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Self Publishing for Free - Write Publish and Market It

Updated on August 26, 2016

A friend of mine was thinking of writing a book of recipes – specializing in chocolate. For quite sometime my husband is asking me to compile and put together all the 100- odd chicken recipes which I have scribbled in dairies and notepads. Another friend has told me that she is editing and updating database of names with its meaning and she wants it to be published.

All of them wanted to write and self-publish. Self-publishing is made easy with advance technologies in publishing. Here I will share some ideas and tools to bring out a book of your own, without paying hefty up-front cost!

Step 1: Write Right

To me writing a book or putting together scattered recipes in one place and making it readable is indeed daunting task. Some years ago, one of my relatives published a book of Short Stories authored by himself. He published it through traditional publishers. I am sure he must have faced lot of hurdles in first writing the stories and putting it together, then negotiating with publishing house. Then taking care of design and printing of the book. And then marketing. I told him recently that I am planning to bring out 101-recipes of chicken delights and sort advice on publishing. The first step he asked to take in this regard was: WRITE.

Right. Newbies, like me, tend to take two steps at a time. Stay focus on the first step, my relative advised me. Just write first. The first step is to WRITE a right book. Even if we starting writing one page a day, we can come up with 90-page book in three months. Finalize your work and keep aside your first draft. A week or two later, pick up the draft; read, re-read and revised it. If you can afford, seek professional help to asses your work and take his/her comments. Once you are satisfied with your final draft, search for the online publishers.

You have ideas and creative skill to write next bestseller. But ever wonder if there are any tools that help in putting those ideas creativity to digital format? Well, it would need separate hubpages to write details on those tools. But here are some hints and tips on writing tools to get you guys going.

The best one is free – WRITER, it is from OpenOffice.Org.  If you writing for small project of small book, WRITER will be enough.  If you intend to write for large project and volumn of pages for huge book, then go for Final Draft version 7.0 - a software for professional writers as well as for personal use.

If you have difficulty in writing, then you can opt for speech to text software.  In this catagory, the best one is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.0 Professional.

And if you don't want to spend money on writing tools, then as said earlier, go for OpenOffice.Org application or you can also try this wonderful software yWriter 4, which is free and easy to use software, keep track of characters, events and places. 

And if you are on the move, and want to use Online writing software, try Google's Docs, or Zoho Office or Adobe's online word processor, Buzzword.

I planning to write a separate hub on the experiences of Ywriter 4 and other software for writing!  Once I write the hubpages on this topic, then watch out for link here!

Online Self-Publishers

As already said, advance technologies have made self-publishing task easy. Here you don't have need to have an agent or talk and negotiate with large publishing house. Some it would takes months of negotiation and finalization of the contracts – even for the established and renewed authors. In the first place large publishing houses won't entertain newbie authors. The Internet, Web 2.0 technologies have thrown lot of opportunities to writes to publish their work either on blogs or forums or sites like or Moving a step further, you can publish your work as PRINT on Demand (POD) and sell your books.

There are varied online services available for self-publisher. They provide tools to write, publish and market for authors. Here are a few of online self-publishing websites:

The top ranked in self-publish service is LULU.COM. The reason being ,it is simple but versatile in offering complete solution in print-on-demand solutions.  You can publish anything from paper-cover novels to hard-bound research to photo books, to calendars, CD and much more.  And what is more!  You can do all these without spending a cent up-front.

The website was revamped recently to make navigation easy for the newbie.   And addition of DEMO helps new authors to learn fast on how to publish through LULU.COM.  There extensive help available to FAQ section to proceed step-by-step into self-publish.  This site is highly recommended for both amateur and professional alike.


BLURB has a free downloadable software called BookSmart to help building your book.  The software helps to imports your writing from some blogs and also helps import images from the photo hosting websites like Picasa, Flickr.  But BLURB bogs down when working large voluminous books.  Blurb is good for illustrated books, with lots of photos and less number of pages.

Here you can also offer free sample chapters – first 15-pages for readers’ preview.  In market-place, you can increase ranking in search by adding tags, categories and descriptions.

Their help section is not as detailed as in, however, you can seek assistance from Custom Bookmaker. is another fine print-on-demand service for new authors.  It is sort of DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) service when it comes to publishing.  They provide DIY self-publishing wizard which runs you through every aspect of publishing your book.

Apart from providing Free DIY self-publishing wizard, they also provide premium services to create, publish, distribute and market your work. is another fine print-on-demand service for new authors. It is sort of DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) service when it comes to publishing. They provide DIY self-publishing wizard which runs you through every aspect of publishing your book. This is highly recommended for novice authors.

Apart from providing Free DIY self-publishing wizard, they also provide premium services to create, publish, distribute and market your work.

Founded in 1997, Xlibris are the pioneer in self-publishing service industry.  Here you require contacting a consultant and consulting your work and the way the book need to be published.  The consultant would offer you the right solution and package for your work.  Once the deal is done, you can go ahead publish your book the way you wanted.  The consultation process is free of charge.

Added advantage is that you can have premium editions of your book in leather bound.

Very popular place sell your art or work is  I like this particular site for various option available for selling your work.  You can sell T-shirts with your art-work.  Or sell greeting-cards out of your photo collection.   You can sell audio or data CD, Photos, Calendars, T-shirts, Mugs, gifts, posters, bumper stickers etc. through this site using your art work.   Apart from this you can also sell your books printed on demand.  You can upload your book PDF format (not more than 100 MB).  You can tweak templates to suit your work and nature of book.  But not all the options are available which are there in WordClay or

You can also open your own store – available in two options – one Free basic store and fee based Premium Store.

Some More...

Apart from the above, there are several online self-publishing services available. Some of them are, listed randomly (not in any particular order):

If your market is India, then I would suggest you to try out these print-on-demand self-publishing websites.

One is Pothi. has extensive help on formatting and writing your book. It is worth a look, even if you are using other self-publishing services. Bangalore based‘s founding members are Abhaya Agarwal & Jaya Jha are IIT-Kanpur graduates. Book pricing is not very expensive here!

Another place for Indian market is Goa based media company CinnamonTeal, cost effective way to self-publish and print-on-demand services.

What are Your Self-Publishing Experiences?

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    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      6 years ago from Bangalore

      midget38: great to know that you liked my hubpage on self publishing. If you publish your work, please do share the info on these pages.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      I'm very interested in self publishing and this will be an area I'm looking into! Thanks for the info, zanaworld, and I'll be bookmarking this! Thanks for the useful information!

    • profile image

      Kamlesh Chauhan(Gauri) 

      6 years ago

      I am very Lucky that my Book " Across The Seven Seas" Translation of my Hindi Novel" Saat Samundar Paar" ( Kamlesh Chauhan) Now this Novel will be for Publishers Review in Hollywood. People are buying my Hindi and English Novel slowly but surely. My Second book is getting ready to be Published " Deception of Sacred Vows" In Hindi its a Saat Phero Se Dhokha" People wants my book free so I don't give my Book Free. Problem in India is People buying my Novels front en Printers and thos people are not telling em. Its very hard to sell my Hindi Books in India as every one wants books should be in English. But so far my Journey from Novel Writing to Launching is very Interesting.. I know I will get there. Self Publishing is hard to sell but oh Well its better than someone throw your books in the garbage as they think they know better. Your article is the best.. Feeling comes from Heart and Feelings does not know the Grammar and Structure of the Sentences. Feeling speaks as they feel. I have go Reviews in Indian News Papers in India as well in USA... Write me If you are interested to buy my books

    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      6 years ago from Bangalore

      dear recappers delight

      I am glad that you found this hub interesting and informative.

      Pl do explore these sites, and I am sure you will benefit from these if you are to publish any book or your writings...

    • recappers delight profile image

      recappers delight 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting information about writing platforms I have never heard of. I will have to explore some of these.

    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      7 years ago from Bangalore

      Jean Bakua

      You can also write for Kindle. Visit this link for signing up to publish your work in Kindle format.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Yes, next time I would definitely go that route. I considered all kind of things, as I wrote my book about 2 yrs ago. I tried to do it the "old fashioned" way, mailing manucripts to publishers, and finally got tired of waiting and self published. I have to receive my allotment of free books, but I know Xlibris will work with me. But I wouldn't go this route again, as I did have to spend money up front.

    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      7 years ago from Bangalore

      I appreciate all the comments. Nice to see that there are several who wanted to publish their ebook.

      Another good option is to use Amazon's Kindle version. In Amazon you can publish the ebook for Kindle with no cost and you can make good money as the books are sold over the kindle app.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      You are very welcome Johnifernando. I see everyone is on the e-book bandwagon, and that's great. But I don't know if they understand what it takes to get your "book" or writings into a book or manuscript form. Now the real work starts! I will keep you posted. Without help, I would not have had such good advice, or as many options. I see people getting 99 cents for their books and feeling happy, and that's just dumb. There are many choices, and I have a buy back option that makes it more feasible for "real" bookstores to carry my book. I understand I will have to do the footwork, but publishing a book was on my life's to do list, and now I'm seeing it happen!

    • Johnjfernando profile image


      7 years ago

      This is terrific! Your hub is more than enough for many ways to answer the question I posted on 'ebooks and how I hit a wall.' This is not only informative, but is something that helps others who may be stuck. I will add your link to some future articles on books and ebooks as well as the pros and cons of them. Thanks again!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      7 years ago from New Jersey


      Thanks for your informative post. I saw you on another page about e-publishing. I self-published with Xlibris, and they were great to work with. They helped me every step of the way, and now I just got two copies of my book, a soft and hardcover. It will be available in e-book format. It's alot of work to get your book in a manuscript form ready for publishing even after you write it, and I'm unsure if some people realize this, though you do. They are acting like Xlibris is the Devil. My book is on tarot cards, is a very niche topic, and though I have many connections in New Age bookstores and belong to a Metaphysical society, I was not sure of my computer skills. They have vastly improved. I will aim for the e-book audience or try to steer people to Amazon, Barnes and, and they put the book on many sites for me. I could not have done that myself when I began this process last Spring. There are so many decisions to make, we talked for weeks about the cover design. If you do an e-book, you don't have as many options. I still own the rights to the book, so if it does well, or doesn't, I can take it somewhere else. I think AuthorHouse was the worst, they ripped off lots of people. Vanity publishing like that makes you give up your rights to your work. I didn't do that. Xlibris distanced themselves from AH, and the people were, and still are helping me. Thanks for your review, it's one of the more realistic ones I've seen as it also takes more than uploading to have a "real" book. I began this process a few months ago, and am awaiting my free books for my book signing. Best wishes.

    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      7 years ago from Bangalore

      thanks @reynold jay for the comments. There a few more important addition to epublishing. I think, I should add them here or put another hubpage for the same.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Nice outline of how to get started. Well done. I did a HUB a few months back "Kindel and the Carrot" that tells what a tough time I had getting my novels and books out there. RJ

    • J  Rosewater profile image

      J Rosewater 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Publishing books is not the hard part. Publishing has never been as easy as it is now. It's getting people to buy and read your book that is nearly impossible. A hub on marketing a self-published book would be a great thing.

    • zanaworld profile imageAUTHOR

      SA Shameel 

      9 years ago from Bangalore

      thanks RNMSN for your comments. I happy if people get benefited from my article.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      9 years ago from Tucson, Az

      wow this is fantastic!! I just wrote on one, article is awesome!! way to go!


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