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How to become an author (Self-publishers Edition)

This is the question that pondered on my mind for so long. It's not until I really did some research and took the time did I make my decision to write books as a passion and career. There are some things you need to decide before the journey can begin. Once you make the first step, it's all up to you to go from there. Here are some tips and the steps I took to becoming an author.

  1. Self-Publish or Traditional

As an author, you need to look at the big picture. The reality is that either one you pick, you will have to plan and work. Here is the difference: a self-publisher is an independent author that publishes their books on their own, and a traditional author is an individual that publishes their book with a publishing company or third party. (Brief...I know! )

I chose to self-publish. I really like creating ideas and bring them to life, and sometimes I can't bring things out on less I do it a particular way. Yes, I may have a lot to say when it comes to decisions and choices, but that means I will have to provide a lot of scheduled time, finance and production on my own.

I love self-publishing because it keeps me busy, and I love to be occupied and passionate about what I do. It's not a crazy, hectic busyness when I used to do many things at once. This time, it pushes me to plan ahead, organize my ideas and map out my thoughts to ensure that each step is correlated and consistent.

2. Find a Name Your Publishing Company

Finding a name will always be a precious moment. I desperately wanted it to sound great and wonderful. The truth is, the publishing name doesn't have to be super outstanding; it has to fit what you are doing looking and suitable to you. I had a couple of possible names, and with the help of some family and friends, the popular vote won. I personally didn't mind whichever would be the official name. In the end, Rise Joy Press was the pick. I just fell in love with the name after that.

How did I pick the name? A generator, of course! You can use a free generator that will provide so many lists of possible names that can be used for your publishing company. Write down the ones you like, but aim to be selective. Once you've had a couple written down, do your research using Press or Publishing after it to see if it's already taken. Still, make sure to picks at least 2 names you really want. Don't get too excited because you're not done yet! You need to make sure that the name you picked is available to use as a business name.

3. Register Your Potential Publishing Name

You may love the name you have. Still, making sure that the name you've picked is available is the most crucial part. It was so nerve-racking for me. It shouldn't be that overwhelming, to be honest. That's just me being myself (haha)! Anyway, making sure your name is available before you register is an essential step before doing anything else. If your first choice is taken, you always have your second or third choice to check with. It's better to have two (or three) options as I said because you'll have to go back and come back to the registry's office again. That would be a waste of your time. Or make up a name on the spot. I wouldn't advice that though.

If your name is available, take the opportunity. I don't know much about other places, but here in Canada, I had two choices with my name. My company name could be a trading name or a corporate name. How can you make a choice between these two? Well, a trading name is a sole proprietorship name. That means the individual is the exclusive owner. The price is not that expensive; about $ 70.00 (in Alberta anyway.) However, the name is not protected. That means if someone comes and wants to register for a corporate company with your trade name, they own the name now... you don't. A corporate company name is a legal entity. This is much more expensive at the cost of around $500 or more. As soon as you have the name, it's yours, and no other corporate or trade names can take it.

I went with the trade name at first. Reasons? I had more things to do before my first book would come out. I wasn't desperate or didn't plan to spend $500 bucks that day, and I had faith that if I was to own the name, after a while, I would later get a corporate company, and the name would be mine. I can't stress enough that it's essential to plan and do research. Yes, there will be mistakes on the way and many learned lessons, but if it doesn't need to be done at that moment, do not rush.

4. Create Your Own Logo

As I said, everything needs to be planned. Maybe not to the littlest detail at the start, yet the organization is important as you are the one who calls all the shots. I wanted to find a way to create the logo myself. Thank God I stumbled onto Canva. With Canva, you can create whatever you want and download them too. You can use already made amazing templates or draft from scratch. I really loved how there were free images and premiums for a meagre cost if I really wanted. And voilà! The Rise Joy Press was born! What a great feeling to finally have that final logo.

If ever there needs to be edits or changes, it can always be done as well. I preferred to do it on my own. If you'd like someone to do it for you, you can always find a freelancer on Upwork, Fiverr or others, and they'll be more than willing to help you. Make sure to save a downloaded file of your logo to use on copyright pages, a future website, or for social media.

5. It's Time to Celebrate

This first milestone is so worth celebrating! Your planning has brought you to this unique point. Now, you can share the news with family and friends on social media if you wish. You can work on your website or a new social media account. You can even make a celebration dance or take a moment and go "Wow"! It's up to you! Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy, and you celebrate this milestone because you took the steps that lead you to this wonderful moment.

You may want to go to the next thing right away, but remember what I said before. Planning is everything. So you've earned it! Take a break and take it easy! You've started your foundation! You now have a registered name for your publishing name. The next step? It's up to you! Make you to plan! Who knows? Maybe you'll plan to write your first story.

~ Author, Brendilynn MA

For a developed Self-Publishing Checklist, look below:

For more planners or worksheets, visit for free downloads on the Writer's Page.

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