The Process of Self-Publishing a Book: Part One

A walkthrough of the steps involved in publishing your book through a self-publishing company.



With my third novel launching in the near future, and having now gone through the self-publishing process three times, I thought now was an ideal time to delve into the process of turning the final draft of your novel into a beautifully bound book (or electrifying ebook).

This first blog in the series covers preparing your story for submission to a self-publishing company.

(Note that I’ll be exploring the process for using a self-publishing company rather than a more ‘DIY’ service like Amazon KDP.)


Polishing your story

Ensure your manuscript is as polished as possible before you submit it to a publishing company.

This means any kinks in your plot have been ironed out, your chapters flow seamlessly and as many typos as possible have been weeded out. You’ll probably have gone through several successive drafts by this point, so there might be words or even whole sentences that you thought you deleted still lurking in your manuscript.

It’s vital that you thoroughly proofread your manuscript multiple times. Leave it for a week or two then look through it again with fresh eyes.

And if you find yourself wondering whether to give your manuscript one last read before submission – do it.


Formatting your manuscript

Once you’re happy with your story, you’ll need to format the document in accordance with your chosen publishing company’s guidelines. These can usually be found on their website.

Most publishing companies require you to double space your manuscript, as this makes it easier for editors to check and annotate.

Double check what file format(s) the publishing company prefers to receive from authors before you submit.



You’ll probably be asked to provide supporting documentation like an author bio along with your formatted manuscript. Don’t consider these as an after-thought – they’re intended to tell the publisher a bit more about you and your work.

Think of anything about you that’s memorable and relevant to the story and why you wrote it, such as hobbies, qualifications or personal experiences.

You should also take the time to craft the body of your submission email, as this is the first impression of you as an author the publishing company will receive. Try to keep your tone professional, without sounding too formal and stuffy.

Oh, and make sure you’ve proofread the email subject and the body of the email before hitting ‘send’.

One final thing to note is that there’s no guarantee that the publishing company will accept your manuscript.


If you’re having trouble finding a publishing company that accepts work in your particular genre, a good place to look is the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook.


More from my blog

The Process of Self-Publishing a Book: Part Two
This second blog in my series covers the steps involved in turning your story into a professionally-prepared manuscript ready for typesetting.