Self-Publishing Your Own Physical Book

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Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to provide you with tools and resources for creating your own self-published physical book on Amazon. There are a lot of opportunities in Kindle right now (we have a whole module dedicated to it!) but there are also advantages to having a physical book that having a Kindle book doesn’t offer, so this lesson will show you how to easily create your own physical book.

Creating Your Book

Getting content can actually be a fairly easy process. You could use your own expertise on a topic or interview someone who is an expert in the market you want to target.

With that in mind, there are a few steps you can take that will take you all the way from generating a book idea to publishing the physical book.

Step 1: Get Content Idea

A good method for getting content ideas for a particular market is to use a service like Wordtracker, which can be found by searching for “keyword question tool”. With this service, you enter your keyword and receive a list of the top questions related to that keyword.

Step 2: Get Expert Input

Once you receive this list, these questions can be used in a short audio/video interview. It is easier to get an expert to talk about their area of expertise (e.g. chiropractor) then to get them to write a book about it.

Step 3: Transcribe the Expert

After you complete your audio/video interview with the expert, you can transcribe the audio yourself or take the audio to a service like verbalink.com (pronounced “verbal ink”). This service may not be the cheapest of this type, but it has proven to be easy to use and they always deliver. You simply submit the audio file to them and they will send back a transcript to you in just about any file format you want. The quality is good (grammar, etc.) and the turn-around is usually just a few days.

Step 4: Edit the Transcript

Once you have completed these steps, you now have a document that can be the base content for your book. The longer the interview and the clearer the person talks, the better and more substantial the transcripts are going to be. A 1-hour interview could very well be turned into an entire book.

To edit the transcript into book quality, you can either edit the document yourself or outsource the task. A good site for outsourcing this kind of task is Elance.com. An editor will be able to turn the transcript into good written form, which you want to do as obviously the transcript is not formatted well enough to be a published book.

Another item you can have done at a site like Elance.com is to have a book cover created. If you’re publishing a physical book, you want to make sure you use a print-quality cover with print-quality graphics. Unlike a Kindle book cover, which you may be able to do yourself and can swap out fairly easily with good-looking but not necessarily print-quality graphics, etc., it will cost you more (about $200 or more) to get a print-quality cover, but in the end it can be well worth it.

Step 5: Print Your Book

Once you have an edited copy of your book and print-quality cover to go with it, you then need to get your book printed.

A good service to use is Colorwise Printing. You can call them directly or use their online “quick quote” to determine what your cost will be based on quantity, size, paper weight and quality, etc. You send them copies of your files (transcript and cover) and they send you back a PDF ‘proof’ of the book, generally within a day.

Once you’ve reviewed the proof and coordinated with them on how many books you want at what size, etc., they will take your order and print your book within about 7 to 10 days. Once the printing is completed, they will ship the books directly to you or, if you’re doing “fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA), Colorwise can send the box of books directly to Amazon.

Note: when using this service, payment is split into two parts. The first half will pay for the proof and the second half will pay for the final printing.

Step 6: Identify Your Book

This isn’t so much a step as a “nice to have”. It involves the acquisition of an “International Standard Book Number” (ISBN).

If your intention is to sell your books personally or simply to give them away, you don’t need to have an ISBN number. However, if you plan to sell through a major retailer or online store like Amazon, you will most likely want to get one. One thing is for certain – if you plan to have your book available at a public library, it most definitely requires an ISBN number.

You want to be careful where you get your ISBN number as there are some shady services out there, but a good place to get one is the online service Bowker Identifier Services . In fact, this site is actually linked to via the Colorwise website.

Conclusion

Once you have an edited copy of your book, a cover and an ISBN number (optional, depending on your intention), you can then go and create your Amazon product listing by adding your physical product to your seller’s list, being sure not to list it for sale just yet. You can change that status as soon as you receive the printed books or have them sent to Amazon for FBA orders.

Now you know an easy way to self-publish a physical book that you can sell on Amazon.

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