How to Publish a Book [Updated]

We’re entering the new year of 2021! This is a great opportunity to start something new. Have you ever wondered about what else you want to do this year? Maybe publishing a book is one of your thoughts? Let’s say you already had an idea for your book. You wrote it and you finished the script wonderfully. You tackled endless revisions and editing. The draft is now your newborn baby that you hold dear and proud of it. And at some point, you might think “This is the time to do the next step.” You are ready to publish your book. But how do you do it? There are two ways to get your book published: traditionally and self-publishing.

How to Publish a Book Traditionally?

Publishing a book traditionally starts with finding the literary agent who is the expert in the publishing industry. This agent will help you find a suitable publisher, dealing with contracts, managing your royalty payments, and acting as a mediator between the author and the publisher. A great agent will also ensure your success in your career as an author. In this process, you have to prepare the documents needed for your application. You will prepare a book synopsis and sample chapters. The documents will be combined with a query letter, a one-page letter to pitch your book. Submit all of these documents to your potential literary agent. Once your application gets accepted, this agent will go to the publisher to sell your book and prepare your publishing contract.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Publishing a book in a traditional way will need a long process and it is very challenging to have a deal with a publisher that will distribute your book. But, the advantages are worth it. Imagine walking through a bookstore and finding your book lined up on the shelves. Also, you don’t need to meddle with marketing and monetary, which will be very helpful for you. Keep practicing your writing skills! Who knows your book is one of those bestsellers!

bookshelves lined with books in a bookstore

How to Self-publish a Book?

You might think publishing a book traditionally is not suitable for you. There is another way to publish your book, which is self-publishing, or in short, publish the book by yourself. The writing and editing part is pretty much the same. When you get your manuscript ready for publication, the next step is the book design. There are two steps in book design: interior book design and book cover design. This part is important because you want your book to have a professional look.

Tips on Book Cover and Interior Book Design

The first thing that a potential reader looks at is, obviously, the book cover. Your book cover has to be designed specifically to catch your reader’s eye. Make it as interesting as possible, but don’t forget what the book is about. When the reader opens the book, s/he will look at the interior design that the book has. Interior book design involves typesetting (or “formatting”) which allows your audiences to read your book comfortably and maximizes the pleasant reading experience.


Next, you have to purchase an ISBN. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is like a fingerprint of a person. ISBN is unique for every book distributed around the world. ISBN can be found in a form of a barcode, attached to the back cover of the book.

Where Can You Self-Publish Your Book?

Start to think about how you will publish a book. You can publish them in two forms, printed book or electronic book (a.k.a. e-book). There are service providers that facilitate you to self-publish your book. For example Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or Barnes & Noble Press

Advantages and Disadvantages

As mentioned before, you have to do almost anything by yourself to become a self-publishing author. This includes the marketing part. You want to expose yourself as an author. Join online communities, go to book events, or build your author website! Advertise your book but don’t forget to advertise yourself. Although you will be tired of doing those things by yourself, self-publishing has many advantages. You can cut the amount of time you have to invest because there will be no hassling with literary agents or major publishers. You also can earn more and full control of how you sell the books.


How you publish a book depends on how you want them to be sold as both ways have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choose the one that suits your goals and conditions. Hone your skills, meet numerous people in this industry, and enjoy the ride! If you happen to seek someone that can collaborate with you, kindly check out DocuDelight. I support entrepreneurs to create branded documents and marketing materials. Also, I can build a website for your business too!