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How do I self-publish my new book?

And how much will it cost?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? If so, 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book is the perfect book for you! In this concise and award-winning* self-publishing guide for aspiring authors, Mike Kowis, Esq., shares his 14-step process to publishing attractive, well-written, and effectively marketed books. Don’t worry, it’s MUCH easier than you think! In this step-by-step guide, you will learn:

  • Everything you need to know about self-publishing, including advice for editing, designing, distributing, and marketing your book;
  • How much this process costs; plus
  • The surprising lessons Mike learned from self-publishing his award-winning debut book.

This handy book also includes a checklist of the entire 14-step process so you won’t miss a single thing.

*This book was selected as a Finalist in the Business: Writing & Publishing category of the 2017 International Book Awards.


INTRODUCTION: My Self-Publishing Journey

CHAPTER ONE: The Step-by-Step Guide

  • STEP 1: Finalize your manuscript.
  • STEP 2: Create a new business to self-publish and market your book.
  • STEP 3: Buy a domain name for your book’s website and build the webpages.
  • STEP 4: Buy ISBN numbers from Bowker.
  • STEP 5: Apply for an LCCN number from the U.S. Library of Congress (for print books only).
  • STEP 6: Apply for a merchant account at your preferred shipping company.
  • STEP 7: Create a social media platform to promote your book.
  • STEP 8: Decide where you want to sell your book and in what formats.
  • STEP 9: Hire a professional cover designer to make your book cover.
  • STEP 10: Hire a professional graphic designer to format the interior pages of your print book and/or convert your manuscript to an eBook.
  • STEP 11: Purchase an editorial book review well before the book launch date.
  • STEP 12: Upload your book files onto the distributor’s website.
  • STEP 13: Register your book with the U.S. Copyright Office within three months after the publication date.
  • STEP 14: Market your book.

CHAPTER TWO: Costs to Write, Self-Publish, and Market

  • CATEGORY 1: Writing Costs
  • CATEGORY 2: Self-Publishing Costs
  • CATEGORY 3: Marketing Costs

CHAPTER THREE: Ten Lessons from Writing My First Book

  • LESSON 1: It’s a marathon.
  • LESSON 2: It’s not cheap.
  • LESSON 3: Marketing is the hardest part.
  • LESSON 4: Legal writing and book writing are different.
  • LESSON 5: Good salespeople make for successful authors.
  • LESSON 6: Wise businesspeople make for successful authors.
  • LESSON 7: Not everyone will buy it.
  • LESSON 8: Book reviews are challenging.
  • LESSON 9: Watching book sales is addictive.
  • LESSON 10: Authors help one another.

CONCLUSION: If I Can Do It, Anyone Can!

APPENDIX: Self-Publishing Checklist



eBook retail price is only $4.99 / Paperback retail price is only $6.99


Barnes & Noble 


  • 2017 International Book Awards Finalist (Business: Writing & Publishing category)
  • 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards Honorable Mention (Non-fiction Writing/Publishing genre)


“If you’re considering writing and self-publishing your next best seller, Kowis’s most recent book gives it to you straight. I found his book informative, easy to read, even if slightly overwhelming. There is a great deal to consider when self-publishing a book. Normally, traditional publishing handles all of this behind-the-scenes stuff. While not a comprehensive read, it does cover publishing when you are the one responsible for making it all happen. And for such a short book it is packed with info.

It is a thorough examination of his book publishing journey with a few of his books. I liked the addition of Pro Tips which are designed to help you create a book that can compete with professionally styled and formatted books. His advice regarding editing is particularly relevant and appreciated. There seems to be something for everyone and I think you’ll find the info worth the price.” – J.E. Ocean from on 1/14/2018


“Author Kowis does a nice job in this book answering numerous essential questions about the nuts & bolts realities of publishing your own book. It concentrates primarily on the physical steps of getting the book actually published and marketed. I’ve not come across a book like this before, so it fills a vacuum, at least for me. Without knowing these things I might be discouraged from bothering to compose a single word, because what would be the point if it would never get published by Simon & Schuster (sp?)? Having Mr. Kowis’ road map opens up an option, thereby knocking down an obstacle to writing at all.” – J in Texas from on 11/24/2017


This book was awesome! This was a very informative book that was well-written and easy to read. It took me less than a half day to read, but afterward, I was very informed of all the publishing options out there and understood the benefits and considerations of all of them. I tried researching this topic on my own (which is how I came across the book), but all of the info I found is scattered and sporadic at best. The author condenses the info you need to know into one source, and it’s obvious that he used these tactics and tips in his own writing experience.” – Amazon Customer from on 10/16/2017


“I didn’t know the first thing about self-publishing a book. I wasn’t sure where to start researching or what questions I should be asking. Kowis took an intimidating, mountain-of-a-topic and turned it into a climbable, 14-rung ladder.

He briefly explains each step–such as having your manuscript professionally edited, acquiring numbers (ISBN, LCCN, etc.), and acquiring professional reviews– and shares some of his own experience with each step. The sections are short and straightforward. This is not meant to be an exhaustive resource on any one topic. Rather, it is a solid introduction to each step in the self-publishing process. It helped me understand how the process works and gave me a good starting point for deeper research into each topic. Would recommend it to anyone interested in self-publishing.” – Reptile1988 from on 9/24/2017


Mike is a great Explainer! Easy read, easy to follow.” – Cher101 from on 9/15/2017


14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book is a concise, clearly-written, overview of the self-publishing process by an author who has recently gone through the experience himself.

Mike Kowis takes the reader step-by-step through the self-publishing process. Although the book is short, it is very informative. Without this book, I may have fallen victim to some of the pitfalls, hidden fees, and scams prevalent in the self-publishing industry.

Although, you can find the same information on the internet, it is scattered and sometimes from dubious sources. And if you want more information on various aspects of the self-publishing process presented in his book, Mr. Kowis recommends others books on those topics.” – Alberto from on 7/1/2017


“Fantastic “Do It Yourself” Tips!!!

The author shares insight into the steps he took in actually self-publishing his first and second books. He “learned the hard way” and shared his knowledge so you and I wouldn’t have to struggle as he did. Great advice for anybody who has had limited success finding a publisher but is determined to get his or her book off of the desk and into the hands of the public.” – 4190Jamesw from on 6/21/2017

“It seems easy enough… write a book, publish the book, earn money. Sadly, it really isn’t that easy. The internet is loaded with information; however, it can be confusing as well as time consuming to sort through all of it. Personally, I was ready to give up thinking my dream wouldn’t come to fruition.

Luckily, I found Mike Kowis’ tremendous book. He not only has sorted through all the massive, confusing mess of information, but also has narrowed it down to 14 believable as well as doable steps that he has proven to work for him. I loved his easy to read writing style that was like talking to a friend for advice. The steps are very easy to follow as well as extremely informable leaving no question unanswered – as if he was reading his readers’ minds as to what they needed. Not only does he give us 14 steps that cover everything from creating a business, setting up a website, info on getting ISBN numbers, and suggestions on how to market your book but he also tells us his own journey and the lessons learned, he also gives us other links for information (and unlike other books the links work!). Overall, I was highly impressed that he could narrow everything down to 14 steps in such a way I don’t believe one can find a more comprehensive guide. Perfect for all writers regardless of what stage your process may be. Instead of stumbling through and making mistakes or becoming overwhelmed, follow Mike’s 14 steps and make your book a winner!

Here’s the bottom line. ‘If I can do it, anyone can.’” – Cheri C. from on 3/14/2017


I’ve always had that streak of writer in me, as do countless others, I’m sure. But, actually getting something published has always seemed like an impossible goal, especially with all the competition out there. This is why the book appeals to me so much. It is simple and concise but it tells you exactly what you need to know to actually publish your book – without a ton of jargon along the way.

I love the practical nature of the book and that you could follow along even if you knew nothing about what to expect. The steps listed are also critical because many people would miss some of them and could find themselves running into problems later on.” – Cassandra from on 3/12/2017


“Writing a book is one great undertaking. But when it’s done and ready to produce in book form, is the writer’s job really done? How many publishers should a writer approach before giving up? Or should the writer ever give up? Well, there is another alternative. In today’s quagmire of book publishing options, writers don’t have to restrict their options to the big name traditional publishing houses. In fact, the very idea of self-publishing, which may terrify many writers, has a lot of positive aspects, not the least of which is maintaining complete control over the book from start to finish, from writing and editing, to printing, marketing and distributing. It’s not easy, but it can be done with a little bit of help from a veteran author, as well as a blue-collar tax attorney and business professional, Mike Kowis, Esq. and his latest book, 14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book.

The author, having already successfully self-published his own book, Engaging College Students: A Fun and Edgy Guide for Professors, has first-hand experience, which he shares in an orderly and well presented, easy-to-follow manner. He begins with the very basic necessity of finishing the book, editing it and preparing it for publication. He moves through some obvious and some not-so-obvious steps necessary to produce and market the book, with useful tips and links to other publications and websites to further assist the self-published author, including, most importantly, the basic one of registering copyright and obtaining ISBN numbers. All very important information and all very succinctly presented. A very useful guide. And, as the author points out in his conclusion, it’s not really so difficult to self-publish because, “If I [meaning the author] can do it, anyone can.”  – Emily-Jane Hills Orford from Readers’ Favorite on 3/6/2017 (5-Star Review)

“Mike’s book is clear and concise, laying out a step-by-step plan to self-publishing a book that most authors will find useful and refreshing. I particularly like this quote:

“Ultimately the self-publishing route worked well because I learned a ton of useful information about the book publishing process, how to create a website, and how to run a small business.”

Self-publishing can be a challenge, but the rewards are so much more than just finishing a book – you’re learning how to do online business, design, sell and market – which are critical skills for job security! – Derek Murphy from on 3/5/2017


“This is a short book, but jam packed with explanations, examples on the nuts and bolts of publishing a book.

The author’s style is easy to follow along with the process, and it was great getting the behind the scenes look at how much things cost to do.

I would recommend this title to anybody who is writing a book and has a vision of self-publishing it as this takes you through the process of setting up a business entity for handling taxes and expenses, how to register with the Library of Congress and getting ISBN numbers to the sage advice on editing and sourcing book cover art.” – K. Forslund from on 2/24/2017



“So you’ve always wanted to write a book, but don’t know where to start?

Here’s an essential 14-step guide for anyone who ever harbored a secret ambition to become a bestselling author. Successfully published author Mike Kowis shares his formula in exhaustive detail — including a comprehensive breakdown of steps from first idea to first book sale. You can be the beneficiary of this wealth of authorial information just by downloading it today for less than the price of a McDonalds Happy Meal. It’s also available in paperback.

In short, before you ever seriously consider sitting down to write a book — whether it be a nonfiction manual like this or the infamous Great American Novel — you need to read this conversational, yet fact-filled primer on self-publishing. You’ll be glad you did.” – Don Sloan, Publishers Daily Reviews

Copyright © 2017 Mike Kowis, Esq.

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