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Self-publishing 101: How to turn your dream book into reality

For those eager to embark on their literary journey, stay tuned to Bookshelf PH’s website and social media for updates on upcoming workshops and creative book club sessions. Your story deserves to be told, and Bookshelf PH is here to help you tell it.

How do you turn your dream book into reality?

This is a question aspiring writers, authors, and creatives dissected in a Self-Publishing 101 workshop last May 22, 2024 at the SM Aura Book Nook.

An ongoing book club series, “The Write Side of Bookshelf” by Bookshelf PH, tackles the riveting world of publishing by featuring diverse Filipino authors and hosting book club sessions. Now on its fourth session, the publishing house immerses bibliophiles into self-publishing.

From knowing what book to write to owning 100% of their story, Bookshelf PH emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s audience and the discipline to meet self-imposed deadlines. Divided into four mini sessions, the workshop also provides a step-by-step roadmap, showing the journey from manuscript to published book.

Demand for self-publishing

“If you want to write a book, the first thing you think about is what your book is going to be about,” Monette Quiogue, Co-founder of Bookshelf PH says. “But you also need to determine who your audience is.”

The average person consumes about 34 gigabytes of information a day. As the Social Media Capital of the World, these “byte-sized” content are mostly consumed through online platforms in the country.

Yet, the demand for printed books still exists and evidently, there is a gap when it comes to producing localized content. A quick trip to the local bookstore would tell you the prevalence of Western books and the lack of a Filipino counterpart.

“People connect to books in a much more intimate way than any form of content,” Quiogue adds. She even notes that there is a spike on the number of self-publishing inquiries Bookshelf PH has gotten since its launch during the pandemic.

Such a spike is a tell-tale sign that more Filipinos aspire to be self-published and that books remain a source for credible information amidst the oversaturation of content.

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“You need to give a deadline for the first draft of your book,” Porsha Mangilit, Managing Editor and Marketing Manager explains. “But you also need to celebrate your small wins like finishing a chapter, because this is a long journey that could stretch for weeks or months.”

When it comes to writer’s block, Mangilit adds how important it is to step away from your work as a writer and find people who are willing to give constructive feedback. “You’re not just writing for yourself. You’re also writing for an audience who’s willing to pay to read your content.”

Owning your story

Self-publishing means you own 100% of your story.

Such power comes with responsibility, as you are not just an author; you are also the entrepreneur behind selling your book.

This comes with a few challenges, as writing is not the only task you will be doing. From layouting the book, finding the perfect cover, to copyediting and printing, engaging with publishers like Bookshelf PH can help you outsource these to a strong team who has the literary bent and creative eye to turn your book into a reality.

“Traditional publishers own your book and give you a share of the profit,” Nicole Borromeo, Marketing Manager says. “But with self-publishing, you own your book, you decide who gets a share, and how much they’re going to get.”

Finding your audience and selling your book is the final step. “When it comes to selling your book, we have online and offline channels. Maximize your third-party marketplaces and social media platforms, but also combine it with offline channels like speaking engagements, exhibits, and partnerships where you’re more visible and in touch with your target audience,” Michelle Dulinayan, Marketing Manager explains.

After the mini writing activities and Q&A, Bookshelf PH organized a giveaway, distributing a selection of titles. The publishing house also made a heartwarming book donation to the SM Aura Book Nook, represented by Ms. Margarita Catalan, Assistant Vice President of Marketing Operations.

This generous contribution enriches the offerings at the community library and learning hub located on Level 3 of SM Aura. Book Nook is a vibrant space where readers of all ages can enjoy a wide range of books, now including the latest selections from Bookshelf PH, all available for free reading.

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For those eager to embark on their literary journey, stay tuned to Bookshelf PH’s website and social media for updates on upcoming workshops and creative book club sessions. Your story deserves to be told, and Bookshelf PH is here to help you tell it.


Bookshelf PH






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