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Self-Publishing Business Overview

by Ron Kurtus (revised 8 April 2016)

If you decided to have a self-publishing business in order to publish your own books, as well as possibly publishing the books of others, the following overview explains the factors involved in successfully achieving your goals.

The process begins with starting your own publishing business. Then you design and format your book and send it out to be produced and distributed as a hardcopy book and e-book. Finally, you market and promote your book to increase its sales.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Starting publishing business

Before starting up a publishing business, you need to see that it is a worthwhile venture. Your motivation may be to publish your own book or because you are interested in the publishing business and see its potential.

Starting a Self-Publishing Business

Do market research

You need to study the market for your book idea to determine your target audience and their potential interest, as well as to determine the best route to take to get your book published.

The result of your research is a determining factor on your decision to start a publishing business.

Organize business

As with any business, it must be organized as a legal business entity. You also need to get a work location, proper equipment and software, and support personnel.

You do need some up-front funding to start up your publishing business.

Producing books

The goal of the publishing process is to deliver a product—hard copy book or e-book—and make it ready for marketing and sales.

This production process consists of:

  1. Write or receive a proposal for a book
  2. Determine if a worthwhile venture
  3. Decide to publish it
  4. Write or obtain the manuscript
  5. Edit the material
  6. Format the material according to book design
  7. Create a book cover

For a p-book or hardcopy book, you then:

  1. Transform manuscript and cover into PDF files
  2. Send them to the printer
  3. Review proof copies
  4. Send them to printer to get copies to sell

For an e-book, you:

  1. Convert into various e-book formats
  2. Verify e-book formats are correct

Then, you can move toward marketing and selling your books.


In order to get your hardcopy book in bookstores, you usually need to go through a distributor such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor. Major bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, seldom carry self-published books.

A distributor is also needed to get your book listed in online stores, such as


Promotion consists of letting people know about your book. In many cases, this part of marketing is supposed to start before the book is published.

Ideally, you want to market to a niche audience. Methods to use include:


You can also sell your books from your own website.


Starting an independent publishing business requires that it is organized as a legal business entity. You also need to get a work location, proper equipment and software, and support personnel.

The publishing process includes accepting an manuscript and preparing it for a print version, as well as e-book versions. You then need to market and sell the books.

Know all the rules

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Publishing Resources


Top-rated books on Self-Publishing

Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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School for Champions

Self-Publishing topics

Self-Publishing Business Overview

Self-Publishing topics

Initial considerations

Start publishing business


Structure of book

Design book

Design cover

Publish hardcopy book

Publish e-book

Prepare to market

Convert format

Check Copy in eReader

Distribution and sales

Sell books

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