How to Get Published
An overview and timeline for traditional, self and DIY book publishing
Having a book published and available to readers is a rewarding journey. Often, writers don't know how to publish a
book or what happens between finding a publisher, often the first step of publishing, and getting it in the
marketplace, the last step. Here we will cover three popular routes to publishing - traditional, self-publishing and
do-it-yourself (DIY) - and cover all the steps of the publishing process for each method.
DIY publishing utilizes an online tool which you can use to upload your manuscript, create a book and get it
into distribution. Some DIY publishers only offer e-book publishing and limited distribution options.
1. Choose Publisher
There are several choices among DIY publishers; some will produce your e-book for free with basic services and
others may require a fee and offer advances options such as choices in formatting, design, editing and
2. Upload Manuscript
Your DIY publisher will likely prompt you to upload your manuscript to an online publishing program or wizard
of some kind. This program may auto-format your book into the size you choose and walk you through each step of
choices to make for your book.
3. Choose Book Specs
Most DIY publishers will have a variety of templates to choose from when formatting your book and creating a
cover or give you the option to create/submit your own. You can choose your book size, formatting options
(e-book, softcover or hardcover), paper quality and more.
4. Design Cover
Again, you can use stock image or a pre-templated cover design from your DIY publisher or submit your own
completed cover art file.
If you forgo assisted services, it will be up to you to proof your manuscript and cover copy. Once you feel
your book is finalized, you will submit your completed file.
6. Online Distribution
Your completed file will go into online retail distribution to businesses stipulated in the publishing option
you choose (i.e., perhaps your e-book is only available from your DIY publisher and BarnesAndNoble.com or you
have a softcover and e-book version available, etc).
You can begin earning royalties on your book once it's available and selling on the market.
Publishing a book is not limited to the three tracks above; another option is considered "general contracting."
General contracting allows you to maintain complete control over the outcome of your book by hiring professionals to
work on each segment of your book's creation. As the author, you are responsible for finding and hiring all these
professionals. There are referral services available to connect you with professionals who can do this specialized
work (such as editing, interior design, cover design, printers, marketing professionals and more).
Your publishing journey is what you make it. There are countless options and opportunities available to segue you
from writer to published author. Do you research and find the option that best meets your goals.