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Can someone recommend the best way to self-publish as a first time author?

I am writing several different things; one is a self-help book on smoking cessation (I quit 6 months ago), and another is on spirituality and higher consciousness. I would like to get these both up quicky and effectively with reasonable cost. Curious as to how other self-published authors got started?
Thank you everyone for your answers. MrsDave and Cowboy Logic both had the best answers, IMO, so to me they tie. If I HAVE to pick one, I am going to go with Cowboy, only because it looks like I am going to go with Lulu.com. Thanks to everyone again 🙂

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WolfgangCowboy LogicMrsDaveAunt Biwicheek peas Recent comment authors
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Wolfgang
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Have a look at Dan Poynters parapublishing.com. He is the guru of selfpublishing and you will find loads of information there.
To your success
Wolfgang

Cowboy Logic
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Cowboy Logic

If you don’t care about what you make on these books and you care confident they can fly at this point, find Publish America on line. They will publish almost anything. It won’t cost you anything, but if it goes big, they get all the gravy and you get a pittance. If you want to self publish because you know it’s good and you can sell it yourself, go to http://www.lulu.com. If you really just want to get it to the most eyes you can and that is your motivator, grab some patience, edit and polish it till it sparkles… Read more »

MrsDave
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MrsDave

Find out just how much it is going to cost you to bring your books to print .. and a time frame .. 100 books ready in 30 days etc … Buy yourself a .com to start . you do not want to use free pages .. some do but they lack the respect level your looking for they are pretty reasonable .. then place word of all your works on there… give yourself a good lead time this is Oct .. say you are able to launch your site by Dec… look to Valentines day to have books ready… Read more »

Aunt Biwi
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Aunt Biwi

First of all, consider NOT self-publishing. The problem is not in getting a book printed, it is in getting the book distributed to stores so that people can buy them. Most book stores will not accept a book without an ISBN number. Most book stores look askance at self-published books. Most reviewers won’t review self-published books. I am not saying that it can’t be done, but you are certainly increasing the odds against your succeeding. Now, if all you want is a few copies to give to family and friends then self-publishing is the way to go, but if you… Read more »

cheek peas
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cheek peas

If u go down ur local library u will prob find a how-to section with the info u seek…esp if there r other self-pub authors in ur area..check too ur local community groups +/or adult ed institutes for writing groups where u may b able 2 meet other self-pubs hu can give u pointers as to reliable printers, sale outlets + the “wot 2 look out for’s” etc.
Will ur next book b a beginner’s guide:”self-help 4 self-publishers”? lol
God bless … hope it works out

fread4life
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fread4life

I would recommend requesting a free publishing guide from Xlibris. Go to http://www.xlibris.com and fill in the form at the bottom of the left hand side. They will send you a huge envelope full of information and price quotes. You will be very pleased! Here is a little info. from their About Section that you can preview before you decide to check out the site. ::::: “Xlibris gives you the tools you need to become your own publisher. You give us your manuscript, we work with you to format it and design the cover, and then the completed file is… Read more »

Victoria
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Victoria

Subscribe to or pick up a writer’s magazine; they’ve got loads of tips on how to publish as well as common mistakes to avoid when submitting your work.

Good luck to you!