Master Online Book Publishing With These 11 Simple Steps

Posted on May 21, 2024

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The advent of online book publishing has made it easier than ever to get your novel in front of the eyes of your readers. Now anyone can skip the waiting game of the traditional publishing industry and publish a book online – but it’s harder to do it well

That’s what we’re here to help with today. We’ve assisted hundreds of authors in creating the book of their dreams through online book publishing, and we can teach you how to do it too. 

So, if you want to learn more about online book publishing, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to platforms like Amazon KDP and Barnes & Noble press, it’s never been easier to self-publish your book online. 

But why should you choose online book publishing over traditional publishing? Is it better to shoot for a big-name publishing house and the bestseller list? Let’s discuss why self-publishing is actually the best bet for most authors, and then dive into exactly how to do it. 

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Pros to Online Book Publishing


There are so many pros of self-publishing vs traditional publishing. Here are just some of the reasons to try online book publishing for your next novel: 

Instant Results 

With traditional book publishing, you can wait years before your book is picked up – if it’s even picked up at all. Literary agents and publishers are gatekeepers that can stand in the way of your success. And only about 1% of submitted books will actually get published. 

It’s not so with online book publishing. You don’t have to wait for anyone’s approval to self-publish a book online. In fact, you can do it tomorrow if your manuscript is ready to go! 

This allows increased diversity in authorship and lets you get your name (and your story) out there so the world can enjoy your work. 

Higher Royalties 

One of the best things about online book publishing is that you get much higher book royalties.

When you work with a traditional publisher, they take a cut of your profits. You should only expect to receive about 30% royalties. 

With self-publishing you get a whopping 70% book royalty rate, so you can earn a lot more for each book that you sell. 

More Control

No one wants to lose creative control over their baby, but when you partner with a traditional publishing house, that’s often what happens. In order to have their name on your book, they are given a lot of power in the publishing process, which can affect edits, marketing, and future movie deals. 

When you do online book publishing, you have complete control over every aspect of the writing, editing, and publishing process – giving you complete creative freedom.

The Same Great Quality 

Self-published authors now have access to the same high-quality printing and book distribution networks as traditionally published authors. 

That means that once your book hits the shelves, no one will be able to tell how it was published just by looking at it – it will be just as professional and beautiful as the traditionally published books it sits next to. 

So now that you have some idea of what online book publishing is the best way to go for many authors, let’s discuss how to do it properly. 

How to Master Online Book Publishing in 11 Simple Steps

Online Book Publishing Tips

Here are 11 steps to follow when pursuing online book publishing:

1. Write Your Manuscript 

In order to publish your book online, you need to have one written first! Finishing your manuscript is the first and most important step in the online book publishing process. 

If you’re struggling to finish your manuscript, there are lots of book writing software options that can help you. You can also make sure you have a set writing schedule and a clean workspace that promotes productivity. 

Make sure you make time for writing. Treat it like any other non-negotiable job or appointment on your schedule. 

Don’t edit yourself at all during this stage. Don’t second-guess your work. Just get as much out on the page as you possibly can. As long as you continually put your fingers to the keyboard, the book will get written in the end! 

2. Self-Edit Your Novel 

Now comes the time for self-editing – and it can be hard. Many potential authors give up on their book at this point and their stories never see the light of day. 

Don’t be one of those authors!

It can be easy to compare your manuscript to the finished products you see on the bookshelves, but don’t fall into that trap. Those books have gone through rounds and rounds of edits to end up as the polished products they are – remember that you are just getting started. 

Take the time to go back through your chapters and look for grammatical errors and issues with flow. You want to have a well-thought-out and generally error-free manuscript to present to your editor, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s the editor’s job to get your writing into shape! 

3. Hire a Professional Editor 

Once you think your novel is ready for another set of eyes, it’s time to hire a professional book editor

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

Some authors think their work is already perfect and ready for publishing, but we are all our own worst critics. We also know exactly what we meant to say, so it’s easy for us to skim over errors without actually catching them. 

The last thing you want is to go through the process of online book publishing only to have a book that readers can’t follow or can’t take seriously due to mistakes. 

A professional book editor can help to ensure your characters are solid, your writing is water-tight, and your story is the best it can be. 

4. Revise Your Novel 

This is probably the most dreaded step of online book publishing, but it’s a necessary one. Your editor is most likely going to ask you to change parts of your beautiful child, and they may be edits you are resistant to.

Remember, while you do have creative control over your book as a self-publishing author, it’s also a good idea to listen to your editor. They are a professional with deep insight into the publishing industry and what makes a book work for readers and distributors. 

At the end of the day, you want your book to perform well! You can work back and forth with your editor to find a compromise, but do your best to follow their instructions and create a polished manuscript that is ready for online book publishing. 

5. Decide on Your Book Title 

You may be surprised to see this step here. After all, you’ve probably had your book named since the idea for it first came to you! But that is what we call the “working title.” And your first title may not be the winner you want to end up with. 

Plenty of books have changed titles before publishing. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously went through a dozen titles before finally settling on The Great Gatsby

The reason we recommend reconsidering your title here is that your book is finally finished. Maybe it’s taken a life of its own and the direction is different than you first envisioned. Or maybe you’ve had to make so many edits to your manuscript that the title isn’t a perfect fit anymore. 

Now is the time to play with new titles. Consider important characters or locations within the book. See if there is a particularly poignant line or scene that you can play with in your title. 

Let readers know what to expect from your book without giving any spoilers away. 

If you need help coming up with the right book title, you can use our free Book Title Generator for inspiration!

6. Create a Stunning Book Cover Design 

Your book cover design is the very first thing your readers will see, and your book cover needs to make a good first impression! It’s important to be thoughtful about your book cover and design something that is eye-catching and speaks to your story.

Take a look at other book covers in your genre to see what is performing well and why. You want to take cues from these covers, but also make sure your book has the ability to stand out from the pack. 

Once you understand what makes a good book cover for your genre, it’s time to look into hiring a book cover designer. While you could design a cover on your own on Canva, I’d recommend against it unless you have ample design experience. 

You don’t want a poor cover to prevent potential readers from picking up your book. 

If you want to hire a professional, here is a list of some of the best book cover designers to choose from. They can help you decide the creative direction for your cover, but remember – you have the say at the end of the day! Don’t say yes to a cover you aren’t thrilled with. 

7. Decide Where to Self-Publish Your Novel 

If you haven’t already made a decision, it’s time to choose where you want to publish your book. Some of the main options for online book publishing include: Amazon KDP, Apple’s iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Nobles Press. 

Do some research on each online platform to determine where you would like to self-publish your book first. If you aren’t sure what to choose, Amazon self-publishing is a great place to start! 

8. Make Sure Your Book Is Properly Formatted 

You wouldn’t want to go through all the work of online book publishing, only to have your readers turned off by difficult-to-read fonts or irregular line spacing.

Once you’ve decided what platform you want to use for online book publishing, it’s time to make sure your novel is properly formatted for that platform. 

If you aren’t sure how to format your novel, you can hire a professional book formatter to do it for you. 

9. Market Your Book 

If you are publishing your book online, you need to become a book marketing pro. That’s because you won’t have a publishing house doing the marketing for you. But don’t worry! Marketing your book doesn’t have to be hard – and it can even be fun! 

The biggest tip I can give you is to start marketing your book early. Don’t just wait until a few weeks before book launch to get started. Your book needs time to pick up traction! 

Here are some easy ways you can market your upcoming book:

Make an author website 

Before you publish a book, you need to have your name out there, and one of the easiest ways to do that is by creating an author website

Your author website gives credibility to your name, helps readers learn more about you and your book, and begins to create audience engagement.

Utilize social media 

If you aren’t already on social media, it’s time to make social media accounts. And I don’t just mean personal accounts, I mean professional accounts for your work as an author. 

Think about where your readership is. Are they on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook? Consider the demographics of each social media channel and start with the one most of your readers will be on. 

Make sure to update your channels regularly with information about your book, your writing process, and more! 

Create a launch team 

To have a successful book launch as a self-published author, you need to have a launch team. A launch team ensures that you will have reviews straight away after launching your book. This is critical, since most potential readers won’t pick up a book if it doesn’t have reviews. 

Reach out to book bloggers and influencers, people in your professional network, and even excited fans on your social media channels. Create a large team of people who you can send advanced reader copies (ARCs) to. 

Your launch team will read your book for free in exchange for an honest review come launch day. This will help to set you and your book up for success.

10. Price Your Book 

The next step of online book publishing is to price your book. Take a look at similar books in your genre to decide how to move forward. You may also want to create a special discounted presale price as part of your book marketing tactics. 

eBooks are typically less expensive than paperbacks and hardbacks, but that isn’t always the case. Just do some digging around Amazon or whatever platform you are selling on and take a cue from similar books. 

11. Launch Your Final Product! 

Now you know exactly how to complete online book publishing, and it’s time to officially publish! Launching your book is a hectic and exciting time. You can plan a book launch party and blast your online and social media channels with launch announcements.

You’ve put in the hard work to self-publish your book and finally get your story in front of readers. But remember – the marketing process is never really over. It takes work to stand out amidst all the other books that underwent the online book publishing process. But you can absolutely do it!

Ace Your Self-Publishing Journey From Start to Finish 

Still have questions about online book publishing? If you are unsure about any of the steps listed above, the team at selfpublishingschool.com is here to help you! You have an amazing story inside you, and we want to make sure you are able to share it with the world. 

You can book a call with one of our friendly team members today to see how we can assist you in turning your dream book into a reality. 

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