Self-publishing your book is like baking a cake – an author checklist

self-publishing author checklist - like baking a cakeWriting and self-publishing a book is a big project with many tasks that need careful attention. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a huge checklist and schedule, think of self-publishing your book as if you are baking a cake. Your goal as an author is to have a cake that you are happy and proud to share with with others. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • First, do you have quality ingredients? (quality writing and a good structure);
  • Second, do you have the right quantity of all the things you need? (people who can help with editing and proofreading and other tasks that you can’t do yourself);
  • Third, do you have the right pan and correct temperature? (technical requirements such as ebook formatting);
  • Fourth, does it look enticing? (don’t skimp on cover design – hire a professional);
  • Fifth, have you done a taste test? (getting feedback from beta readers );
  • Sixth, when and how are you going to serve your cake, who do you want to serve it to and how will you let them know? (make a book marketing plan).

Once you have an outline for your book project, put your self-publishing author checklist into a calendar. Then find a way to hold yourself accountable for those tasks. This may mean finding someone who will check in with you each week on your progress. If you are flagging or stalling, consider using a coach or a writers’ group to help keep you motivated.

Remember, as Agatha Christie once wrote, “Time is the best killer”. 

If you need help with any of these steps, check our Professional Help page. For marketing ideas, check our Marketing your Self-Published Book page. Find all other self-publishing resource sections here.

Pep in your steps

There will be many steps in your self-publishing author checklist before you see your writing become a finished book. It is easy to lose energy or become frustrated with the process. To keep energized, schedule time for learning and getting inspiration from other authors’ experiences. Listen to writer interviews, podcasts, advice videos, or browse through Reddit’s self-publishing section.

Final tip: Keep informed of trends and self-publishing news. Things change quickly and you may need to make changes to your project accordingly. For example, in 2022, more indie authors are selling their books directly from their own websites.  

January 2022

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