13 Steps To Publishing Your Book For Free!
A printed book, downloadable PDF, ePUB, various ebook formats, & Kindle
By David Bergsland
Mankato, Minnesota USA ©2011 All rights reserved
This is not to say that it is necessarily easy. Writing and designing are personally challenging, creative processes. Editing and publishing are very complex tasks and will take experience to do comfortably. Nevertheless, the process is simple and you should not be intimidated.
It’s a simple process
You can do this!
As we go through this list, you will find some things that you have in your skill set and some things where you need to study and practice. My goal here is to give you a plan of action and a process of production. This is greatly expanded upon in InDesign 7.5 On-Demand, my book on the newly personalized process of publishing for the new paradigm of the new millennium.
You’ll need a computer
This can be a PC or a Mac. You’ll need a monitor at least 1600 pixels wide, 4 GB or more of RAM, a dual-core processor, a 100 GB hard drive, and safe backup storage or better. You’ll need Windows XP (service pack 3), Windows 7, Mac OSX.5.8 or better. These are minimums.
2. You’ll need Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium or better
This is necessary because only in CS5.5 can you export an ePUB from InDesign that will validate. Plus the upgrades to the rest of the suite make everything much easier. Get the non-profit or academic versions, if you qualify.
If you are new to InDesign, you’ll probably need a copy of Sandee Cohen’s InDesign CS5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide. You will be using Lulu or possibly CreateSpace. CreateSpace normally requires a proof. A proof will cost you around $10. It is always highly recommended to get a proof to approve— but if you have no money it is not necessary. You will need to pick one of their sizes and follow their instructions to get things printed. More complete instructions are found in InD-O-D. InDesign On-Demand covers this in some detail. If you are really new to this, you might need to use Publishing with InDesign, which covers it more thoroughly. All type must be formatted with Paragraph and Character Styles. All graphics are formatted with Object Styles. Lulu and CreateSpace both give you exact specs for their covers. Lulu can use (and prefers) an InDesign PDF. CreateSpace will require you to rasterize it in Photoshop and save a Photoshop PDF. Be especially careful of the spine. CreateSpace has minimums for type. Set the PDF up for downloading at the same price you will use for all your ebooks. Only Lulu has this option of downloadable print PDFs.
Set up your book for print
Format your book entirely with styles
Design a cover in InDesign
Export the PDFs to upload for printing
Here you can upload a second version of the book. It can be in full color RGB. It needs to be self-cover, so you’ll need to put the actual front cover on page one. You simply open the packaged copy of the book and modify the styles as needed according to your sense of style. In InDesign On-Demand I recommend that you save your graphics in full color and make greyscale versions for your printed book. It is rare that you’ll want to print a full color book (though that is certainly possible). Use those color graphics here in the Scribd edition. Packaging makes a new folder with a copy of the InDesign document, plus a copy of all the linked graphics in a folder called Links. Because print requires high resolution graphics: PSDs, TIFFs, EPSs, and PDFs, you will normally change the name of your Links folder to Originals (or move the packaged graphics to a new folder). You will normally make new copies of everything as GIFs, JPEGs, or PNGs saved into the Links folder to use in your ePUB. You can let InDesign do the converting. By using Photoshop, you will get better results by doing the conversions by hand. In addition, all typographic graphics, tables, drops caps, and the like will need to be copied into a new InDesign document and exported as a PDF for import into your ePUB document. You may also have better luck here if you rasterize
Package a version for Scribd
Package a version for ePUB (iBooks & Nook)
your PDFs in Photoshop before you place them into your document. Use Lulu for iBookstore & PubIt for Nook.
Here you come to the first major glitch in the process (time-wise). Smashwords requires a Word document with very little formatting. You’ll need to follow Mark Coker’s Styling Guide exactly. No styles except for H1. Everything else is formatted in Normal. Nothing can be larger than 16 point type. All other styling is done with bold or italic. You can also set the fonts to serif or sans serif. Arial and Times are recommended (almost required). All graphics will need to be converted to JPEGs that are 600 pixels wide or more and inserted into a separate paragraph in the text. You will need to paste it into a new single-column HTML document set up in a new site in Dreamweaver. You’ll need to set up a CSS file (if you know how). You will need to put all of your Smashword graphics into an images folder in the new DW site. When you have that all formatted (all you are allowed is h1-h6, p, ol, ul, strong, and em). You zip the site and upload it. You will need a special site or a special section on your existing site. Here you want to include materials that will add value for your readers.
Package a version for Smashwords
10. Copy the text into a new Kindle document
11. Set up your Website
12. Design marketing materials
I recommend Zazzle for collateral materials to help market the book. These are great for special offers and promotional entries socially
13. Talk it up on your blog, in FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter
Use the social media in which you are active. It must be genuine. Let your friends and readers know what you are doing. Get them involved. Solicit their feedback. Answer their questions.
Zero! Outside the cost of your computer and software. Many of you already have this. Try it. It’s great fun. Check out my blog: http://bergsland.org/blog or the Radiqx site: http:// radiqx.com. I’m also on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
May 1, 2001 • Mankato, Minnesota USA