8 Easy Steps to Self Publishing Books From Your Website Content

Interested in self-publishing books? If you have a website, you can re-purpose your top articles into a book. Think about it. After you write heaps of quality articles and lots of traffic on your website, why not reuse it, all the same articles in a printed book, PDF eBook, audio books and Kindle book getting the most out of your time and work.

These are My 8 Painless Steps to Self Publishing Books:

  1. Write down an layout for the book chapters with the top articles from your website.
  2. Enter your book in a Microsoft Word template (or your preferred software) formatted for your preferred book size.
  3. Save your book to PDF.
  4. Select a book designer for your book cover or choos a DIY format.
  5. Decide amongst all the publishers who you want to use to publish your book.
  6. Sign up for an account with self-publishing and upload your documents, if relevant.
  7. Now begin your book marketing by selling copies online at Amazon, via your own website and in person when you speak or at events.
  8. Now it is the time to layout the book into a PDF ebook, audio book and Kindle book.

This is what I did with my website Teen-Beauty-Tips.Com. That was the autumn of 2008 when I stumbled upon the concept of self-publishing books. One of our associates, also a speaker, showed us his self-published book.

Quality was great and we found out that he was able to buy his self-published books on his cost of just $ 2-3 for every book. Not only would there be added revenue to promote books at speaking events, but it also gives immediate credibility of a “published author.” “I thought,” Wow… I can I do this.”

The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing My First Book

And so, I put together an draft for my book based on the finest articles on my website. So, I came up with the title.

Next, I started to copy and paste my articles into a Word document template. I subsequently converted my Word document using the free of charge edition of PDF995 (click on properties, then advanced option and select the “Statement [5.5 5 X 8.5 5] “From the dropdown menu for the paper format.)

Despite working full time as a physiotherapist and speaking, as well as travelling from time to time, I had a 190-page book ready to print in a month.

I had a low budget (or should I say no budget) so I took the DIY method. I researched styles of my template and did a book cover in Photoshop. I researched self-publishing and decided to go with Createspace (a company with Amazon), since there are no upfront costs and they list you quickly on Amazon.Com.

As an example, my 190 page black and white soft cover book only cost me $3.13 + Shipping, with the help of the Pro Plan. The Pro Plan is a fee of $39 the first year and then an annual fee of $5, but is well worth the cost in an increase in royalties and decreased cost to buy books. I highly recommend the Pro Plan, by the way. There is actually no reason to go with the Pro Plan (that is, unless you don’t sell any books at all!).

Same Book, Multiple Formats

When my book was released on Createspace and Amazon, I also had it offered in the PDF eBook format. I give away the PDF format away to my newsletter subscribers, which once more has helped me to build my list in a very small niche (Christian teen girls) to about 2700 and expanding.

I therefore decided to make my book as an audio book using Audacity and a $ 30 microphone to record it. I am now selling MP3 downloads through ClickBank and also sell a Disc of my audiobook on Kunaki.C Com. The Kunaki can I buy Disc’s at cost for as little as $ 1 (+ shipping), as I also sell them at my events and online through my website.

Eventually, I took my Word document took out the pictures embedded in my file and saved it as an HTML document. I subsequently uploaded it to Amazon’s digital text platform, and I now offer Kindle version from my website as well.

Making Money Selling Books

In such a small and specialized niche, I’m not getting rich by selling books from my website. But there is a regular paycheck from both online and offline sales, and as my traffic increases (now over 1000 visitors per day), so my sales.

Of course, if you want to “Hit it Big” in publishing, you will want to hire a professional to design your interior book template and your book cover design. I ultimately decided to have a designer update my book cover for me.

If you want to go the TRUE self publishing route and do all the leg work yourself, then you can form your own book publishing company and use Lightning Source. In this case, a book like Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual is a great resource to guide you step by step.

You Can Do It!

Given that you’ve already put so much time and energy into writing your website, it could be worth taking some extra time and re-purpose identical articles to a hard good, as a paperback book, CD and digital products as a PDF eBook, Kindle book and MP3 downloads for your visitors.

If you do not want to be a national bestseller, but simply want to provide extra resources to your website visitors and another paycheck, then download my free book templates, sign up for a free Createspace account and get started! Oh, and have fun…Soon you’ll be a “Published author.”

Good Grammar Makes Self-Published Books Stand Out

Recently, Dictionary.com ran an interesting article titled, “Does Grammar Matter in the Workplace?” The article referred to Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit and founder of Dozuki, who wrote an article called “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar” in the “Harvard Business Review.” Wiens states, “I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing-like stocking shelves or labeling parts.” In response, John McWhorter argued in a “New York Times” essay that grammar is not indicative of intelligence or attention to detail, and in many professions, is not an essential skill.

While, of course, grammar matters more in jobs related to writing than in other jobs, such as a factory assembly line, I beg to differ that grammar has nothing to do with attention to detail. As a book reviewer, I have seen countless poorly written books in which the grammar is atrocious. I have also seen many of these books completely lacking in any sort of attention to detail.

The world now has countless aspiring authors and over a million books are published every year. If an author is going to compete against all the other authors to make his or her book stand out, having a well-written book with proper grammar, and having it proofread meticulously, is going to make a huge difference.

Believe it or not, even among authors, bad grammar exists. Traditionally published books tend to be better than many self-published books because publishers have editors to fix grammar, spelling, and other errors. But not all publishers, editors, or authors are of the same caliber, regardless of whether the book is traditionally or independently published. And many an intelligent self-published author knows enough to have his book edited and proofread to avoid errors.

I see certain grammatical mistakes being made across the board in books; frequently, I find split infinitives in books produced even by major publishing houses. The best known example of a split infinitive comes from the television show “Star Trek” in its famous opening “to boldly go.” Here, “to go” is the infinitive of the verb, so it should not be split, although people frequently insert adverbs into the infinitive, thereby splitting it). I also frequently see subject-pronoun agreement issues. For example, “Everyone should decide what they want for lunch before they get to the deli counter.” In this case, “everyone” is singular so the pronouns should also be singular. Instead of “they” should be used “he,” “she,” or “he or she.” Or “everyone” should be replaced with a plural word like “people” that will then match with the plural pronoun “they.”

As I said, such errors are frequent even in traditionally published books, and well-educated people still constantly make these errors. Many people who complain about bad grammar won’t even recognize that these examples are bad grammar. I was amused in reading the article at Dictionary.com that among the comments readers made-both from those who felt grammar does matter in the workplace, and those who didn’t agree-many were filled with bad grammar, and at least one person pointed this fact out in her comment.

I also disagree with John McWhorter that grammar has nothing to do with being detail-oriented. I’ll expand a bit here from grammar itself to include spelling, pronunciation, and other matters related to writing and communication. I cringe when I see commercials where people use bad grammar; commercials have writers who should know better. Poor pronunciation also causes me to cringe; in one commercial I’ve seen, the business owner tells customers that his product is “guaranteed”-only he can’t pronounce “guaranteed.” He thinks the beginning of the word rhymes with “car” rather than “care.” Then a jingle comes on in which the word is pronounced properly. This business has made numerous commercials and every time it is the same “guaranteed” line and the same problem with pronunciation. I am amazed that the television station producing the ad has never told the business owner that he is mispronouncing the word, and I also am amazed that the business owner has never picked up on how the word is pronounced differently in the jingle. Obviously, attention to detail is lacking here. I know a little room for difference in pronunciations exists, so I went online and listened to the word pronounced at four different dictionaries and not one pronounces it the way he does. And even if there are two ways to pronounce it, shouldn’t the pronunciation be consistent in the commercial? Do I want to buy a product from a man who for years has been unaware of how to pronounce a word properly that he uses over and over to promote his business and that he’s heard from other people’s lips dozens of times, and yet he can’t pick up on his mistake? How guaranteed is his product, really?

Such lack of attention to detail is even worse when it’s in a book. Here’s an example of just one of countless books I’ve been given to review where bad grammar and bad writing also reflected lack of attention to detail. First, this particular book was filled with typos and misspellings. One that really irritated me was the author continually referring to how he used to be an “alter boy.” As a good Catholic, he should have known how to spell “altar.” Worse, throughout the book, he couldn’t make up his mind how to do much of anything. Whenever he referred to a book or film, he would have it italicized on one page, then in bold on another page, then underlined on another, then italicized and underlined on a third. In one case, I saw him italicize, bold, and underline all in the same sentence, never catching on that the three mentions of the book did not match. I wonder whether he would paint a fence like that-black post, green post, some pink stripes, then some blue polka dots-and not realize it looked terrible when he was done. His book sure looked terrible, and it read horribly. A good author pays attention to the details and makes sure everything is as consistent as possible.

I also know authors who, unbelievably, don’t think good grammar matters. They tell me “That’s why I have an editor.” And I know editors who tell me writers without good grammar are terrible writers, and no matter how hard they, as editors, work, and no matter how great the idea for the book might be, a book can only be improved so much by someone other than the author, and it will never be completely up to par if it were not well-written to begin with.

Whether you are an author, a salesperson, or a factory worker, people do judge you on your use of grammar. If you haven’t seen the movie “My Fair Lady,” it’s worth watching as an example of how grammar can get you ahead or hold you back in life. Perhaps transforming yourself from a flower girl on the street to part of English high society, as Eliza Doolittle does in the film, is rather extreme for your situation, but it does show how people view you based on what comes out of your mouth. And they also judge you on what comes from your pen.

Bad grammar, bad writing, and lack of attention to detail are the primary reasons why self-publishing has had a bad reputation. Perhaps you can get away with bad grammar in the workplace, but you can’t get away with it when you write a book. Trust me; there are readers out there who delight in finding errors and pointing them out just so they can feel superior to authors.

If you are an aspiring writer, I recommend you brush up on your grammar. It wouldn’t hurt to take a class or to read a grammar book. And by all means, find a good editor. But don’t just let your editor fix your grammar; pay attention to what the editor changes and learn from him or her (not them). Good and serious writers pay attention to detail. They notice what their editors change, they learn why, and they do not repeat the same mistakes going forward.

Regardless of what the rest of the world might say about the need for good grammar, an author should be an aspiring expert on grammar and punctuation and be detail-oriented. You may not need to know the name of every part of speech, but you should write and rewrite with a dictionary and a grammar book close by for quick reference. Do your best to produce a consistent, well-written quality product and you’ll be ahead of the crowd in making your book stand out.

Coach for Teen Girls Builds Brand With Self-Published Book

Determined to build her practice, Sandra Dupont, teen therapist and life coach for girls, made good use of all the usual methods, such as expert articles, newsletters and blog posts. But it was not until she overcame her reluctance to write and self-publish a book that her reputation, client list and professional network began to expand in new, meaningful ways.

“When it came down to it, the investment in time and resources was little compared to what I’m getting from the book. But I don’t know that I would have had the confidence to do a book without a consultant; starting a business is a big enough challenge. With a little help, the book process was delightful,” says Dupont, who practices in Santa Monica, California.

The paperback and e-book versions of What Would Your Teen Life Coach Say? A Survival Guide for Girls Entering High School has helped Dupont on several fronts. The book allows her to answer frequently asked questions, which saves time when engaging prospective clients. And the accessible Q&A format makes the book (and Dupont) popular with teenage girls who crave immediate advice for their particular problems.

The 68-page book also has contributed to expanding awareness of Dupont’s credentials, credibility and style. It even promotes the unique “sanctuary” she has created for her clients, a key factor in drawing new business.

“The book has helped established my particular brand and style. It attracts people who might like me. Photos of my office are on the front and back covers. They suggest a feel, a vibe, a sanctuary that I have created for teenage girls. It says, ‘This is who I am and, if this works for you, come see me.'”

How a Self-Published Book Builds Revenue

As Dupont created What Would Your Teen Life Coach Say?, she discussed marketing strategy with her creative consultant. By the time the book was ready to be shared, the teen life coach had already decided to post her paperback version at Amazon.com, while offering a free PDF download on her Website. She also gives a complimentary copy of her paperback to every new client.

How can Dupont expect to increase revenue by giving away her book? The strategy is counter-intuitive but effective. Gifting the book is a generous act that builds public profile. Suddenly Dupont is not only a teen therapist, but also “the author of… “

Also, by making the PDF version available for immediate download, Dupont is giving curious parents a window into her personality. “Parents download the book and tell me, ‘I’ve read through your book and I want my child to see you.'”

In other words, the book is an ambassador that attracts new clientele, which, in turn, creates more revenue. Meanwhile, for those girls who don’t live in Dupont’s region, the paperback is portable wisdom and teen-coach guidance that easily fits into a backpack.

The book also aids in-office sessions, Dupont says, because it can be read in one sitting. As a result, the girls come in ready to work, feeling hopeful that their problem has a solution. They don’t bother with questions that the book has answered. Instead, they focus on critical personal issues.

“Teen therapy isn’t always long-term, and it doesn’t have to be a slow, meandering process. Because I have the book, it allows us to get to the heart of matter. It allows the girls to talk to this stranger, me. I’m a stranger to them, until they read my book.”

Expanding Services with a Book

The book has also been important in expanding Dupont’s services. The nature of What Would Your Teen Life Coach Say? is slanted more toward coaching than actual therapy. Dupont says she discovered the wish to be a mentor while writing the book.

“The book definitely helped me expand so that I now include coaching and mentoring. That came out of writing the book and the enthusiastic response,” she says.

Dupont is so pleased with the results that she’s developing a second title: a workbook intended to assist teens with self-expression. She now believes that the benefits of writing and self-publishing a book are not limited to her niche. Many professionals (chiropractors, plumbers, CPAs or attorneys) may attract more satisfied customers with a book.

“Professionals of all kinds have prospective clients who probably ask the same basic questions. A book can provide useful information, while also allowing a business person to reach out and make new connections,” adds Dupont. “If the process seems scary or too time-consuming, get some help. It speeds the process.”