top of page

Self-Publishing - The Independent Author [Part 2]

Let's get back to it!

In this post, we will be discussing the four last steps in the self-publishing process. If you want to read up on the first part of this series, you can find it HERE.

We will discuss how to upload manuscripts, set prices, promote and monitor sales. Our last point from part one was the pre-launch step. Of course, we remember that by pre-launching your book, you can build momentum and excitement before your official release date, which can help increase your book's visibility and potential sales.

Most authors skip this step and it shows in the struggle to generate enough sales and real reviews on their books later on. Remember the important steps of the pre-launch stage;

  • Set a release or launch date for your book

  • Develop your marketing plan

  • Build a launch team

  • Create promotional materials

  • Plan a launch event

  • Collect reviews

  • Build an author's profile

  • Set up for pre-orders

Since we're all caught up, we're moving on to the following five steps. Following the pre-launch is the upload of your manuscript.

  1. Upload Your Manuscript and Cover: You'll need to format your manuscript according to the guidelines of the platform you decide to publish with. There are also cover size requirements for each platform, so make sure your cover specs are right. Once the formatting and cover specs are correct, you can upload the manuscript and remember to review it before publishing. If there are any changes needed, make sure to amend them before moving ahead. Once the manuscript is accepted, it will give you the option to publish.

  2. Set Your Price: Setting your book's price is very important. The price you set can affect the number of sales you make and the amount of revenue you earn from each sale. It's important to consider the competition and create a competitive price point that still allows you to make a profit. Make sure to check the prices of similar books and adjust your price accordingly. Keep in mind that a lower price can lead to more sales, but will result in lower revenue. Consider the cost of production, the desired profit margin before setting a price, and the platform royalty margin.

  3. Launch: Eve after your book becomes available for purchase, you continue to promote it to potential readers; marketing never stops. It is important to plan your launch carefully and strategically to maximize your book’s visibility and reach the most people. This is why the pre-launch step is so important; you create a marketing plan for your entire book launch project.

  4. Promote Your Book: Book promotion is a critical step in self-publishing. It's important to keep in mind that promoting a book is an ongoing effort. Continually engage with readers and promote your book even after the initial launch period has ended to keep the momentum going.

  5. Monitor Sales: Monitoring your sales and marketing can help your book succeed. Analyzing your data and adjusting your strategy regularly is the key to maximizing revenue and reaching a wide audience. Pay attention to customer feedback and adjust your strategy as needed to ensure you are meeting the needs of your readers. Constantly track your progress to identify areas of improvement. Utilize the data you collect to make informed decisions for the success of your book.



The manuscript and cover upload step is one of the final steps in the process. It involves uploading your final manuscript and cover design files to your chosen self-publishing platform. Here's what you need to know about this step:

  • Finalize your manuscript: Before you upload your manuscript, give it one final proofreading to make sure it is fully edited and formatted according to the requirements of your chosen self-publishing platform. This includes ensuring that the formatting is consistent throughout the document, there are no spelling or grammar errors, and that the file is in the correct format (e.g., .docx or .pdf, or Epub).

  • Review your cover design: Your cover design should be eye-catching and professional-looking. We covered this in the part one of this series, you can find it HERE. Make sure the cover image and title are legible and meet the specifications of the platform.

  • Prepare your files for upload: Once your manuscript and cover design is finalized, prepare them for upload to your self-publishing platform. Follow the platform's guidelines for file type, file size, and formatting. You may need to upload multiple files for different formats (e.g., ebook and paperback). If you're using KDP, the cover upload can be incredibly daunting if you don't get the size requirement right when creating your cover. It's important to get the cover requirements first, and then design your book cover within those requirements. Remember that each book format has a different specification.

  • Upload your files: Log in to your self-publishing platform and follow the instructions for uploading your manuscript and cover design files. Make sure to review your files carefully before publishing to ensure there are no errors or formatting issues.

  • Set your book details: As part of the upload process, you will need to set the book details such as title, author name, description, and categories. You will also need to set the price and royalty structure for your book.

Once your files are uploaded and your book details are set, you can publish your book and make it available for sale on your chosen self-publishing platform. Make sure to promote your book through marketing and promotional channels to help increase visibility and sales.



As we've highlighted above, setting the price for your self-published book is an important step in the self-publishing process. The price you choose can affect your book's sales, so it's important to consider several factors when setting your price. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Market research: Before setting your price, research the prices of similar books in your genre or category. This can give you an idea of what readers are willing to pay and help you set a competitive price.

  • Production costs: Consider the costs associated with producing your books, such as editing, formatting, and cover design. You'll need to factor these costs into your pricing to ensure you're making a profit. You'll also need to consider the cost of production for paperback and hardcovers if you will be providing those formats for your books.

  • Royalties: Depending on the self-publishing platform you choose, you may receive different royalty rates based on your price point. Consider these rates when setting your price to ensure you're earning the amount you want from each sale. With KDP and Kobo, you can play around with live calculations of what your returns will be based on certain price points.

  • Target audience: Consider the demographics and purchasing habits of your target audience. For example, younger readers may be more likely to purchase lower-priced ebooks, while older readers may be more willing to pay more for a physical book. Additionally, when considering options like the KDP Select program, you need to take into account your target audience. Do they use Kindle Unlimited exclusively or are they one-time buyers? Knowing your target audience helps you in making the right decisions for your book.

  • Promotions: At some point, you may want to run special promotions. Perhaps a birthday, Valentine or special event discount. If you plan to run promotions or discounts, you have to consider how they will affect your pricing strategy. You may want to set your initial launch price higher to accommodate future discounts.

Once you've considered these factors, you can set your book price. As I stated earlier, some platforms may offer tools or calculators to help you set a price based on your desired royalties or production costs. It's important to periodically review and adjust your price as needed to ensure you're optimizing sales and profitability.



The launch is the culmination of all the work you have put in up until this point, and it is an exciting and important step in the process.

By pre-launching your book, you can build momentum and excitement before your official release date, which can help increase your book's visibility and potential sales when your book finally launches. It also helps you create the marketing strategy that will keep your book's momentum after its launch.

Launching is an exciting moment, but it is important to have a well-planned marketing strategy in place to help ensure that your book continues to reach its intended audience.

This is the final step in the process here's what you need to know about the launch step:

  • Set a launch date: Choose a specific date for your book launch, and make sure you give yourself enough time to complete all the necessary steps leading up to the launch. You may want to consider launching on a specific holiday or event related to your book's genre or topic.

  • Create a launch plan: Develop a comprehensive launch plan that includes promotional activities to help generate and maintain buzz around your book. This may include social media campaigns, advertising, email marketing, book signings, and other events. Below are some steps to consider.

Identify your target audience

Before you can create a launch plan, you need to identify who your target audience is. Consider the genre, topic, and writing style of your book, as well as the age, gender, and interests of your ideal reader. This step, like some of the others in the launch plan, will be easier to achieve if you've followed the steps up until now.

Create a timeline

Build your online presence

Reach out to book bloggers and reviewers

Offer Incentives

Plan a launch event

  • Set up pre-orders: Some self-publishing platforms allow you to set up pre-orders, which can help generate interest in your book before it's officially released. This can also help boost your book's sales ranking on launch day. Another thing you could do with pre-orders is use them as an incentive to get more people to purchase your book. You can set a pre-order price and then change the price at launch.

  • Launch your book: On the day of your launch, make sure your book is available for sale on all platforms where you plan to sell it. If you scheduled them to go live, take the time to check to confirm that your book went live. Share the news of your launch on your website, social media channels, and with your email subscribers.

  • Monitor sales and reviews: After your book is launched, monitor your sales and adjust your promotional efforts and pricing strategy as needed. Consider running promotions or discounts to drive sales, or adjusting your price if sales are not meeting expectations.

  • Engage with readers: Engage with readers who have purchased and reviewed your book. Respond to reviews and comments, offer exclusive content or promotions, and encourage readers to share their thoughts and feedback with others. Engagement doesn't stop there. You'll also need to engage with your followers and fans on your author platform. Nothing kills the exposure for your book like silence on your end on social media.

  • Continue promoting your book: Even after your launch, continue promoting your book through various marketing channels to help generate ongoing sales.

Launching your self-published book can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's important to carefully plan and execute your launch to ensure the best possible outcome.



Book promotion is an important step in the self-publishing process, and as you may have noticed I've mentioned it so much at now it's a platitude in self-publishing. For your books to generate revenue, you need sales, and to get sales you need readers. How do you get your readers, you market your book to potential readers and generate buzz for your work.

Here are some ways to promote your book:

  1. Leverage social media: Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your book. I am lazy with social media so I only have my author account. If you prefer you can have a personal account and an author specifically for your books. My point is, the account you use for promoting your must be exclusive to your author brand. If you don't have one, create social media accounts for your author brand and post updates about your book's release, promotional offers, and events. Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to build an audience and promote your book. Share updates about your writing process, book cover reveals, and release dates. You can also offer exclusive content or behind-the-scenes insights to build excitement and engagement.

  2. Book reviews: Connect with book bloggers, reviewers, and book clubs in your genre and request a review of your book. Reviews can help attract new readers and generate buzz for your work. Sadly, most reviewers require a fee, if you cannot find reviewers in your genre who will do it for free, then consider budgeting for book reviews. You can also offer to write guest posts or conduct interviews to generate additional exposure.

  3. Email marketing: Build an email list of potential readers and send regular updates offering exclusive content, discounts, or sneak peeks at upcoming projects. I don't do this because it requires an email marketing plan that is very consistent is wouldn't easily be categorized as spam. If you've got the time and you want to do this, you will need to plan your content and timeline every month.

  4. Participate in book signings and events: Attend book fairs, author panels, and other events to network with readers, authors, and publishing professionals. You can also organize your own book signings and readings to generate interest in your book.

  5. Book giveaways: Offer free copies of your book as part of a giveaway promotion. This can help attract new readers and generate positive reviews. You can also give free copies of your book to influential bloggers, reviewers, and readers to generate reviews.

  6. Paid advertising: Consider using paid advertising, such as social media ads or Google ads, to promote your book to a wider audience. If you're using the KDP platform, you can take advantage of the promotional marketing tool.

  7. Book awards and contests: Submit your book to book awards and contests in your genre. Winning or being nominated for an award can help generate buzz and attract new readers.

  8. Book trailers: Create a book trailer, which is a short video that promotes your book. Share the trailer on social media and your website to generate interest in your book.

  9. Utilize book clubs: Reach out to book clubs and offer your book as a selection. This can help generate word-of-mouth buzz and drive sales.

Remember, book promotion is an ongoing effort, and it takes time and effort to build momentum. Experiment with different strategies and track your results to see what works best for your book and audience.



Make sure you track your book's sales and analyze the data to plan future promotions. This way, you can ensure you get the most out of any promotional efforts, and maximize the potential success of your book. Additionally, you should use the data to identify any areas that need improvement, such as the cover design of your book or the content itself. Monitoring sales data can also help you identify the best times to promote your book in order to reach the most readers.

The following are some key strategies for monitoring your book's sales:

  • Utilize analytics tools: Many self-publishing platforms, such as Amazon KDP and Barnes & Noble Press, offer analytics tools that allow you to track your book's sales, royalties, and performance. You can use these tools to monitor trends, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

  • Track your sales: Keep track of your book sales on each platform where your book is available, including total units sold, revenue generated, and any associated expenses. This will help you determine which platforms are performing well and which may require additional promotion.

  • Analyze your data: Look for patterns and trends in your sales data to identify what's working and what's not. For example, you might notice that sales spike after you release a new blog post or run a promotion.

  • Adjust your strategy: Use the insights gained from analyzing your sales data to adjust your promotional strategy. For example, if you notice that sales are strong on Amazon but weaker on other platforms, you might choose to focus your promotional efforts on Amazon. You might also want to adjust your pricing, target different advertising channels, or improve the quality of your book's description and cover.

  • Monitor reviews: Keep an eye on reviews of your book to gauge reader feedback and adjust your strategy accordingly. Positive reviews can be used in your promotional materials, while negative reviews may indicate areas for improvement.

  • Engage with readers: Engage with readers on social media, through email, or in person at events to get a sense of how they are responding to your book. This can provide valuable insights that can help you make informed decisions about your promotional strategy.

  • Set goals: Set realistic goals for your book sales and track your progress towards achieving them. This can help you stay motivated and focused on your promotional efforts.

By monitoring sales, analyzing data, and adjusting your strategy as needed, you can improve the visibility and sales of your self-published book. It's important to remember that promoting a book is an ongoing effort, so continue to engage with readers and promote your book even after the initial launch period has ended.

This concludes this series. You've seen that self-publishing takes a lot of effort, and the success of your efforts depends on how much you put into it. Being an independent author takes persistence and consistency. With that said, it is important to remember that the end result of all this effort is a book that you can call your own. It's a rewarding experience to see your work come to fruition, and it can be a great feeling to have control over the creative and business aspects of your project. Taking the plunge into self-publishing is a big step, but it can be very rewarding in the end. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you have succeeded in producing a book and that you are your own boss.

Many self-published authors have gone on to become bestselling authors, winning awards and recognition for their work and establishing a long-term career in writing. They have achieved these successes due to their dedication and hard work, and you can make your lasting impression in the literary world too. Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to join the LAIPA Association, an organization established specifically to support independent authors. The LAIPA Association offers the resources and support to help independent authors like yourself succeed in today's publishing landscape. Among our partners is CreatiForge, an independent publisher whose mission is to alleviate the struggles of independent publishing.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page