How to Publish a Book at Home Online

How to Publish a Book at Home (Video)

By Deborah S. Nelson

How to Publish a Book at HomeOnce upon a time, it was nearly impossible for an ordinary person to publish a book. You couldn’t just publish one book, and required a publishing company to invest the money required to print thousands of books at a time.

Then, in the 21st Century along came digital printing. What is digital printing? It is the ability to print a book from a digital file prepared to certain specifications that result in one printed book. This article will teach you the basics of how to publish a book at home.

No longer does a publisher (or author) need to print 10, 000 copies to make one book marketable and affordable. When you “publish” your file to an online printer, this printer prints books ordered daily all at once, cuts them, assembles them, and ships them out just a few days later to people ordering books!  Simply amazing.

Publish a Book at Home with Print on Demand

Using print on demand you can literally print a book at home from your computer. The way that you do this, is to prepare 2 files–one file is the interior of the book itself in the exact size and specifications required by the printing company. The other file is the 4-color layout of the front and back cover of the book. This file must be created in the exact size, with correct margins, and include a box in the right spot on the back cover for the ISBN number. The 2-minute video below gives an overview of what digital printing is in contrast to offset printing. Next apply for a print on demand account such as CreateSpace, and upload the two files to their server. You will wait for their approval of the files for printing.

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 Preparing the Digital Files for the Print on Demand Company

Even though it seems like a miracle, getting to the digital publishing finishing line requires some know-how, planning, and strategic timing. Publishing a book from home, can be done, but you might need to hire some pieces done by graphic artists. Unless you are a trained graphic artist and own high-end publishing software such as InDesign or Quark Xpress, you might find it difficult, frustrating, time consuming, and downright impossible to get the files properly prepared for printing. I have been in the printing and publishing industry for decades, and after publishing and helping people publish nearly 100 books, I can tell you that it is not easy, even for those of us who work in the industry. I recommend going to e-lance or free-lance or 99 designs to hire someone to prepare the file to the printing company’s specifications. After your files are prepared, and accepted for printing, order a hard copy proof of the book for final proofreading.

How to Handle Designers

Most likely you will hire a designer to prepare the interior of the book. Learning how to publish a book at home has many steps but an important step is to hire specific designers for each task. To get the very best outcome from the designer I suggest the following:

  1. Once you have selected a self-publishing company, make a decision on the size of your book, and estimate the number of pages. You will download a template from the printer (self-publishing company) or specifications for the interior layout of the book. Include these exact dimensions in the job description, along with the file type that is required. Usually this is  a PDF at 300 DPI.
  2. Write your description for the look, feel, tone of how you want to interior of the book to look. If you have already selected a font, and illustrations include those in the description. Let them know that all illustrations and the layout in general has to be 300 DPI print quality.
  3. Put your description for the interior design on one of the freelance services or put it out for quote in your local market, if you know graphic artists, but be sure you are dealing with someone who has done the interior of a book before. If they have not done a book interior, you will most like encoumter many glitches in the submission process.
  4. Use a style manual (The Chicago Manual of Style, or the Book Blueprint) to be sure the front matter, body of the book, and back matter are properly ordered and properly numbered. These page numbers must be correct or the printer will reject the file for printing.
  5. Determine the size of the cover, and hire a cover designer. Include an author photo, bio, and synopsis for the back cover of the book. Include the title, subtitle, and author name for the front of the book. These must match the title page in the interior of the book exactly and the title and subtitle of the title information submitted for publishing. If they do not match, the printer will reject the files for printing, until all matches up.

Home Based Author

You may have never heard of them, but with print on demand many writers have learned how to publish a book from home, and are making a part-time or full-time living. Amanda Hocking, a successful self-published author,  is an example of someone who has reached the million dollar mark with her romance novels. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get through it, being an author and working from home is an exhilarating life style. If you would like to learn more, the next step is to read my Self-Publishing Checklist.

Publish your Book Blueprint by Deborah S Nelson

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Includes downloadable template
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10 steps to print on demand publishing
Displays book parts in chronological order
Publish your book blueprint proof in a week

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Hmmm … I am not quite ready—just send me the Free Self-Publishing Toolkit

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About Deborah S. Nelson

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