How to Self Publish a Book in India
Self-publishing is a revolutionary change in the world of book publishing. It allows aspiring authors to share their books, be they fiction or non-fiction, out with the world. Now even big authors like Brandon Sanderson have decided to self publish
This is particularly helpful for niche fiction which has a steady readership online but might not have such successful sales in a print run. It offers such stories the credibility of being a published book rather than an online post and allows the author to earn revenue from its sales. Self-publishing allows writers more creative control and a direct connection with their audience.
With the rise of digital platforms and print-on-demand services, self-publishing has become an accessible and viable option for all. Here we provide a step by step process of self-publishing a book in India to help authors navigate this exciting and empowering journey.
Step 1: Finish and Refine Your Manuscript
The first step to publishing will always be writing and before diving into the world of self-publishing, it is essential to have a well-crafted and polished manuscript. Write and edit your book diligently by yourself and once you’ve done that, seek feedback from beta readers or join a writing critique group to gain valuable insights into your writing and what in it needs improving. Then edit on the basis of that.
Step 2: Get it professionally edited
No matter how professional you are, it will always be hard to edit your own work as critically as someone else. Find a professional editor to help you perfect your manuscript and work on it as per their directions and with them to get the perfect draft.
Step 3: Choose the Right Self-Publishing Platform
There are now several platforms for self publishing and choosing the right one and be hard. Selecting the appropriate self-publishing platform is vital for a smooth and successful publishing experience. Here are some of the best platforms that cover self publishing in India as of now:
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP): KDP is one of the most popular platforms with one of the widest readerships. It offers both e-book and print-on-demand services. Authors can publish their books as Kindle e-books and paperback editions, making them available on Amazon’s vast global marketplace.
Kobo Writing Life: Kobo is also a very well-known e-book platform and it allows self published authors to reach readers in India and beyond. It offers competitive royalty rates and provides distribution to various global e-book retailers.
Notion Press: This is an India-based platform that offers comprehensive self-publishing services, including e-book and print-on-demand publishing. Authors can avail themselves of professional cover design as well.
Step 4: Create an Eye-Catching Book Cover
No matter what we’re told, people first judge a book by its cover. A visually appealing book cover is essential to attract potential readers. Consider hiring a professional book cover designer to create a visually captivating cover that reflects the essence of your book. A striking cover will significantly impact your book’s discoverability and sales.
Step 5: Format Your Book
Once you have chosen a platform, it’s time to format your book for publication. Each platform provides specific formatting guidelines that authors must follow.
For e-books, ensure your book is correctly formatted as per the platform’s requirements, and include a professionally designed cover that catches readers’ attention.
For print-on-demand books, set up your interior layout according to the trim size and paper type chosen.
Step 6: Register Your Book’s ISBN
An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is essential for tracking and identifying books. In India, authors can obtain ISBNs from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) through their designated agency, Raja Rammohun Roy National Agency for ISBN. Assign a unique ISBN to each format of your book (e-book, paperback, hardcover, etc.) before publishing.
Step 7: Publish Your Book
With your manuscript formatted and cover designed, it’s time to publish your book on the chosen platform. Follow the platform’s step-by-step instructions meticulously for uploading your book and cover. Carefully review and approve the book’s final layout before making it available to readers, you want everything to be perfect.
Step 8: Set Your Book’s Price and Royalty
Determine the pricing of your book based on factors like genre, word count, and market trends. This will involve some research. Self-publishing platforms typically offer royalty options, and you can set their book’s price and earn royalties from sales. Strike a balance between affordability for readers and earning a fair royalty for yourself.
Step 9: Marketing and Promotion
As a self-published author, marketing is an integral part of your journey. Create an author website or blog to showcase your books and connect with readers. Utilize social media platforms to share updates, engage with your audience, and participate in writing communities. Consider offering limited-time discounts or promotions to attract readers to your book.
Step 10: Distribution and Sales
Self-publishing platforms like Amazon and Kobo provide a wide distribution network, making your book available to readers not only in India but also across the globe. Keep track of your book’s sales and reviews, and use the insights to further refine your marketing strategies.
Step 11: Market your Book
This step is important for your book to stand out amongst all the self-published books on the platform. Make sure to market your book well so that it reaches
Step 12: Engage with Readers
Though this falls under book marketing, it requires a separate category in self-publishing. Building a loyal readership is key to long-term success as a self-published author. Encourage readers to leave reviews, and respond the reviews thanking them for their advice. Engage with your readers through social media, email newsletters, and book events and keep their feedback in mind when planning your next book.