How To: 5 Tips for Self-Publishing

1. The Three P’s (Patience, Persistence, and Positive Attitude)
When deciding to self publish a book for the first time, one of the most important things you must have is patience. This process will be new to you, therefore, like anything else, you will have many hurdles and barriers to overcome. Keep in mind that the barriers are only temporary and you will get by them and move on.

This leads me to my next P, which is persistence. When you get to the many hurdles that will come along the way, you must remain persistent to reach your end goal. Whether your end goal is to become the next New York Times Best Selling Author, or to simply self publish a book and sell a few copies, success is what you make it. Persistence, however, remains important throughout the entire process. When you reach a barrier or road block, it is sometimes easy to get side tracked and put the project to the side. Once the project is placed to the side for any great amount of time, it is very likely that the project will be replaced with something new. Keep this in mind and be sure to stay persistent to reach your final goal.

Another important thing to have while trying to self publish a book is a positive attitude. Like any other venture, there are days when you will seem overwhelmed with the amount of work that you have taken on. Again, it would be easy to just question whether it is worth the hassle of all the work, and just put the book to the side. The thing you must keep in mind is that you set a goal and in order to be successful in life, you must accomplish your goals one at a time. This is where a positive attitude will take you the distance. If you are patient, persistent, and keep a positive attitude, you will be able to reach that goal and publish your book to share with others and more importantly feel the joy of reaching that goal.

2. Find an online publisher that provides POD (Print On Demand)
Self publishing a book can be very costly if you are not careful. I took on my project with a shoe string budget, because I did not want to purchase an entire warehouse of books to store and resell. If you have the resources to purchase an entire crate of books, this option is always available. The benefit of this is that you will purchase the books for a lot less per book than if you purchase by print on demand. The benefit of POD, however, is that you only have to pay for one book at a time, which means you do not have to use up your emergency savings account to purchase all of your books up front. There are many print on demand sites out there, and each of them run similar. I do not know all of the sites, but the site that I chose was I found that throughout my entire process, the online customer service that they have has always been available when I need them, and they have been some of the best customer service representatives I have ever dealt with. This is important when you are self publishing your first book. Again, there are many options out there, and my suggestion is to do some research and find the best for you.

3. Find a mentor
Like any other venture, your best advice will come from someone who has already done what you are trying to do. Find someone that has self published a book and find out what they have done to overcome some of the problems that you will face or are facing. Find a person that can be an email away when you run into an issue. It makes the process much easier when you have someone that is willing to share their experience and knowledge with you when you need some guidance.

4. Purchase an ISBN number
It is important to purchase an ISBN number when you self publish a book. This should be done before the final print of your book, because you must include the ISBN number on the cover and have the ISBN number available if you wish to submit your book to online retailers such as,,, etc. The best way to do this is by purchasing a publishing package from the online print on demand publisher that you choose. The site that I went with had a wonderful package that provided me with my own ISBN number and automatically submitted my book to many online bookstores through a catalog system. Again, the best advise is to find a site that works best for you, but keep these tips in mind when making your final choose. The ISBN and bookstore submission steps are probably the most important steps to find yourself a mentor for. It can be confusing and overwhelming when you have never done it before. So find yourself a mentor that can help answer the questions you will have about these processes.

5. Dream big but realize that success doesn’t have to be big
Many people may find themselves going into the book publishing journey with the idea of making a lot of money or becoming a best seller one day. The thing to keep in mind is that when you choose to self publish rather than submitting your work to large publishers, you are limited on your marketing dollars. Unless you have a huge pocket to reach into, getting the word out about your book will take a lot of work. Word of mouth becomes one of your best allies when you do not have the money for brochures, posters, magazine ads, etc. Keep in mind that your greatest success is the fulfillment of accomplishing the goal of publishing your book. Marketing and selling large volumes of the book will take more time and resources. So enjoy your initial success and work at building your reader base one reader at a time.

young, confident man

Chad A. Armel is the author of “Stepping Stones,” a collection of motivational and inspirational poems. Chad is also the founder/editor of, a website dedicated to motivating visitors to make a change in their lives.