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How to Publish a Book - UK Edition - The General Structure

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

There are 4 essential services you will require, to successfully publish your work.





They are like the wheels of a car, neither one is more important than the other, but a fault in just one of them, will prevent the whole vehicle from moving forward.

As you have decided to self-publish your work, you will need to act as a creative director and find the right people who can help source the wheels for you. You could buy the printers, design the cover, spell check and promote it yourself, but that would be just as effective as extracting natural rubber from a tree, to create your own wheels. Not only will it take an unreasonably long amount of time, but due to the lack of specialisation on your part, you'll end up with an inferior product to what the markets have to offer, and it will end up costing more. We work better together as a society, specifically because this allows us to specialise and reach new standards of quality. Embrace the fact that a book is the result of multiple people working together, and unless you want to be like a medieval monk handcrafting one bible every two years, accept it's for the better.

Obviously, this will cost money. Even with the most budget of budget options, which is what we will focus on, it will cost a couple X's on a monthly minimum wage payslip. So, I refer you back to last week's OPTION 1, if you were hoping there was a cost-free way of publishing a book. Nothing is free, even the monks had to buy the papers, needles and pigments. And what you don't pay for in money, you pay for in time. Which is often a much worse price tag.

But if you decided to keep on reading despite your stomach tying itself in a knot, the good news is that I can help you understand what is a "MUST BUY" and what categorically isn't. We work gig jobs and eat Ramen Noodles to sustain our creative lifestyle, so I'll be damned if I let my money slip in the hands of some smooth talking agent, charging 500% the base cost of the services purchased directly. And if I can help you become more shrewd with your hard-earned money, then colour me grateful.

There are of course grants and sponsorships out there, but even in the best of cases, they should be thought of more as bonuses, rather than something you can use to fuel the whole publishing process. We will discuss these more when we approach the Marketing side.

Just to recap, you will need 2-3x monthly minimum wage as budget ready to burn for this project. Don't have it yet? That's fine, save up while you do some reading. HA! Just because I said it's not worth specialising in any of the fields, it doesn't mean you don't need to have a working understanding of the fundamentals of the industries you are about to solicit. How else will you know if you are getting what you are paying for? Or if you are paying a fair price? Trial and error is a proven way to gain experience, but it's also proven to be the most costly way. So read the work of other people, they are trying to save you the cost of their mistakes.

Let's start with an easy one: "The Non-Designer's Design Book" by Robin Williams. I found her book to be the simplest and most succinct introduction to the fundamentals of graphic design. There is no computer lingo, the book just tackles the 4 principles of graphic design and why they are important to creating good, clean and interesting design. You will need someone to design you a book cover, and while finding a graphic designer will be easy, finding a good one, is not nearly as easy.

Reading just the first third of this book, will give you the "superpower" to be able to call BS on crappy design and express that call in objective words. Doesn't that sound nice? Read the book.

Next week we will explore the first service, Editing.

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