Everyone has a story to tell. Some people have novels inside of them, some have autobiographies, while others want to share their experience in the form of figurative commentaries. Writing, and specifically publishing a book, is a fantastic way to share your story with the world. While I was writing my first book, I learned a lot about the ups and downs of book publishing and I believe that you will experience many of the same things.

Traditionally, in order to publish a book, you needed to find an agent and publisher. A publishing company would pick up a book and pay the author advances and a royalty. They would also help the author edit, design, and sell their book.

For publishing my last children’s book, “The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Prince – Which Fork’s First,” I opted to go a different route. I didn’t follow the traditional path of publication but instead chose to self-publish my book. Like every choice, the option has both its advantages and disadvantages. I learned a lot through my journey to self-publishing, and you will too! Here are some of the skills that I learned during the process.

Writing Demands Dedication

The first step, of course, is to write your book. While this is an obvious step, it can often prove to be the most difficult. It is common to hit the writing block; the wall that doesn’t want to let you through. This is where your dedication will shine through. One of the best ways to put that dedication in action is by setting goals for yourself, like writing three pages every day.

Editing Requires Perseverance

You would be surprised to see how many things you miss on your fourth, sixth, and even tenth time through the editing process. Editing is your chance to proofread and rework your manuscript. Now is your chance to make your book shine. Once you’ve made all the changes you need, find a professional editor to review the book. The second set of eyes can do wonders.

Designing Calls For Self-Awareness

Once your book is completely polished, the next step is to design your book. During this step, it is important to step back and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Would it be more beneficial to tackle your book cover or any illustrations on your own? Should you seek a professional in this field? The design of your book is more than the cover; it is the text formatting, the illustrations, and even the dedication page. If your book has illustrations, now is when you’ll decide where they should be on each page in relation to the text, what style they will embody, what you want to highlight, and more.

How Can You Self-Publish?

There are two ways you can self-publish your new book: as an ebook or in print. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is the easiest online method of publishing and listing your book. If you’re looking for a different option, you can look into a POD (Print on Demand) service. This allows you to upload your book’s files and the printing service will make a copy each time one is purchased. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy prints of your book in bulk.

Marketing Involves Research

Once your book is written, designed, and published, you’re ready to move on to marketing. You’ll need to decide which target audience you’re hoping to reach. Once you research the market, decide what makes you different and sets you apart from the crowd. This will take time and effort but will be so worth it in the end!

Publishing your first book is a roller coaster of a process, full of ups and downs. With perseverance, dedication, and self-awareness you will be able to produce a piece that you are proud of. I hope you’ve been able to learn from my journey!