How to Self-Publish A Book in 90 Days or Less? Here’s A Step-by-Step Guide!

self publishing

I believe everyone should write a book. It’s like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean and seeing where it takes you. Here is an article on ‘how to self-publish a book’ this year. Even if you are using a service provider, it might still be a good idea to understand the process.

In the past, many of us needed a publishing house to publish a book. Today, self-publishing is an option, and it is easier than ever.

Let’s first discuss some of the benefits of being a self-published author.

Benefits of Being A Published Author

#1 Instant credibility

One of the fastest ways to gain credibility in your profession is to write a book. Authors are perceived as experts in their niche. Most people throw away a business card, but they rarely throw away a book. Having a book in your name gives you credibility and positions you as an expert in your niche. You are an expert, that’s why you have a book in your name right?

#2 Your personal branding

It positions you as the go-to person in your niche. You are instantly recognized, and sometimes you can even get celebrity status.

I believe personal branding is attracting the right people into your network. Individuals who resonate with your message will follow and admire you. It’ll give you the power to be a person who can influence the thoughts of your audience.

#3 Promotional opportunities

Once you have a book in your name, you can send out a press release, and your local media outlets can interview you. It opens up opportunities to be featured on local media outlets.

You can get additional visibility from hundreds of book reviewers who can review your book.

It also opens up speaking opportunities at local and international conferences.

#4 Attract qualified leads

Many people have a published book in their name because it positions them as an expert in their niche. But the biggest benefit is in attracting the right leads for your business.

You will attract people who read your book and resonate with your message. These are pre-qualified leads.

#5 New revenue streams

Authors can earn money as speakers, trainers, consultants, and advisors. These are additional sources of income.

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Many people do not understand the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Both are different from each other.

A self-published author takes complete responsibility of the publishing process. She does the editing, typesetting, cover design, distribution, pricing, and marketing of her own book. In most cases, the self-published author keeps 100% of the royalties from her book sales.

Whereas in traditional publishing, the author submits her book proposal to a publisher, the publisher reviews it and signs a contract with the author by paying her an advance. The publishing process of editing, typesetting, cover design, and distribution is handled by the the publisher. The publisher also keeps the majority of the royalty payments. Typically, the author gets about 4% to 10% of royalty payments. Check out the table below for a comparison of traditional vs. self-publishing.

Benefits of self-publishing

Speed: It is the fastest way to get your book published. Traditional publishing can take several years. But a self-published book can be out in the market in less than six months.

Full control: You are free to choose your own creative style, content, and market, distribute, or even give away your books for free.

No need for an agent: It can sometimes take months or even years to find an agent.

Higher royalties: You keep 100% of book royalties; unlike 4% to 10% if you publish through a publisher.

You own the rights and content: The author owns 100% of the intellectual property, and can repurpose it any way he wants.

How do you become a self-published author? Here’s a quick guide

Step 1: Create a Book Plan and Outline

A book plan gives you direction and a roadmap so that when things get tough, you don’t quit. Here is a basic template for a book plan.

Title of the book: If you don’t have a title yet, start with a tentative title, you can change it later.

The purpose of the book: Ask yourself, why are you writing this book? What’s your motivation? How is it going to change your life, and in what way?

Your target audience: Who are you writing the book for? Imagine the personality and the demographics of the person who is likely to read this book. It’s a good idea to visualize a person you know (who fits your ideal target audience) when writing the book.

Goal of the book: What problem is the book going to solve? Or what goals will it achieve for the reader. The fewer the goals, the better! Try and restrict this to one or two goals.

Chapter Outline and Structure of the book: Create a list of chapters. Initially, write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t judge. Dump every piece of thought in your mind on a piece of paper or a word processor. Then, clean up your chapter outline to include only the ones you want to keep. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfectly right. Most chapter outlines are imperfect at this stage. We can always come back and change it later.

Size of your book: Most non-fiction books are over 30,000 words. There are no real standards on how many pages a book should have. You should aim for a book that is at least 30,000 words, with a layout size of 5’x8′, that way the book will come up to about 150 to 200 pages. Standard book sizes are 5’x8′, 5.5’x8.5′, 6’x9′. I would recommend that you stick to one of these sizes.

Step 2: Write the book (Or use this shortcut if you don’t want to write)

If you don’t want to write it yourself, there’s an easier way to do it. You can record your voice on a voice recorder, most phones have it, and talk out each chapter. The trick to get it right is to prepare a powerpoint presentation for each chapter, then talk like your are speaking and giving a presentation to a live audience. Once you’ve recorded your chapters, get a transcriptionist to transcribe your audio to text. You can hire one of our transcriptionists at reasonable rates here.

Once a transcriptionist converts your audio to text, get a specialist book writer to rewrite the text into a book format. We provide this service as well, check out this service here.

Step 3: Editing and Proofreading

Copy editing to check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation is more important than you think. I’ve seen even best-sellers with typos and errors. We suggest doing at least three rounds of editing. Although, it is impossible to eliminate human error, the accepted industry standard is 1% error rate. Good editors must have an error rate below the industry average. Our specialist editing and proofreading service can help you with this. You can order this service here.

Step 4: Typesetting

Typesetting is creating uniformity in the layout of your book. Once the editing is complete. A good designer who is specialized in typesetting for the print industry needs to create an interior file. Check out our typesetting services where our professionals will do this for you.

Step 5: Book cover

Well, you need one. You can either use an existing template or have a book designer design one for you. You can use our cover design services to get a cover that sells.

Step 6: Set-up Distribution Channels

There are various platforms to distribute your self-published book. CreateSpace is a self-publishing and distribution platform that makes your print book available on Amazon, bookstores, and online retailers. Here is a step-by-step process to publish your book on Createspace.

Createspace is a platform for publishing and distributing your print book. However, if you want an electronic version of your print book to be published as well, you can use our Kindle conversion service where your typeset pdf file will be converted into Kindle format (.mobi version). You can upload this file on Kindle Direct Publishing. Here is a step-by-step process to publish your book on Kindle.

Typical cost to self-publish a 30,000-word non-fiction book

  • Transcription: $300 (transcribing 5 to 7 hours of audio footage)
  • Rewriting: $900
  • Editing and Proofreading: $900
  • Typesetting: $900
  • Cover: $299
  • Kindle Conversion: $125

Total: $3424

Still Confused?

Get in touch with us by filling up the form below and one of our publishing consultants will contact you to help you with your book.

Check out our publishing services to fast-track your journey into becoming a self-published author. Click here.

About the Author: Vinil Ramdev

Vinil Ramdev is the founder of Publish Edge. His life accidents include authoring several books, starting businesses in retail, events, publishing; and serving a sentence as managing editor of a print magazine.