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What is independent publishing and how do you do it?

What is independent publishing and how do you do it?

Here’s the first in a series of posts I plan on to write about publishing and building an author platform.

Independent publishing is where the author does not use an agent or a publishing company. Instead, they take on the role of publisher by managing their book’s production and distribution, often with the help of professional contractors.

Because you often do the majority of the work by yourself, independent publishing is often referred to as “self publishing”.

The difference between independent publishing and self publishing is that as self publisher does everything herself, such as writing, editing and formatting.

But many independent authors don’t do all of the work themselves and instead hire outside help in the form of editors, proofreaders and formatters.

Steps to publication

  1. Write your book, novella or short story.
  2. Revise your manuscript by checking for spelling and grammar errors, consistency and readability.
  3. Find a beta reader – someone who will read your book before publication and give you unbiased feedback on the content and structure of the story. Or you can use a beta reader after editing as I did with my first novel.
  4. Find a professional editor. As you won’t have the support of a publishing company, is important you find an editor or at least someone who will be another set of eyes and check your manuscript for errors. There are different types of editing including copy editing, structural editing and proofreading.
  5. Find a formatter who will format your book for the different platforms you distribute your book on such as Createspace, Kindle and Smashwords. Formatting for e-book and print is different, and can be easy to learn yourself.
  6. Find a professional cover designer. Everyone judges a book by its cover and it’s important to have your book looking good. I wouldn’t recommend designing a cover yourself unless you have knowledge and experience of graphic design. I do highly recommend Ebook Indie Covers for cover design.
  7. Distribute your book on online retailers such as Createspace, Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo, Google Play and Ibooks.
  8. Start marketing your book. There is no right or wrong way of marketing your book and are many different ways of doing so. You just have to find what works best for you. This can be through blogging, social media, podcasting, an email list etc

Check back soon for my next post on the pros and cons of self publishing.


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