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How To Self Publish A Book – The Ultimate Guide

How to self publish a book

Self publishing a book has never been a more attractive option for business owners looking to grow their bottom line, and individuals looking to achieve financial independence.

In this guide I will walk you through step by step the process to successfully self publishing a book that I have used to help publish hundreds of other books.

Why self publish?

Publishing a book is an attractive option for a number of reasons:

  1. Publishing a book establishes you as an authority in your niche.
  2. A book has global reach.
  3. Being a published author gives you a competitive advantage.
  4. It helps you stand out amongst the ‘digital overload’ people experience everywhere they go.
  5. It is incredibly effective when used with a targeted promotion campaign.
  6. The barriers to entry are lower than they ever have been
  7. We are in the age of publishing 3.0 with many talented publishers, designers and marketers selling their services freelance at small business prices.

What’s your why?

The first thing you need to figure out is, why do you wan’t to self publish?

What is your objective?

Here are some common reasons for self publishing a book:

  1. Establishing yourself as an authority expert in your field.
  2. To give yourself a competitive advantage and stand out from other businesses.
  3. To raise awareness of your business.
  4. To generate more leads or revenue for your business.
  5. To demonstrate your thought leadership.
  6. To make a living as a full time writer.
  7. To land speaking engagements and build a career as a speaker.
  8. To prove to yourself how much you know.

Once you have figured out your why you can focus on the rest.

Just write

How long do you think it takes to write a book?

1 week? 1 month? 1 year? 10 years?

The simple answer is, it’s up to you.

A typical book is between 20,000 to 80,000 words long.

Let’s do some simple math.

If you write 500 words a day 7 days a week you can write your first book in 1.5 months

If you can average 1500 words a day 7 days a week then you can write your first book in 2 weeks

It might seem like a lot, but it isn’t.

Writing is a lot like a muscle. It hurts the first few times you do it, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

If you write every day, you grow that writing muscle and it becomes faster and more efficient.

Titles sell books

Have you ever bought a book with a lousy title?

I didn’t think so.

Coming up with a catchy title is one of the most important parts of the self publishing process.

Making sure it’s a catchy and relevant title is even harder, because you don’t want to oversell your book with a clickbaity title then not deliver the goods or you may risk bad reviews if the content doesn’t live up to the hype, or if the title is disingenuous.

Take the time to brainstorm and research title ideas, then run them by your editor and a small group of close friends.

Take a look at these Amazon business best sellers.

How to self publish a book

Best selling titles in action

Have you heard of Tim Ferris?

Tim wrote the 4-Hour Work Week.

Have you ever heard of a  catchier title?

Tim’s book got untold people interested in being self employed and building their dream life.

4 Hour Work Week

Not only is the title catchy but it’s congruent with the content in the book.

Which means it’s not just clickbait.

Covers make people read the title

Having a catchy title is one thing, but if the front cover is poorly designed, will your readers even get to the title?

The cover of your book is what catches peoples eye and highlights that title you spent so long creating.

What makes a killer cover?

Let’s take a look at the Amazon Best Selling Business Book’s section again.

How to self publish a book

Which books catch your eye?

For me the books that stand out are:

Start With Why

The Intelligent Investor

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

These books stand out for me because the title is crystal clear and catches my eye.

I can easily figure out what the book is about because the design of the cover highlights the title and makes it super easy to read.

Let’s look a bit closer and break down why these designs work:

  1. The title is big, bold and easy to read
  2. The covers either use white space and coloured text, or a bright background and contrasting text

One thing you’ll learn about design is that less is more.

Why do you think Apple are so successful? Because they understand less is more better than anybody.

Stripe away all the junk and focus on making your product beautiful and simple.

How to create a cover

There are some pretty good free tools out there if you want to take the DIY approach, for example Canva comes well recommended or you could look for a freelancer on

How to self publish a book

However as James Altrucher (best selling investor and self published author) advises, publishing 3.0 is the route to take if you want your book to make you money:

“Where you can self-publish better, more successfully, better edited, better designed, better marketed, and make more money than if you go any other route. The reason this is possible only now is because for the first time, the best editors, designers, marketers are no longer working at the big publishing houses. Instead, they are striking out on their own and independently charging for their services. The demand is there. This route is more expensive than “publishing 2.0” but is much more lucrative.”

If you want a good cover, hire a self publisher or a designer.

Edit it, edit it more, then edit those edits

A good editor could be the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad (quite literally).

Listen to this from James Altrucher on his best seller:

“Nils and I went back and forth on more than 15 different rewrites for my book. The difference between the original version and the final version is like the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.”

The quality of your editing ultimately determines the quality of your book.

Look at the best selling authors out there.

All of them had high quality editors to help them hone, refine and polish their books.

Build a platform

Building a platform your book is how you sell your book.

A platform allows you to build a list of customers and future customers who you can market and promote your book to.

You could even start building your platform before you write a line of your book.

If you were really clever you could take a learn startup approach and generate hype for your book without picking up a pen. Of course, you’d have to be marketing savvy.

Promote your book

It won’t matter if your book is amazing is no one hears about it.

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