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The Four Steps to Successfully Publish a Book

Updated on July 5, 2017

Publishing your first novel

Every writer dreams about having their own book published, and enjoying the fame and stardom of actually having their name in a brick and mortar outlet. Unfortunately unless you are writing the next Harry Potter series, you could spend decades sending your manuscript to publishers, only to be rejected or worse no response at all. Self publishing is a much more realistic option for the average writer, and with the right amount social media optimization your book could be a break out hit. In this article we will take a look at some of the steps needed to successfully publish your own novel.

The Content:

The single most important thing to publishing your own novel is to make sure that you have the content. Time and time again I have seen authors publish like a 110 page book and call it quits, this is not acceptable. No one will take a small novel seriously, you want to aim for about a 350 page book at least, because you are going to be competing with book store releases. When readers pick up a book they want to feel heft, and they want to feel a book that is worth their $7.95 in most cases. Now of course harlequins are a smaller book, but most authors are not writing romance pieces.

Try to make your chapters longer as well, any book can have a ton of pages but if the chapter is only three pages this can look incomplete. You want each chapter to be coherent, and if possible each chapter will follow into the next. When I was writing my book I went and purchased quite a few memoirs, the best sellers so I could compare my own product to them. You want your book to look as professional as possible with a bookstore quality reading experience, and the goal is to have it read like a movie.

The Design:

The design is the most crucial point, because you do not want your book to come off as an amateur release. No one is going to buy an amateur release, maybe a few people will but not thousands. If your book has a cover that looks like it was designed in MS Paint no one will take your product seriously. I went and had professional photos done for my cover, and then I used Adobe photo shop to blend the entire jacket together. I also hand picked a font, and designed the letters to blend in. Not one part of the cover on my book was thrown together, and this is what you want to aim for.

I know it can be quite expensive to pay for a photo shoot, and even a graphic designer. But, if you are serious about being a published author it is worth the time to invest the money. No book store or publisher will take you seriously if you have a poor cover design, companies want to invest as little as possible, thus you will need your book to be ready for stardom. I am not saying to go overboard either, but for instance if you are doing a biography a nice clean photo will do the trick. The cover design should be clean and to the point, and there should be clear placement of the bar code and ISBN number. Most stores need this to be incorporated into the design before they will even touch a new title.

Create Space or Lulu, which one is better?

Now comes the fun part, publishing. Because of advances in technology and the Internet just about anyone can publish their book for free. There are two major players in this arena and that is Create Space and Lulu. Create Space is a great way to get a paperback book onto the Amazon marketplace, and if you are just wanting to get your project out there this is the best option. I have personally had the best time using Lulu, from start to finish the process was so easy and the book came out looking absolutely wonderful.

Lulu gives you the ability to print anything from an e Book to a Hardcover with ease, and the design and conversion is almost too easy. By using Lulu I was able to get my novel onto Barnes and Noble, the Google Play Store, Amazon, and even iTunes! The ability to reach this kind of a market not only gives you credibility, but it also gives you a huge audience to reach. Hey, what author doesn’t want to be in Barnes and Noble? Naturally the process can seem tiring, but if you use all of the tools to your advantage and invest a little bit of money into the design your book will come out looking so professional.

Get it into the Library:

Don’t just focus on selling a million copies, this is the wrong thing to be focusing on. You want your book to have longevity, and part of this is being a part of your local library. Many people who cannot afford to purchase books will visit the library, and just book lovers in general. If you want to be taken seriously you need to get the title in the library. This is not a hard task either, you will just need to apply for a library of congress number, and then from their just contact the curators to each library and they will guide you through the process of submitting your book.

This is usually an easy task since most of the work that you will put into getting your book into the retail outlets is the same. The library will want all of the little details to be right, such as the placement of the ISBN numbers, and generally just a decent looking novel. The libraries take pride in which books are placed in their collection, so they do not just accept any book off of the streets.

You can be the star Author:

You will be as big as you want to be, and if you act like your book is a bestseller it will be. When I finally got my book onto Barnes and Noble that was a proud moment for me, because not many people can accomplish that feat and have it come out looking credible. Publishing a book is never suppose to be an easy task, and don’t let people fool you into thinking that it is. There are hundreds of websites that say you can publish a book in a few easy steps, but the finished product is embarrassing.


Being serious about your book is the first step to getting it published the right way. Think of the book as a life changer, and if you don’t want to work for someone for the rest of your life you need this book to sell. I make sure that everybody knows that I had a book published, and even if the book never sold a copy I can sleep at night knowing that I got my face into Barnes and Noble. Go for your dreams, take the initiative and publish your first book the right way, and take pride in the finished product because you never know when you might be the next best selling author.

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