The Ultimate Guide to Publish your Book

Here you are, a passionate writer or a writer with a passion for reaching a goal through writing. The goal is to publish your book and stand out from the crowd. Boost your CV for the next promotion or simply make a mark in your social circle. Whatever your goal, you need to possess a manuscript that is good enough to get published. The next obvious question is how does one make their manuscript ready for publishing and then how to publish a book in India?

#1 Before publishing your book decide on your goal

Sounds easy but requires much thought to zero in on one goal or a combination of goals. If you are publishing a book with the sole objective of earning pots of money, you could be in for a disappointment. You can have a combination of goals or one goal.

  • Standout amongst the crowd.
  • Open new doors for you.
  • Leave your personal mark on the world with your book.
  • Capture a story you believe in so it lives on forever.
  • Upgrade your CV.
  • Establish yourself as an expert in the subject matter of your book.

Publish your book and achieve other big and small goals.

#2 Prepare to publish your manuscript by writing and editing as if your life depends on it

There are several steps while publishing a book. Step to follow while self-editing the manuscript.

  • Start by tightening the manuscript. For all genres, fiction and non-fiction
  • All redundant parts that deviate from the main topic and do not add to it
  • Remove repetition
  • Mark areas where there are gaps in information or narration seems incomplete.

Once done, the second step in publishing a book will be to check all facts, chronology if dates or years are mentioned, and inconsistencies in names, relationships, places etc.

The next step will be to tighten your manuscript for a smooth reading experience. The last will be to complete checking for grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

#3 A meaningful title for your book

An essential part of publishing your book is choosing a title. The book’s title is like a name for a person. Much thought should be gone into it to make it meaningful. Cover the following points while choosing a title.

  • It’s memorable
  • It has recall value
  • It intrigues the reader
  • It reflects the book’s genre.

#4 Move ahead to publish your book after getting feedback

Who should you ask to give you honest feedback? Friends and family? How should you ask for feedback and what you should do with the feedback you get?

#5 Nothing beats professional editing

Once the book has been checked and rechecked to your satisfaction, you move to the editing step. Consider looking around for a professional editor. Check their background and the work they have done. Your final editing will only be as good as the editor you choose. You will need to decide at this point or before professional editing is done whether you would like to find a publisher to publish your book?

At this point, choose your book publishing option to get your first book published,

#6 Aesthetically designed book

You are getting your book published for the first time. You have done a great job writing the manuscript, kept in mind all the does and don’ts, self and professionally edited the manuscript. But, you chose not to emphasise formatting and cover page design. As a result, neither an attractive cover was designed, nor the inside text tastefully and professionally laid out. If published, what will such a book tell a book lover? Will it grab the reader’s attention?

If you plan to self-publish, two parts must be designed by you: the book cover and the interior.

Designing a book interior

It is called formatting and requires the writer to gather knowledge and execute the following:

  • What are the different pages in a book
  • Where the different pages are placed in a book
  • What content is placed on those pages?
  • The different font types and sizes that will best suit your book
  • The layout of all text and images/illustrations you have gathered.
  • The margins to be kept and how to make the formatted file fit for printing.
  • The size of the book

If you feel formatting is not your cup of tea, then you can also avail professional formatting services. Designing a book is generally carried out in coffee table books and, to some extent, in poetry books.

Designing a book cover to make an impression

The book cover is the first thing a reader sees in your book and it goes without saying the book cover needs your special attention. A book cover must take into account the following factors:

  1. Tantalise the reader to pick up the book and examine it for possible purchase.
  2. Indicate to the reader a very broad idea of the book’s theme, e.g., romance, horror, non-fiction etc.
  3. The synopsis has a two fold role to play – it should give you a sense of the story/ book and leave the reader wanting to know more.
  4. The book title and subtitle are other elements that contribute to the book’s look and feel. I always loved you – tells you the book is a love story, in all probability young romance, maybe some heartache. The type and size of fonts used for the book title, subtitle, author name etc. should be appropriate to the book’s genre.
  5. The size of the cover should match that of the book.
  6. Calculate the size of the spine
  7. Arrange text and images on the book cover to attract the reader’s attention.
designing a book cover

 #7 Applying for an ISBN

A writer can apply to Rajaram Mohan Library to obtain an ISBN if one wants to sell the book online or in bookstores. If working with a book publisher, the publisher will do the same for you.

#8 Price your book sensibly

You are doing a fantastic job till now. The book, cover and inside text are pleasing. You are on a high because you are delighted with the work done so far and naturally, you would like people to pay well for all the hard work and creativity you have put in. Remember, do not trip here. You are a first-time author, and the readers are not familiar with you yet. Keep the price of your book as low as you possibly can so the whole effort in writing, editing, designing etc. does not go to waste because of too high a price. When you are ready to publish my book, get an idea of how much the price of a black and white book can be. Check this price calculator. The image below shows what a reader is looking for before buying.

how to publish a book in India

#9 Publishing a book

The last step before getting your first book published is to get the book printed. You must decide how many copies you need to print. Which printer suits you with respect to quality and cost. You already have your ISBN placed on the book cover, the formatted file is ready. You have asked around to find the best printer for your book. The printed books are now in your possession.

#10 Keep an eye on sales & distribution of your book

Once you have the printed copies, you are ready to start distributing books with online vendors/partners with which you have signed an agreement, like Amazon, Flipkart etc. Also, with offline bookstores or distributors. As you start getting orders from online and offline stores, you can begin to fulfil those orders – pack and courier them as per each online store’s specifications. At the end of every week, a partial payment will be made to you from each portal for the books sold.

#11 Keep talking to market your book

Though marketing is listed as the last step, it is by far not the final step you perform to publish a book. Marketing can start anytime, even before you begin publishing my book. The inexpensive way to start marketing is to tap into all social media. Start your accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and LinkedIn. Join the various groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. Start posting and interacting with members of different groups to familiarise yourself with the various groups’ members. Through marketing, you will announce to the people

  • what your book is about,
  • how it can help them,
  • how much it costs and
  • from where it can be bought.

Repeated yet measured exposure to information about your book will persuade some members to buy your book, give reviews etc.

Market a book
Marketing a book

12. Getting book reviews

Readers go to online sites to buy books. How does a reader decide which book to buy? The readers look for an author they are familiar with, a famous book title, or they look at ratings and reviews of the book.

Though getting book reviews is a part of marketing, we mention it separately because of its importance. Encourage readers to give your book reviews and rating.

They can place their rating and review on all sites where your book is featured. If you receive advance reviews before publishing a book, they can be placed on the book cover.

If any stage of publishing you feel too over whelmed to handle a publishing step you can connect with us to help you either with complete publishing or with a stand alone service.

Some oft asked questions on – Publish My Book

What are the benefits of self-publishing?

What keeps us back from writing a book is the fear of rejection from publishing houses. No more. Newer options in publishing allow a writer to publish a book almost at will. For aspiring/first-time authors, there are many benefits of self-publishing a book.

  • Self-publish a book to get your voice heard
  • Self-publish a book in weeks
  • Earn up 100% royalties on net profit.
  • publish your book and stand out from the crowd.
  • Boost your CV for the next promotion
  • Simply make a mark in your social circle

2. What are the steps to self-publishing?

The following are the steps to self-publishing

  • Decide on your publishing goal
  • Write and edit as if your life depends on it
  • Choose a meaningful title for your book
  • Aesthetically design the book cover and layout of inside text
  • Apply for an ISBN
  • Price your book sensibly
  • Printing of your book
  • Sales and distribution
  • Keeping a track of sales
  • Market your book

3. How much does it cost to self-publish?

One query that is uppermost in the mind of an author is, “How much does it cost to publish a book?” Since there is no straight forward answer but there are broad guidelines you can follow. Here is the cost of self-publishing for Zorba Books

Cost of publishing

4. How should I price my book?

You are a first-time author, and the readers are not familiar with you yet. Keep the price of your book as low as you possibly can so the whole effort in writing, editing, designing etc. does not go to waste because of too high a price. When you are ready to publish a book, get an idea of how should i price my book. Check this price calculator.

5. How much money do authors make?

That is a question on top of an authors mind – “How much money do authors make?” Will i become as rich as Chetan Bhagat or JK Rowling. The answer may either motivate you or disappoint you. A writer should not look at publishing as a way to earn money only, as 99% writers donot make enough to live on only by writing books. See it as a treasure house to open many doors for you.

6. How to find a publisher to publish my book?

No one answer fits all writers. However, there are broad pointers one can look at while deciding which online book publishing company can work for you.

  • List out your most important goals. The goals you are hoping to achieve by publishing this novel. Maybe you want recognition as an author, improve standing in your professional community or open doors to various public platforms like an invitation to panel discussion, featuring in the local or national media etc.
  • Determine the approx. amount of money you are willing to invest in expert publishing.
  • The services you most need for publishing your book.
  • Once you have the answers to the questions above, speak to people who have published and get their inputs on the process and the online book publishers.
  • Check the feedback different self-publishing companies have got. You can check this on the world wide web. This helps to measure the level of services actually being extended to writers.
  • Narrow down your search to 2-3 online book publishing companies that have received good feedback and meets your goal.
  • Then order one book which they have recently published, to check for finish and product quality.
  • Ask for hidden costs.