ISBN_boxWhat you must have to publish

Other than numbers 1 & 2 below, what you need depends on whether you are only publishing electronically or you include print.

1. This first thing you need is a really good manuscript. While I’m sure you feel you have a really good manuscript or you wouldn’t be thinking about publishing it, have you had it edited?

Or are you making do with reads by friends and colleagues because you don’t think you can afford an edit?

The truth is this: without an edit, the odds are that you won’t have a really good, publishing-caliber novel. You can’t afford not to have an edit done.

2. You need a book cover. You can design one yourself, pay companies such as CreateSpace or to create one for you, or you can hire the really terrific designer who runs this site and get a professional design for reasonable dollars.

3. You need an interior design for your book. A lot more is involved than just changing the spacing of your manuscript to single-spaced and changing the paper size.

4. You need a way to create ebook versions of your manuscript. You can do this yourself, but it can be complicated, frustrating, and you may not like the results.

5. You need an ISBN number  for print and some ebook publication, but not for Kindle ebooks.

6. You need ways to distribute your book to places where readers can buy it.

What else you need to publish

Creative support

There are services like mine that offer editing and design. I’m not going to tell you who they are. But I can tell you that my rates are competitive and my service unmatched.

Production support

On the Resources page I list a couple of avenues for getting a print or electronic book out there.

Distribution support

Printing a book or creating ebook files gets you only part way. The Resources page includes info on some distribution opportunities for both print and ebooks.

You can do much of it yourself

One thing you can for sure do yourself is create and publish ebook versions of your book. However, it’s not simple or easy, and you can end up with ebooks that have errors that turn readers off. I can help you with creating ebook files or simply with formatting a manuscript that will work with the ebook publishers.

If you can design as well, all to the good. Check the Resources page for, well, resources.

One thing you can’t do yourself

A good edit. Which, as I believe, is absolutely necessary for success in self-publishing.

Indie author options

1. Publishing service packages. A company that helps you with everything you need to publish, including getting an ISBN,. CreateSpace, an Amazon company, does a good job for competitive prices (well, not with mine). They also hook you up with distribution via and other online booksellers. offers similar services and results. But there are significant costs for these services, including independence and control.

2. The Crrreative combo. Combine Crrreative design and editing with one of those companies. Outfits like CreateSpace can be good support outside of the creative aspects.

You can go to them with a book that has been thoroughly edited and with press-ready cover and interior files. You bypass their creative charges and use their publishing support.

3. Crrreative and you. Use Crrreative editing and design to create a professional book and then produce and market it yourself.

4. Subsidy publishers. Universe, AuthorHouse, Publish America, and Xlibris are examples of today’s subsidy publishers. You pay, but they control, even to setting prices. You can get a good product from these companies, but you will pay more and not make much. The “marketing” they do doesn’t seem to me to offer much.

Things that should concern you

  • Lack of control
  • Cost of printing your book
  • Cost of creative services
  • The price of your book
  • % discount you offer booksellers
  • Profit on your book

5. DIAY You can do it all yourself.


Novel, Kathleen Toomey Jabs
Fuze Publishing