I Spent a Year Writing — Here’s How I Self-Published 3 Books [Step-by-Step Guide]

I Spent a Year Writing — Here’s How I Self-Published 3 Books [Step-by-Step Guide]


Nothing beats that feeling when you finally hold your creative thoughts in your hands. 

Do you have a passion for writing and aspire to share your work with readers? 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at pexels.com

You’re at the right place. I’m here to help!  

My name is Brandon and I started my writing journey roughly one year ago. Since then, I’ve invested hundreds of hours in writing and self-published two children’s books and a collection of fictional short stories.

The writing process was daunting and frustrating. 

But — don’t worry!

In this guide, I will condense my year of writing experience into 5 simple steps for you to grasp the writing process quickly (7-minute read) and save you a significant amount of time.

Let’s get to it. Happy Reading. 



Step 1: Write (Reedsy Editor)

I started out writing my stories on Microsoft Word then moved to Google Docs. Google Docs was a nice upgrade as it was cloud-based allowing me to access it and share it with whoever anywhere. 

Then, while watching YouTube with red eyes, I discovered the best thing since sliced bread…

Reedsy Editor. 

Screenshot of Reedsy Editor

Reedsy is an online platform that offers a range of services to authors, from editing and design to marketing and writing. 

Reedy’s goal is to make the book production process easier by arming writers with tools. 

Reedsy does everything Google Docs does but more. It saves work instantly and presents a clear, focus-friendly layout. The text is easy to read, providing a comfortable writing experience (similar to Medium).

Another great feature of Reedsy Editor is its planning features. You can divide chapters, insert scene breaks, reorder chapters, add side comments to enhance story planning, set writing goals, and even include images.

Screenshot of Reedsy Editor

As you can see above, the left-side layout allows you to create new chapters or pages. It had every template you would need for a book. 

So after you pour all your thoughts into this super easy-to-use platform you can then hire editors, book cover designers, and marketing specialists for various genres. 

Reedsy understands how important your work is to you offering top-tier safety and security.  

If you choose to seek editing services outside of Reedsy (I did) there is even an option to export your completed story as an E-book or print-ready PDF. 

Oh, did I mention it’s FREE?

Step 2: Edit (Fiverr)

Okay, step 1 was no joke. More than likely it will take you several weeks, months, or years to get to step 2. Congratulations. 

Highly RECOMMEND you do not skip this step or edit yourself. 

Finding and hiring an editor using a website called Fiverr was one of my best decisions. 

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood at pexels.com

My editor should have called me “Jon Snow” because she made me feel like I knew nothing about writing. 
(Shoutout to all of my fellow Game of Thrones nerds)

So what is Fiverr?

Fiverr is an online market that offers a wide variety of freelance services, including photo design, copywriting, virtual advertising, marketing, and book editing. 

The platform connects groups and people with skilled experts from around the sector, permitting customers to browse through listings and rent freelancers based on their information and pricing.

Fiverr presents a wide pool of talented editors with varying specializations, permitting me to find an editor whose skills align with the specific desires of my e-book.

Finally, the platform gives transparency by showcasing editor profiles, opinions, and scores, allowing me to make a knowledgeable decision when deciding on an editor.

Step 3: Design Your Book Cover

A book cover is critical! There are a couple of routes you can go for your book cover design such as do it yourself, Fiverr, 99designs, or Canva. 

I stuck with Fiverr because of the talent and experience. 

Below are two of my books….both designs were made on Fiverr. 

Cover of The Curious Turtle Who Flew to Space by Brandon Seyl
Cover of The Military Mustang by Brandon Seyl

Step 4: Format Your Book

Formatting your book isn’t overly complex. If you used Reedsy — surprise your work is done. 

If not — no worries, you can honestly make the changes yourself using free templates online. If this is your first book, recommend you utilize apps like Vellum, Scrivener, or Fiverr since they make it hassle-free. 

Step 5: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a platform that allows authors and publishers to self-publish their books in digital format and promote them on Amazon’s Kindle Store. 

As a brand-new creator with no target market, I wanted to tap into Amazon’s global target audience. It’s pretty cool — I’ve had human beings from the UK examine a number of my books.

Photo by @felipepelaquim — at pexels.com

Features of Amazon KDP:

1. Global Reach: Amazon KDP affords international distribution for eBooks, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers globally.
2. Control: Authors can manipulate the publishing technique, pricing, and rights of their choosing.
3. Royalties: Authors can earn as much as 70% royalties on sales, depending on factors like pricing, document size, and shipping prices.
4. Print-on-Demand: In addition to eBooks, KDP additionally offers paperback and hardcover options. 
5. Promotional Tools: Authors can use promotional tools like Kindle Countdown Deals, Free Book Promotions, and Kindle Unlimited to reach extra readers.

Screenshot of Amazon KDP Promotion tools

 

Process of Using Amazon KDP:

1. Create an Account: Sign up for an Amazon KDP account and complete the necessary tax and fee statistics.
2. Prepare Your Manuscript: Format your manuscript in line with KDP tips. Amazon gives exact publications on formatting necessities for eBooks and print books. (This can be a bit of a pain…I had issues with uploading my cover design)
3. Upload Your Book: Once your manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and specify details like title, description, keywords, and categories.
4. Set Your Price: Decide on the pricing for your ebook. You can pick your royalty rate (35% or 70%) based on the pricing and distribution alternatives.
5. Publish Your Book: Review and submit your e-book at the Kindle Store.

Screenshot of Amazon KDP

6. Market Your Book: Utilize Amazon’s advertisement features to reach a broader target audience.
7. Track Sales: Monitor your book's income, royalties, and performance through the Amazon KDP dashboard.

Screenshot of Amazon KDP report tools

Additional Tips:

  • Remember your story is what matters. Don’t rush. 
  • A professional cover matters. 
  • Research Amazon KDP keywords and categories. Small tweaks here and there can make your book more discoverable. 
  • Consider enrolling your book in Kindle Unlimited to reach more readers. 
  • Roll up your sleeves and promote it — go to libraries, bookstores, book signings, virtual events, etc. 
  • Reviews, reviews, reviews. 
  • Have fun. 

Conclusion

Thank you for reading until the end! Self-publishing offers a world of opportunities for aspiring authors to bring their literary creations to life. 

By following these steps and leveraging platforms like Amazon KDP, Fiverr, and Reedsy, you won’t be far off from holding your creative thoughts in your hands. 

Hopefully, this blog post will influence your writing process and save you time! Use that time to write even more!

 

 

 

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