How to Self Publish

Now you have a complete and edited manuscript, what next? Now you will need to get it ready for publication.

            There are a few decisions you need to make in this spot. Do you want to have a paperback edition? An electronic edition? Or both? I always recommend both so that you can capture the widest audience possible. Some people only read print books, and some only read electronically.

            The cheapest, and easiest way to publish is They offer all sorts of resources for authors, including print books, kindle editions, and enrolling your book in a program called kindle unlimited. They don’t charge anything unless you want to order copies of your book for yourself. They even provide you with an ISBN number, which is not cheap. Amazon even has a cover creator to help you make the cover. Now it won’t be the most unique cover ever, but you can also have an outside source make your cover for you.

            If you use an outside source to make your cover, I highly suggest going to You may not find your perfect book there, but you will most likely find an artist you like who can custom make one for you! Prices range from $30-$100 depending on what you want. My last custom cover cost me $130, but it was made to my exact unique specifications and the artist did an amazing job! You can also hire a photographer in this place to take a picture for your cover and do the rest of the design yourself. I’ve gone this route as well. My first novel I paid $20 for the simple cover photo. My second I paid $50 for the photo, as it was more complicated. Obviously, it depends on what you need for your book but keep your options opened and shop around!

            If you decide not to go the Amazon route, you will definitely need to pay someone to make the cover for you, as many other self publishing websites do not offer an easy to use creator. If you are artistic, you can also make one yourself using AdobeDesign. The program does nice work, but is difficult to use and expensive. I only suggest this option if you already pay for it’s services. Otherwise, it’s just cheaper and less frustrating to pay someone to do it for you. You will also need to purchase an ISBN number. This will cost you almost $100. You can find the most reputable services at You can also do a Google search and there are many other websites that offer these services. Be careful, and double-check any website before you buy.

            Buying an ISBN sound hard? There is another option (besides Amazon or buying one yourself) and that is publishing your book through a publishing platform. They will do all of the above for you. However, it will cost you some money and often times prices start at $400 or more. A good in between option, which I used to publish my second novel, is Publishing on here won’t be free, but it is inexpensive, and they do walk you through the process. Also, if you want your book to be orderable via Barnes and Noble and other stores, you will need to publish through a company like them. Title set up is $25 for a paperback and $25 for an electronic version. So $50 if you decide to do both. You will also need to buy an ISBN through them (if you haven’t bought one already) for $85. After you go through the process and publish your work, Ingram offers inexpensive advertising services, which can be useful for a new author (more on this in a later post).

            There are also other options here I haven’t mentioned, so shop around, just make sure you always read the small print and know what your final cost will be before you begin the process. Because while publishing a book is easier than ever, it does take time, and it’s very frustrating the start the process on one website then see a price you don’t like!

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Hope E Davis
Hope E Davis

Self published mystery author of two novels with a third on the way. Ghostwriter and blogger as well as a lover of travel. Check out my website

The Road to Becoming a Self-Published Author
The Road to Becoming a Self-Published Author

Ever since I published my first book in 2018, I’ve had numerous people approach me saying all they’ve ever wanted to do is publish a book. My response? Now is the time! Self-publishing has NEVER been easier! I’ve now outlined my journey in this blog.

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