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Publishing A Book Yourself - How It's Done
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Publishing a book yourself is a remarkably simple process nowadays. You definitely don't need to send your manuscript to dozens of publishing houses in the hope that they will accept your work. And you don't need to pay a vanity publishing house an arm and a leg for them to publish the book for you.
1. Set up an account
If your new book is to follow the trend of being published as an eBook then Amazon should be your first port of call.
They have a Kindle publishing system and signing up is very straightforward. It takes a bit longer than creating something like a Facebook account but that's only because Amazon are likely to send you money so you need to let them have details of where to send the checks to, that kind of thing.
If you want to actually touch your book and hold it in your hands then you will also need to set up an account to handle this. Once again, Amazon are the first choice, this time with their CreateSpace subsidiary. When you use this to publish your book they will handle everything from start to finish, including posting it to your customers.
2. Proof read your new book
Run your new book through your word processor's grammar and spelling checker. This will spot any glaring errors that need to be corrected but isn't a substitute for the next part of this process, actual proof reading.
If you haven't already done so, proof read your book.
Ideally, print it out and read it out loud, tracing your finger along the words to make sure that you don't skip any. This will throw up anything that doesn't make sense or needs correcting before you go to the final stage.
3. Format your book
If you've already got your book in your word processor, I'd suggest that you make two copies. One of these should be backed up away from your computer, just in case your hard drive dies.
One of the copies should be formatted for the electronic marketplace.
This means that you shouldn't use page numbers as they have no relevance for electronic books for places like the Kindle.
You should also keep your formatting neat and tidy. Remove bullet points and tabs - they don't translate at all well when they end up in an ebook.
Your table of contents should be linked - you can use the automatic option in your word processor, just remember to tell it to ignore page numbering. Check your table of contents in case you've inadvertently set something like a picture to be heading or title format.
The second copy should be formatted for print. You have a lot more options available for this, including page numbers and maybe even the title of the book at the top of each page. You can also bring back those fancy bullet points and other formatting options.
Once you're happy with the formatting for the printed version of your book, you need to export it in PDF format ready to upload.
Once you're happy with the formatting, upload each version of your book to the relevant website and use the online preview for a final check that all has gone to plan.
Order a printed version from the print on demand site so that you can do an extra check as well as show off your brand new book to anyone who'll listen!
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