Over the years at Michael Hanrahan Publishing we’ve refined our process into a seven-step self-publishing system that’s logical and easy to follow. The steps make it easier for self-publishers to understand the process, and also ensure that things are done at the right time and in the right order.

Here is an overview of the seven steps:

1. Planning: this step includes working out a schedule and deciding what services you need.

2. Editing: during the planning stage, you can determine what level of editing is required. (You’ll learn all about the different levels of editing in later blogs.) It is my experience that while by the end of the editing process authors realise their book has been greatly improved, at the beginning first-time authors are often a bit daunted. They can be unsure about having somebody look closely at their work. So at this step it is helpful to understand the editing process and what to expect. It is also helpful to learn the role an editor plays and what your role as the self-publisher is.

3. Cover and interior design: creating a book cover that looks good, and is inviting and easy to read, is very important.

4. Proofreading and indexing: once the design and edit are wrapped up, the book is indexed and proofread.

5. Printing: it’s very helpful for self-publishers to know a little about the printing process. This step looks at the different printing options available, how many copies to print, digital versus offset printing, printing in Australia versus offshore, unit cost and more.

6. The ebook: you need expert help to produce a professional-standard ebook. Later blogs will address the different file types, uploading, and the more limited formatting options of ebooks.

7. Distribution: many bookshops don’t like dealing with self-publishers who only have one book. If you are considering bookshop distribution you need to know why you should consider using a distributor and the advantages of doing so, and what you need to do if you want to go it alone.

Within each of these steps there are a number of things to consider; in future blogs I will look at each one of the steps in more detail.