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Eight Top tips on Publishing Your Book

Writing your own book is a huge undertaking. But once the manuscript is written all first time authors are faced with the same question…now what? My advice is to rest your manuscript and come back to it with fresh eyes. While you are waiting, buy and read these fantastic books. If your book is non fiction it still has to have acceptable plot lines, story structure and developed characters. They are a fantastic source for any writer. Here are just a few of the books you should be reading.

On Writing by Stephen King

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

The Art of Character by David Corbett

Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham


Self publishing? Employ an editor and copywriter to help you tighten up your manuscript. Although I employed both, I still run into difficulties in the U.S. as some readers leave reviews saying the book has spelling mistakes, when it’s just the difference between U.K. and U.S. spelling. Unfortunately I don’t know of anyway around this, although I know if you get a publishing deal then your publishers can ensure books are spelt in language appropriate for the country they are being sold.


Your manuscript is polished and ready. Now you need to devise a list of agents and get your synopsis and agent letter ready. Even if you do not get a publishing deal, a good synopsis will prove invaluable for your Amazon page. Check mine out here. I wrote it in two days. My advice is, be professional and write in third party. The links below will help. Keep a spreadsheet so you don’t email the same agent twice, and don’t mass email. Send only to those who may be interested, and personalise your requests.

The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook – The paperback version as you can make notes. – A useful online tool.

Write a Great Synopsis by Nicola Morgan.

Dear Agent by Nicola Morgan.

Next steps

Did you get a publishing deal? If so, well done, tell us about it. You didn’t? Never mind, the good news is there has never been a better time to be an indie author. If you are self publishing you will need to get a kick ass cover designed. Please ensure it looks professional. It is worth paying for. It’s true, books are judged by their covers. I recommend Elance, you can hire professionals here. Just make sure you check out their work first.

ElanceHeidi Sutherlin was my cover designer for Paranormal Intruder. I purchased my own image here and my designer worked with it, but if you prefer they can illustrate one.

Goonwrite – You can also pick out a ready-made cover very cheaply here.


Now you need to get your book formatted for Kindle. I recommend hiring a freelancer, but if you want to try to do it yourself then read this book. It tells you everything you need to know about self publishing.

Self Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing – By Catherine Ryan Howard. – Recommended formatters.

If you wish to self publish I recommend you format for both Kindle and paperback. Your download sales will be higher, but some people still prefer paperbacks and there’s nothing like the thrill of holding your physical book in your hand. You should have a good idea of how it all works if you read Catherine Ryan Howard’s book but I also recommend checking out these wonderful podcasts which you can listen to anytime.

The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn – Podcasts, Blog and much more.

Next head on over to these sites to learn the basics. They are surprisingly easy to navigate.

KDP by Amazon – Kindle Direct Publishing.

Createspace – For Print Books.


There are other outlets such as Lulu and Smashwords, but initially I recommend Amazon. I strongly advise you do not set up a shopping cart elsewhere as your sales with Amazon affect your rankings and the higher the rankings the better. If you want to sell your book through your site/blog you can, but do it by joining as an Amazon affiliate and post the link. Not only do you benefit from Amazon book sales, you also get a little bit commission back too. You can order in paperback copies of your book, but unfortunately it works out expensive with Createspace as they are produced in America and you have high shipping charges to the U.K. and a whopping duty fee on top of that. It works out much the same to just purchase them direct on Amazon, tick them as a gift, and send them directly to friends and family (although point out that they should be supporting you by buying the book themselves). You then get the royalties back, plus listed in the gifted section and sales rankings will benefit too.

 Promotions – KDP Select

Amazon also run great promotions which mean a 90 day exclusivity period, but again, the exposure is well worth it. Many people launch with the free book giveaway but we went with the countdown deal due to the genre. We felt if we gave away our book we were opening ourselves up to a lot of negative feedback, as sometimes sceptics may download it for free just to give it a negative review, without even reading it. People who have to pay generally care about the content enough to read it, and the countdown deal worked well.

Just The Beginning…

There are all sorts of other things to take into consideration such as pricing, (check out your competitors), marketing, feedback and more. You will find these covered in the links above. There is enough content to keep you going for some time. Good luck with your endeavours!


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