How on Earth do you Publish a Book?

Publishing Your Book

One of the first questions people ask is, “how on earth do you publish a book?” Since “The Boundary Stone” is my first book, I’m certainly no expert, but I can tell you that so far, it has been a fairly manageable process, and I’m happy to share how I did it.

frontOnce I had the book almost written, I went online and typed in ‘book cover artists (I had a design in mind, and thought that once I saw the actual cover, it would be great motivation to finish – and it was!), and within seconds, a ton of sites instantly appeared on my screen. I clicked on them, one by one, to see the style of covers each artist designed and when I saw something close to what I had in mind, I sent an email to the artists introducing myself and included a short description of what I envisioned. When I looked through the responses I found that I “clicked” with both the enthusiasm and artistry of Cathi Stevenson. Cathi was able to take my basic idea of a botanical butterfly illustration on aged parchment paper with a font that looked as though it came from a quill pen. After several backiterations, the final artwork was created. Cathi even researched and added to the top and bottom of the cover the (backwards and upside down) handwritten notes of Leonardo Da Vinci on the birth of a baby – an event that takes place in the book. That was an excellent bit of inspiration from a professional cover artist that really added to the final work.

After engaging the cover artist, I needed a content editor for an overall assessment. Through Cathi’s recommendation, I engaged Amanda Gillespie, who was invaluable with her thoughts. One idea in particular, the addition of the poem, “The Flea” at the very beginning, really set the tone for the book and I could not have been happier with her suggestions. I absolutely recommend hiring an editor for both copy and developmental editing at this stage.

Final cover and edited document in hand, I then needed a professional formatter who would convert my Word manuscript into the proper book format so that I could upload on CreateSpace, the self-publishing division of Amazon. Again, through Cathi, I was referred to Gwen Gades. Gwen and Cathi work closely together to format the book into its final form, and once they were finished, Cathi sent me a file for the cover and Gwen sent me a file for the interior. CreateSpace walks you through the uploading process for each of those files (they even offer 24 hour phone assistance), and after reviewing the book in its final form; I approved it for sale on Amazon. Gwen is now preparing the files for an ebook, which will be available soon.

There were a few more steps (ISBN numbers, etc.) in there, but for the most part; the above is a basic overview of the process I went through to upload “The Boundary Stone” onto Amazon. I think self-publishing a book is a lot like planning a big party or a wedding. You find one of the elements (the venue or the caterer, etc., or in this case, the cover artist) you like, and from there, they know the people they trust and like to work with. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me and I will try my best to answer, or direct you to someone who can. I absolutely recommend to anyone who has ‘always wanted to write a book’ that you give it a try!

Gail