How to Self-Publish Your Own Paperback Book
Tips for publishing your first paperback book.
06:20 04 October 2021
If you’ve long dreamt of publishing a book, you’ll be happy to know the process is easier and more accessible than ever. But before you go to your local print shop and have a raw manuscript printed, make sure you know what to expect.
Writing Your Manuscript
The first step is to write your manuscript. This has been (and always will be) the most time-consuming and challenging aspect of the entire process. Nobody can do it for you (unless you hire a ghostwriter, of course). You just have to make time.
The reality is that writing a book doesn’t have to take six months or a year. There’s no reason why you can’t write a substantial manuscript in 90 days or less.
The key to writing a book is consistency and discipline. Set a goal of writing 500 to 1,000 words per day, every day. Some days this will take you an hour, while other times it’ll take you two or three hours. But if you finish every day having written something, your momentum will carry you through. And at this pace, you can expect to have 45,000 to 90,000 words written in three months or less.
Once the manuscript is written, you should take two to four weeks to copy, edit, and revise. This is where you go through and edit, remove, add, and polish. (You can also hire a professional copy editor to do this on your behalf.)
Designing and Printing
Now for the fun part: Once your edited manuscript is in hand, it’s time to shift your attention to the design and layout of your book. This is where you create a book cover, write the synopsis, and format the book for printing.
For paperback book printing, the easiest thing is to partner with an online printing service that can walk you through the steps of choosing a book size, paper type, and binding. You can usually have a test document mailed to you before you run a full print job.
The great thing about working with modern book printers and online printing services is that you don’t have to order 1,000 copies at a time and store them in your dining room. You can print books on demand (which means you can print 10 copies or 10,000). This allows you to print only what you need, while being able to quickly produce more copies should demand increase.
Selling and Distributing
The final step is to figure out how you plan to sell and distribute your books. If your goal is to make money off the book, setting up a listing on Amazon is an obvious way to go. If you want a more grassroots approach, you can try contacting local bookstores to see if they’re interested in carrying the book on their shelves.
Planning to use your book as a credibility-boosting asset for another business venture? There are plenty of options here as well. For starters, you can carry around copies in your car/briefcase and hand them out like business cards. For a wider reach, set up an online landing page where people can opt-in to have a copy of the book sent to them.
It doesn’t matter which route you go. Distributing books is easier than ever before. It’s just a matter of deciding which direction is right for your objectives.
What’s Holding You Back?
Two or three decades ago, there were plenty of excuses not to write and publish a book. Not only were there lots of hurdles to clear, but it was relatively expensive. And then, once you got your book published and printed, there was the matter of finding a place to sell your book to interested buyers. Today, all of these barriers have been dissolved.
It’s never been easier to publish, print, and distribute your book. Whether you’re doing it as a personal project, credibility booster, or a source of income, there’s no reason why you can’t write, print, and publish a book within several months.
The only thing holding you back is your willingness.