Publish a book in 2012

I’m a traditionally published author. I have 11 books published with folks like Zondervan and Harvest House, with another coming in February entitled Beautiful Battle.

I used to have a strong bias against self published books, particularly because they cost the author so much to produce in the first place and often they lacked good editorial input and had awful covers.

But now I think differently. Why? Because publishing has changed. And if you have the ability to form an audience, you can publish a book for very little money. If you’ve been thinking about publishing a book yourself, here are five things you need to have in place.

  1. A well written book. Be sure you hire an outside editor to look at your manuscript.
  2. That same book in the proper format. If you are epublishing you have to have the book in very specific formats, and if you do print on demand through CreateSpace, you also need the book in a perfectly formatted PDF. I use Believers Press to do all this for me.
  3. An audience or a presence on the web or a tribe to sell your book to.
  4. A professionally designed book cover. I use Tekeme Studios to design most of my covers, and since I’m graphically inclined, I’ve created a few of my own as well.
  5. A simple knowledge of the process (which I’ll show you below).

When I first put my toe in the water of self publishing, I started with the Kindle and Nook. I couldn’t find a tutorial about how to walk through the process, so I chronicled my process in a post entitled Publish Your Ebook in 7 Simple Steps. Once you learn how to do this (and it’s really not complicated), your next upload will be easier. The way you make money in this process is through volume. And if you price your book between $2.99 and $9.99 you get a 75% royalty.

After I mastered ebook uploading, I decided it was time to figure out CreateSpace, Amazon’s print on demand service. Although the ease of ebooks keeps me uploading them, there are times when you simply want to hold a book.

If you’re interested in a step by step tutorial on how to upload your book to CreateSpace, click here. If you’ve done your homework (already formatted the book in PDF and have a stunning cover), the process should take less than two hours. After you’ve completed the uploading, you can order a proof of the book for about $6. That’s all the outlay! Really!

What’s really fun is that you get to hold your book. My 11 Secrets book had only been in cyberprint. I hadn’t yet held it! So imagine my joy, when I did. Here’s a picture of what the proof looked like. Once you approve the proof, it ends up on the Amazon store. Here’s 11 Secrets in paperback form just to prove it. 🙂

A side note: What’s cool about CreateSpace is the gift giving potential. How many of you have friends or relatives who have written their life stories but not had them published? Wouldn’t it be an amazing gift to upload their blogs or stories to a book and present them with THEIR book for Christmas?