too. Learn how to make sure your work is as error-free as possible before you publish something that would make even the most casual reader cringe.

    Bad Spelling and Grammar Can Ruin Your Publication

    Presentation is principle, and even moreso when your writing speaks for you. The importance of proper spelling and grammar should be a given, considering how it can reflect on you as the author. Consider the consequences before you rush out your next publication.

    How to Format a Book for Self Publishing

    When you publish yourself, not only do you have to be responsible for all the writing and proofing, but you also have to make sure your book is formatted properly on the printed page. Not all writers are as technically adept as others, but that's no excuse. You need to know what is necessary to be done to make sure your book looks its best.

    Desktop Publishing for Print Books

    Designing for print is much different than designing for the screen. Even with modern word processors, there can be some discrepancies in the final output. If you aren't careful with stuff like margins and choosing the right font style and size, the results could be disastrous.

    The Best Self Publishing Services

    There are several services available for writers to publish their own work. These services range from eBook publishing to the actual book printer. Consider your options and the costs of each so you can make a budget before you publish.

    Pros and Cons of Print on Demand Book Publishing

    If you self publish, chances are the printed copies of your book will come from a print on demand publisher. This means the author needs to be careful with their pricing and how they choose to sell. Look further into the pros and cons of these type services, such as

    Ways to Publish eBooks

    Many options are available for publishing eBooks because there are different services for buying them and different devices for reading them. If you get into this fairly new form of publishing, know what you can expect in regard to sales and profits. A little extra work could make you much more money.

    Amazon Kindle How to Publish a Book on Kindle

    Want to know how to make your book available to the largest online eBook market? There are some special formatting rules to follow, but they aren't too difficult and the potential money to be made is worth the trouble. With the Kindle being the most popular ereader on the market, you simply can't ignore this option.

    Free eBook Templates

    Formatting your eBook for publication can take a lot of extra work because of the strict requirements of the medium. Having document templates available will help to reduce the hassle. Thankfully, several different free downloadable options are out there to help ease the process of converting your book.

    Designing a Book Page Layout and Cover

    What good is solid writing if the formatting is ugly? There are many ways in which you can visually enhance your writing with good layout and cover designs. This sort of thing can make or break your work, and can also lead to more sales when something catches a potential customer's eye.

    Where to Find Book Cover Templates

    One very important aspect of your book is the cover because it's what sells the book. It's a cliche to say that one should not judge a book by its cover, but most people do. You will find several options for downloading templates used to make your own cover designs, and they serve as great foundations for your next publication.

    Creating a Book Cover Online

    There are free online tools that can be used to create your next book cover. While not quite as effective as going with high level graphic program like Photoshop, these free tools can help you get started with things like alignment, setting the spine of the book, and much more.

    How to Make an eBook Cover in Photoshop

    Have you seen where a book is shown at an angle with the spine visible using a faux 3D effect? It really looks better than just a flat image, and this step-by-step guide will show how to make a great looking cover for your eBook using Adobe Photoshop. This will help it to stand out on sites that let you upload your own cover.

    The Latest Book Publishing Trends

    If you're serious about self publishing your first book, then you are not alone. Consider the publishing industry as it stands today, and it shows just how much times are changing. With eBooks being all the rage, there are many things to think about beyond traditional printed works.

    Ten Ways to Market Your Book

    When you've finished your book and are ready to put it on the market, your real work has just begun. You need to learn how to get word out about your book. After all, how can you expect people to buy a book they have never heard of before?