Seven Simple Steps to Self-Publishing


You’re approaching the end of your book. Maybe you’ve even crossed the finish line.
What an accomplishment!
But now what?
That’s exactly the predica-ment that Linden Gross’s writing coach clients faced. Writing their books had been hard enough, but trying to figure out the self-publishing maze seemed downright daunting. So she decided to create another arm of her One Stop Writing Shop and launched Incubation Press. The mission: To assist authors at every stage of the writing, editing and publishing process.
Linden is uniquely positioned to be able to do just that. Over the last two-and-a-half decades, this two-time New York Times bestselling ghostwriter, national journalist and acclaimed writing coach has worked with a host of gifted editors, researchers, designers and marketers. From the start, she recognized that her favorites—in her estimation the very best of the lot—could become affiliated with Incubation Press. But how to structure the self-publishing process itself?
Having self-published one of her own books, Linden knew firsthand how confusing that process was. Having worked through a Midwest self-publishing company to publish her father’s final book, she also knew the frustration of having to communicate through a computerized dashboard rather than with humans. Determined to create a personalized self-publishing system that would educate her writers rather than leaving them clueless, she boiled down the self-publishing process to seven simple steps, which are explained in detail on
Step 1 – Choose Your Book’s Format
This step is easy. You just decide whether you want a hard cover, a paperback or an e-book, and determine the book’s dimensions in the first two cases.
Step 2 – Design an Attention-Grabbing Cover
It turns out people can—and do—judge a book by its cover. You want to make sure yours convinces prospective readers to take a second look, even if they’re only seeing a tiny thumbnail online. Incubation Press’s design team specializes in covers that stands out from the pack while conveying your book’s message.
Step 3 – Create a Website
Your book needs a calling card to announce its existence if you want people to find it. In this era of increasing online influence, that calling card is a website. Creating your website even before you’ve completed your manuscript works for three reasons. One, it can be a motivator. Two, it will help create buzz. Three, it can help spread out what are always a lot of self-publishing expenses.
Step 4 – Edit Your Book
There’s nothing worse than an overly excited writer who pulls the self-publishing trigger before having their book professionally edited. Just for the record, there are three kinds of editing. Developmental editing deals with the big-picture, broad strokes. Line editing focuses on language and flow. And copy editing ensures that spelling, grammar and facts are correct. Ignore these steps and you’ll be pegged as an amateur and your book discounted.
Step 5 – Design the Interior Pages
You need a sophisticated layout for your interior pages. Simply pasting your copy into a template, which so many people are tempted to do, is another amateur tell. Our design team will make your pages look better than a lot of those put out by the major publishers. That was critical to Linden, who still resents the crummy design job a big-boy publisher did on one of the books she co-authored.
Step 6 – Production & Distribution
Thank goodness for the age of print-on-demand (POD), where copies of books can be produced as they’re ordered instead of being printed by the thousands, requiring warehousing and fulfillment centers. Still, you do have to decide whether you just want Amazon to sell your book, which means you can simply go through CreateSpace, the company’s self-publishing division, or whether you want global distribution as well, which involves IngramSpark and gets a little more complicated.
Incubation Press can help with either, as well as with critical administrative tasks such as registering your copyright, and obtaining your ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and corresponding bar code as well as your Library of Congress (PCN) number.
Step 7 – Online Promotion
You probably think of yourself as an author rather than a marketer, but your book won’t sell itself. To be honest, if you don’t spread the word, it’ll be like erecting a billboard in the middle of the desert and then wondering why you’re not getting any business. When you’re finally ready to promote your work, Incubation Press’s marketing experts can design a strategic social media marketing plan that works for your book and your budget.
Empowering Authors
Whether you hire Incubation Press for one step or all seven, the emphasis will always be to provide the best services to meet your needs and to support you along the way. Of course, for those writers still in the formative stages of their manuscripts, Linden—who has worked with first-timers just embarking on their projects, veteran writers needing a fresh perspective and professionals seeking to enhance their careers through the written word—is always happy to lend a writing coach hand.
Either way, the goal remains the same. “While Incubation Press can handle everything from a total rewrite to your entire social media campaign, I’d rather teach you how to do the work yourself if that’s of interest,” says Linden. “At Incubation Press, just like at One Stop Writing Shop, we want to involve and empower our authors. Unlike other companies that do everything for you, which then compels you to keep coming back to them, the idea is to launch you in a way that ensures you can take it from there.”
From Manuscript to Marketplace
“Linden is a master at her craft,” says David Rosell, Bend wealth manager and author of Failure is Not an Option: Creating Certainty In the Uncertainty of Retirement and Keep Climbing: A Millennial’s Guide to Financial Planning. “She guided my two books from the idea phase to reality as my writing coach, editor and publisher. The books are striking, and I couldn’t be happier!”


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