17 tips about - Self publishing your first book
1. Have you written your book?
First you need to write the manuscript to be published.
2. Have you had your book proofread?
You cannot spot your own mistakes and printers will not look for them for you. Give your book to someone with good english to check over your book for mistakes and give you feedback.
3. Have you made all final revisions to your book?
Make sure all changes have been made and you are happy with the final version.
4. Have you decided a name for your publishing company?
Even if you self-publish, you should have a name for your publishing company, especially if you want an ISBN number for your book.
5. Have you had your book designed?
Book design does not mean illustration, even if you have no illustrations, the pages of the books should be designed and prepared ready for print.
6. Have you designed the cover?
Make sure the cover is designed appropriately and remember to leave a space for a barcode/ISBN number.
7. Have you purchased an ISBN number.
Although this is not mandatory, it will help substantially when marketing and selling books. You have to buy several ISBN numbers in blocks at a time from an ISBN authority local to your country/region in the world
8. Have you converted your ISBN number into a barcode?
This can be done in many ways, some printers may do this for you at a cost/free, you can also do it yourself with software or using free tools available online.
9. Have you updated all details on the ISBN database?
Make sure you make use of the online tools to enter as much information as possible for your book including author names, illustrator names, price, release dates.
10. Have you found a printer?
Choosing a printer for your books is not a simple task. Shop around and consider using printers abroad. You will need to decide if you want to print books in small quantities on demand (at a higher cost) or to print in bulk for a much lower cost per book.
11. Have you found out all requirements for print?
Ask the printers how you need to supply the artwork for your book, if it requires a bleed, how the pages should be laid out, how the cover should be provided, if there is a spine, how much extra space is required. How large a margin is required for the inside gutter for pages etc.
12. Have you seen a proof?
A proof is a sample print of the book. Make sure you see one, even if it costs more money, a proof can help you fix important mistakes that you missed the first time, and also to get an idea of the quality of print, weight of the paper and size of the book.
13. Have you arranged storage for your books?
If you buy in bulk, you will need a lot of space to store your books until they sell. Consider what will be the best option for this.
14. Have you arranged delivery / collection?
If you are importing from abroad, you will have to pay some taxes and bills from customs, You will also have to either pay for delivery to your warehouse or arrange to collect the goods yourself.
15. Have you checked government requirements?
You may need to apply for a licence/permission or a different tax status to import goods from abroad. Arrange these applications as soon as possible. You may be contacted about this automatically when the time comes.
16. (UK) Have you sent a copy to the British library?
In the UK you must send a copy of any newly published books to the British Library for their records, do not delay this.
17. Have you considered a distributor?
Consider using a distributor for your books, it can cost you a large chunk of your profits, but they will do a lot of work to market and sell your book to shops and chains.
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