10 Things to Know When You Self Publish

Want to self publish? Here are 10 things you might not know.

1. If you’re self publishing ebooks, you’ll generally want to submit a MOBI (for Kindle self publishing) or EPUB file (everyone else) to the bookstores. While you can submit other types of files such as Word docs, they’ll be auto-converted, and the results aren’t always pretty.

2. Ebook covers and print covers are different. The ebook cover is just the front cover. Print book cover files include the back cover, front cover and spine. And the dimensions of the print book cover will be different for every book–they’re calculated based on how many pages there are in your book and the trim size you’ve chosen.

3. If exporting your files for print, you should make sure the images in your book are at least 500kb to 1MB so they aren’t pixellated.

4. When self publishing ebooks, you’ll want to downsize your images: large ebook files can lead to slower downloads and, in some ebookstores, “delivery fees” that cut into your royalties.

5. To make a print book, you need a designed PDF file called an “interior file.” You can hire a book designer to do this manually, or you can use Pressbooks.com to generate your own book files that look as good as if you hired someone. Learn how to format your print book.

6. Depending what stores you’d like your book in, you might not need an ISBN. Learn more about ISBNs.

7. Before you publish your book files, you should test them. Here’s how to test your ebooks.

8. If you use Pressbooks, you should be able to create and self-publish your book for under $100. Here’s what you should expect to pay to self-publish.

9. Distributing your book is (mostly) easy. We’ve compiled some quick and dirty guides to Kindle self publishing, and how to self publish in print and ebookstores.

10. Marketing your book and your brand as an author is an ongoing process. Start with these marketing tips for indie authors.

For more on these and other aspects of self-publishing, download our free ebook, The Pressbooks Guide to Self Publishing, at selfpublishing.pressbooks.com.

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