Necessary Tools for Self-Publication

So you’ve written a book. Congratulations! You’re feeling like you’re on the top of the world…. Until you realize that you don’t just want your book to stay in the magical mysterious world of your computer. You want to share your book. You want others to discover you. You want to make a name for yourself.

Let’s say you’ve decided against pursuing publication through a larger company. Maybe it’s in the interest of time that you have made this decision. Or you desired to have more control over your words and editing. Or it could even be due to the fact that you are interested in starting your own business. Whatever the reason, it’s important to consider what tools you will need to bring your dream of having a self-published work to life.

Here are the basic tools you will need, and things you should have access to, if you are going after self-publication for your text:

  • Some sort of word document. This can be Pages, Word, or TextEdit. You can even use Google Docs if you have regular access to Internet. I find that the less complex the program, the better it is for simply writing. I often use very little formatting in my first go. However, documents like Word are great if you are emailing your text to others to help you edit. Then, tracking changes and resolving correction are fairly straightforward.
  • Access to a printer. Most people have printers in their home. If not, you can get pages printed in copy shops. A printer is more important when you are going through the editing process, in case you know of someone who will edit, but does not prefer to do so on a screen. I often print my first draft and write all over it, to make sure I have the best of my ideas captured. 
  • Graphic design capabilities. Don’t panic, this doesn’t mean you have to have these skills. You can just as easily recruit artistic friends or find a designer that you can pay. Why do you need this? Because a book isn’t just text. You need someone who can design a cover, create a logo for your “publishing company” and help you with marketing. Fortunately, some companies that help you self-publish can do the design work for you. 
  • Adobe InDesign. This program is expensive… Over $600. But it is worth an investment because this will help you design and make your book come together in a coherent, authentic look. Especially if you do not intend to get a graphic designer, and want to create your cover all on your lonesome. Or you can pay someone like me to lay out the book for you!
  • Find a printer. A book printer is not a publisher. A printer is a company like 48 Hour Books or other national and international printers who can physically print your book and mail it to you. Research which companies can best meet your needs, and make an informed decision. 

There are self-publishing groups that can take your text and basic design and lay it out and print it, providing additional marketing for you. These will be less involved, but can benefit you if you just want the copies printed and want it to happen all in one fell swoop. It takes the pressure off of you. You just have to be willing to shell out the money for this project! 

Wishing you luck in self-publishing! As a self-publishing consultant, I am happy to answer any questions about the process I experienced. If you are interested in hiring yours truly for help with editing or self-publication, you can find my contact info on my website, www.baillymorse.com 

A very weathered and worn first edition copy of my printed novel, Renegade Ransom

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