5 Things You Need To Get Started With Online Publishing

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Online Publishing is an exciting Side Hustle with great potential for passive income. So what do you need to get started?

In today’s video I talk about the 5 things you will need to get set-up for self publishing.

If you’d rather read what I’m talking about (or perhaps you’re at work or somewhere you can’t easily watch), here’s a synopsis:

The five things you need to get started with online publishing:

1. Computer with an internet connection

This may seem a bit obvious, but without this you’re going to struggle. If you don’t have your own machine, you can always try to make use of computers in libraries or perhaps see if you can borrow a friend’s for a few hours a week?

2. Word Processing software

The ideal is Microsoft Word because it’s universally used (which makes it easier to collaborate with writers and editors), and it’s one of the formats recommended by Amazon for book uploads. It is possible to use different word processing software, but you would probably have to save the finished document as a .doc format which might mess with some of the layout placements.

The format of ebook documents currently accepted by KDP are:

  • Word (DOC/DOCX)
  • MOBI
  • ePub
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Plain Text (TXT)
  • Adobe PDF (PDF)
  • Kindle Package Format (KPF)

To get started it’s best to keep things simple, hence why I would recommend starting out using Microsoft Word if you can.

3. An Account with KDP

KDP is Amazon’s website which allows you to become a self publisher. You can sign up for free with this site and once you have done so the process to upload and publish your books is very straightforward. The user interface for publishing a new book is brilliant - you are walked step-by-step through each of the required items for publication.

It should be noted that you will need to complete a US tax questionnaire before you can publish your first book and start receiving royalty payments. However there are plenty of YouTube videos offering help on how to fill the tax interview out - one of which is actually by KDP!

4. An Account For Hiring Freelancers

Although an account with a freelancer webiste is not essential to get started with online publishing, you may find it difficult to complete all elements of publishing your first book relying solely on your own skills. This is because there are several key elements to creating a kindle or paperback book:

  • Writing the main book content
  • Creating illustrations for the book (if applicable)
  • Editing the finished manuscript
  • Formatting the book ready for publication
  • Designing and creating book covers in the required formats for publication

The above list is by no means exhaustive either.

I would recommend opening free accounts with Fiverr (affiliate link) and Upwork so that you can find people to work with on your book projects. For example, if you opt to write the book yourself you should definitely get someone else to edit it for you. If you don’t fancy writing the book you may want to find a ghost writer, but then you may feel comfortable editing the book. Unless you have previous design experience you should definitely look for a good cover designer, since the cover makes a massive difference in how successful your book sales will be.

Fiverr (affiliate link) started out by allowing anyone to set-up “gigs” of things that they would do for a fiver. In fact using fiver in the UK costs less than £5 due to the USD to GBP exchange rates! However, Fiverr has evolved somewhat from its early days. Only allowing gigs costing a fiver was somewhat restrictive on what people would be prepared to do, and so the ability to offer bundles or larger packages was introduced, for more money of course!

Fiverr is super easy to use, you can navigate to the category of work you’re looking for, then browse the gigs available. If you click on a gig you can see the package levels available. This is a really simple and economical way to get started using help from others.


Another easy to use freelancer site is Upwork. To find a resource to work with, you can list your own job with exactly what you are looking for and how much your budget is. Then you will receive applications for your listing from which you can make a shortlist. Alternatively you can browse through the list of freelancers and their portfolios to find someone who you think would be a good match, then approach them with a personalised message to see if they would like to work with you.

5. The Right Attitude: Perseverance and Tenacity

The final thing you will need before you decide to venture into the world of self publishing is a commitment to see it through. Publishing books can be extremely rewarding both psychologically and financially, however it’s not an easy ride. It will take effort to learn how to create, publish and market a book. There will be times when you’re not sure what you’re doing, or if you’ve made the right decisions. This is perfectly normal! The key thing is that you have the tenacity to persevere and keep at it. I would recommend that you commit to giving it a go for at least 6 months.

Hopefully this list of 5 things you need to get started with online publishing has been helpful for you. You may have questions about things in this post, or about other aspects of online publishing - please feel free to drop these in the comments below and I will get back to you…

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