I have created a picture book and already have it designed and have a local printer who is going to handle the print-on-demand.

I can not find a self publishing website that does not dictate the layout/design, and printing of the book.

Can anyone tell me:

  1. Is there a site out there where I can register the book and myself as the self publisher without having to give up what I have already created?

  2. Do I have to "publish" the book? I have an ISBN and bar-code. I have my own website where the book will be sold as well as local shops. Of course I would be thrilled if it is on amazon.com.

3 Answers 3


If you've already got a printer for the book, and a distribution plan, what else are you looking for?

Do you know how to format an e-book? It's a bit finicky, but not that difficult - I really like Guido Henkels' guide (http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/) but it gives you way more information than you need, really. You can also usually pay someone $50-75 to do the formatting for you.

Alternatively, some of the sites for uploading ebooks will do the formatting for you, as long as you put a reasonably clean version of the MS in at the start.

In terms of getting the book on Amazon? You can do that yourself, just create an account at kdp.amazon.com. If you want a print book sold at Amazon, I think you'll have to go through Createspace.

If you're looking for a way to hit other e-book retailers, be aware that this would disqualify you for the Kindle Select program, which may or may not be a big deal for you - worth looking into. But if you don't want to use Kindle Select, you can go to Smashwords and put your e-book up there, and they will distribute it to other e-retailers.

ETA: There's no secret button to push to "publish" your book. As soon as you have a copy available to the public, it's published. Good luck with it!


If you have a printer who is handling print-on-demand, what would you need an additional service for? Lay out the book yourself, or hire a designer to do it, and send the end files to your POD printer.

To declare yourself the publisher you just put it in your colophon information:

Published by
Final Frontier Enterprises
Excelsior, CO 74656

You already have your ISBN and barcode. You don't need CreateSpace/XLibris etc.

  • The puzzle, I think, i hows to get the book into the distribution channels. In the US, I think buying an ISBN from Bowker gets you into the important listings. Retailers can order the book from the publisher, but is that what they normally do? Or do they prefer to order through distributors? Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 21:46

One of the first things you should consider is whether or not you are going to have to pay anything to this local printer in order to get your book "published". If so, then you may want to consider a different approach. Just being able to get your book printed doesn't guarantee that it is going to get sold to anyone, especially book stores or libraries, unless you put a lot of effort into promoting the book and drawing attention to it.

If you use a publishing service such as CreateSpace, you can make your book available in print, you can use the ISBN you have already purchased, and you can have your book immediately available through Amazon. Whether or not it gets bought or ordered by book stores or libraries isn't going to be any easier or more assured, but it won't cost you anything. (This is assuming you already have an appropriate book cover and have the book formatted. If not, then you may have to pay for those services, but you'd have to do that either way.)

Before you take any action, you may want to do some more research into the different options you have available to you.

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