How to Self-Publish a Book

We here at TVWriter™ understand that writing is writing, regardless of the medium, and that many, if not most, of our visitors aren’t just looking to make it as television writers but also to make it as writers, period. So we mightily glad we found this article for all you little book novelists out there.

(No, we’re not making fun of you in any way. We’re referencing Sly Stallone’s acceptance speech when he won the Best Screenplay Oscar for the original ROCKY film and dedicated it to “All you little Rockys out there!” Of course, he probably was mocking aspirants everywhere, but that was him and this is…us, know what we mean?) Anyway:

sortofapublishingpicby Ian Lamont

Twenty years ago, if you were a new author interested in getting your book published, you had to shop it around with publishers and hope that someone, eventually, might not reject you. But nowadays you can choose to self-publish anything you’d like. Here’s how.

In the old dynamic of getting your book in print, authors basically had three options:

  • Send a manuscript to publishers. If you were lucky, an editor at one of the big publishing houses would have plucked it from the so-called “slush pile” of unsolicited manuscripts. Your publishing contract may have included an “advance,” a sum of money that will be paid back with royalties earned from the sale of your book. The royalty rate? About 8-10% for mass market paperbacks.
  • Commission an agent to shop around your manuscript. A good agent would be able to get your book in front of the right people at the right publishing houses (for a price).
  • Have a vanity press handle publishing. You would send in your manuscript, and pay a large fee to get several hundred copies published. It would be up to you to sell them… or give them away.

That was then, this is now. The rise of tablets and the launch of self-publishing platforms have made it possible for anyone to release their own book to the world, without going through the traditional gatekeepers or costly vanity presses.

However, it’s still easy to get burned with self publishing. I learned some of the pitfalls, ripoffs and mistakes the hard way, when I began publishing the In 30 Minutes series of how-to guides in 2012. Since then, I have started a small publishing company and have heard from lots of newbie authors who are unsure about how to get started.

Whether you have a fiction masterpiece, a biography, nonfiction work or children’s book, these pointers will help you navigate the brave new world of self-publishing.

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