Your text must be in a computer file, IBM or Mac format, using current word processing software (less than 5 years old). Have your manuscript proofed at least twice, by friends, and by a professional editor. Be sure that the manuscript is meticulously spell-checked. Using other books in your category for page ideas, enter in the text for the title page, verso-title page (where the copyright is), and any other pages you like such as dedication, acknowledgments, foreword/preface, prologue, bibliography, etc. Insert page breaks between each such page or section of pages. Decide on the 2 to 3 typefaces (fonts) that you want for the title and the text.
Check out library books or buy books on self-publishing and read the marketing sections very carefully. Pay close attention to: 1) who to contact for book reviews, 2) what stores to approach to sell your book, and 3) how to handle the marketing and fulfillment. Try to get at least 3 influential people in your field to review your book now so that those reviews can be printed on your book cover.
Decide how many books you want and how much you want or are able to spend. Log on to www.booksjustbooks.com, and fill in some blanks to get a free quote on the printing. Then, ask your subsidy publisher to give you an estimate for their services (preparing the digital files for the printer).
Article in National Writers' Union, Summer 2001. Patricia Hamilton helps writers find creative ways to self-publish their books. She is the owner of Park Place Publications, Pacific Grove. (831) 917-3010