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writers block

HOW TO GET PUBLISHED: The Art (or should that be Craft?) of Self Publishing

by Bill Rosoman and Craig Lock

From our book How to Write a Book and Get Published [Kindle Edition]



I find the easiest part is writing the words. Then comes the publishing process…so will let my “techno” friend and associate Bill take over from this point on (can I finish off a sentence with a “preppie”?)….

In this part of the book (Part II) we’ll look at getting your document “knocked into shape”, finished and published (also online).

Suggested Software

Open Office Word Processing www.openoffice.org

Gimp Image Creation/Manipulation www.gimp.org

All this software is free and legally downloadable.

You need to create the manuscript document in Word, Open Office or Microsoft Office or another suitable program.

Then we need to create some graphics for the book front page etc. using The Gimp.


1. Prepare the Manuscript

My (Bill’s) suggestion is that you prepare the manuscript in Open Office Word Processor or Microsoft Office Word, in ODT or DOC format. This will gives you a good way to layout and index the document as well as do spell checking. The best is Open Office, as it offers the facility to convert the document to a PDF file for uploading to www.lulu.com and /or www.createspace.com

(Craig’s comment: As a “total non-techno dummy/bunny”, I’m happy to use a Word doc!)

I personally create different versions; so if things go really wrong, I have a backup of a previous version. I create a unique folder under /documents, say /books/ and then use File, Save As, and call it book1, book2 etc. I also do back-ups to another computer and/or to a USB pendrive (or perhaps burn to CD). The first rule of computing is to do backups. The second rule is to save your work and save often. You break these rules at your peril!

2. Format the Document

Under Format Page we need to layout the document according to the size of the book we want to publish.

A Novel is usually 6″x 9″ or 152.4 mm x 228.6 mm. We need to consider what we are trying to achieve, so we can plan and organise our document accordingly.  I use a basic 6×9”template, which can be downloaded from www.createspace.com

A lot of people will want to write a Novel or their Memoirs…or the story about their life, one they often dreamed of writing…

We have to also consider that we are doing a book, maybe on a CD as a PDF file, Online as a PDF file, an EBook and perhaps as an Audio Book. You have a number of choices here!

In the process you need to add a header and then add Page Numbers.

Select Insert > Header and Insert > Fields > Page Number.

I use some Bullets and Tables as well.

Highlight the Text you wish to Bullet and then Right Click and Select > Numbering and Bullets.

3. Table of Contents: Each Chapter Heading is changed to Heading 1 and then at the beginning of the book Insert

Table of Contents:

Select Indexes and Tables > Indexes and Tables > Ok

You should only use New Times Roman font at 10.5 point. Maybe up to New Times Roman font 16 point for headings. This is because most PDF creators do not embed fonts and websites like www.lulu.com  can not handle it.

A trick is that the correct font must also include all the empty spaces as well??

The general layout of the book is very important. It must look good and inviting. Not too many capital letters – that is considered being rude. Nice spacing and paragraph breaks, together with an Index.

I also like to Justify the Text, it looks neater, I think. Of course, a lot of layout is subjective and is subject to your personal choice.

Spell Check, Edit and Proof Read the document carefully.

“Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.”

Appearances, especially first appearances count! As you go along you need to keep an eye on the layout and do a spell check now and then.

One fundamental question you have to ask, if your manuscript is in English for instance, is which version of English will you use? I guess if your target market is the USA, then US English; if the target is Europe the UK English and of course, you could use NZ, SA, AUS or even International English.

Proof reading can be tricky as you become blinded by your own work. It is great then if you can get someone else to proof read your document (“work of art”). Or you do it yourself and put up with the results, I guess.

The best advice is to get into good housekeeping habits with your writing and with the use of the computer.

As mentioned, regular backups are very important.

Also regular spell checks and going back and checking the layout etc.

You also need to be consistent, with layout, font, size, etc.

Of course, you should have the latest virus checker etc. on your computer and that it is up to date and fully operational.

Do not forget to save and back up your documents often!


So hopefully you have the  Spell Checking, Editing and Proof Reading under Control!

If you have any problems or questions let us know!

More information is available at sites like

www.lulu.com , www.createspace.com  and www.smashwords.com

So how is the task going?

Now you need to get on and finish the manuscript, your “creative masterpiece/work”!

Best of luck and we will see you soon.


# How to obtain an ISBN number?

Now your book is taking shape we need to sharpen our pencil and get organised so we can get the book published, up and “out there”!

So the first thing we have to do is get an ISBN number.

An ISBN number is the Books unique International number. You can not publish a book without one effectively (mainly for marketing purposes)!

In New Zealand ISBN numbers are controlled by the NZ National Library and can be obtained from


Email ISBN@natlib.govt.nz

Overseas there are places like


It is merely a matter of filling in an online form of the Book title, author etc. and within a few minutes you have an ISBN number. Presto!

Create Space, Lulu and Smashwords will automatically generate a free ISBN, when you publish with them – simple!

# Creating a Book Cover

When you upload the book to www.lulu.com  (or to another print-on-demand publisher), you can just select the Front Cover they provide or you can create your own.

To create your own you can use Gimp Image Creator/Manipulator or similar. Just download from www.gimp.com

Then Open The Gimp.

Create a new image and make the size 1838 x 2775 mm for a novel size book. (You will need to unlink the Image Size.)

Width and Height Link.

Now you can add Text and maybe a Graphic or Picture. I have been doing the initial work in Open Office Draw, then exporting as a jpg graphic and resizing and finishing in The Gimp.

You need to have this graphic available and the correct size when you upload the book.

Create PDF or DOC

Now you have completed the document you need to convert it to a PDF file.

I have found a PDF gives you the easiest and best results when uploading your Book.

You can use a Word (DOC) Format, but PDF is better.

In Open Office (or Word) click on Create PDF Button on the Toolbar.

Save the PDF file then open it and check the result for page breaks and layout etc.

I have included links to online file conversion sites later in the book and there are several Windows programs for converting to a PDF file.

If you have trouble making a PDF file especially if it complains about embedding fonts, go back to your document and make sure you only have the New Times Roman font. Then try again. This is the only problem I had in making a PDF file.

When your document is finally ready, check it for the layout and go back and make any corrections needed.

Upload Document to the Internet



and/or www.smashwords.com

Lulu (together with the above-mentioned) are what they call Print On Demand publishers. In other words if there is a demand they print a copy. So there is no cost, unless you order some copies for yourself, or to sell onwards.

There are other websites that do similar things, but these ones work best for me.

Just go to www.lulu.com  and sign up as a member. Login and then go to My Lulu and Publish a Book. It is simple matter of following the instructions, uploading the Book and “bob’s your aunty”!

New Project

Paper back

Book Title

Choose Project Options

Browse to the document (pdf file)

Upload file

Upload front page

Set Pricing

Publish Project


Phew! Now we are getting there!

More information is available at sites like



and www.smashwords.com

# Create a Sample PDF Document

Go back to the book document and copy a section as a sample of your book. Perhaps the first chapter or two and including the Table of Contents.

Paste as a new Document then save as book-sample then convert to a PDF file.

This is useful for a website or on sites like Google Books or for sending to potential reviewers and customers.

We hope to see your book(s) published , then marketed online soon.

Best of luck


Publishing a book is like have a telephone number in a phone book, when no-one knows that you have a phone.  So you need to get the “word out there”…

You can Create a website

It’s a great idea to create a website to promote yourself and your books.

See http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Website


There are plenty of free websites hosts if you do not wish to spend much money.

We currently use www.webng.com and  they have proved to be very good.

You need a front page which is normally index.html and then maybe a book page.

NB: Do not use capitals, spaces or odd symbols in a webpage name.

You will also need a folder, say called images for the various pictures, and a folder called docs for the various documents you will have.

I like to keep a website very simple and have only two or three clicks to a sale.

So your website will look like;





In the Root/Main Folder





If you have a look at Craig’s site at www.webng.com/writernz  you will get the idea.

Right click on a page and go view source, this will show you the code we have used to create the website.

Log on to your website say www.webng.com  and go to the file manager. Create the folders and then upload the webpages, images and documents. Then have a look and see if things have turned out as planned.

Offer the samplebook.pdf you created as a free download.

Another good idea is sell your books with a Paypal option. Check out www.paypal.com

Google Books is another place you can upload your book when you want to make it known you have a book available.


Phew! Now we are getting there!

More information is available at sites like


Best of luck!


Publishing on Lulu

As mentioned previously, you need and ISBN number, your finished document as a PDF file, a front page graphic and a lulu account.

Go to www.lulu.com  and upload and publish your book and you are away!

You need to Log On to Lulu.com

Go to My Lulu

New Project

Upload pdf document and front cover

Set your prices

Make available to the public

And then wait for the sales

Promote on Google Books, Youtube etc.

Places like Google Books is a great place to spread the word about your new “wonderful creation”.

On Google Books you need a summary of the book, a sample PDF file and a front page graphic.

Sign up for Google Books and then Log on to Google Books.

Follow the instructions to upload and enter your book on their website.


Youtube is a good place to put a promo about your book. I created a simple slide show, added an audio, created a movie and uploaded to Youtube.


I have made a small slideshow promoting my books and put it onto


These sites may be able to promote your books.





www.trademe.co.nz and


Order Some Copies of Your Book from Lulu

To Order an Authors copy of a Book from Lulu

log on to www.lulu.com

Go to My Lulu

Click on Title Buy Icon to the right of title

Add to Cart

Enter Quantity

Update Cart


Pay by Credit Card or Paypal.

Some Interesting Websites











I hope this information has been helpful to you.

Happy writing and publishing

Bill and Craig

You CAN do it.

Contact Bill at www.creativekiwis.com, if you require any help with your writing project(s).

“If you can dream it, then you can do it!”

 From How to Write a Book and Get Published [Kindle Edition]


Bill’s various books on the publishing process are at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/leftfieldnz


The Ultimate Desktop Publishing Book [Paperback] is available at


The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4


http://www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books and


All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children –



“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a flat tyre and broken fan-belt, er sorry, a single step.”

If you can dream it, then you can do it!”

.” Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, novelist and playwright