How to self-publish your own books in IT?

Q. What is Print-On-Demand (i.e. POD) publishing?
A. Anyone can get published via POD as the books are printed based on demand. The hardest part of POD is not getting your book published, but marketing it. The cost of getting a book published is between $0 (for eBooks) to $150(for printed books), and the POD companies have other optional services at additional cost. The distribution services provided by the POD companies will distribute your books to, amazon kindle, and many other retail and online stores in different formats.

Q. Which POD providers have I used?
A. I have used
  • (an company)
Both are good, and have their own strengths and weaknesses. You will find lots of online articles discussing their pros and cons. If you live outside USA, you may need a TFN (Tax File Number).

Q. How do you get started?
  1. Do some research on both and as to see which one suits you better by researching in terms of a) book sizes supported b) royalty calculation c) distribution channels supported d) royalty payment for each of the channels e) payment method based on your country of residence, etc. You may need to have US TFN (Tax File Number), if you are residing outside USA. This process can take a few days, so get the ball rolling as early as possible. The POD websites have all relevant information. Check their forums as well.
  2. Create an account with whichever POD supplier you choose to go with. 
  3. You need to have your manuscript and cover ready in the format requested by the POD provider, usually in PDF format.
  4. Upload the files via POD's online website, and it will take you through a number of screens before you get to order  a proof copy. You need to purchase the proof copy, and this will be the only cost to you (i.e. cost price of your book + shipping cost) in publishing unless you choose any of the additional service provided by the POD. If it is an eBook, you can skip this step, and the cost of getting your eBook out there can be as little as $0.0. 
  5. Once you receive your proof copy, and you are happy with it, you can approve it online to get published. Your book will be sold via POD's online book store and other distribution channels like 
  6. Getting your book into can take anywhere between 4 days to 4 weeks depending on your POD provider. is the quickest (i.e. 3 to 4 days) to get your book listed on  

Q. How do you promote your books?
A. I have used a number of avenues

  • Placing key words based advertisements via Google adsense.
  • Conducting book promotions and asking for independent book reviews via industry specific websites and forums like,, etc. 
  • Promoting them via my blog and social media like Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Joining industry specific forums to help others, and having a link to my blog or online book store on my signature at the bottom or top.
  • Publishing relevant articles and having my signature containing links to my website, blog or store front.

Q. Is it worth publishing your book?
A. It depends on the individual. It takes time, and you need to enjoy the process of writing and learning. Self-publishing an e-book is much easier than printed books, and initially test the self-publishing waters with an eBook.

Because the barrier to entry is so low, the majority of self-published books are pretty bad. Only less than 5 percent of the self-published books are decent. So, the odds are against you. You need to have a unique book, professionally written and promoted to sell 1000+ copies. I was lucky enough to sell 30,000+ copies in the last 9 years. More than the number of books sold, I learned a lot from writing as I had to do lots of research.

Have a unique title in a niche area that you are comfortable with. The title must be SEO friendly.

Q. What other tips can you give?

  1. The POD companies will try to sell you as many professional services as they can. Buy as little service as possible. Try to do things yourself, so that you can learn. 
  2. POD publishers don't care if your book is successful or not. You need to make things happen.
  3. Research other POD publishers other than and 
  4. Your POD publishers sell ISBNs for around $50 to $150. ISBN is required to distribute your books. 
  5. If you're serious about your book, get it proof read, and hire a book doctor and get it copy edited.
  6. Build your network via your blogs and social media to promote your books. Who are more likely to buy your books than your followers?

Put your thinking cap on and test the waters of self publishing your own book.

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