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Are you looking to write and self-publish a book in 30 days? Check out these 10 steps for publishing an non-fiction book fast

How to Successfully Publish an eBook

By Amber Roshay

Are you looking to write and self-publish a book in 30 days? Well, it’s quite a challenge, but one that can happen with planning.

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I’ve self-published one nonfiction eBook and two novels (Reaching Prague and The Proposition). The first book was my MFA thesis and took me years to write. However, my second book I co-wrote with my college bestie and it took us a few weeks to finish. So, between the three books I’ve learned a lot along the way on how to write fast and strategically. 

Now, we didn’t self-publish The Proposition within 30 days because we first looked for a publisher using our list of romance publishers seeking manuscripts, but if we hadn’t wanted try going the traditionally published route first, we would have self-published right away. That’s what we decided to do with our nonfiction ebook, How to Make a Living as a Writer.

Here are my 10 tips on how to write and self-publish a book in 30 days.

1. Set a writing schedule


No matter what you want to write or how fast having a consistent writing schedule that you follow without fail is key to success. You have to protect your writing time too. In my experience, there will always be reasons NOT to write; from real to imagined.

So, you need to look at your calendar and mark off at least four hours per day to write and publish a nonfiction eBook in 30 days.  

Ideally, the four hours should be set block of time, but if you need to piece it together throughout the day, that’ll work. Join our Write 3K in 3 Days Writing Challenge to help you set up a writing schedule and focus on your book.

2. Create a detailed outline


Phillip Roth recently passed away. I listened to a podcast where he said that he never planned his nonfiction eBooks and was always surprised by what happened. So, planning and not-planning can be successful strategies, but when you want to knock out a book in 30 days, you need to plan.

The first step is to create a detailed outline. Use the outline to develop your characters, plot, and setting. Or if your book is nonfiction decide what each chapter will cover and how each builds or connects to the whole.

3.Think About Word Count


Completing a book from beginning to end is quite an accomplishment, but it doesn’t have to be Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Shoot for a manuscript between 20,000-50,000 words for your short nonfiction eBook. So, if you divide 50,000 by 20 days that’s 2,500 words per day. You’re also going to need a few days for rewriting and self-publishing.

4. Craft a Marketing Plan


You don’t have a lot of time to promote your book before you self-publish it, so you’re going to need to set a simple marketing plan in place right away. How will you promote your book? What will your book blurb say?

5. Choose a Self-Publishing Platform

Most people, self-publish on Amazon because it’s simple and the platform is massive. Amazon has the marketing arm that does some of the work for you. If you choose to join the KDP program you will be paid for page reads in addition to book sales.

Draft2Digital or Smashwords are options if you’d like to publish wide across other platforms (iBooks, Barnes and Noble, etc.)

6. Get Beta-Readers

When you write a book you need feedback in order to make changes. The best way is to find two to five beta-readers to give you honest feedback. Start by asking your writer friends or anyone you know who’s a ferocious reader. Then post in Pen and Parent Facebook group looking for beta-readers or any other social media group you’re in that allows this kind of posting.

Once you find your beta-readers send them the book with a deadline. Tell them that you need their feedback by a specific date. Something else to consider is to use a Google Form. They can fill out the form after reading your book by answering questions you want answered. Then you have all their comments together.

Use their feedback to make changes in the nonfiction eBook and keep their names in mind to ask for testimonials once the book goes live.

7. Edit your nonfiction eBook


For some, the editing process is the hardest part and for others it’s when the real fun begins. Either way, editing is integral to the writing process. But now that you got feedback from your beta-readers, you can begin. First make top-down changes with plot, character motivations, and so on. Try not to worry about grammar and syntax. 

To help you with this we have a Blogger Grammar Refresher Course that can help you edit your nonfiction eBook. Once you’ve made all the top-down editing, move to reviewing grammar and syntax. Once you’ve done both of these things, dump your nonfiction eBook into Grammarly to check for further errors.

But then, give the book to a writing confidant or back to a trusted beta-reader for one more final review. If you can afford it, pay a proofreader. Pen and Parent provides writing feedback and proofreading services for affordable rates. Send us an email at amber@penandparent.com.

8. Format your nonfiction eBook


Here are some general formatting rules. Check out KDP and other platforms to see what they require for formatting best on their platforms.

  • Put your book into a Word document
  • Use a 12 pt type like Times New Roman.
  • Insert page breaks in between chapters.
  • Single space your manuscript
  • Paragraphs can be flush left with no indentation and one space between paragraphs or you may choose to format it like fiction with indentations and single spaced.

9. Publish your finished nonfiction eBook


The best part of the entire process is hitting publish. For 30-days you’ve been working non-stop towards an amazing goal and now it’s time. But you’ll have to wait a few days before the book will be live. Still, congratulations. But the real work has just begun.

You can read more about the details of self-publishing in Melissa’s post here.

10. Promote your eBook


Promotion will be easier since you created a marketing plan at the beginning. Now you have to follow your goals and marketing calendar. The first few weeks of publication is critical for your book, so due diligence is important. I truly believe that positive daily actions brings positive change and accomplishment. This is why I became a 4 a.m writer.

In the meantime, join our Write 3K in 3Days Writing Challenge to get you started.

And one more thing...we have lots more great writing tips for you in our ebook How to Make a Living as a Writer.


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What kind of book do you want to publish and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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