By now you probably know that I have just published my first coloring book. I'm here to answer a few questions I have been getting about how to self publish a book.
Well first I obviously published a picture book which is very different than a written book. But I think some steps are the same.
Let's say you have an idea for a book and you don't want to go through the hassle on finding an agent or a publisher, what is your other option? Self- publishing. If you are familiar with making books you know that sending your book to a publisher is not easy, all of their guidelines and rules can drive you crazy. And let's not forget that they may take 6 months to get back to you. And if they are interested, the book publishing process takes about an year if you are lucky.
With self publishing you can have a hard copy of your book in your hands in a week! There are lots of perks in being published by a large publisher but it's not the only option out there. I actually looked for a publisher first, but because of my timeframe with the Olympics being around the corner, there was no way for a publisher to print my book in time. So here we are, with a self published coloring book. And I'm very happy with the results.
So how I did it:
Once I did a few examples of the illustrations and figured out what I wanted for the book, I sent to friends and family to get their feedback. You don't want to wait till you have finished your book to get critiques. If you have written a few chapters, send to people so you can fix/ adjust right away.
Then it's time to finish writing or drawing your book. If you don't have to rush it, don't. But don't take years either. Send to people again! Get feedback again and adjust.
If you can get an editor and/or a graphic design do it.
Create the extra pages, the introduction, the resources...
Then you have to choose which service you are going to use to publish your book. I used CreateSpace. There are a few other companies out there like Blurb.
Once you sign up, make sure you read all of their guidelines to format your book properly.
Depending on the size of your book, the margins will be different. Be aware of bleeding margins!
Create the cover yourself or get a graphic designer. You can pay for Createspace to help you with that but I uploaded my own.
Once you have everything formatted, make it into a pdf and upload to Createspace.
You are gonna have to fill out the information for the book like the title and add the ISBN. I think you should buy your own ISBN, so you are free to publish with another publisher if you ever desire to do so. It's about $100. But Createspace offers their ISBN for free.
And then the fun part, proof your book. You can just do it online but I think it's important to check your book in person. Order a physical proof and make sure everything is right. If you have to adjust anything, do it and then order a new physical proof. Until you have the way you want 100%. Once you approve the proof that's it, the book is out there and you can't change it.
Then it's time to advertise! You are not gonna sale books if you don't advertise.
Hope this helps and if you have any questions let me know!