How to self-publish and sell your book
If you have a book idea – non-fiction, poetry, essays – and would like to publish it yourself, this course will cover everything you need to know.
From testing the market, naming your book, writing and proofing it – to design, registering it and ISBNs, printing (with all the right specs), pricing, marketing, postage & packing and selling…
Self-publishing is both exciting and daunting.
Exciting because you are in full control, and get to keep all profits once the initial costs are made back – which is why over 1,000,000 books are self-published each year.
And daunting because there’s so much you need to know.
For instance, have you ever thought about the thickness (or ‘gsm’ – grams per metre) of a book page? It needs to feel like good quality but still be easy to turn. And then you have to decide the colour of the paper and whether it should be recycled. Also, the font size and where the title needs to be for PR purposes.
But that’s all aesthetic. Now, what about how to list your book on Amazon? Who should distribute it? How would you go about getting it stocked in Waterstones? And what should you charge for a book, if you still want to make a profit? Plus what the hell is an ISBN – and why do I need one??
I have written, designed (well, employed a designer to design), edited and had 300 copies of my poetry book Twenty-nine: Poems on Motherhood printed. I’ve learned how to register it so that it can be sold in shops, distribute it, package it up to post out – and what to do about postage costs.
I made a truckload of errors but they have all informed this course. I’ve now had orders from around the globe: San Francisco, Zurich, Amsterdam, Canada, south London, Kent, Edinburgh and New Zealand – and I’m making a profit. Now that all my costs are covered, I keep 100% of the book sales.
So I’m ready to teach you everything I know about self-publishing your book and selling copies through my simple, no-nonsense online course.
Here’s the course outline
Module 1: Writing and naming your book
Firstly, is your book idea polished enough? I’ll help you to refine it, and offer ideas for testing the market. Next we’ll cover naming your book – with SEO considerations, as it will be sold online even if it’s a print book. But you might be thinking about an accompanying e-book, too. Lastly, whether or not it’s already written, you’ll need it proofed. I’ll offer suggestions for this.
Module 2: The design
We’re not meant to judge a book by its cover but lots of us do. The aesthetics matter. And not just in terms of attracting readers and customers but also because certain looks won’t be appropriate for getting coverage in magazines, newspapers and on blogs and websites. Also, the dimensions are important. This module will cover all design considerations, and I’ll recommend a designer.
Module 3: Printing your book
What thickness should the pages be and what card will work well for the cover? How should it be bound? Matte, laminated? What do you ned to include on the ‘copyright’ page (or colophon)? I’ll share a simple template for this. And for all printing requirements. I had three different copies of my book printed, from different printers, until it was perfect. I’ll teach you how to get it right first go.
Module 4: Selling and distribution
Pricing up your book is a delicate process: it needs to be good value for customers but also profitable for you. I’ll help you with this, and also: getting an ISBN and barcode, selling it on your own website VS using a recognised distributor and the process for getting it listed on Amazon. Then we’ll look at marketing your book, the best time of year to publish and how to package and post.
- Online course, start whenever you’re ready.
- You’ll be given access to exercises, advice, tips – and set tasks. But you don’t have to sign in at a particular time – you can work on the course whenever it suits you.
- It costs £125.
- You’ll have free access to my closed Facebook group, where you can network with other freelancers, business owners and creatives, and get exclusive tips and advice. Also, you can share your book idea and see what others (your potential customers) think.
- You’ll have ongoing access to this course so you can keep dipping in and out, as you like.
"Annie Ridout’s course and very generous feedback [in the Facebook group] is off-the-chart valuable – worth every penny. More in fact."
Sophie Purser, Black Velvet Styling
“I’ve just done Annie’s amazing first module around online courses and it’s sparked loads of ideas.”
"I have just completed your online courses training. I have done a few others from other people and it is interesting to note why yours is better, yours are really simple and clear, other people waffle on and I give up on them. I took a lot from it and plan to make an online course straight away."
Who am I?
I’m Annie Ridout – author of The Freelance Mum, freelance journalist (inc. Guardian, Forbes, Grazia, Telegraph) and I run this online course business.
I also have a second book deal to write Shy - out 2021 - and I self-pubished a poetry book, which has now sold out. It was very fun, learning about how the self-publishing industry works.