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5 Steps to Self-Publishing

Creative Writing with Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos, E.d.D
steps to becoming a self-published author

Self-publishing, as the phrase suggests, is the process in which you write and publish a book on your own. That means that you are in charge of all stages of the project: writing, hiring an editor and a designer, registering copyright, printing, and marketing, among other details. It means that you pay for the services upfront and keep the profits once you have reimbursed yourself for the expenses.

As a self-published author, you retain the rights to your work, which allows you to reuse that content in multiple other formats such as eBooks, video, audio, conferences, and courses, to name a few. In other words, as a self-published author, you are running a small business.

typewriter keys for self publishing
Photo: Suzy Hazelwood

It is useful to brainstorm, outline, plot, take notes, or whatever other method works for you in terms of capturing ideas and using them to expand your writing.

Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos

Self-publishing, as I see it, is a five-step process:

  1. The discipline to write. Set aside time to write. Select a time and a place that works for you and your lifestyle.
  2. The creative process. It is useful to brainstorm, outline, plot, take notes, or whatever other method works for you in terms of capturing ideas and using them to expand your writing. Keep them all in a single notebook, physical or digital file for easy access. A simple 300-word article on a topic is enough to get you started. 
  3. The editing process. Read your writing carefully to ensure that it is clear, makes sense, conveys the message you want to deliver, and is properly written in terms of punctuation and grammar. Editing also helps you present the content in an order that is easy to read and understand. 
  4. Publishing. This is how and where you share your writing. For example, a blog, a book, a course, or any of the other formats. When working on a book, this is when you design, register copyright, and print. You can decide on a publishing date first and work your way backward to decide what to do when to meet the deadline.
  5. Marketing. Anything from enlisting the support of friends and family, telling people that you are writing a book, creating bookmarks and promotional materials, blogging about your book or subject-matter expertise, updating social media, coordinating online and offline book tours help you sell your books. 

You can work on some steps simultaneously depending on where you are in the process. Use them to set your initial writing and self-publishing plan and use that plan as your guide.


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Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos, E.d.D
Vigimaris Nadal-Ramos is an English-Spanish editor, translator, blogger, and professor. She has business experience and a doctorate in education, with a concentration in curriculum and teaching of English as a second language.