Self-publishing a novel, the 2020 checklist edition:
ISBN for paperback (owned, or free from pubs site like Amazon)
ISBN for e-book (“)
barcode for paperback (ISBNs + prices)
✖️ barcode for e-book (unnecessary)
finished book (no more tweaking!)
book in PDF format for print (ISBN & barcode added)
book in Word docx format to create e-book on Amazon (ISBN added)
book in ePub or similar format for e-book on pubs site (ISBN added)
description of book for pubs sites (to help readers locate book)
keywords for pubs site (“)
Categories and/or BISAC codes for pubs sites (“)
cover file PDF for paperback (front, back & spine)
cover JPG file for e-book (front only)
To properly upload novel for readers to buy:
Bowker ISBN assignments (optional if using pubs site ISBNs)
IngramSpark (book content PDF, cover PDF, and ePub* file + front cover JPG)
Amazon (book content PDF, cover PDF, and docx file + front cover JPG)
Reedsy (to create an ePub file in the first place)
Barnes & Noble (optional)
Several of these, I didn’t need when I published my first novel. At that time, I focused on Amazon. The list above encompasses use of several available publishing services. (Most of above I’m using for my new release, though initially I’ll skip Barnes & Noble… we’ll see how IngramSpark goes first).
I’m sure I’ve missed something(s) which will rear its head at midnight on publication day. That’s okay. The capabilities for self-publishing w/ distribution [these days] are awesome.
Once all of this “so easy” publishing is completed, and a novel for sale, the marketing begins. That checklist could include many different options… so, that’s a whole ‘nother list for another day!
* Recently, I learned that IngramSpark will distribute e-books to Amazon to save authors the additional steps of uploading to Amazon… BUT, only if an author has NOT used ANY Amazon e-book (KDP) services for more than 12 months. Still, IngramSpark-to-Amazon may work well for authors publishing their first book.
(Not included above and just FYI, I use Adobe FrameMaker for my writing and layout, from which I produce print-ready PDFs.)