How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide.

To self-publish a book in the Philippines is not as complicated as you think it is. So if you’ve been wanting to explore a career of being an author, this post is for you. Here, I’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to publish your own from scratch, what affects the pricing of your book, and some kickass tips on how you can effectively promote it.

Long ago, if you wanted to know how to publish a book, you had to find an agent to get a traditional publisher to look at your manuscript. Aside from going through all that hassle just to land an agent, it’s still unlikely that your book will be published and sold in bookstores. Fast forward to today, there is now a better method. It’s called self-publishing and as a bestselling author of my book entitled ” Financial Resilience: How to Build A Strong Financial Foundation that can Withstand A Crisis” I’m here to go over how to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines.

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide

As an example, I’ll be using my book entitled “Financial Resilience: How to Build A Strong Financial Foundation that can Withstand A Crisis“.

It aims to teach the 5 Steps to Create a Foolproof plan as your line of defense when another crisis, such as the pandemic, strikes again.

Paperback Version: Php 199.00

DISCLAIMER: The information shared in this article is derived from my own experiences and may slightly differ from the process of other authors. Inquire with your chosen Publishing company beforehand to avoid confusion. Moreover, this is not a sponsored post and I am neither compensated nor affiliated with any companies mentioned in this article.

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide

1. Pick a Publishing company

This, being the first step, may come off as a surprise. For other authors, they would probably tell you that you need to accomplish your manuscript first. While that may be true, picking a publishing company is also essential because you need to know the publisher’s requirements. Do they want you to submit it in a PDF file or in a Word Doc? How do they price their publishing services? How much would it cost if you opted for colored print instead of the usual black and white? Will you design your book cover or will you have it designed by them? Once you know the necessary documents and process to undergo, you can easily work your way towards complying.

For my book, I’ve conjointly worked with Miss Rhegie of Publish on Demand by Central Books and it was such a breeze working with her! I chose Publish on Demand by Central Books because of their prompt responses, superb customer service, and initiative. You wouldn’t want to work with a company that doesn’t respond on time, would you? Plus, their head office is just a few kilometers away from my house. So just in case they needed me to be physically present, I can easily hop on a cab and visit them. But since this was done in the midst of the pandemic, all conversations and transactions were made online.

2. Write your manuscript

A manuscript is a typed version of a book that is to be submitted by an author for publication. It is like your final draft in PDF format. The great thing about this is that you can sell your book in an ebook version since you already have laid out your content in an electronic form.

Once you have completed your first draft, set it down for a couple of days then read it all over again with fresh eyes and a fresh mind. In my case, I had to go through my whole script around 5 times to make sure I was satisfied with my content. Revise any problems you see and make sure everything is polished before you hire someone to proofread it for you.

How to Build A Strong Financial Foundation that can Withstand A Crisis
Sample PDF file which I sold as an Ebook version

Different genres correspond to different book sizes. For example, my book is about finance so the appropriate book size for me was at least 6”x 9”. A cookbook rather would need a wider and longer page size. You need to adjust your PDF file according to the standard size of your book genre. So before submitting your manuscript, make sure to inquire about the correct measurements with your publisher first so you can adjust the spaces between your fonts and the edges and spine of your book.

Additional Reminders:

  • Leave sufficient spaces between the fonts and the spine, and between the fonts and the edges of the pages.
  • Type the page numbers on each page before writing your Table of contents
  • Include a blank page before the start of every chapter

3. To hire a proofreader or not?

You can definitely hire someone to edit your book or you can ask a friend to edit. You can even do it yourself. In my case, I asked a good friend to do so. However, if you want to make sure that your script is understandable from a new reader’s point of view, you need to hire a professional proofreader to review your book and help make it shine. Remember that it is too easy to have incorrect terminologies, typographic errors, dangling modifiers, and contradicting issues. So a professional proofreader will check your writing technicalities such as grammar, spelling, punctuations, and the like to make your content flawless.

With Publish On Demand, they charge Php 25.00 / per page. If you want to search for other affordable proofreading services, you may check out 199jobs.com and upwork.com.

4. Design your cover

Designing your cover is something that you can do yourself or leave to a friend. In my case, I wanted a hands-on experience of the entire process of self-publishing my book so I did not hesitate to come up with my own design. However, if you have the extra funds to leverage on graphic designers then by all means, hire them as they would most likely do a better job. The right cover design can highly increase the number of people who will notice and pick up your book.

When designing your cover, it should somehow look like the image below:

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines
Back cover on the left, front cover on the right. Make sure to include your book spine.

By the time you submit the final draft to the publisher, make sure you are contented with your manuscript and book cover. Your next step is to ask for a quotation and see how everything is priced.

5. Pricing

Pricing can be confusing. You would want to showcase your self-published masterpiece without compromising the quality of the pages and book cover. So here are some factors to consider that will highly affect your total costs of publishing:

  • book size
  • quantity – number of copies to be printed
  • cover specs -glossy lamination is cheaper than matted ones
  • text specs – black and white is cheaper than colored
  • no. of pages – the more pages, the higher the cost
  • binding – paperbound is cheaper than hardbound
  • with ISBN – optional, subject to additional costs
  • marketing and advertising by publisher – optional, subject to additional costs

Also, do note that the cost per book depends on how many copies you want to have published. If your total cost is Php 50,000 and you request 300 copies, your cost per book would be Php 167.00. But if you opt for only 200 copies then expect your cost per book to be higher.

My total costs amounted to around Php 38,000 for 200 copies including all other promotional services by Publish on Demand. If you don’t plan on printing out hundreds of copies, they allow for as low as 20 copies, but like what was mentioned above, the cost per copy will definitely be much higher as you will still need to shoulder the basic expenses above the printing costs.

To determine your price, review books in a similar genre. Consider starting at a lower price then raise it as you see the demand increase. If you plan to sell ebooks, know that prices for ebooks in the Philippines often fall anywhere from Php 150.00 to Php 500.00.

6. Get your Proof Copy

A proof copy is just a single copy of your book that the publisher sends so you can review it and ask for revisions before requesting a mass production. In my case, I was only offered 2 proof copies. As seen in the photo below, a proof copy is the actual outcome of your book but without the ISBN bar code.

Proof copy without the ISBN barcode

But here’s the thing: before you request for 2 proof copies, you may also ask your publisher to send a TRIAL COPY (photocopied version) of your book first so you may visualize the actual size of your book and the format of your content in the pages.

TRIAL COPY (photocopied version)

When you approve the photocopied version, you may now ask for your first proof copy. Once you receive your first proof copy and you see any changes to be made, you can have it revised and the publisher can modify it before sending the second and final proof copy. When everything looks good, you may then request a large order.


7. Print for Mass Production then release your book

Once printed for mass production, your copies should have an ISBN Barcode like the one seen below:

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines
How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide

8. Promote your Book

As a self-publisher, you’re officially a Chief Marketing Officer too so having a marketing strategy is a must. Plan a marketing strategy before you release your book.

Take advantage of your Publisher’s Promotional tools and programs

While this may come as an additional cost, know that some reputable publishing companies are already well-known and have built connections with the masses. Some of the services offered to me by Publish on Demand are:

  • 10 full-colored posters to assist in marketing and promotion
  • Book review to promote readership
  • Facebook boosted ad for digital marketing
  • Running banner on website landing page
  • Option for book distribution to Central Bookstore branches
How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide
10 pcs of promotional colored posters
How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide
Promotional banners
How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide
Promotional banners

Tips on Promoting your book in the Philippines

Your work isn’t done once your book is published. So here are some budget-friendly tips on how to effectively promote your book in the Philippines:

1. Put up a blog or website to increase your online presence

2. Post on social media like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok

3. Send out complimentary copies to bloggers/vloggers and ask for honest reviews or testimonials

4. Offer an affiliate program to those interested in selling your book

5. When hosting a webinar or guesting for a show or podcast, create awareness by mentioning your book

6. Have your book displayed at your publisher’s bookstores.

7. Ask your friends and family to read your book and leave reviews if they can.

8. Engage with your community. Additionally, you can repost any social media posts that mention your book.

9. Sell on Shopee and Lazada. Check out my Shopee Shop here.

For a comprehensive guide on promotion ideas, check out our 20 Kickass Ways to Promote and Market Your Business in the Philippines.

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide
Free Book given by a Financial Advisor

Now that you’ve learned how to self-publish a book in the Philippines, it’s time to take action and bring yourself one step closer to your goals and dreams. If self-publishing a bestseller is something you want to do, and you’re serious about changing your career, life, and your business for the better then start getting your book out there ofr the world to see.

How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.

6 thoughts on “How to Self-Publish a Book in the Philippines: Step-By-Step Guide”
  1. What about the copyright, and the process of getting this? You didn’t mention anything on this.

    1. Getting the copyright and ISBN number was part of my publisher’s services. This may not be the case for other companies so make sure to ask your chosen publisher if there is an additional cost for this.

  2. Thanks for this informative post. I’d like to know, how did the books reach the bookstore shelves? Did the ~200 copies go to Central Bookstore Shelves? Or did they deliver it to you and you sold them yourself?

    1. Hello! They delivered it then I sold it myself. But you do have the option to have it displayed in their stores. It’ll all be part of a separate agreement and if my memory serves me right, you need to surrender 50pcs to them (double check mo na lang). Alternatively, you can reach out to National Bookstore and request to have your books displayed in their stores. Instructions can be found on Google.

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