You Can Publish A Book

I wanted to do up an info page for you to share with you what I have learned through publishing 321 Stop – stop running and start living.

Publishing is incredibly easy now.  If you want to be a published author you can be!

I have my book in pdf format, kindle, nook, and print.  My very own book sits on my kindle and on my shelf.  

I was shocked at how easy it was to do.  It costs nothing to epublish and it costs about 6 (including shipping) to get a print copy for your shelf (nothing if you just want to sell print copies and not have one for yourself).  There are lots of ways to spend money during the process that are well worth it, but nothing is required to actually publish.

Now, actually writing a book is just as hard as it ever was.  However, if you can make yourself write, you can publish electronically and traditionally (paper).

Okay, here is what I used and what I recommend:

  1. I outlined the book on paper.  A fancy programs Scrivener was recommended to me and has a 30 day free trial if you want to go high tech.
  2. I wrote the book on Open Office – I read that it works better than Word with links and such.  I was very happy with it.  It is free :)

Book writing took a few months and then the following setup/editing took about 3 more months.

  1. I got the header designed by Five J’s Design - I was super scared to spend the money, I hate spending money, but this was totally worth the money.  Most people who write about creating an ebook stress spending money for a good cover design.  I spent $150 for the cover design, $50 for the buttons, and $50 for the print book cover design.  (she might charge more now and there might be cheaper places.  I am just sharing what I spent to help you get an idea). You can create your own cover with some free programs (I have heard).
  2. I got three separate people (besides my husband and I) to do major edits – this is the other area where it is recommended to spend the money.  About $45 an hour seems to be a decent price from my research.  I got lucky and had lovely people who understand English much better help me at no charge.
  3. Edit, re-read, get others to edit, re-read – I did this so many times I started to hate my book.  Now, looking back, I am super glad I did.
  4. I submitted my book to Flatbooks.com – This was totally random.  This is a company that publishes photography books.  I was shocked and excited that they took mine.  I have the only non-photography book up there now…so if you have another lifestyle book …I need someone else to hang out with over there :)  Here is the link to submit to them.
  5. Sent the book out to lots of bloggers and friends for reviews/giveaways – I am new on the writing/blogging scene and I must have wrote to about 250 people.  …I didn’t hear back from lots, but it gave me the change to develop relationships with quite a few as well.  It gave me a reason/excuse to reach out and make blogger friends.  Being new, the more reviews you can get the better.
  6. I created a book website – I use godaddy.com for domains and wordpress hosting.  There are other options out there but this is the one I have figure out.  If you are blogging you already know some of this stuff… and if you aren’t blogging it is way easier to start a blog and then write a book.  You need a way for people to see your writing for free and get to know/like you first.  Here is some of my blogging help info.
  7. Set up a kindle version – follow this link and fill in the information.  You need to upload a .doc (open office lets you save in this format).  When it publishes they will send you a link to set up your book on international amazon sites as well.
  8. Set up a nook version – follow this link and fill in the information.  Very similar to Kindle process.  Both processes take about 12 hours to show up in the store for purchase.
  9. Set up a PDF version – export to PDF from Open Office.  (it is a button on the top).  Make sure that the type is a bit bigger than normal on your screen for all of these formats because they will probably be read on a smaller screen.  Test out different fonts and sizes to see what you like the look of best on a reader.
  10. Print – This link will come after you publish on Amazon your kindle book as well.  It is createspace.com.  You find your book listing on Amazon and then go through the steps to create a print book.  Also, very easy to follow.  You will need to make changes to your book to make sure that it looks good in print (take out links and size pages to match book size).  Ordering a print proof costs about $6 and you can check it out before you put it up for sale (and keep it on your shelf for a memory)
  11. Set up a paypal account to get payment for PDF books
  12. Set up an ejunkie account to sell PDF book as well as sign up affiliates.  This site takes some time to figure out.  It isn’t as easy as some of the other steps, but once you figure it out it is pretty simple.  I have seen it recommended everywhere and it seems to work very well.
  13. Try and create as much buzz around a release as you can.  This was hard for me because my blog is still not big and I don’t have many friends in the blogging world yet, but I did what I could and it was pretty fun.  I asked people to tweet, and share on social media for me.  I had close to 30 giveaways going on different sites.  This takes time to set up because people will want to read the book before they agree to promote it and then they need to fit it into their blog schedule.  I contacted people for reviews and giveaway set ups between 4 and 6 weeks before I wanted to release.

This is what I did.  You can just do a simple book and just do a kindle or PDF format very easily without all the extra steps.  I have sold the most books on Amazon Kindle format and PDF is very easy for people who don’t have a kindle reader (they can also print and read if they prefer from a PDF file)

Hope that helps.  If you are thinking of writing a book I want to encourage you.  The writing and editing is hard work, but actually getting it out to the public is now incredibly easy.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about any of these steps.

Two places that have way more detailed information and that I learned a lot from were:

 

15 thoughts on “You Can Publish A Book

  1. I went through some of this just after you, and I’d have to agree that it is possible to do with no cash outlay aside from the domain registration and hosting (which I’m already shelling out for my blogs anyway). I did my own graphics. Probably not the best job but it fits my budget at this point.

    I still haven’t done a print version yet. I’m not 100% pleased with the Kindle version formatting so I need to tweak that. As for the conversion to the kindle, I found Calibre (which is free) was able to take the OpenOffice format to the .mobi format for Kindle did the best job. I found that saving .odt to .doc screwed up a few things (notably, internal links in the TOC).

    I had to play a bit with the settings and it is a bit technical. It can also convert to ePub and other formats for Nook etc.

    So far I haven’t pursued anything other than Amazon since most other programs don’t allow non-US residents to participate.

    The struggle that I have is promoting. That’s been my struggle online since I started. I am good at the tech stuff. I think I’m pretty decent with the writing aspect. But promotion is my weak link.

    Good luck with your book, Lorilee! It is well written and full of great tips. I encourage any one reading this thread to check it out if you haven’t got it already.

    • Lorilee says:

      Bill thanks so much for this tip. I don’t actually have a kindle copy of my book and only tested around in the preview they gave me. I am not sure the TOC works. I wanted it to. Kindle and PDF have been the best and most popular so far so I wouldn’t worry about other formats. I was going to try and figure out smashwords but heard that their formating is the worst.

      Print version is way easier. With Creatspace you just upload a PDF so you make the pages the way you want them to look and it won’t change :)

      …promoting is my biggest struggle too :(

  2. Heather says:

    What an excellent resource! I like how open you are being about the process, I think a lot of times people don’t like to talk about the actual details, but that is what people want to find out when researching for projects like this! I have many ideas for books, but no time to sit down and flesh them out…maybe when my littles are not quite so little!

  3. I’m working on a book right now with my husband–promotion is going to be my weak spot, too. At least I’m lucky he’s a technical writer, so all the formatting will be left to him!

    Thanks for all the pointers. When I’m polishing off the content, I’ll be back for the details.

  4. Diane Balch says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. In the next year or so I plan on putting together a cookbook and this info is really helpful.

  5. Paul says:

    Lorilee,
    thanska again for sharing the tips and how you have gone step by step. I am wondering whether you delt with photos in teh book and how you went about getting permission for photos from external sources
    Paul,
    Uganda-East Africa

  6. Lindsay F. says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful information. I have my writing done, still need some editing. Any tips for children’s books? My one book is a children’s book.

    • Not sure on children’s books. One thing I can say is that there needs to be more good children’s books on kindle. I think they would do very well with the kindle select program :) We are always looking for good kids books on kindle and they are hard to find.

  7. Great info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have book-marked it for later!

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