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  • Writer's pictureDarby Summers

The Ultimate Roadmap to Self-Publishing

When you’re taking a trip, it’s helpful to have a map to show you how to get to your destination. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a roadmap for your self-publishing journey? Look no further; Next Page has you covered with a Self-Publishing Checklist to help you get your book from written to published!

Whether you’re traditionally publishing or self-publishing, there are lots of steps to releasing a book. One of the perks of traditional publishing is that you get to work with a team of people who have guided authors like you through the publishing process. When you’re self-publishing, not only is that kind of quality hard to find, it can be hard even to know all the steps you need to take. So, we’ve made a checklist to help guide you through the process—and show you where Next Page can help make your publishing journey easier.

Here's a very brief overview of some key points. Download our Self-Publishing Checklist for the full map!

It's Written! Now What?

The first and most important thing you’ll want to do after writing your manuscript is to hire an editor. We cannot stress enough how important a good editor is to a work. In fact, most traditionally published authors recognize the importance of editors by naming their editors specifically in the acknowledgments at the end of their books. When you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your book for years, it can be hard to see little mistakes—and sometimes even glaring plot holes—in your story.

Finding the Right Editor

We have two blogs already on why editors are important and where to find a good editor, but one thing is important enough to bear repeating: editing is not something to skimp on. You want someone who will pore over your work with care and precision, doing multiple editing passes to make sure no errors are missed.

It also can’t be understated how much of a process editing is. First, the more sets of eyes you can have on something (and the more times each of those sets of eyes go through it), the less likely it is that errors sneak through. A good editor will take the time to do it right because they know you are entrusting them to make sure your work is perfect.

How Can I Best Use My Time?

While you wait for edits, use this time to start thinking about marketing. Without a publishing house behind you, the ball is in your court to do all the marketing to help your book sell, so it is never too early to start brainstorming and putting together a plan. Make sure you consider your audience to help you determine which marketing channels to use. You’ll want to be efficient and impactful with whatever marketing means you have available to you.

From the Big Picture to the Details

Once your editing is complete, it’s time to focus on the details and logistics of publishing. This includes (but is not limited to)

  • Designing your cover

  • Writing your back cover blurb, Bio, Acknowledgements, Dedication, Preface, etc.

  • Choosing a self-publishing platform

  • Formatting your manuscript for publishing and eBook distribution

  • Getting an ISBN

  • Setting your listing price

All these bells and whistles will help your book launch go smoothly and give your book credibility for readers.

It’s Ready to be Launched! How Do I Sell My Book?

Congratulations! Take a moment to celebrate, but don’t rest on your laurels. There’s still work to do to get your book to actually sell.

Remember that marketing plan? It’s time to put it into action! Make sure you create “buzz” about your book before the launch date and encourage preorders! It can be helpful to have a website and good social media accounts to promote your book on. Special launch graphics, posters, etc. can be effective for a successful launch.

Your Self-Publishing Checklist

This was just a brief overview of some of the main points in the checklist we’ve compiled. Subscribe to our email list to get a more in-depth look and have a handy one-page checklist for your convenience.

About Next Page

Next Page Editing & Design produces high-quality books that reflect authors' brands, purpose, and impact. We do this through editing, book design, launch support, author branding, and coaching. ​Once we finish our job, you keep your rights to print, sell, and promote your work while retaining 100% of your book's profits. We call this a "no-strings attached" model.

To request an editing or self-publishing quote, click here.


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