10 Self Publishing Lessons

Reshma Shahabuddin
3 min readNov 8, 2022


My children and I started a new children’s book series!


We want to share exciting and funny stories about “mean” teachers at school.

My 13-year-old son, Shazeb, came up with the stories, and my 10-year-old daughter, Samia, illustrated all the pages.

I helped put the books together and self-published them using Amazon KDP.

Our first book took over 6 months, and the second book took less than 2 months.

I learned a lot about self-publishing. If you want to give it a try, check out:

Lesson # 1: Just start

If you want to publish, simply start. It is easy and free with Amazon KDP.


I did it because I wanted to encourage my children to try something new and work on a creative project together.

Lesson # 2: Genre

You have to pick a book genre. Fiction, non-fiction, thriller, mystery?

Based on what you choose, there are a ton of resources available on Amazon KDP.

Lesson # 3: Format

You can publish your book in eBook, paperback, or hardcover.

Publishing your content in multiple formats maximizes your reach.

For eBooks, it is preferable to use Kindle Create.


I published our books in two formats: e-book and paperback formats.

Lesson # 4: Print Options

You will need to choose your ink and paper type, trim size, bleed setting, and cover finish.

I chose a premium color interior, 8.5 x 8.5, bleed, with a glossy finish since our books are for children.

Lesson # 5: Illustrations

You can include illustrations in your book. You can create digital art or scan drawings.

For our children’s books, my daughter used Procreate to create spreads, and then we turned them into book pages.


Lesson # 6: Categories

You can select only 2 categories when you publish. However, you can contact Amazon to add your book to 8 additional categories.

I would not have known this without doing additional research.

Lesson # 7: Series

You can publish a single book or start a series with any book format (i.e. eBook, paperback, or hardcover).

You don’t need to have all books in your series complete before creating one.

Lesson # 8: ISBN

ISBN is a book identifier and is assigned to each separate edition and variation of a publication.

Although Amazon KDP provides free ISBN, I purchased them from Bowker in bulk, so I am not limited to publishing on Amazon KDP only.


Lesson # 9: Copyright

A copyright can protect your book by providing proof of creation and can strengthen the defense against copyright infringement by another entity.

I registered our books with https://www.copyright.gov.

Lesson # 10: Website

A website is a great way to connect with your readers.

I created https://meanseriesbooks.com to showcase all the books in our series in one place.


My lessons are for informational purposes only.

If you are interested in self-publishing, here is a good place to begin your research:


I will unpack each lesson and share it in future posts.

I plan to explore Apple book publishing next.

If you enjoyed this, please:

If you have any questions, ask away.