Self Publishing Checklist–Steps You Must Take to Publish a Book Yourself

Self-Publishing Steps-Self-Publishing Checklist. Abstract steps made of books

Use the Self Publishing Checklist to take the Steps Necessary to Self Publish a Book

Self Publishing Checklist & Book Blueprint

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker

Self Publishing is being touted as free and easy. However, the reality is that self-publishing a book is no small task–even those who have a publishing background. The digital aspect, software issues, and the entire publishing process is often confusing. We have created this basic self-publishing checklist for first time self-publishers. This checklist is for publishing a printed book, not ebooks. If you understand the main processes and the order in which to do them, that makes it much easier.

You might also want to download the Dictionary of Publishing Terms to help you understand  the different phases and aspects of self-publishing without confusion. This self-publishing checklist is chronologically ordered, so be sure the follow the steps in this order. Some of the steps may overlap, and that is expected.

Step #1 of Self-Publishing Checklist Step 1. Write Your Manuscript

Write your manuscript and transfer it into a word document. If you do not know how to type or how to use Word; hire someone on or (for $25-$75) to scan your manuscript into a Word document file. Sign an Intent to Publish Agreement.

Step 2 of Self Publishing Checklist with Publishing SOLO Step 2. Hire a Content Editor

Hire an editor to content edit your manuscript. This process is for CONTENT only. When building a house and choosing walls and floors that is one step. To finish the walls and floors with paint or floor finish is another. Do not confuse content editing with proof reading. This can cause frustration and time lost, if you use the term “editing” and hire someone to edit, when they have a different concept of what editing is. Input the editorial corrections (or have editor do that) in the word document.

Self Publishing Checklist--Step 3 Step 3. Shop for Print on Demand

Select a printer, a “self-publishing company.” Keep in mind this is a misnomer, as you are actually the self-publisher. Open an account. The most economical service in my experience with print on demand, is CreateSpace, which is the print on demand division of Start an account at CreateSpace. Keep your login and password handy.

Steo 4 of the Self Publishing Checklist by Deborah S. NelsonStep 4. Select Book Size, Shape, Colors

Select a standard book size for your book. Create the book cover: Hire a designer to do this–unless you are a book cover designer yourself. It must be in a digital file the size and specifications required by printer. (who often refer to themselves as “self-publishing” companies). Decide, discover, and define the exact file specifications of the cover; and of interior of your book.

Step five of the Self Publishing Checklist. Step 5. Create Interior Layout & Design

Select photographs, images, fonts, and  illustrations for the interior of your book. Be sure that all illustrations or photos are in 300 dpi and have been converted to black and white. Next, if you know InDesign or another publishing software you may create the interior layout file of your book. If you do not have a design software and do not know how to use it; it would be best to hire an interior book designer to prepare the interior file of your book to the printer’s specifications. Find someone through,, or O-Desk. Be sure to hire someone who knows book interior design, or it could turn into a nightmare—seriously.

The Self-Publishing Checklist by Deborah S Nelson of Publishing SOLO Step 6. Design Book Cover

Hire a cover designer or use the cover designer in Createspace to create your book cover. If you want a professional custom cover, look for an experienced book cover designer on O-Desk, E-Lance, or Freelancer, or someone you know locally. The front cover should have a large graphic image; and the title and the subtitle must exactly match the title that will be created when you initiate your title. On the back cover include an author photo and bio, along with a synopsis of the book.

Step 7 of the Self-Publishing Steps to Self-Publishing a Book Step 7. Upload the Digital Files

Upload the cover file and the interior file to the printing company; and submit your interior and cover digital files for review.

Step 8 of Self Publishing Check list by Deborah S Nelson of Pubishing SOLO Step 8. Order a Hard Copy Proof

Once files are approved and proofreading errors corrected, order a hard copy proof of the book. I advise you–DO NOT skip. You cannot see layout and formatting errors easily in the digital file. Prior to publishing, it is key to do a last proofread on a hard copy of book.

Step 9 of The Self-Publishing Checklist by Deborah S Nelson Step 9. Proofread Proof

You are almost ready to publish. At this point, make only small typo corrections. If you make major corrections, it can change the entire spacing and formatting. The time and money required to do so will be disproportionate to the improvement gained.

Step 10 of Self-Publishing ChecklistStep 10. Submit for Final Publication

Correct the errors in the files and resubmit to the printing company for final publication.

.Self Publishing Checklist is Oversimplified

I provided you with this self-publishing checklist as an overview to help you understand the basic process and chronological order of self-publishing a book. This Self-Publishing Checklist is simplified, but gives you an idea of what is required. Creating and publishing a book blueprint is a process that teaches you all these steps by actually doing them. If you need further help, Publishing SOLO offers courses and publishing coaching to lead your dream to publish a book to a reality.

Publish your Book Blueprint by Deborah S Nelson

Have a Dream to Publish a Book—
But Lack the Time or Know-How?

Look no further. This potent detailed DIY publishing guide grants you the time and know-how. Learn how to self-publish a book by doing it! Once you become a published author, friends, family, and peers see you in a new light! This unique system propels both aspiring and seasoned authors through digital publishing step-by-step. You won’t even need a completed manuscript to start!

Those who have completed Ms. Nelson’s Courses are raving fans. See Videos Reviews & Author Library.
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