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How to Write and Publish Your Book #8

Posted by Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty Ltd on 26 November 2014

I want to self-publish – what’s next?

If you’ve decided that self-publishing is the way for you to go, where do you start? You’ve heard terms like ISBN, CIP, Legal deposit, POD, ebook formatting, online distribution, social media marketing, and (take a deep breath) – you’re finding it all a bit overwhelming. Well, read on and I will endeavour to answer all your questions.

Congratulations, you've chosen to self-publish. Now what?

This next few posts will take you through the many processes of self-publishing and introduce you to the terms, phrases, and requirements that are involved.  From now on, you are no longer just an author – you are now an author/publisher!

Getting Started

To begin with you need to decide how involved you want to be in the design and creation of your book/ebook. Some authors are comfortable with taking complete control over their project and are willing to learn the process from start to finish. Others may find the idea totally overwhelming, preferring to stick to writing; or they may just not have the time to do more.
As an experienced self-published author, I would recommend working with professional designers to ensure that your book's appearance is a high enough quality to be competitive with the millions of other books vying for readers' attention. Using the skills of such professionals doesn’t mean you can’t remain in control. Whoever provides this kind of support on your book will be working for you, because in self-publishing, you are the boss.

If you do decide you would prefer to have trusty and experienced professionals take care of the design and publication of your book/ebook, check us out at 


If you are absolutely sure that you want to do your own design, I offer the following thoughts and recommendations:

The first task you will face following editing is typesetting, which is the process of converting your manuscript to a book layout.

Many authors use Microsoft Word when writing their manuscripts and attempt to typeset their book using the same program. Most find this to be very frustrating and difficult. MS Word is great software for writing, but it isn’t designed for typesetting. If you are determined to perform your own typesetting, my advice is to acquire Adobe InDesign, the recognised industry standard in publishing software. You will need to invest around $200.00 and undergo quite a learning curve, but if you are willing to persevere, your hard work will pay off. 

Once you are ready to start with InDesign there will be a number of steps in the typesetting process. The basics will go something like this:

  • Create a book file and call it ‘Your book title_interior’.

  • Open a new page and set the size that you want your finished book to be, for example A5, then name it ‘template’.

  • Calculate approximately how many pages there will be in a typical chapter and add the necessary blank pages (you can add or delete pages later if you need to when you add text).

  • Make sure you have the text flow function turned on and the pagination set to automatic.

  • Set your styles in the template, e.g. ‘Header 1’ for chapter headers, ‘Header 2’ for sub-headers, ‘Paragraph 1’ for basic paragraphs, etc.

  • Save the template as ‘Chapter 1’.

  • Import or copy and paste your text from the Word.doc.

  • Add ‘Chapter 1’ to the book file, then repeat the process for the rest of the chapters.

Any images or photographs will need to be 300dpi (dots per inch) or higher resolution CMYK (4 colour – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key-black) for printing or 100dpi RGB (Red, Green, Blue) for ebooks. Images will need to be resized (I recommend using Photoshop) and placed in image boxes. Text can be easily wrapped around images where necessary and captions can be added using text boxes.

If you are using photographs in your book, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary permissions to publish them. Don’t download or copy photographs from the internet or from other publications with the assumption that you can use them. Those images will have copyrights in place and restrictions on their use, so be certain that the source of the photograph has no intellectual properties attached, e.g. celebrities. However, if you have taken the photographs, you own the copyrights.

Join me next time when we'll be discussing your cover design and more.

Until then...write on!


Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdAuthor:Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdConnect via:TwitterLinkedIn
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