As you are aware, there is more—much more—to writing a book if you want to self-publish and sell it online or in stores. As you get close to the end of writing your book, you might begin researching your next steps; then you start to feel overwhelmed with all that is coming toward you; then you start feeling discouraged because there is SO much to do, and an outlay of money will be required.

The following list will whittle down the plethora of information you might come across and help keep you on track as your book is finally published. Stick with what’s important to you, and don’t get bogged down in the minutia of items or ideas that might not be relevant to you. You can also follow this in the order items are listed to help you stay the course.


  1. Write your book.
  2. Get feedback from writer’s groups, friends, family, etc.
  3. Incorporate the feedback that resonates with you.
  4. Imagine yourself as a well-known, sought-after author.
  5. Have your book professionally edited.
  6. Incorporate the edits and rewrite as necessary.
  7. Have your book professionally proofread.
  8. Incorporate the corrections.
  9. Choose your platforms. Will it be print only, ebook only, or will you have both? Will it be paperback, hardback, spiral-bound, leather-bound-, etc.?
  10. Choose the size you want the print edition of your book to be.
  11. Have illustrations drawn, if needed, to the correct size required for your book.
  12. Collect any illustrations/photos/images and include proper credits. These need to be in separate, high-resolution (at least 300 dpi) files. Any credits or credentials can be included in a Word document or as part of your book text.
  13. Have your back cover blurb professionally written and edited – this will help sell your book! And it is needed for the cover design.
  14. If you don’t have one, create a publishing house name. This will be your book’s imprint and will be what you submit for the ISBN as your book’s Publisher of Record.
  15. Get an ISBN for each format of your book – paperback, hardback, ebook, etc. – they each have to have their own ISBN. The ISBN is needed for the copyright page and the barcode that will appear on the back cover of your print edition. (For more information, see ISBNs and Barcodes.)

Riveting Dreams Publishing –’s imprint – can serve as your Publisher of Record and can provide the needed ISBNs for a fee. Please take a look at our Menu of Services.

  1. Get a barcode created for the back cover of the print editions. This can be purchased along with your ISBN.
  2. Are you planning for major library distribution? If so, you will need Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) data from the Library of Congress for your copyright page. First, check to be sure your book is eligible for a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN). If it is, apply for a PCN (preassigned control number), and once you have that, hire a professional to provide you with the CIP data. (link to blog and other info) NOTE: This is optional if you focus primarily on book sales. If you change your mind later, after you start marketing your published book, you can obtain one and submit a corrected/updated book (more on this in the blog).
  3. Get a professional author photo taken. This is needed for your author bio page in your book. Also, you will need it as you begin marketing your book.
  4. Write and edit your author bio for your book – make it award-winning! You might do this when you have your back cover blurb written (#13).
  5. If you have any early reviews about your book—quotes that can be included in the front of the book—collect them in a separate file to submit to the typesetter.
  6. Submit all required/requested material to the typesetter to have your book professionally formatted.
  7. Determine the price of your book. See how much books and ebooks of your same genre, size, etc. are selling. Also, consider what you’ll get after costs/royalties/etc. For ebooks, $3.99 is a favorite. Setting a price between $2.99 and $9.99 will maximize your royalties at most online locations. For paperback and hardback books, it depends on your genre, book size, etc. Don’t price yourself out of the range of other similar books. Too high or too low turns people off (psychology influences how buyers buy!).
  8. Upload your formatted files to your FIRST CHOICE publishing houses (i.e., Amazon KDP, IngramSpark). Accounts will need to be set up. In addition to basic account info (name, address, tax info, etc.), you will need the ISBN and barcode, book title and author/contributor info, book summary, seven keywords, two browse categories (fiction, non-fiction, etc.), age and grade range if it’s a children’s book, book cover as a separate file, and book contents file.

PHASE TWO – Now the marketing begins!

  1. Set up an author website.
  2. Promote your book and website in your email signature – set it up to be automatic!
  3. Create an Author Central Page at Amazon – hyperlinked author name, author pic, bio, all books by you in all formats sold at Amazon, author updates, such as news, announcements, video announcements, and blog posts that go directly to your website. It helps build your online audience. Your book must be on Amazon! Free.
  4. Establish a Goodreads author page. Free. It’s an excellent place to build followers. If your book shows up in their database, click on your author name and scroll to the bottom of the page. You can claim your author profile by clicking next to “Is this you?” Your profile page can contain your author pic, bio, website link, social media links, all of your books, and a follow button so your new audience can follow you.
  5. Publish on Google Play (Free – your ebook). Create a partner account with Google Books, and add the Google Preview to your website.
  6. Publish the eBook on B&N Press (formerly Nook Press), which is owned by Barnes and Noble. Free. Not exclusive, 70% royalties, and can sell on (although not in their stores).
  7. Publish EPUB on – Walmart sells Kobo tablets. Free. Not exclusive.
  8. Look into Draft2digital, Overdrive (which libraries use), and Apple Books and upload your ebook accordingly.


Press releases, book promos, book tours, social media, blog posts, podcasts, and more! This will be explored more in-depth in a later post. At least you know what might be ahead for you!

Beyond the Writing – Next Steps to Self-Publish Your Book