Self-Publishing – Lessons Learned

I self-published my book, Wings of the Sathakos, through Lulu. The process was more difficult than it needed to be because I was totally new to it. Here are a few tips for self-publishing your first book that I learned the hard way.

1. Learn to use Word.

You’re going to need to learn some new skills in Word. At least, I did. You can’t just slap words on the page and expect it to work. In general, you’re going to want to learn how to effectively use page and section breaks, headers, and templates. Understand what each of these does and how they will affect the appearance of your book once you’re done. Use them from the very beginning of your writing process to make it easier on yourself when you’re all done.

2. Understand online retailers’ requirements.

Each online retailer of ebooks has different requirements, though they’re all pretty similar. Research them ahead of time to avoid unnecessary revisions. Get it right the first time, and don’t submit anything you aren’t positive will pass their review. It can take quite a while to get that review and you don’t want to wait more than once.

3. Measure.

Don’t assume that the default size in Lulu, or whichever self-publishing platform you choose, is right for your book. Find a book with the dimensions you want and don’t settle for anything else. I ordered 2 copies of my book in the wrong size before I figured it out.

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