What you need to self-publish your book

Once you’ve decided to self-publish, you’ll need to make sure that you have all the materials necessary to get through the process. Unless you’re living off the grid, you probably have everything.

Here’s what you need:
• Computer with an Internet connection
• Finished manuscript
• Time

It’s that simple. If you’ve got a completed novel or nonfiction manuscript that is typed on your computer and so long as you can connect to the World Wide Web you’ll have no problem getting the book self-published. All that’s required is a few hours of your time uploading the book, deciding how to market it, and taking care of some other considerations.

What are those mysterious “other considerations”? Well, they’re not necessary to have resolved before you get started self-publishing, but they are some items to think about. The good news is that the self-publishing website where you upload your manuscript usually can provide all of these items for you. Still, for a variety of reasons you may want to take care of them by using freelancer designers or other companies, rather than settle on what the self-publishing company offers. We’ll cover each item in a future blog entry, but for the moment, these “other considerations” include:
• ISBN – An International Standard Book Number is a 13-digit number that every published book must have. It typically appears on the book cover (usually the back) and the title page.
• Bar code – This is that set of lines that can be scanned to tell your book’s price among other retail information.
• Cover art – You may want to have a designer or illustrator create a special image for your book’s front and back cover, to help set it apart from other self-published books that use templates.
• Picture of yourself – It’s your book, so feel free to put a picture of yourself on the back cover. The photo should be of your head or head and upper shoulders.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.