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Simple Steps To Self Publishing

Updated on December 13, 2014

Would You Like To Self-Publish Your Book?

In the age of the Internet everyone can become self-publisher, and publish his or her book. Or just articles in the form of a blog. But in this Hub I shall not discuss blogging, instead I will focus on complete how-to guide to self-publishing.

With the tips and advices from this Hub, you will be able to become self-publisher and sell your very own work.

Writing Your E-Book

Of course, the very first thing to do is to actually write down your e-book. This might take some time, from few weeks to few months. After your e-book is done, you should proofread it, correct any errors, mistakes, grammar and things like that. After all, you want your e-book to be as professional as possible, right?

While writing your e-book, you should also make other steps at the same time, because then you will have everything ready to sell your work, and you won't have to wait another few weeks between finishing your work and selling it.

Learn how to write your own book

Bookcraft: Insights Into Successful Niche Self-Publishing in Theory and Practice
Bookcraft: Insights Into Successful Niche Self-Publishing in Theory and Practice

A collection of insights into the world of writing and self-publishing your own books.


Getting ISBN

There are two things you need - ISBN number for one.

Getting your ISBN number is quite simple - you need to contact your National Library, they should provide you with forms that you can send them and receive a set of ISBN numbers for your own use. It all depends on country law, but most National Libraries allows individuals to become publishers on their own, meaning - every citizen is allowed to ask for ISBN to publish his own book.

A lot of National Libraries provide such forms ready to print on their website. I'm sure National Library of Poland do this.

You should receive your ISBN numbers within few weeks, and then you will be able to assign single number to your book. Just remember - after assigning ISBN to a book you need to send your Library another form informing it that the number has been used, so they can add it to their database. And yes, assigning ISBN to an e-book is OK :).

Each book/e-book you will write can use ISBN - the number is optional, a lot of e-book have no ISBN numbers assigned. But while assigning the number is optional, you must keep in mind that each e-book require unique ISBN, there can be no two e-books with the same ISBN.

DTP & Graphics

DTP stands for Desktop Publishing. Generally it's all about turning your manuscript into real work ready to be published. In case of e-books, you don't need to get bold, you can stick to simple DTP.

  • Cover - some image with a title, author name and things like that. It should be eye-catching, as it should attract more customers this way.
  • Footer - each page should have a footer, within which you will add pagination, so the reader will know on which page he or she is.
  • Headlines - book without headlines is not good. But every single word editor like Microsoft Word or Open Office allows you to put simple default headlines (h1, h2, h3 etc.) and paragraphs. Use it :).

In case of PDF format there will be more work, in case of EPUB or MOBI - less. It's because PDF doesn't support automatic pagination to be displayed on pages, so you need to add custom footer in your word editor. In case of EPUB and MOBI formats, pagination is all automatic.

Also PDF format can use different forms so you can make the book look nice. In case of other formats, I don't recommend this - most e-readers support only default set of forms, and your fancy graphics won't be supported.

Choosing Format

When your manuscript is ready and it looks nice, you need to turn it into a file to sell. Some time ago, simple PDF format was enough. Today, you should also prepare EPUB and MOBI formats as well, so the e-book can be read in mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, or e-readers such as Amazon Kindle.


PDF format can be created using Microsoft Word with plugin, or special function available in OpenOffice software. All you have to do is to save your e-book in PDF format and you're done. And your e-book is done as well :).


Creating these two formats can be tricky - but you can use use free software Calibre, and with it you can create simple EPUB and MOBI versions of your e-book. This way, your e-book can be read on many different devices, which automatically expands your market!

Selling your work

Having your e-book files ready and "zipped" into a package ready to download, you need to organize a way to sell your work.


You're going to need a website, on which you will describe your e-book, and to which you will drive traffic from the Internet. This Hub won't discuss creation of a website, but I'm sure you can find another helpful Hub on the subject using search option.

Anyway, when your website is ready, you need a way to sell your e-book - a mechanism that will manage payments and and downloads. Here, I have two suggestions for you.

  • E-Junkie - simple to set up and very cheap, this system allows you to upload your files, set a price, different variations of the product, add VAT and tons of other options, then just copy "buy now" link, place on your website and you will be able to sell your work. Oh, did I mentioned the system supports affiliate sales so you can allow other people make money with you? It's an extra way to promote your work.
  • Clickbank - a bit more expensive than E-Junkie, but the payment is one-time, and the service is much more popular, especially if you want other people to promote your book and earn affiliate share from you.

Both systems support PayPal, credit cards and few other payment gateways. But they require your own website. If you prefer other methods of selling, here are another two ideas.

  • Tutorials Plus - this website allows you to sell your e-books, but under two conditions: they decide the price of your work, and they only accept ebooks that discuss the Internet - design, coding, making money online, blogging, copywriting etc.
  • Lulu - Here you can sell two types of books - e-books and paperbacks (it's print on demand service), and I like the service, really - only one problem. They take huge part of the income for themselves :(.


Now you need to start promoting your work. To do this, you can:

  • Use articles marketing - and write many more articles for articles directories, thus attracting visitors to your e-book's page.
  • Paid Advertising - you can use Google AdWords, or Facebook Ads or other paid system in order to attract paid traffic.
  • Affiliates - look for affiliates, people who will promote your work in exchange for a bit of income share :).
Really, online marketing is a huge and complex subject that cannot be explained in this hub. You might look for a book about it :).

We're done!

And that's it - you have wrote an e-book, turned it into files to download, build a website, invested some money and now you're selling your work - at least in theory :). In practice, you should start your work right now :). 

Good luck!


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      Patricia Benesh 7 years ago


      This is a good beginning list for newbie self-publishers. There are so many aspects of self-publishing a commercially viable book. Each step takes a great deal of time and thought.Because most authors want some copies of the actual book, they will want to consider print on demand (POD)as well as e-book format.

      It's a tricky business, full of mind-boggling decisions-based on the writer's goals and expectations. For detailed information on the steps, readers can check out