When my first self-published manuscript returned from an editor's desk carved in violent red ink, I learned one huge lesson: a book simply won’t be publishable without professional author services like editing and design.

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While Amazon's CreateSpace is discontinuing its author services, working directly with self-published authors is the core strength of BookBaby, leveling the playing field with services like editing, cover design, book formatting, and more.

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Publishing a book takes effort, so before you start, do a reality check: Do you have what it takes to make your blog a book?

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Charmisse M. Owens is a first-generation college graduate who self-published "Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started College" with BookBaby.

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The graphic appeal of your book – both the book cover and the pages within – plays a big part in the perception and professionalism of your work.

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