If you are here, I am sure you either have an idea that you want to convert into a book or want to learn how to do it when you are ready. Either way, this is something that you can start pretty easily. What is not easy is to actually write a “best seller” book and get your idea, your thoughts on the paper. Maybe one day, I’ll write about it. But today, let’s talk about a Weekend Project to Publish your First Book!
Also, remember that the difference between a Book and a Best Seller is “selling”. You must learn to sell if you want your book to be a best seller. And I am going to teach you a lot about selling right here – If you have not yet subscribed, do so now so you won’t miss those important life lessons!
Before I share the details of how to get your first book published as an eBook or a paperback, let me share the books that I have recently published. This one, called Ira Gets a Flu Shot, is about a 4-year-old girl learning what is flu, a flu shot, and how it helps?
I published them as eBooks during the Pandemic because most of the kids were reading on their Kindle instead of going to the library. It took me a few hours to think of the content, write it down, and put it in words and rhyme. Another day to work with the Illustrator and getting his pictures assembled in the day to complete the book. So, over a weekend, I was able to complete one book. This is the exact formula that I’ll share with you.
So, lets get into it!
Where to sell your books?
Table of Contents
Before you start the weekend project to publish your first book, you must think about where you are going to sell your books? Are you planning to sell them as eBook only, or do you want to sell paperback copies too? Today, you can find so many options to self-publish the books. Some of them I’ll introduce here.
Lulu.com – is a one-stop-shop to create, market, and sell your book. It provides self-service templates that you can use to design your books. Once complete, you can estimate the price to print and ship your books. You can sell online via Lulu, and also offline once you have the printed copies. As an example, for a 20 page, fully colored kids book in regular size, Lulu would charge $3 to print. If you sell it for $10, then after shipping and Lulu’s fees you’ll make $4 to $5 per book.
Amazon.com, and Amazon Kindle: Thinking of books, and not thinking of Amazon? Impossible. Amazon.com and Amazon Kindle provide options to sell eBooks, Kindle exclusive books, and physical books. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows you to reach millions of buyers by self-publishing your book.
ClickBank: ClickBank if the largest online marketplace for anything digital. People sale, market and promote their products – including eBooks and physical books via Clickbank.
Sqribble: If you prefer to create digital information product eBook, then Sqribble , world’s #1 eBook creator studio can be a great tool as well. It has 50+ templates, 300 style layouts to create Amazing eBooks. Sqribble helps generate eBooks on demand with a new technology.
A simple google search will bring back many other providers who can help you in this process.
For our project, I am going to Choose Amazon KDP as its going to provide you a large audience – millions of existing Amazon.com and Kindle users!
So, lets begin!
Here are the high level steps involved in getting your book ready for publishing as part of this weekend project to publish you first book.
- Decide on your book type
- Write book content
- Create Visuals/illustrations
- Putting it all together
Getting your book content ready:
First and foremost is your book – your story. You can start with a story in Microsoft Word or Google Sheets. Any word processing software will help you write and format your book easily. I decided to write a children’s book because that was a simple way for me to learn the process. If you have a thriller, mystery, or even non-fiction book, feel free to include that in this process. (That may not be a weekend project, but would be worth the wait!)
So, decide on the book type – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Story Book, Children’s book, Comic book etc..
Write the book content. This is the most important part of the process and the one that only you can do. You can hire ghostwriters and editors to help you but your original idea and thoughts are the key to bring your book to life. Writing a book is an art (duh) and you need to call upon all of your creativity to make sure you get your thoughts on the paper. Keep it simple – remember that most people have a vocabulary of an 8th grader so the easier you make the book to read, the more engaged the reader would be.
Next step is to get the visuals or illustrations ready for your book. You can either self create the art, ot outsource it.
Self create– If you are an artist, you can do it yourself. You can either draw on paper, paint it and use it as an illustration. Or, you can choose one of the digital art software or service to create your illustrations. If you have a kid who is creative, maybe give them an opportunity to work with you on this project.
You can use Canva or other such applications to create some generic graphics.
Outsource – If you are not the artist type, find someone from Fiverr.com or Craigslist.com to get this created for you. I prefer Fiverr as you can get really good artists from around the world. I got someone to create vector art for me for $5 apiece – so 5 illustrations cost me $25 only. And the turnaround time is quite fast. For my first book, it took me a while to explain what I wanted via chat / messaging, and the art was delivered in 3 days. For the next set of books, the turnaround was just 1 day! If you know what you want, this is a great way to get reasonably priced illustrations created while you are sleeping!
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Putting it all together
Once you have your story ready, and your Illustrations ready, your next steps is to put it all together. You can use MS word for this. Download Amazon KDP toolkit from here. KDP’s book setup makes it easy for you to upload, enter, and modify your book before publishing. The information you enter during this setup will be used in creating your book’s Amazon detail page. The detail page is where readers go to buy your book. If you want to sell your book as both an eBook and a paperback, you can create both formats in your KDP account and link them together. This will allow you to reach Kindle users, as well as physical book customers.
You’ll download the KDP software, Install it on your computer, and then design your book including the book cover, illustrations and your content. This is sometimes time taking as you fit in everything neatly and make it look beautiful.
Amazon KDP Steps involved
- Go to Amazon KDP and signup for an account
- Set up your book under “Create a new Title”
- Download the Kindle Content creation tools
- Upload your artwork, content and design your book
- Finalize book in KDP
You can earn up to 70% of royalty on your book sales in the US. When you get to the stage to set a price in your bookshelf on KDP, you’ll choose the price that you want to sell your book for, and the market you want to target.
Decide on your market, your price and you are ready to PUBLISH! the book.
Once the book is published it takes a while for the book to appear in the Amazon.com marketplace. Now, is the time to promote and market your book. Post the link on your Facebook page asking friends and family to try the book and leave a review comment. The more people ready and review the book, the better its chances to reach more customers. You can even promote that book at your local library, via school and book fairs.
Amazon is also introducing a new Service called Kindle Vella – where you can have an ongoing story in form of episodes. If you are excited to continue writing books after this weekend project, check it out – https://kdp.amazon.com/kindle-vella
Good luck with your book project, and let me know how it goes. If you publish a book, I’ll make sure to read it and leave a comment on Amazon.com. Meanwhile, you can try the Ira Children’s books and share your feedback on Amazon.
I hope you found this weekend project – Publish your first book useful. For more passive income ideas, keep visiting.