For most authors there is the thrill of having your book printed and in your hand. We want to be the next Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, J.K. Rowling or Agatha Christie.
My own personal plans changed when multiple people told me how hard it was to get published. Publishing houses are impossible to get in contact with, you have to have an agent and they are buried in book submissions. Instead I ended up doing volunteer work (starting doing Internet Marketing back in 1997), getting married and now I have three kids.
Then a few years back a friend of mine said, “Can you help me with my eBook marketing?” and I got introduced to the self-publishing and eBook publishing world.
Suddenly, being a published author became something that was much more realistic, and with self-published authors sitting at the top of bestseller lists it no longer seemed such a pipe dream to become the next James Patterson.
However, in all my research and having spent a few years working with dozens of authors, I discovered you still have to do all the steps, and do them well, that a traditional publishing house would have done.
1) Editing – this can be done by several different people doing different steps or by one person. We aren’t just talking about checking your grammar, we are talking about concept, consistency, fluidity, checking for times you throw the reader out of the story, etc.
1a) If non-fiction (though you can do this for fiction too) fact checking must be done on what you say and verify you have okay to use any and all images.
2) Cover Design – whether you are doing a print run or an eBook, the cover sells your book. It must be professional and communicate to a potential reader in the split second you have during their glance.
3) Legal Items – you have to get/buy your own ISBN, LCC Number and do your own Copyright filing.
4) EBook conversion or typesetting – depending on what route you want to take you have to either get the book typeset or the eBook conversion done. I would recommend both!
5) Printing – you need to make some other decisions here; there is print-on-demand, a few possible small print runs or one large print run ahead of time. Whatever you decide to do, you will want to have this rolling as soon as possible, decide size, hard back or paper back, etc.
6) Publishing on your distribution channel – if you go the eBook route your distribution channel is as simple as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and/or the Apple iBookstore. If you are printing, you can still sell through Amazon but this takes more work to sign up and get them copies to ship out.
Now you are published, now you need to drive people to buy the book and that is another several hats.