The Layman’s Guide To Publishing A Book

I must say, a lot of people have been asking me about exactly how to write a book. I’ve written and published my own young adult fiction book, The Month Of June. It surprised me how many people have never met an actual author before. When I tell them, most people react by asking about how I did it. I’ve gotten so many responses of “How did you do that?” or “Can you help me publish my own book?”

It inspires and motivates me when I hear that people like what I do, and that they would like to do the same thing. Publishing a book is a very rewarding experience, and can really teach you a lot. Unfortunately, many people who want to be an author end up giving up on their dreams, thinking that the process is too difficult and a lot of work for just a little bit of payoff. In reality, while writing a book is not a simple thing to do, anyone that really wants to and has the perseverance can do it.

I present to you this guide on how to publish your own book, in the simplest words possible. I understand how frustrating it can be to look up advice but the only things you can find are in confusing vernacular that you don’t understand. Short and sweet but still comprehensive, this guide will tell you all that you need to know to get your own book out there.


Step 1: Write your book

This, right here, is probably the most important part of the whole process, and arguably the most neglected. Before you really do anything in the publishing process, you have to have the entire book finished—completely finished.

People wonder what the first step in getting themselves published is; this is it, hands down. I see people coming up with all these ideas for cover designs, marketing ideas, and shelf space in local stores, but their book isn’t complete yet. This is a big mistake. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when thinking of the big picture, but you just have to remind yourself to take it slow, pay attention to details and write a good, quality book. That will pay off a lot more in the long run than trying to sell a rushed, low-quality book.

(If you’re having trouble actually writing the book, like coming up with ideas, plots, etc., this article probably isn’t what you’re looking for. Another article, The Layman’s Guide To Writing A Book, will be published and linked here.)

Once you have written your book in it entirety, you will have what’s called a manuscript—a document or folder containing every part that will be in your final book. The manuscript doesn’t count the table of contents, acknowledgements and other sections that don’t have to do with the plot or the content of the book itself. These are still important and will come in later, but are not included in the manuscript or in the process of writing the book itself. It might be a good idea to start thinking of that stuff now, though, to save some time and to make the whole book connect well.


Step 2: Choose how to publish

The next step is to choose how you want to publish your book. There are 2 ways to do it; they are both very different and have their own pros and cons.

The first method is just regular publishing, known as traditional publishing. With this method, you take your manuscript and send it to a company, which will take your book and do everything for you.

I consider this to be its own step because there are several things you need to consider when choosing a publishing method. These include your budget, experience, writing ability, book format, and how much time you have. If you’re a first-time author, looking for a good profit, or are willing to put in more effort to actually getting your book out there, then self-publishing is definitely the way to go. If you’re willing to invest a good amount of money into your book, have confidence in your writing, want a perfect, flawless final book, and your main focus is getting yourself on the main stage no matter what it takes, you should think about traditional publishing.

Traditional Publishing Self Publishing
Ease Can be quite difficult. Requires a lot of effort and persistence Easy to do; almost anyone can do it, if they have the right tools
Time (after book is written) Anywhere from about 6 weeks to over 6 months About 2 to 6 weeks
Money Can take a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Different options. Free, takes a portion of your profits, or a package that can cost about as much as regular publishing.
Legitimacy Professional and recognizable. Looks legit; people, companies, and contests are more willing to accept it. Might be seen as sketch or unprofessional. Not eligible for many contests and benefits.
Skill/Experience Knowledge in writing and publishing greatly helpful. Previously published authors or those who have help from others. Not much extensive knowledge needed in the field. Not necessary to have worked with similar things before.
Accessibility Lots of help and problem solving available to you. Editors, marketing managers, proofreaders, and many other specialists are there to help you. Not much help; the help that is given is in the form of FAQs and articles on the website of the company. Very little if any human help is given.
Inventory Must order hundreds of copies at one time Can order as many or as few copies as you wish
Exposure Extensive marketing that will gain exposure for your book nicely and efficiently Extra effort will have to be put forth in order for your book to gain the exposure it needs
Reward Lots of popularity and high potential Creative freedom and good profit

While there are benefits to both, my book The Month Of June was self published, so that’s the option that I have more experience with. I’ll still discuss both options in detail, but I might know a few more details about self publishing because of this.


Step 3: start the process

Now,  you’re ready to truly start publishing your book. The only thing standing between you and having your work displayed out to the entire world, is these next few steps.

-Traditional publishing 

The first thing you need to do is choose a publishing company. This is the company that will take care of you and your book during the entire publishing process. Each publisher has different types and standards for what books they choose to publish. The company will read your manuscript and decide if they want to publish it. If they do, they will print it for you, can ship you the copies, and will provide a variety of other services.

A ton of different options available for you as to which publishing company you want to choose. There are a handful of big name publishers out there–Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, and Scholastic. They are the publishers of some of the best, most popular, and most lucrative books around. If you’re lucky and skilled enough to get published by one of these companies or their children, then a long successful future with your book is guaranteed. But these companies have very strict standards and are very hard to get into. A successful book is very attainable with a lesser known publisher.

The way I see it, choosing a publishing company and getting published is very much like applying for college. There are so many different options, some more popular than others, some more successful others. Each one also has different benefits and services that are meant to attract new people. You can apply, but there’s no guarantee for getting in, and the better you are, the better chance you have to get into one of the better options. After a long, strenuous waiting period, you’ll either be met with the bitter taste of rejection and uncertainty, or the sweet taste of success and a bright future.

Assuming that the second option will happen, then this step is almost taken care of. Your company will do almost everything for you. First, they’ll edit your manuscript–they will make sure that there are no spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes. Then they’ll format it, which is when they take the text and make it fit into the layout of the book. This is when it goes from a text file you send them, to the actual appearance it will have when fully printed. They’ll all work with you and make sure that it will be just what you want.

Then, they should ask you to write the front matter sections. These are the parts of the book that comprise the first few pages, and aren’t actually part of the book itself. This includes the table of contents, acknowledgements, the preface, and the half-title – that part at the very beginning that just states the title again. I must admit that I have less experience in traditional publishing, so I’m not 100% sure at what point they do this. But I’ve always presumed they do it at this point, so I’ll add it here. Note that not all of the sections are required, and there are actually a few end matter sections as well. Click here for a list of all the different front and back sections.

-Self publishing

This step is actually quite different than in traditional publishing. Unlike its lengthy and more expensive counterpart, you don’t have to wait for any sort of approval to publish your book. The publishing process can begin as soon as you’re done writing it. No approval, no phone calls; you just find a good provider and you can start it off whenever you want.

There are several different self publishing websites you can use. I’ve looked into and even used more than one website over the years. Kindle Direct Publishing, Lulu, and Createspace are the ones I’ve used, and I’ve looked into a few others. They all have slightly different things to offer, but the one I use and highly recommend is Createspace. They are owned by Amazon, so once you publish on there, it also goes on the Amazon website, and they’ll help you make it into a Kindle Ebook as well. They can even get it on the Barnes & Noble website, which will make it available for order in stores!

Whatever website you use, you’ll have to make an account on there, of course. Then you have to make the first basic decisions for your book. Decide what the trim size will be. This is what the dimensions of the book will be when it’s completely printed. The most common trim size for an average novel is about 6″x9″ (15×23 cm), but you do have flexibility, especially depending on what book you’ve written. Obviously, a picture book is not gonna have the same trim size as a sci-fi novel.

Then, depending on what size you choose, they will give you a template, which is a file you download that you paste your book and information into, which will then be printed as the final book. This is the equivalent of the formatting section of the traditional publishing section.


This is an example of an average self publishing template. You take the applicable information and enter it inside the template































What my life has been recently

Hello all! Whatever has brought you to this blog to continue reading my posts, whether it be my life, my traveling, or my writing, I greatly appreciate you being here.

As of right now, posting on here has been difficult. It’s not that I don’t want to post, it’s that I don’t have much time to do it. College admissions, schoolwork, my writing, and taking care of my mental health have been my top priorities and have thus been taking up the most of my time. Honesty is beautiful when it comes to my fans and my viewers, and honestly, life has been very stressful these past several weeks. Hence, I’ve found myself with the inability to post nearly as much as I want to.

That being said, I expect things to pick up in a few weeks, at least. Finishing high school on the 26th of this May, I’ll have a lot more time and energy to focus on my blogging and my writing career—my passion in life and the main thing I want to do with myself.

To make things clear, I’m not going on a hiatus or anything; I just think I owe you guys an explanation, and that’s what this is. I’ve made a promise to always be as open and honest as possible with my viewers, and even though I’m in the beginning stages, this is no exception. I appreciate all of the support you have given me thus far, and will continue to give me in the future!

My Quebec Trip – Day 5 (final day)

Parting is such a sweet sorrow! Our last few hours in the province of Quebec, the bus ride home, and then the arrival back at our school. I’m gonna miss this place, but all good things must come to an end. Perhaps I’ll travel here again in the future.


  • Saying goodbye to Annie right after breakfast!
  • The bus ride home was nice, long and relaxing. It was a nice break from the large amount of walking and standing that we’d done over the past few days.
  • Saying goodbye to John, our bus driver. He was really nice and I’m going to hmiss him! I can tell he has a really kind heart.



Dunn’s, a breakfast place we went to on the way out.


To go, as you can see. French toast with cantaloupe, strawberries, and an orange slice.



We stopped at a rest stop, and I chose to go to Quiznos.


I got a chicken, bacon and cheese sandwich on parmesan bread. It was really good!




Nothing! We were home long before dinnertime rolled around.


My favorite part of the day

Honestly, arriving home. The trip was nice, of course, but it was nice to arrive home and get back into the swing of things!



My Quebec Trip – Day 4

Our last full day in Quebec! I was pretty sad when I woke up and realized this; it felt like we had just arrived the day before. We wanted to make the most of the last day, so we did a ton of stuff to commemorate it. I also took a lot of photos and videos – so many that my phone ran out of charge, and I couldn’t take pictures for a few hours! I’ll see what I can do about that, since other people surely have photos as well.


  • Visiting the Montréal Observatory. It’s an olympic stadium used in the 1976 Summer Olympics. With not much more use for it, they turned it into a sports center and a museum, showcasing a lot of the actual things from the 1976 Olympics, while also remaining functional, with pools, basketball courts, and other things – all open to the public! It also holds the Guinness World Record for the largest manmade leaning tower.
  • After the tour of the stadium, we had a choice of what we wanted to do. We could go watch the soccer game with Mr. Petit, or we could go to the nearby wildlife observatory with Annie. For me, the choice was obvious! We went to the Montréal biodome and had an amazing time.
  • While roaming the city, we stumbled upon a really nice street performer. He was fluent in English and French, and he was very funny and interactive. He did magic as well as comedy.




Mike’s, an Italian-style restaurant chain that’s pretty common in Quebec.


A regular country breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, pineapple, watermelon, and a slice of toast.



No lunch today! Me and Travis skipped it because we weren’t hungry.



I can’t quite recall the name of the restaurant right now; my phone had died and I could only charge it once I got inside! I’ll add it here when I remember it.


I ordered a nice baked lasagna, and as you can see I left some butter on the side of it to melt.


My favorite part of the day

Seeing the Olympic Stadium. At first I thought I wouldn’t like it, but as it turns out, it was very interesting! It was cool and informative, and I got some good information and souvenirs.


My Quebec Trip – Day 3

Apr. 14, 2017

Day 3 now – halfway through the entire trip! It really didn’t seem like it had been that long; it felt like we had just gotten there the day before, really. Time really does fly when you’re having a good time.


  • Visiting the Wendake Indian Reservation! It was very interesting and authentic, one of my favorite things I did during the entire trip
  • Going to the mall again. Travis and I got lost, but I did taste some really good gelato!
  • Us all having dinner together. Not so much the food, but rather all of us coming together and talking.
  • Travis was sick, so I comforted him. I felt really sad and I was happy to help him


Breakfast served at the hotel.


An omelette, some bacon, and a Chick-fil-A sandwich from the beginning of the trip that I microwaved.


Chicken fingers and fries from St. Hubert, a fast food restaurant at a restaurant stop we went to.



Au Vieux Duluth. I got cheese tortellini with tomato sauce.

My favorite part of the day:

Seeing the Indian Reservation! I never even knew that there were American Indians in Canada until then. I learned a lot of information, got some cool souvenirs, and even met one of the people living there–he was our tour guide!

My Quebec Trip – Day 2

Apr. 13, 2017

Day 2 now! This is the day where I finally started getting used to the daily routine and life as a tourist in Quebec, and I really got deep into the culture and history. We spent a lot of time learning about the history and origin of Quebec city, and I learned a lot of stuff that I thought I never would’ve learned!


  • Going to the mall and trying poutine for the first time!
  • Seeing and walking over a large, beautiful waterfall – Montmorency Falls, if I remember correctly
  • Visiting the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica. I’m not at all Catholic, but it was still beautiful to me
  • Visiting Sugar Shack at the end of the day, and having dinner there. It was basically a maple syrup museum! I learned a lot and had a great time.


Generic hotel continental breakfast


Sausages, scrambled eggs and a waffle. nothing special, really.


The food court at the shopping mall we went to. I can’t recall the name, unfortunately.


I got a small poutine (yay!), and a medium McDonald’s drink cup filled with McDonald’s fries that he didn’t want.


The Cabane À Sucre – also known as the Sugar Shack!


A nice, buffet-style dinner! I ate several things, including Canadian bacon, potatoes, and pork rinds.

My Quebec Trip – Day 1

Apr. 11 & Apr. 12, 2017

My first day in Quebec! I really enjoyed everything that went on, and got my first taste of the city. Me and my brother Travis prepare and get ready for the trip that awaits us, and at midnight on the 12th of April, we depart, and take the 10+ hour bus drive to Quebec City.


  • Arriving in Quebec for the first time!
  • Meeting our bus driver for the trip, John. He was super nice and friendly and went around with us, even off the bus.
  • Meeting our tour guide, Annie. She lives in Quebec and knows the ins and outs of the city, and was very excited to show us around.
  • Several walks around the city. We viewed historic landmarks and learned about the city’s history, as well as some beautiful architecture!

(Click on the photos to view the whole thing)


A McDonald’s near the U.S/Canada border


I ordered a sausage egg and cheese bagel – nothing fancy, but still something I’d never tried before.



Paillard, a café and bakery popular in Quebec city.

20170412_133248  20170412_134322

I ordered a ham and cheese Quiche with a Caesar salad on the side.



Au Petit Coin Breton



I got vegetable soup and a ham and cheese crêpe, not pictured above, unfortunately!


My favorite part of the day:

The beginning! It was really nice and had a good atmosphere. I got acquainted with and started talking to the guests and chaperones on the trip. There was Mr. Petit, my French teacher who I already knew; Ms. Strickland, the female chaperone and school Spanish teacher; John, the bus driver who would also be joining us on the trip; and Annie, the tour guide who helped us a lot throughout the whole thing. There was also Kevin, our roommate who is in a lot of the photos and videos that I took. And of course, the other wonderful people that went with us on the trip, most of which I met for the first time!