Tag Archives: self-publisher

6 Essential Steps for Self-Publishers


You worked very hard – maybe for years – to write this magnificent book and now you want to publish it, always in the hope to become a bestseller author. Take your time now and do it the professional way, like a traditional publisher. There are several important steps to go, no matter if you create an e-book or a traditional print book.

1. Let it edit, edit and edit some more – by professionals.
2. Find a superb title for your book.
3. Create a brilliant cover image.
4. Write a splendid description for your back cover including blurbs.
5. Hire a professional book designer (or formating service for your e-book)
6. Get lots of reviewers

1. Editing
If you ignore all other advice’s, don’t overlook this one: Hire professional copy AND content editors. Bad editing immediately mark you as an amateur and your book will not be taken seriously.
What you can do yourself before handing them your manuscript, is letting it run through a spell check and through a grammar program, such as  But then leave it to professionals to correct your spelling, grammar and punctuation, to make the writing consistent, which is critical to readers (and reviewers). A content editor will give you feedback beyond writing mechanics that will help you bring the best out of your story.

2. Title
Find a title that matches the content of your book. Titles create expectations. Be sure your readers won’t be disappointed when they start reading your book. Have a look at this funny blog/book with it’s amazing new titles for books: Better Book Titles.
But seriously, this is the one you should use to find a good title:
Read also these tips on Joel Friedlander’s blog:
3. Cover Design
Visit bookstores, your library, or go to the internet and research as many book cover designs as possible. You learn as much from badly designed books as from beautifully designed books.

Avoid centering all the text on your cover or title page, this looks pretty unprofessional. Right or left aligning creates much cleaner lines. Never use more than three different fonts on your cover, to not confuse your reader – this includes bold, italic or underline variations.

View your cover always in stamp-size image – this is the size it will appear on website catalogs. Use bold or complementary colors, but NEVER use a white or a very light background as background colors on online retail sites are almost always white. And white on white… you get it. Use light font on dark background for dramatic effects (novels, spiritual, etc.) and dark on light for easy readability (self-help, how-to, business books).
And don’t forget to design spine (also called dust rag) while you’re at it.  On bookstore shelves your potential customers only see this half-inch of your book before they pull it out to have a closer look at your book.

4. Book Description and Blurbs
Potential readers shopping for books follow an age-old browsing routine. They check out the title, then flip the book over and look at the top of the back cover for a description of what’s inside and also for blurbs (pre-publishing reviews). That’s why it is important to write a crisp, enticing summary for your back cover and to have blurbs from professionals in your field or other writers in your genre. But what to do if you don’t know any?
These days, most authors have websites and contact forms so you can get in touch. If you enjoyed their work, consider sending them a short note to let them know. It does not only make their day, but it can help them sell more books, if you allow them to use your words in their “praise” section. When your manuscript is finished ask them to return your favor. Or if you have another author mentioned in your book, ask him or her to write a short blurb for your work.

Hopefully you have been smart and started marketing and networking long before you finished your book. Now you have enough contacts made who can be helpful with blurbs and reviews.

5. Book Design
Reading e-books is sometimes very irritating. There have often formatting problems and line breaks, or odd symbols appear instead of letters, which interrupt the pure pleasure of reading seamlessly. It is sometimes so annoying for readers that they ask Amazon to refund them – and they will get their money back, which means you as an author loose out as well.
The same is true for print book publishers. As a self-publishing author, you need a layout artist who creates a beautiful and properly designed interior for your book. See what’s involved in book layout:
And the worst 5 mistakes in interior book lay-out here:

6. Reviews
A book review is both a description and an evaluation of a book. Try to get as many blurbs and reviews before your book is even published. You don’t need only 5-star reviews, book reviews are very subjective. But you need lots of reviews. Try to get some of professional reviewers at newspapers and magazines too, to have some literary criticism in which your book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit.(hopefully) rather than on the basis of personal taste…
Never trust family and friends to give accurate feedback about your book. Family and friends don’t want to hurt your feelings; readers and reviewers generally are not as kind.

Using these 6 essential steps in self-publishing will help you to present a professional book to your readers. A book that will command respect and shows you not only as a brilliant author but also as a professional publisher.



If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book heavily promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only a “token” of $1 / day for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help:

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Complete Checklist for Book Proof Reading

Proof-Reading is the last stage in producing your book or e-book for that matter, so spend the time to do it right. Books last a very long time, and so do the typographical and other errors that sneak into them. Take these three steps to make your book as error-free as possible.

Read the entire book. While you are reading, you will be checking for typos and inconsistencies.

  • Is the text complete?
  • Did a paragraph get left out somewhere along the way?
  • Is part of a sentence cut off at the bottom of a page?
  • Are fonts consistently used throughout the book?
  • Good typography uses proper curled quotation marks, not the straight inch marks.
  • Line spacing – Is it consistent in every paragraph throughout the book?

Use this Checklist:

  • Hyphens, ems and ens – Each type of dash has a different use. For instance, numbers or dates in a range are separated by an en dash, not a hyphen.
  • Have someone who hasn’t seen the book before, also read through it. You’ll be surprised how many errors can be uncovered by an observer who’s not directly invested in the work.
  • Look at the Book, ignore the text and instead concentrate on everything else. Here are the things you’ll typically be looking for, and some tips on how to find them.
  • Orphans/widows -Those pesky single lines at the bottom of a page or parts of lines at the top of a page. If you can get rid of them, do so.
  • Running heads need to be consistent and have the proper information, like part titles or chapter titles. It’s easy to make a mistake with these, so check them thoroughly.
  • Chapter openers should also be consistent. Does each chapter start in the same place on the page and contain the same elements in the same order?
  • Folios or page numbers need a look. Blank pages should have nothing on them, and also check that your pagination is accurate with all odd-numbered pages on the right.
  • Page references are another trap. If you are referring to something “in Chapter 3 or “on page 98 is it still there?
  • Paragraph indents ought to be consistent throughout, no matter what style you’re using.
  • Subhead spacing and alignment can be controlled by styles in your software, but you should check them anyway to make sure they are uniform.

Proof the Cover.
The front and back covers of your book are the most important two pages in terms of book sales. Here are elements of your cover to check on the proof:

  • Is the overall design and the colors what you expected?
  • Is your title clearly visible?
  • Is the type on your spine clear and straight?
  • If you included a category and price, are they correct?
  • Don’t forget to carefully proofread the copy on the back cover.
  • Make sure no important elements are too close to the trimmed edges of the book. I recommend you have 0.5 inches minimum around the edges.
  • If you have a barcode, or if you’ve printed the ISBN on the back cover, make sure they match the ISBN on your copyright page.

If you are struggling with these basics, or can’t put your finger on what’s wrong with the whole book package you are presenting, I highly recommend an excellent (FREE!) service provided by the New York Times bestselling (self-)publisher Victorine Lieske.

Together with her regulars she will run the rule over everything – critiquing your presentation through their readers and reviewer eyes, and providing advice on how to remedy whatever issues you may have from the perspective of an extremely successful self-publisher.

Excerpt from

Further Reading:



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How High Can The e-Book Market Go?


Just found on the Internet:

Last year the Publishers Association’s put a figure of £13 Mio on e-book sales at invoiced prices suggesting that the total market – at retail prices – could be somewhere between £20 Mio and £25 Mio: this it said was up 570% on the previous year’s number.  A second way of measuring the size of the e-book market in the UK might be to look at the decline in print book sales.

Were e-book sales in the UK worth £105 Mio in 2011?  This was the figure implied by Hachette UK when it stated last week that its e-book sales of £21  Mio amounted to a 20% share of the UK e-book market.
Read the whole story:

J.A. Konrath talks about the Self-Publishing Movement: Sealed with a Loving Kiss
Self-published writer Joe Konrath has written a love letter to his ex: the publishing industry. It’s entitled Amazon will destroy you, and it is not pleasant reading.
However, Philip Jones comments on his blog:

Do publishers always get it right? Of course not. Are they learning fast? Sure. Publishing has gone from an industry that was 99% print, based on archaic rules and conventions and one serviced by multiple outlets who largely supported what it was about: to one that is at least 20% digital and dominated by one mainly adversarial customer.  And this has happened in an incredibly short period of time, and at a moment when consumer purchasing has been uniquely damaged.  Under these circumstances one might be tempted to give big publishers a break while they adjust and carry on.

What do you think of all this?
My guess is: e-Books will get a bigger market share, but not more than 75%. Beautiful coffee table books will always stay with us. Fiction or non-fiction “How-To” books are perfect for e-Readers.


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A famous Author’s Experience with e-Publishing

Rebecca Forster

Rebecca Forster

I decided to try E-publishing because I had hit a bump in the publishing road. New York was tightening up, I had parted ways with my agent and the project I was working on hadn’t captured an editor’s imagination. So, I published one of my 23 books out of curiosity, boredom, and a niggling idea that if I didn’t I would be missing something big.  Little did I know, I was dipping my toe into a roiling sea that was indie publishing and would soon be drowning in challenges and opportunities.

After publishing all my early work, I ended up with four books on the Kindle legal thriller bestseller list and stayed there. Then I published Before Her Eyes, a novel I believed in but one which  had received conflicting and cool rejections. It was scary, publishing without New York’s stamp of approval.  Multiple five star reviews later I felt sure my creative gut was working just fine..

Read the whole story and lots of marketing tips at Rebecca Forster’s blog:


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