How To Publish Your First Book

One night, after a long and exhausting day, my girlfriend and I were having a conversation and she asked me “Rose, thorn, bud?” I had NO idea what she was talking about. She then explained to me what that meant (what you will be doing in this book). We then proceeded to tell each other our rose, thorn, and bud. I had never heard or done that before. I enjoyed it so much that I asked her if we could continue doing rose, thorn, bud daily for a month. She agreed and we did just that.

We wrote down our answers everyday for a month to each other via text. I decided that I would save all of my answers to see if I could notice any differences in myself. By the end of the month I was surprised by how much more intentional I was with each day, how many of my goals I set for the month were accomplished, and how I was the most in tune with myself I had ever been in my life.

A few months later, I referred back to the note in my phone with my month of rose, thorn, bud. I decided that I should do it again for another month. Having the same noticeable results as last time, I decided I should share this knowledge with others. I was so determined to share this with others, that I learned how to self publish my first book, Self-Love, Growth, & Appreciation. Now I want to teach you how to publish your first book. 

How To Publish Your First Book logo

1) Create your concept and outline

You first need to decide what you are going to write about. Do you want to write about fiction, non-fiction, crime, mystery, workbook, etc.? After you decide on that, what is the central message you want to drive home? This will be the concept of your book. Use it to create the outline for your book.

I suggest figuring out how you want your book to end, then work backwards. I found it easier to start something if I knew where I ultimately wanted to take it. Also, how do you want your readers to feel after reading your book? This will help you develop your story around your central concept so that everything is tied together by the end.

2) Write content for book 

Now that you have your rough outline for your book, it is time to write the content for your book. Before filing out your outline, I recommend  that you create a summary of the book. Think of this as the description of the book, the part that is going to sell readers on why they should buy and read your book. Additionally, create an introduction to your book. This should be different content from the summary of your book. It should let the reader understand why you wrote the book and why you think they will enjoy reading it. Completing these two items should help creating the rest of the content for your book much easier.

3) Proofread content 

You’ve sat and looked at these pages so many times it’s hard to notice any grammatical mistakes. I recommend asking someone to proofread your work. If you cannot find free help, there are several freelance book editors that you can hire. It is imperative that you have your book proofread because you want your book to be as professional as possible.

If you are making a book you understand it is an investment of your time, but it is also an investment of money. How much depends on you. I say that to re-emphasize the importance of potentially hiring an editor if necessary.

4) Prepare book for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Now that you have your content ready to go, it is time to get it ready for your publisher. I highly recommend using Kindle Direct Publishing. You can create a free account and self-publish your own books straight to Amazon. After you create your account there are very simple and straightforward directions on how to publish your book. If you need visual help, I used this video to help me through the process.

Once you get to the “Paperback Content” section, this is where things get tricky. First, you need to decide what size you want your book. There are several options, I recommend searching Google for each book dimension so you can see what size they are.

After you have selected the size you want to use, you have to create a .pdf version of your content within those page perimeters. I highly recommend and personally used Tangent Templates. It cost about $60 but was worth every penny on how much time it saved me. I picked a page template with the proper demensions for the size book I was creating and downloaded it.

I then took that page and pasted it onto Canva. I created custom demensions in canva to make sure they were compatible.  After I had the demensions all properly aligned, I copy and pasted all of the content into its proper place. After I was done, I downloaded the pdf. versions (you can do a max of 30 pages on each canva project) and combined them together using combinepdf. After that, I used docupub to resize that .pdf into the correct centimeter demensions (there is a tool on Tangent Templates that lets you know which one to use) to upload to the manuscript section of KDP.

5) Create cover for book 

The cover for your book might be the single most important part of creating your book. More books are sold based off of their appearance than the content that is within them. You should spend a significant amount of time on how you want to brand it from the title, to the picture you use, to the color scheme, to the font, to the back cover.

You can use KDP’s cover creator (that’s what I used) to create your cover. It has a very intuitive builder that simplifies creating your cover. I have some experience in design, which is why I went this route; however, if you are not confident in creating your own design I highly recommend using a freelancer. There are several websites where you can find freelancers, such as Upwork, Fiverr, Indie Bookcover Design. Ultimately, make sure you have a beautiful and clean design for your cover that will make it stand out from the plethora of competitor books out on Amazon.

6)Request a proof copy. 

As you finish up the self publishing process the final button is to “Publish Your Paperback Book”. Do NOT press that button yet. First, you need to click the button that says “Request a Proof Copy”. You can purchase your book to review how it will look before fully publishing it to the public.

I am happy I did this for several reasons. First, it allowed me to show it to some people and get some constructive feedback. Secondly, it let me see if the demensions came out correctly on the pages. Lastly, it allowed me to proofread the book one final time which I’m glad I did because I still found a few typos.

7) Publish book and share!

After making all of your last minute adjustments, go back and update your manuscript (.pdf of all of your pages) and publish your book. After you publish your book, you will get an email from Amazon that says your book will be reviewed in the next 72 hours. After it is reviewed (and hopefully approved) it goes live and you can start promoting your book! I recommend that before you start promoting your book publicly that you update your amazon author profile. Add a biography and a picture so that your customers can learn more about you and put a face to your name.

CreateYour First Book Today!

Need help creating your first book? I can help! Contact me so that we can get started on your book today.