1- Do It Yourself

Read more publishing and writing tips in Andi’s Attic >>

Is the idea of submitting manuscript after manuscript for sometimes months (or years) making you feel defeated? Heads up! You can publish your own book yourself and for pennies (or free). I suggest you reread or skim this old post about the advantages and disadvantages of publishing with a royalty publisher and self publishing. Read this >>

Then come back if you want to know how to “do it yourself.”

First Things First

You need to think about a printing option. For sure, you do not want to go with a printer/publisher that tries to “sweet talk” you into publishing with them. Even if they say it will only cost you ten dollars, run the other way! Those are what used to be called “vanity” presses and they have soaked many an unsuspecting new author. I almost got sucked into one, but by God’s grace, it never went anywhere. He had other plans for my books. Now, much older and wiser, I can help you avoid any scams right from the get-go.

Amazon KDP is a good option, but they require your bank account information, as well as a W-9 form with your social security number. KDP also requires your book to be listed on Amazon.com. This last part is a new development. I used CreateSpace for many projects in the past. I could order print copies using my private account without being required to sell the books on Amazon. That all changed when CreateSpace merged with KDP. Amazon is the best option for young (or old) authors who are serious about publishing and selling their books online. Amazon has world-wide distribution. This is not the best option, however, for children or young teens who simply want to hold a book in their hands.

Lulu.com (or Lulu xpress) is another great place to create your book. You can quickly upload your interior pages, upload a cover, or you can design a cover using Lulu’s templates and connection to Canva.com.  I like this service for printing just-for-fun books for kids, or for anyone who wants their book published but is not interested in going through the legal and financial hoops of KDP. You need no bank information and no W-9s. You do not need to give them your social security number. You don’t even need an ISBN number unless you plan to list the book for sale online. Lulu xpress prints your books and mails them to you. The End.

A couple of other printers are CreateMyBooks.com and TheBookPatch.com. I have not tried these, but creating an account is free and you are not committed to using their services if you change your mind. Play around and see which book printer works best for you. Remember, however, that if any of these printers want money up front in order to use their services, delete them quickly!

Finding a good printer for your special book project is important. Before you get in a rush, check out some of these places. Create accounts and look around to see how easy the process it to create a book. There are also many other things to consider, like . . .

  • Do I want my book to be professionally edited for typos and content?
  • How do I create a cover?
  • What is a “cover flat”?
  • How do I upload my book to the printer?

We’ll talk about those next time. Happy publishing!

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

28 thoughts on “1- Do It Yourself

    1. A professional editor (like I am) usually charges by page count (though some charge per word). A standard page count contains about 250 words.
      Then, an EDIT is about $3.00/page (a page being the 250 words for each page). The editor finds all kinds of things to help the author make the story shine (run-on sentences, POV issues, character issues, timeline-issues, plus spelling and grammar). A PROOFREAD is usually done on the PDF file that is ready be uploaded AFTER the manuscript has been edited. The proofreader checks for typos and formatting but does no actual “editing.” This is usually like . . . $1.50/page.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I published my first book at the age of nine on Amazon! It’s called The Mystery of the Missing Boat, in case anyone’s interested. Back then, Amazon was CreateSpace.
    Now, I have self-published my second-ever book on Lulu! Lulu is so easy to understand, and it’s perfect for those who just want a book to sell to their family and friends. My book is titled The Children’s Home. I never knew about Lulu until I took the Zoom Writers Workshop with Mrs. Marlow!
    Anyway…while it’s cool to have a book up on AMAZON(!!!), if you know it’s nowhere near professional quality or you don’t want to wrestle with getting all the information for KDP, just publish it on Lulu. It’s a lot easier.
    Thanks for listening to my TED Talk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Super cool!! Yeah i am still working on the same book i was during the writing class last December! Im hoping to publish it next year on LuLu!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Super cool, Cari! Mrs. Marlow, would Lulu Express(or any other of the companies you listed) print like, a thousand books? Or only how much you ask them to print(like, two dozen)?


  3. Also, if i wanted to publish a book, could i send you the story(s) so you could read them from a professional POV(I would, of course, pay you)?


    1. Well .. I don’t think you could afford me. 🤪 Editing costs a good bit of money but I’m open to discussing it. But not for several weeks, as I am already in the middle of three current editing jobs.


  4. Thx, i was just looking at my choices. No plan to publish my book until im a bit older and ready to go through with everything


  5. Can’t wait for the next post about the things you listed you would talk about next time. Is it goanna be soon?


    1. No. The books I’m offering….I just put them up…. Have no bar codes. I did them on lulu.com.
      Amazon gives you bar codes for free if you put your books up there


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