Things you should know about self-publishing


  1. Proof reading is the independent authors responsibility! A poorly proofed book just looks amateur. Some Authors can proof their document themselves, most need others to do some or all of the proof reading.
  2. As an independent author – you need to ‘own’ the relationship with Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark. This includes giving them tax information, a bank account where royalties will go, and a charge card where author copies of the book will be paid for.
  3. The Author, or some one they are working, with needs to have a good working ability to do things online such as filling out forms and uploading files.

More things to think about.

  • The two major POD printers are Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark. Both have similar, though not the same, requirements for interior and cover files. Both companies offer some online tools to allow creating of simple texts and cover designs using their tools.
  • Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark allow for e-book, or print-on-demand printed books, or both. The design requirements for printed books is quite different from e-books. To issue your book as both requires two separate sets of files. One designed for print and one designed for e-book.
  • People do judge a book by its cover. A Professional looking cover design can help improve the look and sales of your book.
  • Amazon is probably the worlds largest book seller but not everyone loves Amazon. Some indie-authors prefer Ingram Spark because they get international distribution ( including listing on Amazon) without being printed by Amazon.
  • ISBN – International Standard Book Number. The ISBN is the thirteen digits long identifier used for identifying a specific book and format of that book. Both Amazon and Ingram Spark offer free in-house ISBN numbers.
    • if you use the free ISBNs the book publisher is identified as Amazon or Ingram.
    • If you purchase your ISBN for your book, you create your own publisher name / imprint, just like the big guys.
    • ISBNs in the US are supplied by Bowker ( )
  • Author copies – books you buy to sell directly. As a print-on-demand author, you can purchase any amount of author copies at printing cost. Unlike traditional printers there is no minimum purchase and no discount for buying more books than you need.
  • While a simple novel or poetry book can be submitted to Amazon using just a word file and their online tools, a really professional quality book needs more than that.
    • Most professional books are designed using Adobe InDesign or Scribus. These two programs provide the tools for carefully crafting the look of the book interior.
    • Adobe Indesign ( ) is the current standard for page layout design tools. While very capable it is also expensive.
    • Scribus ( ) is an open source and free software package that provides the tools for professional page layout and design. Both are good.
    • Scribus is a traditional software install where you download and install the software. Adobe is “sold” as a yearly rental and will stop working if you don’t pay the rent.
  • Most Authors or proofreaders can see things in a printed proof that they do not spot online. I strongly recommend getting a printed proof of your book prior to making it go live.
  • International shipping is expensive! Often more than the value of the book. Print-on-demand books are printed locally as needed all around the world, sales to other countries print and ship locally. This makes selling a book world wide a cost effective reality.