How do I self-publish a book?

Credit: Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how to self-publish? Apart from seeing myself as a latter-day Emily Bronte, I really am going into this without a clue where to begin. And it’s a bit scary.

It feels like standing alone on the top of the Yorkshire Moors. Chill on my cheeks, wind blowing my hair which unromantically gets in my face and whips my eyes. I can’t see.

Bronte self-published, along with all her siblings. So did Jane Austen, William Blake and Margaret Atwood. I’m in good company.

But still I’ve no idea how to go about it.

Google “self-publishing”

I turn to Google. I get as far as typing “self-pub” and Google’s predictive text drop-down offers:

  • “self-publishing a book”
  • “self-publishing on amazon”
  • “self-publishing school”
  • “self-publishing conference 2022”
  • “self-published authors”
  • “self-publishing uk”.

Self-publishing conference

I go for “conference 2022” and find #SelfPubCon – the Self-Publishing Advice Conference – which runs twice a year in March and October.

The conference is run with the Alliance of Independent Authors (Alli) and others, and offers three free days. It’s easy to sign up. I get an email telling me I’ve registered almost immediately.

But it’s a long time between now and October. So now what?

Self-publishing a book

This result brings me to an assessment for a company that offers self-publishing services. It tells me I should have a consultation about publishing nonfiction, even though I ticked the “fiction and stories” box when asked what I write.

I get more from the download at Ingram Spark. Although the download doesn’t offer much more than the web page, it’s genuinely useful – covering things I need to consider but hadn’t thought of before.

And then of course, I get to the Kindle Direct Publishing page. I can see from the url that it’s a US page, which means I’m thoroughly confused about how this works for a UK-based author.

Thinking of the drop-down list above, I wonder if I know any self-published authors. Didn’t someone I once worked with publish a couple of books? And there was that guy I knew years ago who writes fantasy or erotica or something? And there are bound to be some on Twitter.