Last year and again last month, I self-published collections of poetry called You, Me & Wine and Read This When I’m Gone. Now that the shameless self-promo is out of the way, I’ve been asked a lot about the procedure and I thought I’d shortly lay out my tips for self-publishing.
You’re eager to self-publish.
I don’t blame you, the concept is very exciting and it’s an amazing feeling to see your work in print. But you need to finish the book first. Don’t get caught up with cover arts or page sizing just yet. And make it one you’re proud of before you even think about publishing.
The software I really recommend is Scrivener. Since they’ve changed their interface, I’ve fallen in love with it and bought the full version (no subscription, which I definitely prefer). It’s got loads of amazing features which you can read about here. Of course, you can always write on your usual writing software.
You’ve finished the book.
Great! Now to formatting – organizing each page, adding page numbers, choosing fonts. If you feel like you’d prefer professional help, I’m sure there are loads of people online who, if you’re willing to pay, will assemble your book to a professional standard. I did this myself but it’s because, for the anthologies, I preferred having no page numbers at all. And I figured the rest out myself. If you are competent with design, too, I recommend BookWright.
What about the cover?
Your cover is one of the most important aspects of your book and if you’re not familiar with any design, the design you come up with might look very appealing to you but it might be different for the readers who know nothing about your story yet. You’re either an illustrator yourself, or you have an illustrator do it for you. However, you can also find some pictures to use on Unsplash. There’s also a ton of cover artists online.