SELF-PUBLISHING

Self-publishing is where an organisation or individual controls the publication of their work
without involving an established publisher. In Ireland it has become more popular in recent years
as the development of new technologies has made it more accessible to all.

 a self published book on a wooden table for broadleaf forrestries in Ireland

WHAT BOOKS ARE SUITABLE?

What type of books are suitable for self-publishing? There is a wide range of books that you can self-publish, especially in the category of non-fiction. These include:

  • How to… books, from teaching new skills to detailing how to use a new product
  • Textbooks, passing on your technical knowledge and experience so others can learn
  • Commemorative books, celebrating the special anniversary of your company or club
  • Local history books, preserving stories and accounts from the past for future generations
  • Family history books, celebrating the results of your genealogical research
  • Commissioned books, publishing technical research for an audience of your peers.

So, if you decide to self-publish and your manuscript is almost finished, what do you need to do next?

GET GOOD ADVICE…

In short, the next thing you need to do is get good advice on the self-publishing process. The stages of the process can include:

a close up of an old fashioned typewriter with script on a page

Editing

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a group of people working on desigining a magazine

Design & Layout

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design layout 1

Design & Layout

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a women fliping through a freshly published magazine

Printing & Binding

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a picture of an amazon kindle leaning on a pile of hardcover books

Electronic Publishing

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electronic andselling

Electronic Publishing

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A persons hand with a sale tag

Promotion & Selling

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Depending on your book and its audience, you may not need to concern yourself with all of these stages,

but it is good to give them some consideration at the start.

EDITING

For a book to engage its audience, it must firstly read well and that means good phrasing, proper spelling and no typos! While you may have spent many months writing your manuscript, it is a good idea to get a fresh pair of eyes to read through it at the end. The author is so familiar with the story as a whole that it is easy to overlook the detail. And the detail is crucial if the reader is going to enjoy your book.

So, do you need a professional editor or can a friend do the job for you? The answer depends on the subject matter of the book and how much is in the budget. A professional editor will be quick, efficient and thorough and will allow your project to progress smoothly. However, if money is tight or the subject matter of the book is very technical, you may be able to use a colleague instead. Fact checking can only be done by someone who understands the subject of the book as you do, while anyone with a flair for language can help you with the syntax and spelling. So, our advice is to speak to someone with experience of publishing books and decide from there.

a close up of a person holding a piece of paper and stylus in their hands
Broadleaves case bound with dust jacket

EDITING

For a book to engage its audience, it must firstly read well and that means good phrasing, proper spelling and no typos! While you may have spent many months writing your manuscript, it is a good idea to get a fresh pair of eyes to read through it at the end. The author is so familiar with the story as a whole that it is easy to overlook the detail. And the detail is crucial if the reader is going to enjoy your book.

So, do you need a professional editor or can a friend do the job for you? The answer depends on the subject matter of the book and how much is in the budget. A professional editor will be quick, efficient and thorough and will allow your project to progress smoothly. However, if money is tight or the subject matter of the book is very technical, you may be able to use a colleague instead. Fact checking can only be done by someone who understands the subject of the book as you do, while anyone with a flair for language can help you with the syntax and spelling. So, my advice is to speak to someone with experience of publishing books and decide from there.

An example of a self published booklet open on the centre page

DESIGN & LAYOUT

Design is all about effective communication. How to take your message and present it in a way that your audience will best understand. This is the skill of a graphic designer. The elements a designer will consider include

  • The use of images
  • The use of colour
  • The size and shape of a page
  • The size and shape of the font and the spacing of lines that will make a comfortable experience for your reader.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the design of your book is the single most important aspect in determining its success.

PRINTING & BINDING

This is where we discuss the materials to use when producing your book and the type of cover that is best in terms of function, aesthetics and budget. While a history book may be read while sitting in a comfortable armchair, your ‘Guide to local flora and fauna’ will need a more robust cover so it will wear well in an overcoat pocket or the glove compartment of a car.

The paper used for the interior pages of the book also needs discussion. While uncoated or textured papers may be fine for a book consisting mainly of text, a book containing dozens of colour photographs may be better utilising a smooth, coated stock.

And should you go for a paperback or hardback cover? Well, that is very much down to budget!

freshly printed books on a printing shop conveyor belt
eco-friendly books going down a printing conveyer belt

PRINTING & BINDING

This is where we discuss the materials to use when producing your book and the type of cover that is best in terms of function, aesthetics and budget. While a history book may be read while sitting in a comfortable armchair, your ‘Guide to local flora and fauna’ will need a more robust cover so it will wear well in an overcoat pocket or the glove compartment of a car.

The paper used for the interior pages of the book also needs discussion. While uncoated or textured papers may be fine for a book consisting mainly of text, a book containing dozens of colour photographs may be better utilising a smooth, coated stock.

And should you go for a paperback or hardback cover? Well, that is very much down to budget!

A self publish ebook showing on an amazon kindle next to a pile of paperback books

ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING

Once your designer has finished laying out the book for printing, you may also want a version to produce as an eBook. The most popular formats, currently, are for Kindle and tablets. This will offer your reader more choice and may make it easier for some abroad to source your book.

PROMOTION & SELLING

This is the aspect of self-publishing that most people find most daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Having a clear idea of who your main audience will be will allow you to plan this phase well in advance. For example, if you are writing a book to celebrate the centenary of your golf club, the audience will be members past and present. You can promote it through the club website and by word of mouth; and sales could be at a special event to celebrate the centenary or linked to the renewal of annual subscriptions.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Writers have been producing books for many years and there are tried and trusted ways to promote and sell them. Just ask an expert!

an authour promoting his own published books at a book launch.
book launch

PROMOTION & SELLING

This is where we discuss the materials to use when producing your book and the type of cover that is best in terms of function, aesthetics and budget. While a history book may be read while sitting in a comfortable armchair, your ‘Guide to local flora and fauna’ will need a more robust cover so it will wear well in an overcoat pocket or the glove compartment of a car.

The paper used for the interior pages of the book also needs discussion. While uncoated or textured papers may be fine for a book consisting mainly of text, a book containing dozens of colour photographs may be better utilising a smooth, coated stock.

And should you go for a paperback or hardback cover? Well, that is very much down to budget!