The Beauty of Self-Publishing

The lowdown on getting your content published into a book and marketed out there.

Forget four-color glossy brochures. Instead, spend time writing, producing, and printing your own book. Picture this. You have a book completed and printed on your topic of expertise. No matter who else is in the market, It’s almost certain you will be the only one in the market who has written a book specifically on your topic. Since you have written the book, you are now the expert.

How much will it cost? It depends on how many copies you print, how many pages you write and how fancy you make the cover and binding. Keep in mind that your book becomes one of your most effective pieces of promotional material. You may also use the book as your least expensive front end product for your funnel.

Three Ways to Write a Book

If you don’t have the luxury of taking an extended working vacation, you may want to consider the next few options.

25 X 4 X 2   System

Take your topic of expertise. Ask yourself what are the 25 most important main topics regarding this subject matter. Then ask yourself to come up with approximately four subtopics for each of these main 25 topics. Write two pages per night on each of these subtopics. You will end up with a 200-page book in just over three months.

 The One Page per Topic System

I know someone that used this system to put together a book on marketing. He had many ideas that he wanted to share with people so he brainstormed ideas and wrote down every single marketing idea that came to mind. He then wrote something on each topic. Some topics had short “blurbs” and others had five or six pages. After writing, he put the topics into categories that made sense. At the end of this exercise, he had a 265-page book filled with great marketing ideas.

 Transcribe the Seminar System

This method is particularly effective for those of you who have difficulty writing. I assume that if you don’t particularly like writing, you prefer speaking. That being the case, get six or eight of your favorite friends together, sit them down in a nice room, serve cocktails and deliver a seminar. Make sure you have thoroughly outlined your topic and have divided your presentation into bite size “modules.” These will end up being your chapters when all is said and done.

 Getting Your Book Edited

The biggest problem most people have is editing. This is simply a psychological block, especially if you feel you have to make everything perfect. This is an impossible task. Just get your thoughts down on paper and hire an editor to clean up your mess.

The best place to find inexpensive editors is your local college or university. Ask to speak to the English or Journalism departments. Then let them know that you are looking for student editors.

 The Next Step

The most cost-effective way to get the book printed is to provide the printer with a CAMERA READY copy of your manuscript. (Talk to your printer to find out what they need). Or you can provide your manuscript to the printer on a disk, typed in a common word processing program like Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect. Or, if you don’t have access to a computer you can have typewritten pages digitized (a process that scans typewritten documents into a computer). There is a fee for taking your manuscript off a disk and preparing it for production. This is referred to as typesetting or layout.

Shop around. Get quotes from at least three different printers. Check out their previous work. Just because they’re cheaper doesn’t always mean you’re going to get a quality product. Once you find a printer, be sure to get a contract. This will help to ensure that your expectations are met, i.e. price, delivery, specifications.

Find a book you like the looks of. Publishing starts with the appearance of the cover. Model your publication after it. Check with the printer you decide to use. They can help you in this area.

So, how many copies should you print?

You have 3 main options:

  • Print 2,000 – 5,000 books at a reasonable unit price.
  • Print 500 – 1,000 books at a higher unit price.
  • Print covers ahead of time and copy your text on demand. This will provide you a competitive unit price with low, up-front costs.

What factors will affect the cost?

  • Book dimensions
  • Type of binding (perfect binding, hard bound, combbound, saddle stitched, velo-bound, wire-o-bound)
  • Kind of paper used for the cover
  • Number of ink colors on cover, and in text.
  • Number of pages in text (count title page, table of contents, index, each and every page)
  • Quantity of books desired.
  • How prepared your manuscript is.

Copyrights and ISBN

Once you write and register the manuscript, you will own the copyright to the material. It’s a matter of filling out a form and sending the required fee to the U.S. Copyright Office at

ISBN numbers are a unique number assigned to books and publishers, which are assigned and maintained by the ISBN Agency. This number is useful for consumers when trying to locate books. It is also necessary if you want to sell your books in bookstores.

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