Self-publishing may be your first step to being a successful author and established writer. At some point, you may already have a full manuscript of your own work that you’d love to publish, either for commercial or personal purposes. As a fellow aspiring author myself, it was a dream to have a book of my own creation at my palm’s reach. And, recently, I was able to experience that. It was such a fulfilling moment, save for all the stress that I had to go through as I basically started with zero knowledge about printing and everything necessary to publish one book – which was a personal project of mine.
So here I am, writing tips for my fellow writers so you don’t have to spend and stress out as much as I did.
Plan it out.
Self-publishing may take a lot of your time and effort. So, you may definitely want to schedule when you prefer the book to be done. With planning, you should consider how your book will be made. For example, you will do your own layout or you will commission someone to do it for you. This process may take time depending on how you want your book to look – like, if it will contain a lot of design (for poetry books, for example) or if it will be a plain layout (for novels).
Finalize your manuscript.
Okay, I know. Of course, this is common sense. But, just to be sure you won’t have to revise your work during the layout editing process. Make sure you have proofread everything on your manuscript. We don’t want to waste time going back to a previous job when we are supposed to be doing progress.
Know your budget.
Self-publishing may cost you a lot if you don’t know your choices and preferences. But, here are some tips for you to save a lot of money for your next big project:
- Consider doing your own book layout. Maximize available sources: watch YouTube tutorials, invest in digital applications for layout and design, and look for ideas on the web. If you have the time and willpower to do so, please do because it will save you a lot of money you’d rather spend on printing.
- Know how many copies you need and what you need them for. Personal projects won’t give you back the money you spent so it is best not to spend too much on them if you are on a budget. Commercial projects would be a good choice to start with but be sure to keep the business in mind. For commercial publications, you may opt for publishing houses I mean, self-publishing doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. These houses will give you a quote depending on their minimum requirement. 8letters and Sanctum Press are great publishing houses you may want to check out.
- For personal projects, know your materials. Papers with higher GSM will cost you a lot. It is better to know what you need than what you want. If your manuscript only or mostly contains text and fewer photos, opt for thinner paper options. Only consider using specialty paper if you need it.
- Be sure not to mess up the book layout for printing. Automatic printing requires a specified paging layout you would want to perfect before you proceed to print. If you are not familiar with it, feel free to search on the web for tutorials.
Printing and binding your book.
If you have a printer available at home, make use of it. It will save you money and you can be sure that the printing is correct. But if you don’t, you can always check out local printing shops near you. You can provide them with the paper so you will be paying less especially if you’re gonna use specialty paper. For binding, you can DIY it. Just watch YouTube tutorials, have the materials you need and you’re good to go. However, I only recommend this for personal projects.
For mass binding, you may want to check out local binding services near you and opt for the soft binding option. This is the cheapest binding option most local printing shops offer so you may want to check on that. Usually, perfect binding is the best for paperback books but it may be hard to find shops that offer this service and it is more expensive. Oh and by the way, if you’re partnered up with a publishing house, you don’t have to worry about binding as it already comes with their package deals.
Where to sell your work.
Online platforms are a great way to attract potential customers and promote your own projects, whether they be personally made or by a publishing house. Use Shopee or Lazada to sell your work as many people like using these apps. You can also use your Facebook and Instagram, especially if you have a significant amount of followers. Make sure that your hard work is seen.
Be proud of your own work.
Flex it. Post it. Promote it if it’s for sale. Don’t forget all the hard work and dedication you spent just to be able to publish these books. Self-fulfillment is an important part of being an artist. Always remember that writers are artists, too! We make art. We share art. And art is what fuels our hearts because our words are meant to be read and therefore we must show ‘em!
So, that’s self-publishing made easy! If you’re planning to turn that draft into a dream come true, this one’s for you.
Diana is passionate about writing most especially, creative writing. She loves to write poetry whenever she has free time and inspiration and shares some of it on her Instagram poetry account. Her inspirations can be from personal experiences, an outburst of emotions, or through art and music that resonates through her soul. Diana appreciates art and literature the most, especially the classics but is not the biggest fan of reading.