So You Want to Write & Publish a Book. Now What?

The Martian. Still Alice. Eragon. Once We Were Brothers. Fifty Shades of Grey.

Most likely you’ve heard of a few of these best-selling books. Maybe you’ve even seen the movies.

But, what you might be surprised to learn is that each of these books was originally self-published by the author before gaining popularity and being picked up by a major publisher.

Clearly the self-publishing path worked for them as it has for many others eager to share their work with a wider audience.

And now Poudre River Public Library District would like to help you create and self-publish your book with our new online self-publishing platforms: Pressbooks and SELF-e.

Whether it’s the next Great American Novel or a simple collection of family recipes, these free eResources will help you write, format, design, and share your eBook with the Library’s audience and beyond. You’ll find links to these tools and other useful writing resources on the Library’s new Writers’ Café webpage:


Create: Pressbooks

If you’re just sitting down to write or you have a copy of your book on your PC, then Pressbooks is the tool you’ll want to use first. Pressbooks allows you to create professional-quality eBook and print-ready versions of your book in ePUB, MOBI, PDF and more.

The platform helps you add and edit information about your book, write and organize your content, and format the overall design of your work including cover art. Begin writing your book directly in Pressbooks or just cut-and-paste the text from your saved file and move directly on to formatting your eBook.

After completing the writing and formatting, you’ll have the option to publish your work using our SELF-e platform and share it with a wider audience. You retain complete and total ownership of your content and can distribute your work however you would like.

Pressbooks Basics:

  1. Connect to Pressbooks through the Library and create your account
  2. Add your book information: author name, title, subtitle, publication date, cover, etc.
  3. Add and organize your text: edit your content and organize it into chapters
  4. Select your book design theme using over 20 unique themes available
  5. Export your book into an ePUB, PDF, and/or MOBI file
  6. Submit to SELF-e


Share: SELF-e

If your book is already formatted as an ePUB or PDF, then you can skip Pressbook and get right to the publishing phase with SELF-e. This free platform uses a simple online form to submit your eBook/ePub and make it accessible to readers through Indie Colorado, an online collection of works by local writers, along with other public libraries throughout the country.

Again, you retain complete and total ownership of your content and can distribute your work in other ways beyond SELF-e.

SELF-e Basics:

  1. Connect to SELF-e through the Library and click “Submit Your Book” to get started
  2. Read and accept the terms and conditions
  3. Add your author information
  4. Upload your file (ePub2, ePub3, or PDF)
  5. Add general information to categorize your book
  6. Provide book details: title, subtitle, publication date, etc.
  7. Review everything and submit to the local Colorado collection, Indie Colorado


Discover: Indie Colorado

The Indie Colorado anthology features indie authors from throughout the state. The curation, provided through BiblioBoard, allows readers to peruse a growing collection of titles spanning every popular genre of fiction and nonfiction.

Library Journal highlights select authors and features them in their Indie spotlights. Anyone who submits a book via SELF-e has the opportunity to be featured by Library Journal in addition to be included in the Indie Colorado collections.

Poudre River Public Library District has always been in a unique position to help local and emerging writers create and connect with readers throughout the community. With these new self-publishing platforms and tools, we’re excited to further enhance that connection.

Want to learn more? Check out our upcoming Self-Publishing classes held at Harmony Library. Our librarians will walk you through how to effectively, and easily, use Pressbooks and SELF-e to get your book written, designed, and published. And we won’t even demand to star in the movie version of your story when it gets optioned by Pixar or MGM!

Additional Resources:

  • #FoCoBookFest self-publishing presentation  at Old Town Library (Sat. Oct. 21, 2017)
  • National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) activities at Old Town Library (throughout November)