How to Publish a Book on Your Own

How to Publish a Book on Your Own

While struggling to choose among various Book Publishing options around you, for once you must have thought about ‘how to publish a book on your own?’ i.e. without the help of a Book Publisher. This is actually a very tricky process, but not with the help of this article. Let us help you through each stage of book publishing and sidewise, we would also tell you how every step becomes easier with the help of a publisher.

Step 1 Formatting: Your script should be well typed in an MS Office Word file. You need to format it as per the below guidelines –

  • Keep the entire font in Times New Roman Font size 12.
  • Use line spacing as 1.15
  • Chapter headings should be in Times New Roman Font size 14 Bold.
  • All conversations should be in double inverted commas.
  • Start each chapter on a new page.

Once the basic formatting of the script is done, organise the various parts of your book according to the below sequence –

  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication Page
  • Acknowledgments
  • Contents Page
  • Prologue
  • Chapters
  • Epilogue
  • Bibliography (if any)

Step 2 Typesetting: Typesetting simply means designing the script in a printable file which should be internationally acceptable. You can either take a basic tutorial on how to use Adobe InDesign software and take a subscription to design the script on your own or you can find out a freelancer who would be willing to do it for you at a reasonable price. The freelancer will hand over a printable PDF file of your script which you can forward to the Printer. This file would be in the size of the book as required by you. Some examples of file sizes are 5” by 8”, 4.37” by 7.1” and 5” by 7” etc. The cost of typesetting through a freelancer can either be a flat charge like INR 3,000 or per page like INR 30 per page.

Step 3 ISBN: An ISBN is necessary to register and sell a book on major eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. You can get the ISBN for your book by creating your account on Once your account is activated, you can apply for the ISBN for your book and within a time frame of 4-6 weeks, the ISBN would be allotted to you. Do not forget to add ISBN to the copyright page of your book. The bar code of ISBN can be generated online and has to be included on the back cover of your book.

Step 4 Cover Design: If you know how to design on photoshop, you would not be required to spend money for getting the cover designed through an experienced cover designer. However, if you don’t, you might end up paying anywhere between INR 1,000 to 5,000 for a cover design of your choice. Don’t be surprised to read that some of the book covers even cost INR 10,000 depending upon the level of creativity required.

The cover must include:

  • Book Title & Author Name on the front cover
  • Book Title, Author Name and Publisher’s Logo (If a book publisher is involved) on the Spine of the cover.
  • Book Title, Book Description (150 words), About Author (150 words), MRP, ISBN, ISBN Barcode, Publisher Communication details and Publisher’s Logo (If a book publisher is involved).

Step 5 Printing: Find out a printer in your city who can help you with printing books in super-fine quality. The cost of Printing generally depends upon the number of pages in the book. Usually, it is INR 0.45 per page with additional costs such as cover printing (around INR 10 per cover, only if pages are less than 160), bookbinding (around INR 12-20 per book), book lamination, hardcover cost (if a book is a hardbound book), shrink wrap packing cost (around INR 2 per book) and GST (18% on total cost).

The cost of digitally printing 100 copies of a book having 200 pages would be around INR 120. If you print more than 999 copies through offset printing, the cost of printing would be half of the cost mentioned previously as offset printing is cost-effective.

Cost of Publishing a Book:

Considering that your book is 200 pages and would require all above mentioned services, let us calculate the cost you would be incurring.

  • Formatting – Free.
  • Typesetting – INR 20 Per Page (200 pages *20) = INR 4,000
  • ISBN – Free.
  • Cover Design – INR 2,000 for a decent cover design.
  • Printing – INR 120 Per copy (100 copies * 120) = INR 12,000
  • Total Cost Incurred = 4,000 + 2,000 + 12,000 = INR 18,000

A book publisher would easily offer you a publishing package at INR 16,000 for all of the above services. This would also include lifetime publishing support. Now, that we have answered your question ‘how to publish a book on your own’, let us tell you why a book publisher should be preferred to publish a book.

  • A book publisher tells you the right format for your script. Formatting for a novel is different from a poetry book and so is from an educational book. You must save yourself from the hassle of finding out the right format from search engines.
  • A professional in-house typesetter at a publishing house would offer you 2-3 design samples to choose from. The freelance based typesetted file might not be using correct bleed margins and you might face problems while printing such a file.
  • Getting ISBN is quick and much easier through a book publisher. They have their account on the ISBN agency’s website and they can simply get the ISBN for your book within a week.
  • An inhouse cover designer with a book publisher would be offering you various cover options to choose from. The best part is, they have a repository of thousands of free images to choose the one that matches your cover idea.
  • Printers are usually too difficult to deal with. They need ample time to print and would require 100% accurate files to proceed with printing. It is essential to give them the right sized cover and print ready file which a freelancer might goof up with.
  • A book publisher has his name associated with your book. It is his duty to produce a good quality book in order to make a name in the market.
  • A book publisher would list your book on all major eCommerce websites, pack and dispatch the book when an order is received and would send you the periodic sales report of your book. This saves you from the hassle of packing, dispatching and keeping a track of money that you are supposed to receive if you are selling the book on your own.

The best thing that you receive from a book publisher is lifetime career support which would be a major missing if you publish a book on your own

Decided to Publish your book through a publisher? Here is a list of 20 Top Book Publishers in India

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