How to Write & Self Publish a Book — The Ultimate Guide

Writing and Self Publishing a book isn’t hard. In fact, it’s too easy, and that’s what trips most people up.

Write some words, format it correctly, throw it on KDP, and you have a published book.

The hard part’s doing it right.

Quick Links

In this extensive post, we’re going to self publish a book the right way. That means giving your book the best chance for success.

No single blog post can walk you through the entire self-publishing process from start to finished without getting too big for its britches.

Instead, this is a collection of some of the best resources I can find, as well as many of my own writing, editing, and publishing posts.

The best way to use this page is to bookmark it and come back again and again, moving from one point to the next as you get your work closer to publication.

Are you ready? Great, let’s go.

On Planning/Outlining

Planning & Outlining

Before you write your book, you need to plan it out. If you’re not a planner you should consider it, or at least learn the planning methods. Studying other writer’s methods is invaluable, even if they don’t align with yours.

How to write a novel from start to finish

This post covers outlining and character development as well as the nuts and bolts of how to polish as you go and how to outline in such a way that you still have the freedom to let the story take you where it wants to go.

Find Inspiration, Generate Ideas, & the Myth of the Perfect Concept

Sometimes we authors need a kick in the pants in the inspiration department. If you’re having a hard time generating the perfect concept for your next book, don’t worry cause the perfect concept doesn’t exist. In this post we’ll find something better, processes you can incorporate into your everyday life to always be inspired.

How to conquer writer’s block — Fuel the passion, motivation, and techniques to keep writing to the bitter end

Everyone gets hit by the writer’s block demon at some point. It’s an awful place to be. While there’s no sure-fire way to stop writer’s block in its tracks, there are some habits you can develop that will help you prevent writer’s block before it sinks its teeth in you.

Finding the Novel Outlining Process that Works for You

There’s nothing more nebulous than trying to produce a decent outline for your novel.

With dozens of outlining methods to choose from, all of which seem to work well for some writers but not for others, defining the outlining process that works best for you and your stories can be more than a little intimidating. How much detail do you need to include? Is outlining really necessary? Isn’t there a better way?

Writers, it’s time to cut through the chaos and get down to business. Let’s find the outlining method that works best for each of us in today’s breakdown!

Well Storied
Hey Writers! Checkout this awesome mega-post with all kinds of #publishing resources, from writing & editing to the best publishing books out now. Click To Tweet

On Writing

Writing

Writing the best book you can is your first goal when it comes to self-publishing your book. But writing well isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Below are several resources on writing and even a writing playlist recommendation.

How to become a better writer — Harness the power of The Critique Feedback Loop

Do you need a way to become a better writer very quickly? I found a method that helped me level up my writing skills in a few short months. The change was so drastic, I had to share my method with the world in this post.

41 Questions to improve your writing and critiquing

How can you improve your writing skills without guidance? It’s probably not possible. That’s why I gathered this list of questions to help me focus on areas I want to improve upon. Just pick one question for a day or two, focus on that, then move on to the next.

The Difference Between Good Writers & Bad Writers

The difference between good writers and bad writers has little to do with skill. It has to do with perseverance. Bad writers quit. Good writers keep going. That’s all there is to it.

Goins, Writer

Critique: 10 Ways to Write Excellent Dialogue

For many people, dialogue is the heartbeat of fiction. As arguably the only true form of “showing” in written fiction, it offers an inexhaustible source of energy for dramatizing characters, catalyzing conflict, and enhancing every available opportunity for entertainment. That’s why it’s so important to take full of advantage of dialogue, and that’s why we’re going to be taking a look at ten ways to write excellent dialogue.

Helping Writers Become Authors

42 hours of great writing music

Some music somehow guides me into the mindset of writing. Music can create this flow state in me where words come easier. Here’s a 42 playlist I created with the intention of keeping me in this frame of mind for hours. I hope you enjoy it.

I discovered this publishing post with great resources on improving your #writing. Check it out. Click To Tweet

On Editing

Editing

You’ve written your novel and now you want to make it shine. Welcome to the editing phase. For me, editing takes about 150% as much time as drafting. So if a book took me a year to write, it’ll probably take me a year and a half to edit. So read up and dive in, the editing process awaits.

Find An Editor

The services below will make the process of finding an editor pretty simple. All editors have been vetted and some of the services even offer money-back guarantee.

A quick guide to the different types of editing — From content & line editors to beta readers & more.

There’s a lot to wrap your head around in the world of editors and beta readers. It can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I wrote this overview which summarizes the different kinds of editors you might run into in your writing career, and what each does.

Self-Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book

For a brief moment after completing a first draft, writers sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, post a self-congratulatory humblebrag about finishing our manuscript, and then immediately think about that one character whose arc we forgot to complete, or that we’re pretty sure we overused the word “that,” or that those squiggly red lines scattered throughout our manuscript are surely incorrect.

In other words, the joys of #amwriting give way to the trials of #amediting.

The Write Life

6 Ways to Find the Right Editor for Your Book

[…] once you’ve got your book written, there’s at least one more step in the process…editing. And it’s something a lot of writers dread. Sound familiar?

Make a Living Writing

A complete guide to beta reading

Beta reading is one of the most valuable ways for me to get feedback on writing projects. It comes earlier in the process than editing, and get this, it’s free! Running a great beta read doesn’t need to be hard or confusing. With a little planning, it can be simple, rewarding, and fun!

This is a great colection of posts on writing, editing, and publishing! Check it out 🙂 Click To Tweet

On Publishing

Self Publishing

Whew! We got through the hard parts. We’ve written and edited a book we’re proud of. We’re on the home stretch. Pretty soon we’ll have a published novel in our hands that we can be proud of. Let’s dive into what it takes to self publish a book of your own.

5 steps to a great book title for your niche

Before you publish, you might want to revisit your title. This post dives into a research-based method of coming up with a title that fits your book’s genre and, hopefully, will empower you to jump to the top of the bestsellers lists.

How To Self-Publish An Ebook

In this article, [Joanna Pen] go through why self-publishing an ebook is a good idea, how to format an ebook for publication, exclusivity vs going wide on multiple platforms, the specific sites available for self-publishing ebooks and what information you need, thoughts on pricing, and piracy.

The Creative Penn

The Best Writing & Publishing Books

Books

No blog post can cover everything when it comes to publishing. Turns out, no single book is perfect at it either. So read a lot of posts and a lot of books, and hopefully, you’ll discover that secret sauce.

Below are a bunch of recommended books for all stages of the writing process. Hopefully, you’ll find one that’ll inform the stage your at right now.

So many writing and publishing books to read. Need a suggestion for what to read next? Checkout out this post that lists some of the best books on #writing, #publishing, and #marketing. Click To Tweet

Books on writing

Books on publishing

  • The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut & David Henry Sterry [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean M. Platt & Johnny Truant [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing by Rachelle Gardner [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran [Amazon | Goodreads]
  • 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book by Mike Kowis [Amazon | Goodreads]

Books on marketing

Recommended Tools

Tools, Apps, Resources

You can write a book with just a pen and some paper. But the process is a whole hell of a lot easier if you have some good tools. This section shares links to some of the best tools available for writing and publishing.

Ever wonder what publishing tools you're missing out on? This post has at least one you're missing out on. Click To Tweet
  • Scrivener. The best book writing software out there.
  • Vellum for formatting your book.
  • WordPress for your website, the home base of all your online marketing efforts.
  • Google Docs. I use Google Docs for beta reads, keeping track of resources, and creating signup forms. An awesome powerhouse, and it’s free.
  • Evernote for all your note-taking needs. I hear it’s great for collaboration too.
  • Write or Die for those of you who need a little kick in the pants to stay motivated.
  • Hemmingway. Looks at your sentences and lets you know which ones need improving. Great for blogs, not sure how I feel about it for novel writing though.
  • Grammarly. I run everything through grammarly before I hand it off to anyone to read, be it beta readers or editors.

The Best Writing & Publishing Blogs

Writing & Publishing Blogs

There are so many great writing and publishing blogs out there, it’s difficult to list them all. Below is a solid list of some of the best blogs out there in no particular order.

In search of a new blog on writing and publishing? This post lists 16 of the best out there! Click To Tweet
  1. The Write Life
  2. Writer’s Digest
  3. Write to Done
  4. The Write Practice
  5. Count Blogula by Jenna Moreci
  6. The Creative Penn
  7. Terribleminds by Chuck Wendig
  8. Daily Writing Tips
  9. Better Novel Project
  10. Well-Storied
  11. Shayla Raquel
  12. Goins, Writer
  13. The Write Practice
  14. Make a Living Writing
  15. Helping Writers Become Authors
  16. Rachel Gardener: Literary Agent

Recommended Podcasts

Writing & Publishing Podcasts

Podcasts are such a great way to absorb new information. They’re free, informative, and you can learn while doing just about anything. Look through this list of some of the best writing and self-publishing podcasts out there and I’m sure you’ll find a few that are right up your ally.

Looking for a new #writing podcast? This blog post has a list of 33! Click To Tweet
  1. The Story Grid Podcast
  2. The Creative Penn Podcast
  3. Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula
  4. Writing Excuses
  5. I Should Be Writing
  6. Helping Writers Become Authors
  7. How Do You Write?
  8. Lit Up!
  9. Self Publishing School
  10. Write with Impact
  11. Novel Marketing Podcast
  12. Self Publishing School
  13. Write with Impact
  14. The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt
  15. The Taylor Stevens Show
  16. The Manuscript Academy
  17. Writership
  18. So You Want to Be a Writer
  19. The Bestseller Experiment
  20. Kobo Writing Life
  21. Create If WritingSelf-Publishing Journeys
  22. DIY MFA Radio
  23. Archivos Podcast Network
  24. Self Publishing Podcast
  25. Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach
  26. Begin Self-Publishing Podcast
  27. Create a Story You Love
  28. Ask ALLi
  29. SPA Girls Podcast
  30. Print Run
  31. The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast
  32. The Book Marketing Show
  33. The Book Launch Show

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