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How to Write & Publish your Own Books

Updated on February 3, 2013

In self-publishing, you are both the creator of the story and the book producer, you are the author and the publisher. Important assets to have are creative writing skills in order to become a published author, and money in order to publish.

Until very recently, book printing was expensive. These days you may sell out to a publisher or publish on your own, and going the e-book route is always a good idea to get a head start, because it costs little and gets your content out there.

Getting your book published is what is important; how you break into print is not. A publisher will edit, design, typeset, lay out, proofread, print, and distribute your book. You may also perform these functions yourself or hire a book designer, deal with a book printer, and use a book distributor.

One of the best ways to promote your books and encourage sales is by giving seminars, workshops, and lectures. People who listen to your presentations are liable to become fired up, and want to read your content. They may become excited about the subject that you have presented and want to take immediate action. And what better action than to buy your books, conveniently displayed at the back of the room?

You may think that giving presentations is not your personality, but it can be very lucrative and should not be easily dismissed. As an author or publisher, you will be promoting your products at all places from workshops at a local library and bookstores to media appearances on local TV. Chances are you have written a book on a topic you know quite a lot about. Seminars are a reasonable extension of promotion, and can actually be quite fun!

Design

Check out the genre or category in which you would like to publish a book, and take note of weather or not the books are hardcover, such as business books often are, or over sized, such as children's books tend to be, or lightweight, such as travel books are. Respect the category, and select a look that you like. Examine the color of paper, size of type, and overall design.

Use that book as a model for your first publication. Remember that if this book is on the shelf in a bookstore and it is standing out to you among the other books, it is because someone else invested a great deal of time and money designing this look. Do not copy exactly of course. Just use it as a general guide.

Typesetting

You can typeset your book with MS Word, however, your pages will look a lot better if you learn a page-layout program such as PageMaker or InDesign. After typsetting, you can convert the test file into a graphic file with Adobe Acrobat.

See Hewer Text UK. and Completely Novel.

Printing

PQN (print quantity needed) printing is high speed, computer controlled, toner based production. This type of machine can print both sides of paper at the same time and do not require a period for the ink to dry. Press setup tie is virtually eliminated.

Digital printers are:

Books That Sell

Nonfiction comes in a variety of subjects. These could be instructional books, biographies, or motivational books. Some subjects carry more clout with readers than others. Here is a list of constants on bookshelves that normal everyday people have earned decent money by publishing themselves as e-books.

  • Cookbooks- Cook books were an "acceptable" self-publishing avenue long before any other genre. Today many self published e-books are actually considered collectibles. Cooking, and unusual recipes are a subject that people trust in. We have all experienced great, gourmet style cooking by simple old housewives, and terrible, flavorless dishes in expensive cook books. People feel comfortable, and trust in old family Italian recipes, and middle eastern dishes that are "finally being open to the public." If you've got a flair for food, you should consider this genre, especially if you can target a special niche, like heart-healthy, diabetic, vegetarian vegan, picky-children, or exotic foreign food. They sell!
  • Self-help/ How to- This is a favorite on the nonfiction shelves. People are always looking to improve their power, finances, or self esteem. If you are a Psychologist, social worker, or entrepreneur, you may be able to cut a nice niche in this genre.
  • Inspirational/motivational. Forever popular, inspirational and motivational books have the potential to become mega-sellers.
  • Regional -This is a genre that is often overlooked. If you live in a big city or a heavily toured area, consider writing a restaurant or attraction guide. Or local history on its major attractions. Often times you will have interesting information on an area that you have lived in for many years that no one else has.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There is some interesting information here Skarlet. I went the self-publishing route about ten months ago and have no regrets. However, this has given me something new to think about. Great job!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Very informative hub and useful. Well done. Thanks for giving us more to think about. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Gamerelated profile image

      Gamerelated 4 years ago from California

      Great work on this Hub Skarlet. I have only recently become interested in writing as a profession so I thought I would start by doing some research and trying to learn as much as I can about publishing. This is a very useful and informative Hub.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Very practical info! It gives me a lot of food for thought for my own writing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is all good information, I just need to dedicate myself to sitting down to really execute a plan. Voted up.

    • Skarlet profile image
      Author

      Skarlet 4 years ago from California

      @ billybuc- Good for you. Self publishing is fun.

      @ Faith Reaper- Thank you very much. Good luck to you.

      @ Gamerelated- I appreciate you kind comment, and wish you success.

      @ spartucusjones- I am so glad you find the information useful. Thanks for stopping by.

      @ teaches12345- Great to see you teaches. I know what you mean. Too many exciting ways to earn money, and not enough time. :)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Charles Dickens never had to know all this!

      Today's authors have to both write well and be computer savvy too!

      Great info, and super Hub.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Great info -- have self-published one book with www.blurb.com and was tremendously satisfied -- then got busy with other projects and have done nothing else as to publishing since! Gotta get goin' again! Thanks for a great read. Best/Sis

    • Skarlet profile image
      Author

      Skarlet 4 years ago from California

      @WillStarr- You are so right. Just about everything we do these days requires being computer savvy. Dickens was really a classic. Thank you for your comment. Great so see you here!

      @Sis- Wow! Good for you! Yes, do keep publishing! The more you do it the easier it gets, and the more fans you will have.

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