Self Publishing Guide
Writers often complain about the pitfalls of writing a novel, but if you follow the steps below, you will realize that it really isn’t as difficult as it’s been made out to be.
You would be surprised how easy a little planning and forward thinking can make writing a novel. A plan will not only help organize your thoughts and story, but will also help you in finishing your novel quicker. The more quickly you write, the easier it will come to you and if you know where you’re going, it will also provide a failsafe to ensure you don’t get stuck.
2. Developing the Right Skills
The more you write, the easier it will become. Practice makes perfect, right? By writing a little every day, you endeavor to improve your writing by making each new piece better than the last.
Self publishing a novel is a great way to start building your name
as an author, and getting your manuscript ideas and thoughts into the
hands of readers. Many authors have begun their writing careers by self
publishing their own books in the beginning.
Below, we’ll give you an outline to help start the publishing process.
Where to Start
If you haven’t written your manuscript yet, there are a few things to consider about the book you want to publish.
How Do I Write a Novel Book Manuscript?
Most authors take advantage of their own home computers, and any one of the many word processing software packages available today, to write their novel manuscript.
The content or text of your manuscript will need to be in one contiguous file for final printing. If all of your chapters are saved as individual files, you will need to cut and paste them into one file when all your writing is complete. With most word processors this can be accomplished quite easily, however we do recommend that you create a brand new file for this so that your existing files remain safe and untouched.
Selecting the right software to write you manuscript in can be somewhat confusing as there are a number of products that will do a good job. Below, we’ve outline some of most common to help you select.
This is probably the most common piece of word processing software available. It's easy to use and produces good quality print results for text, which is primarily the makeup of a novel. Unfortunately, because it doesn' t handle images and graphics well, we don't recommend it for books where a lot of imagery will be involve, but novels are seldom in this category, so for text, this is a great choice.
This is another great word processor, and like Word, is easy to use and modestly priced. Also like Word it is OK for handling modest amounts of graphics, and for writing a novel, would be an excellent choice.
Adobe InDesign and Quark Express
These are software products can be used for writing a novel, but are more designed working with graphics, a and books that would have a lot of images within them. They produce excellent results when used for images, graphics and illustrations that need to be included in your book, but may be overkill for manuscripts that are primarily text. The one draw back of these programs is that they can take time to learn and are expensive.
Editing and proofreading your Novel manuscript for printing
One of the most important elements that will need to be done after your manuscript is complete, is to have it proof read. This is particularly important for novels as the text IS the content of the book, and it needs to be correct.
Novel Book Size Layout
Since the paper your book will be printed on comes in specific sizes, it’s best to try and keep within more cost effective formats. Another point to consider is that if your book is to be sold in book stores, there are specific formats or book sizes that are preferred by bookstores (and expected by readers).
If your novel is going to be either hardcover or soft cover, the common sizes and ones that most book stores will prefer self help books be printed at are either 5.5”x 8.5” or 6”x 9”.
Novel Binding Types
There are two primary ways your novel can be put together or “bound”, and here they are with their pros and cons.
- Soft Cover Perfect Binding:
Approximately 40 to 300 pages: This type of binding typically uses a
soft cover, but still retains some of the “hardcover book feel” because
they have a square back. Most pocket books use “perfect binding” for
example. Advantages, less expensive than hard cover to produce while
still looking very good (especially with a nice illustrated color
cover). Disadvantages, the covers can tend to wear out with heavy use
(although we recommend laminating which will help prevent this). Soft
Cover Perfect Binding is an excellent choice of binding for a novel.
- Hardcover: 50 to 1,000 pages: These are the most expensive to produce but are also the most valued because they look excellent, and last a long time. They can also be more desirable by some as they are perceived as “a premium product” and therefore command a top dollar. Disadvantages include the cost to produce these books and excess weight for shipping.
Novel Book Covers
The cover of your novel is a very important element of your entire book publishing project.
If the content of your book is good and you are confident that readers are purchasing a quality piece of work, then the cover should reflect the quality AND content of your work.
The front cover should have the title of the book and the author’s name, and when required, other text and images. The back cover could be left blank, a description of the book, or a paragraph about the author. What ever you put on the back, we recommend that it be something that is … “in aid of selling or promoting the book”. If you are planning to sell the book through bookstores, you will need an International Standard Book (ISBN) and Code Number on the back of each book as well. We can assist you in obtaining these if you need. Each book and each author will have different needs as to what is contained on the back cover.
The size of the cover of the book, if you are preparing your own, will need to be slightly larger than the actual book you are planning on printing. This is to allow for trimming of the final book and cover to make nice clean lines on all three exposed sides. If you are making a “perfect bind” book, you will also need to allow for the thickness of the back of the book (spine) as determined by the number of pages in the book.
If you will be using any images or graphics on the cover that need to print with high quality, we recommend using a professional graphic program like Adobe Photoshop.
Color covers are particularly attractive for novels, and we also recommend that the covers are laminated to help make them less vulnerable to daily wear-and-tear.
Unfortunately most authors are not graphic artists, and coming up with a book cover can be quite difficult.