How Do I Get My Books Published Once My Manuscript is Ready?

Written by Nickey Teoh.

Once your manuscript is ready, you have a few stages to go through.


You would need your cover designed. An attractive cover design is an important selling point for your book. The first impression can entice potential readers to check your book out.


Once you have your cover design done, you would need to apply for the ISBN. An ISBN is needed if you want your book to get into the bookstores. If you are publishing the books for purely own circulation without the need for entering bookstores, then an ISBN is not needed.

If you apply your ISBN from the National Library of Malaysia, you would need to send 5 sample copies to them. 


Is your manuscript already edited? Of course, your language doesn’t need to sound like some flowery literary poem. The two most important factors in getting your book edited is:
- Ensure your book is easy to read and understand.
- Ensure no grammar and typo mistakes.


Once your text has been edited, you can proceed to do the typesetting layout. Mos authors type their manuscript in Microsoft Word (A4 or Letter size). You would need to format the entire manuscript into a book layout.


Once the typesetting layout is done, proofreading is needed in order to ensure that there are no mistakes that are overlooked during the earlier editing round. Also, you would need to catch for layout mistakes or misalignment.

If the earlier editing round has been done thoroughly, you would find minimal grammar or typo mistakes during the proofreading. If possible, you should reduce heavy changes to the book layout at this stage by inserting/removing portion of text. It could cause book layout to run and the typesetter has to spend additional time to rearrange everything.


Once you have a print-ready PDF, if you are going for offset bulk printing, you would be given a physical mock proof to check through everything. Here you would need to check the colors, margin, spacing, font size, etc. to ensure they appear correctly.

Remember, what is seen on the computer screen may appear differently when you look at the physical proof. This is the best part to correct any size, spacing or color issues before you proceed to final print stage. But once again, try to avoid inserting/removing portion of text that would cause a major relayout in the typesetting.


Once you are happy with the proof checking, you can proceed with the printing. Your books are in the production stage and all you need to do is wait for them to complete. If you are printing 500, 1000 copies or above, usually it takes about 2 weeks to complete.


After the books are printed, they would be delivered to your location of your choice.


You need to get your books distributed into the physical bookstore via a distributor.


It is not hard to get your book published. I would say you have your entire lifetime to market your book. The more marketing you do, the more books you can sell. There are many marketing strategies that I would share in other post. Marketing tactics include blogging, using social media, doing book talks, etc.


When you reach this stage, congratulations! You’ve got your first book in your hand. At this part, I would say, you either continue to write your next book, or you could go do your marketing effort.