Self-Publishing Checklist

Self-Publishing Checklist

Definition of Self-Publishing: The publication of any book by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. The author controls the entire process including the design of the cover and interior, formats, price, distribution, and marketing.

Types of Self-Publishing

  • E-book Publishing – Electronic books created with no up-front or per-book costs.
    • Popular E-book Publishing Platforms – Pronoun, Smashwords, Blurb, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Cinnamon Teal Publishing, Bookbaby, Pubit, Lulu, Llumina Press, CreateSpace
  • POD (Print On Demand) Publishing – Printing high-quality books as needed.
    • Popular POD Publishers – CreateSpace (Amazon), Blurb, Lulu, Llumina Press, iUniverse
  • Vanity Publishing – Books printed at the author’s expense. The author is responsible for paying the publisher’s profit and overhead costs, they may offer marketing help, warehousing, editing, or promotion for certain costs.
  • Subsidy Publishing – The publisher shares the cost of publishing. The completed books belong to the publisher, NOT the author. The authors can collect royalties.

Step-by-Step Checklist

Create Manuscript

  • Draft novel or nonfiction manuscript
  • Edit draft
  • Use beta readers for suggestions on improvement on first draft
  • Final edit after suggestions

Create Metadata

  • Create cover copy (back blurb)
  • Create author bios, short and long versions
  • Choose BISAC categories (Fiction>romance>contemporary)
  • Choose BIC subject codes (Book Industry Communication) *See list of BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers
  • Choose keywords – any word or short phrase that describes the topic, used by searchers and websites

Create Book Package

Upload Book to Vendors/Distributors

*See Comparison List of Self-Publishing Sources

  • Amazon – Print books, POD books, E-books, Audio books
  • Barnes & Noble – Print books, Nook E-books, Audible books
  • CreateSpace – POD books, E-books
    • Can distribute to:, Amazon Europe, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Ingram
  • iBooks – – Audiobooks, Kindle E-books
  • Kobo – – E-books
  • Lulu – – POD books, E-books
  • OverDrive – – E-books, audiobooks, Kindle Book
  • Smashwords – E-books
    • Can distribute to: iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, OverDrive, WHSmith, tolino (Germany), Odilo, Gardners, Yuzu, inktera, Askews & Holts, Baker & Taylor, livrariacultura,, blio
  • Scribd – – E-books, audiobooks
  • WHSmith – – Hardback, paperback

Prepare/Schedule Marketing

  • Check out advertising services
  • Participate in a blog tour
  • Do readings and book signings
  • Do interviews
  • Do a launch party in real life
  • Do a launch party online (Facebook, etc.)
  • Advertise somehow in a newspaper
  • Prepare a newsletter
  • Get reviews
  • Get Sales Tax Number (if you will sell the books yourself)

Website or Blog

  • Give a notice of publication release
  • Provide buy links
  • Show cover and blurb
  • Provide a snippet or short excerpt

Book Launch

  • Check links at all vendors
  • Do a launch party
  • Do social media announcements (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)