No two self-publishing projects are alike, but regardless of what you’re creating, there are key milestones that apply to all. Having a checklist and a plan in place can help you stay organized and set up your book for success.
1) Define Your Project
First things first—what’s your budget, and what’s your ultimate goal? The answers to these two questions will be your project’s starting point and will shape your decisions every step of the way.
If profit is a secondary ‘nice-to-have’ and your focus is on communicating your brand and style in a portfolio, you’ll want to consider this when selecting your paper type, trim size, cover design, and more.
Top tip: To get a real feel for how your choice of paper can affect the appearance of your work on the page why not start by ordering a swatch kit, which showcases samples of all of our paper types. You could also try making a small tester book.
Alternatively, if you’re focused on your profit margin you’ll want to start with our affordable formats, such as Magazines and Trade Books, that are priced to sell. Our pricing calculator can help you plan your project based on your budget.
2) Find the Right Tool for the Job
Keep things simple by choosing a book-creation tool that suits your workflow. If you already manage and edit your images in Adobe Lightroom, it makes sense to use the built-in Blurb book module. If you have a book ready to go in PDF format, our PDF to Book tool is the way to go.
Also, consider how confident you feel using each tool. Professional designers can stretch their legs with the Adobe InDesign Plug-In, but less experienced book-makers might prefer to use Bookwright—a high level design tool, accessible to all skill-levels.
Possibly the most important step in the process, particularly if you’re opting for a large one-off print run. Check, check, and check again. Keep an eagle eye out for spelling and grammar errors but also review the flow of your book. Do your images and narrative complement each other? Does your message come across clearly?
Top tip: One of the many benefits of choosing print on demand is that if you tweak your book, all copies printed and shipped afterwards will be up to date with all of your edits.
4) Setting Up for Sale
If your aim is to sell as many copies of your self-published book as possible, your marketing efforts should start long before it hits the shelves. Start building your mailing list early so that come the big day you have a ready-made audience to target. You can start generating a buzz right from the beginning with a behind the scenes blog post, documenting the process of making your own book.
5) Printing and Distribution
When it comes to printing, your budget is likely to be a deciding factor, but it’s also worth thinking about how you’re going to get your book in front of people. If you’re planning on selling only online, then print on demand is the way to go. But if you have conferences, networking, or speaking events lined up then it may be worth investing upfront in a print run, so that you have copies ready to hand out, sell, and share. Luckily, with Blurb you can switch between print on demand and offset runs as and when you need to so you can meet the demands of your project—but it’s always worth planning ahead so you know how many copies you might need at any one time.
Project Support for Self-Publishers
If you’re planning to order 100 or more copies, you’ll want to get in touch with our Large Order Services team. They handle the logistics of printing and distribution and can offer advice and support to help you make the best choices for your project. Find out more …