Join MoneyMagpie today!
Log in or Register.
Feb 24

How to Self Publish a Book as a First Time Author

Reading Time: 5 mins

You have gathered the courage and spent months to put those jumbled thoughts in your mind into coherent words. Now you wish to share them with others. Self-publishing may be the answer to your worries. But where to start, and what does it take to publish a book. We are here to answer all those questions for you.


How Hard Is It to Publish a Book?

First-time writers can find the process arduous and a daunting task. Self-publishing can be even more stressful and challenging. Nevertheless, don’t let the difficulties hinder your trajectory forward. Everyone starts from somewhere, so the key is to remain persistent and keep your chin up even if you fail.

It may help to discuss the process with someone who has experience with publishing, especially self-publishing. You will be able to share your concerns, ask questions, receive helpful advice and make connections with people in the publishing industry.


4 Ways To Publish a Book 

Doing a bit of research before you prepare to publish your book is a good idea. Here are some of the ways to publish a book.


Partner with an Agent

The traditional way of publishing is to partner with a literary agent, who can determine the quality of your book and then takes it to a publisher.

However, this can be difficult for debut authors as the process mostly require connections with an agent, either personally or through a senior author or professor at the university writing program. You can also send a query letter to multiple agents, and they may request the full manuscript if they are interested. Unfortunately, the competition is fierce, and it is difficult to stand out among hundreds of query letters.

The key to connecting with an agent is to craft a compelling query letter, select an appropriate agent, keep track of the queries you sent and most importantly be patient. It can take weeks before you get a reply and after you find an agent, it is important to strike a deal.


Enter a Literary Contest

A shortcut to amassing the attention of agents or even publishers is to participate in literary contests. However, remember that this is a competition, and you must give it your best shot. Polish your book with a good editor and team up with a cover designer to give your book cover a boost.


Self-Publish an eBook

The age of digital self-publishing has become a boon for new writers. There are various online services available to publish your e-book swiftly at little to no cost. The creative freedom coupled with the large fraction of returns from a successful release has made self-publishing a popular publishing method.


Utilize a Book Publishing Service

Utilizing the best of both worlds of self and traditional publishing is a great way to put your book out into the world. Some credible publishers not only allow you the creative freedom and swiftness of self-publishing but also give you the support of strategic advice, cover designs, editing services, printing the book, marketing and more.


Decide Why You Want to Publish a Book

Before we jump into your realm of letters and tales, it is important to question yourself, why you wish to write a book.  Brainstorm the reasons for your wanting to write, and release it to the world, this will ensure your commitment to writing the book. Something that will help you get through the tough times of publishing your work.

There will be many such instances. As a debut author, you will face uncertainty, failures, and disappointment, your determination will be your bane to get you through the storm.



Writing is the most important part of this journey. Committing to planning, process and putting your thoughts into words is no easy feat. After you have passed this huge hurdle, take a breather and congratulate yourself on the accomplishment. Now onto sharing it with the world.


Book Editing

After your manuscript is completed, editing will help you fine-tune and weed out any flaws to deliver a perfect product. There are many editing processes before your final manuscript is ready.

  • Manuscript Critique
  • Comprehensive Edit / Line Edit
  • Copy edit
  • Proofread


Design a Book Cover that Converts

The book design process includes the interior and cover design of the book. The interior design is crucial to ensure readability and maximum comfort for readers depending on the format they prefer to read your book.

On the other hand, book cover designs are supposed to draw your reader’s attention and help your book stand out among the several in the store. A professional can help to guide you, but you know your book better, and your creative input will help bring out the ideal version for the cover.



Book Metadata

It is all the info regarding your books such as the title, price, trim size, book description, review, ISBN, BISAC code and more. This will help booksellers and readers alike to identify and find your book.


Get Feedback Before

All the effort and countless hours that you gave in to your book will be fruitless if it doesn’t make sense to the readers or is written in a way that doesn’t spark interest in them.

Although a professional editor is ideal, beta readers and editing software can also be of great help and save costs.


Format and Upload your Book

The formatting of your book will vary depending on whether the subject is non-fiction or fiction. You can use either free online resources or hire a professional familiar with formatting your book genre.


Self-Publish Your Book/Publishing

Once your book has been crafted by you and then forged through the hands of your editor, it is time to share your book with the world.

You can choose to upload your e-book on an online platform like Kindle or even print your books to make them available at local libraries and bookstores.



With the advent of eCommerce companies like Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, Indigo and Water stones, indie publishers can easily get the same reach as major traditional publishers. As a result, debut authors have no problem reaching out to a global audience.



With the plethora of attention-grabbing titles gracing all genres, it is hard to stand out. Fortunately, there are many ways to grow your audience and persuade them to purchase your book.

A launch team can be a great help to plan the release to hype up the audience. Here are some great tips

  • Use your social media accounts to share book snippets, reviews, fan-arts, character introductions.
  • Send out ARCs (advanced reader’s copies) to create buzz around your book.
  • Plan author events and fan signs to connect with fans, and answer questions regarding the book.


How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

You need to factor in multiple aspects that will add to the expenses of publishing your book. All these may vary depending on the length of your manuscript, genre as well as the following areas:

  • Book editing
  • Interior design
  • Cover design
  • Publishing
  • Printing and shipping
  • Marketing

All of this can get expensive very quickly, as a debut author this can get difficult. You can try alternative ways to generate income or raise crowdfunding campaigns to help pay some of these expenses.


Price Your Book

The general rule of thumb is to price your book between $2.99 and $5.99. At the beginning of the launch period, it should be 99 cents. Then set the price to 2.99 and increase it by $1 per week and check the sales, a sales dip will determine the correct price of your book.


Author Salary

One of the reasons to publish your book is to generate income. So it is natural to be curious about author salaries. The median income of traditionally published authors is around $12,400 based only on book-related activities whereas self-published authors make about $6,080.

On the bright side, with the rapidly-changing publishing landscape,  the incomes of self-published authors have seen an upward trend. With the control over the book, royalties, this is of little surprise.



The self-publishing journey is by no means easy. However, with the correct tools and help, it is possible to get your book out for the world to read.


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Articles

Experian Financial Control

Make Money and Save Money

ideas for everyone
Send this to a friend