Once you have taken the decision to self-publish, whether the situation was forced upon you because you could not find a literary agent who would take a risk on you or whether you decided that you want to do-it-yourself, the next step is to decide how you want to publish and with whom.
There are several companies that will help you to publish your book as an eBook and it is worth signing up with more than one. A search on ‘ebook publishers” will produce the results you need. Some eBook publishers specialize in certain niches for example: Are “All Romantic eBooks” and there are those that do not specialize like Smashwords.
It is harder to find paperback publishers, but many authors like Lulu. However the only company that I have found that makes a great job of publishing your manuscript as a paperback and as an eBook is Amazon and its sister companies Kindle and CreateSpace.
The best way to start with these companies is to make sure that you can supply a well-edited electronic manuscript (I know that that is grammatically a silly phrase, but you know what I mean). Some companies will only accept MS Word others will accept Adobe’s PDF too.
The easiest way of achieving this is to write the book in Word or import it into Word and edit it. Importing it into or writing it with OpenOffice and saving it initially as a Word document works well too. In fact, this is the best route. save your document in two formats: Word and PDF (which OpenOffice can do).
Then go to CreateSpace and open an account. The production of a book with CreateSpace is pretty easy and you have quite a few choices when it comes to the size of the book, so before you dive in, measure a few books on your shelf and decide on a format. Having a front book cover and a photo of yourself or a logo ready is also a good idea, but you can produce one from within set-up or you can put everything on hold, if their images are not suitable.
If you have everything to hand, it is a doddle to go through the set-up process. CreateSpace gives a lot of online help and the process should not take more than an hour or two. You then have to proofread your book and pass it as ready for the printing press. It will also be reviewed by their staff and within 72 hours you should be ready to sell.
There are also several option for marketing that they will help you with and one of these is Kindle. Click that option to be taken to Kindle where you can open an account and import your book cover and all. Doing it this way around makes it easier to have matching eBook and paperback covers, although you can do Kindle first, if you like.
The final step is to select prices for the two formats. Most authors set the Kindle eBook at a lower price than the paperback, but it is all up to you and if you don’t get it right first time, that is no problem because you can change any aspect any time with a few clicks.