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  • P. Barrera

Mistakes You're Making With Self-Publishing

We've all been there. You've finished your book, you've done your self-editing, you've got your cover, and you're ready to slap that bad boy up for sale...but then you realize, this isn't as easy as you thought it would be. Before you start trying to submit your manuscript to the printer/distributor of your choice, make sure you're not making these three mistakes.

  1. Incorrect formatting. Every platform has its own requirements. Ingram, KDP, Lulu, Book Baby, whichever you use, make sure that your PDF file is formatted correctly. Make sure you're checking page sizes, print sizes, margin requirements, cover requirements, spine width, and more. These are the most common reason books are denied when submitted to these platforms.

  2. Using the same document for each platform. Due to each platform having slightly different requirements, it's always a good idea to make sure that you have separately built documents for each one. A good example: Ingram Spark doesn't have a strict margin requirement, but KDP does. KDP will not take a document formatted for Ingram Spark unless it meets their specifications. This is even more true with covers; Ingram Spark, KDP, and all the other platforms have their own cover templates. Make sure you're using the platform-specific version!

  3. Not knowing your trim size. You may have written your book in Word or another word processor that defaults to an 8.5x11 page size. But you may want to print your book in a standard paperback size, such as 5x8 or 6x9. It's important that your manuscript is built into the specific print size you choose. Uploading a file intended to be printed on larger paper can make your finished book wonky.

There are, of course, many more mistakes that beginners can make, such as not knowing how to set a bleed, how to place text on a cover, and a lot more. There are so many elements that go into book formatting and creation, it can be overwhelming! But fear not, we're here to help! If you have questions or need help, email us! We're always happy to talk about your project and offer you solutions or advice!

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