As I was volunteering at TedxLondon last weekend, quite a few people asked me about how I became a self published author and that inspired me to write this article.

Don´t wait till your old…

In my life, I have come across many people who have said something along these lines: “I should really write a book.”; “I will write a book when I´m really old.” or “I would like to write a book but I don´t know if I´m capable of doing so.”

The first two examples of people are probably never writing a book, because if you procrastinate- especially until you´re really old- I´m sorry, but it ain´t happen. As for the last statement that I come across quite a lot- of course you can write a book! Did you know that there are people who had literacy issues, were actually really bad writers when they started, but they did write a book in the end?! Some of them are bestsellers! To name a few: Lewis Howes and Gabrielle Bernstein. You don´t need to be an expert when you start, what you need is the dedication to see it through. Another question I often get is: “So can anybody just publish on Amazon, is it that easy?” Well the short answer is yes, but the long answer is that: 1. You actually need to have a book and 2. If you want to be taken seriously and really put a quality product on the market- it is not that easy, but it is possible if that´s what you want.

The steps…


I´m sure this doesn´t come as a surprise. If you want to publish a book, you actually need to sit down and write. I suggest you take this process one step at a time. What I mean is- when you begin writing don´t worry too much about the future steps like: I don’t have an editor, what do I do? I don´t know how to format my book, what do I do? Don´t worry about this in the beginning, because it´s most important to START and everything else, you´ll figure out one step at a time.


After you finished your first manuscript, you need a or a few content-proof-readers. This doesn´t need to be someone professional. Use your common sense- who do you know, that will be good for the job? When you give them your manuscript, make sure that you give simple and direct instructions. I didn’t do that in the beginning, but I´ve learned my lesson. What I do now, in this first process, I tell my proof readers the following: “Don´t worry about grammar and writing errors, I´ll deal with these later. Also don´t worry about any document errors. Please only focus on the content and the structure of the book. Where do I need to do more research, what´s missing?” If there is a chapter that I wrote but I am not sure of the content, I will say: “Please let me know what you think of the following chapter. Any advice? How could I change it?”

I only write non-fiction, so the instructions for fiction might be a little different. Feel free to check out this YouTube channel: Kristen Martin. She is a fiction author and she created her YouTube Channel to give advice.

Proof-reader back and forth

When my manuscript comes back from the proof-readers, it´s time for me to do more research and edit. I take the comments of the readers and I work with them. If I don’t understand what they were getting at, I call them.

Second round of proof reading

I usually give a manuscript to two people and then it goes first, second, third round of proof reading. It depends a bit on the topic and what you think, how much work the manuscript needs. You just have to see what works for you.

Professional editor

When it comes to the final stages of the book, I give my manuscript to a professional editor. Simply because the professional editor will still find inconsistencies in the book, contradictions and they are just an amazing source of making your book a master piece.

Grammar and writing errors

When the book is finished and you are happy with the content then it needs a grammar and writing error check. You can obviously use a computer program, however it is usually good to also have a person look over it, because programs don´t catch everything.

Purchasing ISBN Numbers

As a self-publisher you need to buy an ISBN number for your book. If you only publish an e-book, then you don´t need to do that, but if you publish paperback, you do. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. You have to make sure you purchase the numbers in the name that is appearing on the book, because the number will be assigned to this name. If you are only planning to publish one book, you can get only one number, but this is the more pricy option. If you are writing more than one book, you can buy a pack of ISBN numbers, which, in the long run, is cheaper. If you are based in the UK, your provider is Nielson. If you are based in another country, you need to check who is the provider for your country.


Now it is time to get your book into the right format. You can figure out yourself how to do that if you like. Maybe you have a friend who can do it for you. But because I don’t see myself messing with this, I hire this company: Depending on what you publish: whether it´s kindle, e-book or paperback- all these options need to be formatted in a different way.


Again, you could do this yourself or maybe you know someone who can help you, but also in this case I choose to hire a company: Even though I hire a company, I do tell them what I´m looking for. So you do need to think about what you want your book cover to look like in order to give the company/ person some input on where to begin. This is something you can begin thinking about early on, even in the writing process. Just wonder: “What would be a great cover for my book?” You can get inspiration looking at other books, you can draw an outline, you can brainstorm with friends- that´s what I usually do. And over time, you will have a good idea of what you want.


When all is done, you then upload all your files. You can publish kindle and paperback all through Amazon or you can publish your paperback through CreateSpace- this is a company that works with Amazon. I publish with CreateSpace- but for my readers it doesn´t make a difference, they only see the book appear on Amazon.

Order a proof

Once uploaded, your file is being checked. This usually only takes 24 hours. If all is well, then your ready to order the first copy of your book! Your proof copy. It´s now time to check if there are any errors that you missed when you were checking the document. If you can´t find any errors, that´s amazing! For my first book I ended up ordering three proof copies, because every time I found something that I had to change.


When all is clear, and you didn’t find any errors that needed to be erased, you can press the publish button! Amazon/ CreateSpace will then show you the following message: “Your book will be published within the next 48 to 72 hours.” And you can go celebrate!!!

I hope this article helped- if you have any other questions, don´t hesitate to message me and go check out my first self-published book here.

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