Frequently Asked Questions

What is self-publishing?

It is the act of publishing any creative craft (book/s or other media) solely by the author of the work, without any other established publishing company involved. Self-publishing is considered one of the fastest growing sectors in the publishing industry and authors delightfully embrace it for a lot of reasons such as the full control over their work, costs, and the rights.

Why do I self-publish?

When your primary goal is to profit from your work; there is money in self-publishing. Why? Because it gives you the benefit fast paced environment, especially when you start promoting your book. It normally takes a year or years for huge publishing houses to get a book out in the market. Remember you have the control of the entire process; so you have all your time to manage the publishing and marketing status for your book as early as possible without waiting for any approval.

How do I self-publish?

There is no rule in self-publishing as you take control of the entire process. As an author, you must ensure first the quality of your book content. Edit and re-edit your book until you are satisfied. It is not a rule but it helps you succeed because booklovers do spend money to read and they make sure that buying your book is worth their penny. Your book design and formatting should look professional because they certainly affect the purchase level in the market.

What books are most successful for self-publishing?

There is no limit of book topics that can be self-published. You can enjoy publishing any genre of your books from fiction to non-fiction including all genres from healthcare, travel, autobiographies, biographies, romance, science, science fiction, biology and more. Successful self-publishing is not based on a specific book genre but rather on what strategies you decide to formulate and do in the course. Of course it is important that authors should well define their goals in self-publishing for them to succeed. For some, they only need recognition through their books while others write because that is their passion. While others write books for a career-related project, most authors do write to profit from their knowledge.

What do I need to know to be successful?

Success depends on authors themselves. Most often, authors do find success through some significant guidelines: to write with a purpose, to write based on their expertise and knowledge, to know their audience, and to implement distinctive and strategic marketing plans. While it is true that self-publishing is challenging; it is also considered heady especially for authors who are serious about publishing their books no matter what it takes. It is also very significant to point out that in self-publishing; you have all the options for your books such as necessary professional services you may need.

How much does it cost me to self-publish?

Of course you can choose to self-publish your book by your own and that is completely free doing everything by yourself. The costs depend on the services you want to take advantage and you would only start discussing about expenditures when you decide to partner with a self-publishing company. You can spend thousands of dollars paying for printing, marketing and other services that you are not really sure about you doing them by yourself.

The prices of professional services offered by self-publishing companies vary; so it is best for you to research about these companies and their services. Tip: Only buy the professional service when you think it is highly necessary and you don’t know how to do it by your own.

What is an ISBN and do I need one?

An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a controlled, 10- or 13-digit unique identification number assigned to a book title by its publisher for tracking and ordering purposes. It allows publishers, librarians, and book sellers to locate specific titles and maintain their inventories. If you plan to sell your book in bookstores, to libraries, or through online retailers, you will need an ISBN. It is also needed in each version of a book—paperback, hardcover, second edition, etc.

How do I get an ISBN for my book?

R.R. Bowker is the international supplier for ISBN registration located at 630 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974. To apply for your ISBN is to actually register yourself as a publisher of your printed material. To start with, visit Bowker’s website at, and click on “ISBN Identifiers” and you’ll be taken to a page where you can buy 1, 10, 100 or 1000 ISBNs.

It is recommended that you buy more than one ISBN when you plan to publish another book or another edition of your book.

What is the Library of Congress Control Number?

The Library of Congress Control Number is the number used for authority, bibliographic and classification records. To have your book in the Library of Congress makes it available to anyone for research or whatever motive they might have since the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Obtaining this number in publishing industry is not compulsory.

Is Copyright Necessary and How do I acquire it?

Copyright serves as protection of the originality of your work. A copyright of your book is automatic upon completion of a work and provides some protection in the event of infringement. However, copyright registration with the US Copyright Office provides additional legal. To register for a copyright can be done through visiting It requires you to submit a copy of your manuscript to be registered and a fee.

How do I submit my book for printing?

Make sure your book is complete with the editing, design, and format. You can do it all by yourself or hire professionals who have the best experience and software to do it for you. There are numerous printing companies to choose from when the entire manuscript is ready. You can also partner with self-publishing companies in this process wherein you may submit a copy of your manuscript to them and a proposal for the design, formatting, decorative displays, and professional type-fitting, etc. will be sent by their artists for your approval.

How do I layout my book?

A software on formatting is of a great help if you plan to do the design & layout yourself to see to it your document is properly formatted. Professional layout programs such as PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and InDesign, are somewhat expensive and they do require a longer learning curve. However, these programs have the efficiency to achieve great work on your end. You can also take advantage of other useful tools for formatting through modern word-processing programs, such as Microsoft Office and Open Office.

What fonts should I use for my book?

The most recommended fonts in books are Serif fonts as they are for best readability for book text. Of course you are free to choose the fonts for your books but it is recommended that they should be in consistent size and should be readable.

What page size should I choose?

The page size preference is not fixed. It will all be based on material and whether it fits best into what your audience is accustomed to. Your choice should also be based on a book publication category. The standard book size is six inches wide and nine inches tall (6″x9″). Using this standard size will probably get your book the cheapest to print, easiest to read, and easiest to sell as it enables your book to fit on bookstore shelves. The larger your books, the harder for it be held, carried, or put on a shelf.

How do I save photos and graphics so that they will print clearly?

It depends on the printing company of your choice. Some do request certain and limited number of images per inch. You have full control to take charge on changing the size and resolutions of the graphics that you add. However, some graphics can’t be reduced or enlarged enough to address what you really want. Picture with too low resolution can have a blocky appearance. If it’s too high, the file size of the publication can also become unnecessarily large giving it a hard time to be opened, edited, or to be printed. It is best that you consult with the printing company or if you have partner a self-publishing company. They can guide you with these needs.

What marketing plan that should fit best for my book?

The decision will be all at your discretion. You write your book and it is only you who know the best plans for it hit your prospect readers and buyers. The genre of your book is a great help to guide you. It is also best that you know first who your audience is for you to know where to start and what strategy you can make in the future. You can also ask help from professionals whose passion is selling and marketing.

How do I start to market my book?

In a very high competition of self-publishing and book marketing, what is the most important thing you should know is your spirit to excel in the competition. Identify who your readers and prospect buyers will be based on your book genre. Then, create your strategy to win their interests. Point out the relevance of your topic to the lives of the prospect readers. Find out where you can possibly reach out to your readers and start your move.

BookWhirl Publishing, a self-publishing company, mainly exists to provide affordable but professional services from creating, publishing, marketing, promoting, and distributing the works of self-published authors around the globe. Join Bookwhirl Publishing's Author Center Now!