How to self-publish your book the right wayA step-by-step plan to successfully send your self-published book into the world

There’s no single RIGHT way to self-publish a book, but there is a wrong way: that’s when an independent author works hard at writing the book, and then hurriedly puts it out there without thinking about how to reach readers until after the fact.

If you want to launch your book with care and you’re willing to put energy into the promotion process so you’ll have the best chance at selling books, establishing an author brand, and building your readership, here’s one possible path towards self-publishing success:  

1. First, finish writing your book.

2. Then hire a professional editor to help you revise and proof your manuscript.

3. Now come up with some jacket copy and a captivating book blurb that will help you sell your book.

4. Consider printing galleys and sending them out to services such as Kirkus Indie for early review.

5. Make sure your book has a great cover, is formatted properly for eBook conversion, and that your printed book has an attractive and reader-friendly design.

6. Put together your basic book promotion materials.

7. Next, print your book and distribute the first 100 copies before your launch date.

8. Publish your eBook for iBooks, Kobo, Kindle, Nook, and many more.

9. Now it’s time to promote your book on an indie budget — with these 20 thrifty ways to get your book out there.

10. Run a Goodreads giveaway.

11. Promote your book with Social Media (especially on Twitter — in less than 10 minutes a day), and be sure to follow these 10 rules.

12. Continue building your author platform as the date of your book launch nears.

13. Plan your own virtual book tour, including stops at various book blogs, publishing industry websites, podcasts, radio shows, and more.

14. Plan an actual book tour.

15. Get more reviews for your book from bloggers, book critics, and more.

16. Explore a few of these free (or mostly free) book launch strategies.

17. Then throw an unforgettable book launch party.

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That’s a lot of steps, I know, and I may’ve even forgotten a few along the way. But with some careful planning, a bit of gusto, and the aid of the internet, you can make the launch of your book a success without the backing of the traditional publishing industry.

BookBaby, of course, would love to partner with you to help make your writing dreams come true — from eBook publishing to printing physical books, to promoting your book, and much more. Check us out at BookBaby.com.

So, what steps did I miss in the outline above? Let me know in the comments section below.

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[Typewriter image from Shutterstock.]

Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 571 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

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