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How To Self-Publish Your Book

How To Self-Publish Your Book

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How To Self-Publish Your Book

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Jan 24, 2017


Do you want to publish an ebook? Do you want to do it right? This book will tell you how.

Written for everyone from the total newbie to the experienced self-publisher who’s looking to add a professional edge to their books, How To Self-Publish Your Book collects a wealth of information and analysis in one compact volume. This book will guide you through the journey of self-publishing, from initially writing your book, through to formatting for publication, uploading for sale, and promoting your ebook.

Discussion of self-publishing isn’t limited to Amazon only, as so many other books like this are. Instead, How To Self-Publish Your Book will help you explore all the major self-publishing platforms and outline the strengths and weakness of each — allowing you to chart your own path to self-publishing success, rather than following a cookie cutter formula that worked for one person. The topics of this book are all designed to give you the tools you need to plan your own career, with guidelines that will help you assess new platforms and new opportunities as they come up.

The topics covered in this book include:
- How to write and edit your book (including when and how to hire a professional editor).
- How to create an attractive book cover (including how to find a professional cover designer).
- How to choose titles, pen names, and the right price for your ebook.
- How to write an effective blurb.
- How to choose effective keywords to help readers discover your ebook.
- How to format your ebook so it publishes perfectly on Amazon, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, Google Play, and more, including step-by-step instructions.
- How and where to self-publish in print and audio.
- How to market and promote your ebook.

This comprehensive manual breaks down each aspect of the self-publishing process for you and provides insider secrets and valuable tips to excel. Co-written by Craig Gibb and John Robin, this volume collects their knowledge and experience from their respective careers working with Indie authors to help you succeed at self-publishing.

Craig Gibb is the author of over seventy titles (under various pen names), many of which have been bestsellers, and is the outreach coordinator for Story Perfect Editing Services. John Robin is the founder and chief editor of Story Perfect Editing Services, and has edited over a hundred books, including working with many bestselling authors.

You could self-publish on your own and and learn from your mistakes until you figure out how to do it right — or you can read this book and do it right the first time.

Jan 24, 2017

Sobre el autor

Craig is the author of over seventy ebooks (under various pen names), many of which have reached bestseller status on Amazon and other sites. He is also the outreach coordinator for Story Perfect Editing.

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Cotizaciones principales

  • The people in my family who read ebooks have no knowledge of what Smashwords or Draft2Digital are — all they know is they buy their ebooks from places like Amazon, Kobo, and iTunes.

  • What I’ve also seen lately from traditional publishers is the inclusion of a short story that takes place in the same world as the novel the reader just read.

  • So, even if you have high downloads of your free title, it doesn’t mean your story has been read that many times.

  • Additionally, vendors like Amazon will reject a book if there are too many links in it, as it looks like spam.

  • My experience as a reader who purchased an ebook with DRM attached to it was a headache.

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How To Self-Publish Your Book - Craig Gibb


How to Self-Publish Your Book

Craig Gibb

with John Robin

Copyright © 2017 by Craig Gibb and John Robin

The authors have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within this book was correct at time of publication. The authors do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from accident, negligence, or any other cause.

For more author resources, and future author self-help books like this one, please visit our website at http://www.storyperfectediting.com.


So you want to publish a book? It seems everyone does, nowadays.

Everyone has a different reason for wanting to write a book. For some people, it’s a lifelong dream. For others, they’ve laid awake at nights with a story unspooling in their head. And for some people, they dream of having a career as a writer, and self-publishing is part of the path to achieving that dream.

Whatever your reasons are, you need to approach self-publishing with care and caution, ensuring you do things correctly. On top of writing a gripping story, you need to worry about editing, cover art, the blurb, metadata, and more. If you think some of these don’t matter, because it’s the story that sells the book, then you’re in for a wake-up call. The bestselling self-published authors, more often than not, don’t necessarily have the greatest story, but they do have a professional product that inspires confidence in their readers.

In this guide, you’ll find a summation of key tips and advice for writing your book, followed by in-depth discussion and instructions on how to format it for self-publishing as an ebook, what steps you need to pay extra attention to, what sales platforms are worth your time (and which ones are not), and how to stand out from the crowd by being a professional.

The simple and harsh truth is that since anyone can publish an ebook, everyone is publishing an ebook. Over my years of being an author and a reader, I’ve seen terrible writing, horrible formatting, lame covers, zero editing, unprofessional authors, and more. Several times, I’ve had authors come to me and ask me to take a look at their work, to see if I can figure out why they’re not selling. More often than not, the answer is they didn’t put the required effort into self-publishing and, as a result, were trying to sell a shoddy product.

By simply taking your work seriously and doing the best you can do, you will already be miles ahead of the competition. And here, in these pages, you’ll find out exactly how to do that. While it won’t guarantee sales — since nothing can guarantee sales — it will help you put together a book and a publishing platform that you can be proud of.

At the end of the day, what matters is that you are proud of what you’ve accomplished. And here’s the good news — it’s not that hard to do. The only requirements are patience, an attention to detail, and willingness to invest time, energy, and a small amount of funds in the professional product that will be a cornerstone of your career. Since you’ve picked up this book, I’m willing to bet you’ve got what it takes.

So, you might wonder, who is this person claiming to give you the best advice on how to self-publish? First of all, I should mention John Robin, who has added his extensive editing expertise to all the writing and editing topics in this book. John has also edited many of my books, and for the past few years, I’ve been the outreach and marketing coordinator at his company, Story Perfect Editing Services. Outside of that, I’m a multi-published author and, recently, the co-founder of a small publishing company. I presently have one story with a major New York publisher, a handful of novellas and stories with small publishers, a number of articles published in small magazines, and I have self-published several short stories, novellas, and novels. All totalled, I presently have over seventy publications, most of which are self-published, and I have over sixty more in various planning stages. I currently publish under three pen names, as well as my real name (this one), and have another two in development for projects in different genres. We’ll get to the issue of pen names later in this book. My genres cover science fiction, thriller, romance, erotica, and non-fiction.

There’s a lot going on in my writing and publishing life, yes, but it’s something I love. Writing is one of my favorite things to do, and publishing is a task I love just as much.

I’ve found, though, in my correspondence with other authors, that self-publishing is often incredibly frustrating. It requires learning the landscape through self-exploration. While I might have loved that, many who I’ve spoken to have told me they wish there was a detailed roadmap to make the process easier — and a lot more fun. And that is what led me to write this book.

So, you’re ready to self-publish?

Let’s get started!


This book is largely focussed on the process of publishing a novel, not so much on the process of writing it. That being said, there are a handful of important topics that I want to address here — topics that a lot of self-published writers either aren’t aware of, or, sadly, don’t care about.

If you want to know more about the actual process of writing, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of books available at your local bookstore or online that will teach you how to write. If I can make one recommendation, it would be to read at least one book by Donald Maass; he’s an agent for bestselling authors and he knows what makes a compelling plot. His advice can easily put you ahead of your competition. Others who have written helpful books on how to improve your writing: James Scott Bell, Steven James, and Noah Lukeman.

On the other hand, though, don’t automatically accept a writing book’s advice as solid gold. The truth is, anyone can write and publish a book, so anyone can give advice to others. It doesn’t mean their advice is good. I once read a how-to-write book for a specific genre, written by a leading author in that genre. It was really bad. The advice boiled down to: Write like me or else your writing will suck. While that’s bad advice to begin with, as everyone has their own style or method, and there’s room in any genre for all types of plots and writers, that advice was made worse by the fact the author is a mediocre writer to begin with.

However, I won’t list which authors or books to avoid because it would be unprofessional to do so. As well, just because I found a book to be a waste of time doesn’t mean you would have the same reaction. That terrible book I mentioned in the paragraph above could be exactly what you needed to get your writing project off the ground.

(On that note, John and I will be writing and releasing a book that explores how to write a book. It will be largely written as this book is written, featuring a balance of opinions and approaches, aimed at helping you navigate your own path on the writing journey. We expect to have this book available in late 2017.)

Another great place to learn about the basics of writing is to connect with a writing group. I attend a small group — only five members currently — and we talk about subjects like starting books, research, and how we plot and outline our books. And when we encounter difficulties with our stories, we bring them to the group so we can workshop them and help each other through the difficult parts. More than anything, a writing group can serve as a source of motivation. I know I write faster and edit harder now that I’m held accountable to the group.

Like with writing advice books, it’s best to use your own judgement when a writing group gives you feedback. If there are five people in your group, you will get four responses to your writing. In a proper writing group, others will identify weaknesses in your writing or plotting and let you figure out how to solve them. In an unhelpful writing group, others will tell you how to fix your writing — and this is unhelpful because they often end up rewriting your pages, which makes it less your book and more their book.

However you decide to work on your writing skills — whether it’s through self-study, a writing group, an evening class at your community college, or some other method — it can be tempting to then jump into the world of self-publishing. It’s an appealing thing to do, especially with the hope of stellar sales, but far too many people put their books up on Amazon before they’re truly ready. Make sure you take the time to create the strongest book possible. It may take longer for you to finish, delaying your Amazon debut, but it will ultimately help you in the long run by showing your readers that you are a professional and you are serious about what you do. They are far more likely to recommend your book to others and then pick up your next book.

With all this in mind, there are a few specific topics I want to address here:

Word Choice, Language, and Style

Anyone can come up with a plot and string words together to tell a story, but to tell it well is considerably more difficult. Each genre has its own style, and the context of your story — if it’s set in the distant past, the distant future, a small urban New York neighborhood, or a sprawling British countryside estate — will determine how you write your story.

Thrillers tend to have straight-to-the-point sentences, especially during action scenes. Romances contain more descriptions of a character’s physical appearance than you would normally find in other genres, as well as often exploring emotions much more deeply. (And there’s a difference between how men and women typically describe physical appearance — so if you’re a man wanting to break into the romance market under a female pen name, be sure to study how characters are described by other female authors.) Science fiction and fantasy can get away with words in alien languages or with story elements that are fantastical because there’s a suspension of disbelief that readers hold when reading these genres. Literature often explores theme much more intimately than a genre fiction book. These are just a few of the many considerations surrounding language that a writer has to account for when beginning a project.

However, despite what the characters in your world should know and despite how they would normally talk, at the end of the day, your book has to be accessible to your reader. For example, that science fiction book might have alien languages in it, but you don’t want to overdo the usage of the language or create alien character names that are truly unpronounceable, as it makes it hard for a reader to get into the story. In a thriller or crime novel, where the characters would know intimate details on a wide range of weaponry, you don’t want to bore the reader with minutiae that they can’t make sense of. I’m a big fan of thriller books, especially those by James Rollins. The characters in this genre often know a lot about guns and explosives. However, in the case of James Rollins, the novel references weapons by their proper names, but gives few details beyond that — it’s enough detail that Rollins can show he knows what he’s talking about and the characters are competent with weapons, but not so much that the reader has to turn to Wikipedia to understand the differences between two types of guns.

Accents are often problematic when it comes to writing realistic characters. Many accents are very difficult to read. I’m a closet Star Trek fan — well, maybe not so closeted as anyone who enters my home would see my collection of Star Trek memorabilia — and I read most of their books. We all know the character of Scotty from the original series, who speaks with a Scottish accent. In the books, authors typically tone down the accent quite a bit, choosing to instead show the accent through careful word choice — like using the word lass — or through judicious use of accented dialogue. Usually, no more than one or two words in a section of dialogue read as if they’re spoken in a Scottish accent. It’s enough to remind us of his accent, so that in our heads, we read it in that accent, but not enough to create problems for the reader. Every once in a while, a Star Trek author will try to authentically recreate Scotty’s accent. The end result is a sentence that’s so convoluted, the reader has to spend time translating it into unaccented dialogue in their head to understand

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  • (5/5)
    This is a no nonsense and easy to follow guide that will give you insights into prepping your ms. and how and where to publish it. It is thoughtful and concise. I felt I got a wealth of info from this. Thank you to the authors.