How I wrote a book and self published

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I don’t have the book entirely self published but I wanted to make a post (I will update it as the process goes) to save people perhaps some of the pain that I went through.

I will tell you now that if I had to do it all over again I would have gone with a publisher.  Not for writing the book,  that part was fun and easy,  but rather just designing and formating for self publishing.

I should also disclose that if you actually can focus on one thing this would not have been that bad… but I am doing a lot so it was frustrating to constantly have this on my list to get back to.

But I am a control freak.  And Amazon’s self publish platform looks really awesome… plus there is no minimum commitment unlike other self publishing platforms.

Also I have a few marketing things planned…  and I would never be able to do them with a traditional publisher.

Ok so like I said writing the book is a no brainer and just writing.  Nothing revolutionary learned.

When you upload your book to create space you need to specify a size.  6×9 is the most common.

Hey why re-invent the wheel.  Also that seems to be the best price wise.

So first off… and I felt like a retard once I figured this out.  Every book has a color cover.  That is not a option to not have one.  Not like I wanted to have one but I never saw the option to have one or not… if that makes any sense.

Before you do any formatting download their word template and move your content into that.  This way you can properly number pages and junk like that.  Its the little things that take forever.

Speaking of numbering pages it took me a long time to figure out how to do it properly.  Sure it looks easy but you don’t want to count the first 5 pages so you have to use wordpresses formula thing to do it properly.

Here is a site that will save you a ton of time with that:

Now once you get that right you are going to see some horizontal lines pop up.  This will drive you mad on how to get rid of them cause you cant just hit backspace.

Here is a article that walks you through that:

Next once that is all good you have to make the cover.   If you to save you a TON of time and headache you can use one of their many pre-made ones.

Course me being a control freak I wanted to design my own… from scratch.  They give you a template but when I followed that to the letter it looked totally jacked.

This is a REAL BITCH.

The reason is that you can’t tell if you calculated the spine correctly.  They give you a formula but from talking to others the only real way is to get a physical one and see for your self.

In order to even see what its going to look like you have to submit it… wait the up to 48 hour process for them to approve.  Then order one.

Standard 6-7 day shipping is $5.

Expedited 3-4 day shipping is $20 (around).

Overnight shipping is $29

This blows ass cause obviously you want to get it as soon as possible to see if its jacked up.  So they DRASTICALLY inflate  the shipping charges.

Like for me lets say I get it and its jacked and I do it again and its jacked and again.  Your looking at a months time….  which for me is an eternity.

On their proofer it does look right… but it will be here in a couple days and we will see:

So thats pretty much it,  for now.  I will update this as I learn more about their royalty, sales, and marketing proccess.

My next challenge is trying to get it in the apple book store.  Its so lame cause even though its the same system that you submit apps you can’t use the same account that you use to submit apps…





30 thoughts on “How I wrote a book and self published

  1. PMG Guy

    Why not eBook it and go Kindle, Nook and/or iBook?
    Ebooks are on the verge of outselling traditional print, if not already.
    Instant gratification too for “super patient” people like you & I!
    Or did I miss something?

  2. Chance

    As shitty as it is thats pretty smart of them to jack up the shipping prices.. fucking sucks tho and would piss me off if I was in ur shoes.

  3. Dave

    The cover looks great, but the title and tagline kinda suck. If you want to sell the book to people other than your fans, don’t you think you should have a catchier title? 4HWW vs. The Tim Ferriss Story (Before he was famous).

    1. Sam

      I’m guessing this is being sold to fans. There must be enough of them.

      But you are right — it looks like a autobiography. And you usually buy them based on the picture – as you know who they are.

      “Nothing’s changed but the change” doesn’t work like “7 day work week” etc — the book cover looks great – but people arnt going to pick it up based on the tag line, or the picture.

      “Skills to pay the bills” is better.

      BUT – I’m sure shoe knows what he’s doing. Being a marketing expert! Lol

  4. Jeremy Jameson

    Hello, I’m building a blog around the theme of learning money skills for better financial literacy and prosperity at and ask if you would link to my site to help me get traffic. I would greatly appreciate this help. Thanks! :)

  5. Robin

    Interesting. I love hearing about the process of things. You never really know how much work actually goes into things.

  6. Aaron

    What a great idea and you are always giving back I feel. And John that is awesome that you are supporting Shoe! Love you both

    1. davebross

      These may help some for those doing ebooks or printed:

      For ebooks, Smashwords covers most of the bases outside of Amazon…Apple, Barnes and Noble + more.
      There are some qualifiers but nothing that most books won’t waltz through.
      The catch is you can’t use Amazon’s promotion programs (they’re very effective) unless you commit exclusively to them for a good while.
      I went with Kindle and Smashwords. I may not sell as many books but I don’t want Amazon ending up to be the only place to go for this.

      There are people on fiverr who do damn good covers (all correctly sized and ready to go) and there are people who will format the book for whatever platform you want.
      You can get great work for $5 if you choose a good provider and even if you don’t, it’s only $5, try someone else.

      For Kindle I used a piece of software called kinstant formatter and got good, fast results with that (ebooks, Kindle). I think it was around $20 for lifetime useage. You upload a word doc and it chews it up and spits it out formatted for Kindle.

  7. Tom Schultz

    From your comments I gather knowledge of WORD was limited—especially styles. There is all kinds of layout power lurking under the hood that is never found by most users.

    As far as covers, if you were to go with Lightning Source (as a ‘publisher’) they provide a spine calculator…it is not that difficult to lay out a cover in Photoshop and they will even send a template specific to your book.

    My personal experience with E-books (specifically Kindle) is that they are far more difficult because you end up having to touch up the html file if you want things to work well across all the Kindle platforms.

  8. Felipe Moreno

    I have been experiences with writing and publishing of eBooks. I write in my native language, Portuguese, but my idea is improve “my English” perhaps I could to write in that language any time one day.
    I’d to suggest writing Adobe InDesign software. In this time of production, I perceived to doing it increase the facilities for that program export for ePub, eBook’s standard format. It’s a lot worthy.
    Success for all!
    Thank you.

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