What is Self-publishing
The traditional way of publishing used to be you write a book, send it to a publishing company and wait for their response. If you were one of the lucky ones, they may contact you and agree to publish, print and sell your books. Historically, it was difficult for many authors to get their books accepted, unless you were already established.
But the ability to self-publish your work changed all that in late 2000. In the words of Wiki:
'Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. The term usually refers to written media, such as books and magazines, either as an ebook or as a physical copy using POD (print on demand) technology. It may also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, video content, and zines.'
With the increase of digitisation of literature, it became easier to publish your own book. However, authors still had to go through the difficult process of writing their own books, making sure it is perfect, before formatting it, converting it into an ebook and then using a digital platform to publish their manuscript. It just made it easier for you to sell your book without going through someone else.
So it is good news that anyone can published a book. But the bad news is that this reduces the quality of books that gets published!
Writing a book
You still need to write a book but instead of using pen and paper or a typewriter, we use a computer. There are many software you can use but make sure you use a common word processor so that it makes it easier to convert your text into an ebook.
After writing you book, you might want to consider the following services:
Friends and family
Grammar editing software
There are a number of digital publishing platforms you can use.
Kindle Direct Publishing
Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP is Amazon's e-book publishing unit which was launched when the company began selling its Amazon Kindle book reading device in 2007. Books can be published in numerous languages. Amazon's KDP program uses ASIN identifiers instead of ISBNs to identify e-books. Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service lets readers read any books in its catalog, provided that the users pay a monthly fee.
Draft2Digital are an online aggregator company that lets you convert your manuscript into an ebook for free and then allow you to published your books to a lot of retailers. These include:
One of the enhanced benefits of using D2D is that they enable you to convert your manuscript into an ebook for free.
IngramSpark lets authors publish digital and paperback editions of their books. It distributes books to most online bookstores. Brick-and-mortar stores can also order books from IngramSpark at wholesale prices for sale in their own venues.
Apple sells books via its App Store which is a digital distribution platform for its mobile apps on its iOS operating system. Apps can be downloaded to its devices such as the iPhone, the iPod Touch handheld computer, and the iPad. Apple pays authors 70% of its proceeds at its Apple iBookstore where it sells iBooks.
Smashwords is a California-based company founded by Mark Coker which allows authors and independent publishers to upload their manuscripts electronically to the Smashwords service, which then converts them into multiple e-book formats which can be read on various devices. Authors control what price is set.#Barnes & Noble#Barnes & Noble pays 65% of the list price of e-books purchased through its online store called Pubit.
Kobo is a Canadian company which sells e-books, audiobooks, e-readers and tablet computers which originated as a cloud e-reading service.
Scribd is an open publishing platform which features a digital library, an e-book and audiobook subscription service. It began as an online sharing site for books, and evolved into a store; books published there entitle an author to 80% of the sales price.
Lulu is an online print-on-demand, self-publishing and distribution platform.