Checklist: Get Your Ducks in a Row and Give Your Book the Best Chance To Succeed

Tick these off your to-do list and increase your chance of successfully self-publishing your book

Sandi Parsons
5 min readApr 3, 2022


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If you thought the hard part was writing the book, think again.

Self-publishing can seem daunting — so separate your tasks into small bites so that you can start ticking off your author-to-do checklist.

📘Pre-publication countdown

✅Author Biography

Author biographies have several uses — media releases, to drum up interest for feature articles, or even as a brief introduction.

Write several versions of your author biography. From two-three lines, a medium biography and a longer one detailing more of your background and expertise.

✅Book Hook

You’ll need a summary for your back cover, online sales, and media release, along with one or two sentences that sum up your book.

Make it dynamic to hook your readers in.

✅Cataloging in Publication record

Apply for your Cataloguing in Publication record (also known as CIP data) from your national library. Once processed, add your CIP data in full to the copyright page or indicate which national library holds the data.

CIP data streamlines processing for librarians and booksellers.

✅Set up Goodreads

Any Goodreads user can add a book they have read. Once a book is listed, Goodreads automatically creates an author profile. It’s free marketing space you can use to your advantage.

You’ll find the lowdown on how to make the most of Goodreads here:

✅Let’s Get Social

Are your socials up-to-date?



Sandi Parsons

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.