How to Self Publish
Self publishing has become the new and improved way of publishing your book.
Self publishing often means maintaining full control of your book and doing everything the way you want it to be done.
There are several ways to self publish. You can do it completely on your own; just hiring a freelance assistance if necessary and working directly with retailers and distributors to sell your book. You can hire a service company to act as your publisher. There are many other ways to self publish your book; but these are the main ways.
On your own:
Publishing your book on your own is one of the most independent ways. You simply find agents or freelancers who offer services such as copy editing, proofreading and so on. These freelancers will help make your book as professional as it can be; being high quality and a good read. You can then publish your book by yourself.
Hiring a company:
Hiring a service company technically is similar to traditional publishing. However, these companies will more than likely be startup companies rather than big publishing houses. The best services will:
i. Charge an upfront fee
ii. Take no rights to your work
iii. Pass on 100% net sales to you
They will make money through the services they are charging for, not on copies sold. The biggest benefit of this method is that you get a published book without having to find freelancers you can trust, and without having to make your way into the publishing industry. The services will be similar to those mentioned above, meaning your book will be the best it can be.
Self publishing a print book may be the route you want to take. If so, there are two primary options to print your book. These are print on demand (POD) and traditional offset printing. POD means books are printed one at a time, on demand. Offset printing is the most traditional option, committing to around 1,000 copies at a minimum.
Print on demand can be extremely beneficial. There is little to no upfront cost, your book will be available for sale as a print edition in all the usual online retail outlets (such as Amazon) and most people cannot tell the difference between a POD book and an offset printed book. Print on demand means you only ever print as many books as you need. When the demand is there, you print. When the demand isn’t there, you don’t print.
However, POD can be disadvantageous. The unit cost is much higher and you may have very few print copies on hand, or it can prove expensive to keep ordering print copies. You may want to have a large amount of copies to hand at a certain time, or all the time, and with POD it may be difficult to fulfil this.
Offset printing has its advantages. It has a much lower unit cost, a higher quality production value and you will have plenty of print copies around. Your book needs to be high quality, if it’s not it runs the risk of looking cheap and not attractive to potential readers. Alongside this, offset printing means you will have a large amount of copies around whenever you may need them.
It also has its disadvantages. There is a considerable upfront investment, with an increased risk and the possibility of having too many copies. There is an increased risk as what if your books don’t sell as well as you wanted them to? What if you want to put out a new edition before the previous one is sold out? These risks, as well as having an excessive amount of copies, need to be properly considered before taking this route.
eBook publishing is also another option when it comes to self publishing. It is becoming increasingly popular, and is seen as a quick and easy way to publish your book. eBook retailers and distributors are not publishers. They take no responsibility for the quality of your work, nor do they take any rights to your work. You simply publish your work, maintaining full control.
Characteristics of major services when it comes to eBook publishing are as follows;
i. You rarely pay an upfront fee
ii. You can upload your work at any time and take it down at any time
iii. They will offer publishing tools
If you do pay an upfront fee for eBook publishing, you will earn 100% net - but if you don’t, you must expect a percentage of your sales to be kept. You can upload your work whenever, make changes to it whenever such as the price, cover and description, as well as removing it at any time. Publishing tools they may provide include tools for converting your files, uploading files and listing your work for sale.
There are a few different ‘e-publishing services’ out there. These include eBook retailers, distributors and book builders and distributors.
The majority of eBook retailers offer to distribute and sell self-published eBooks through their storefront, then take a percentage of the sales. They do not offer any assistance in the formatting of your eBooks. An example of this is Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.
eBook distributors act as middlemen. They will push your work out to retailers and other distributors. This will help you and reduce the amount of work you must do. They will, essentially, market your book to people who will then sell your book. The most popular eBook distributors in America are Draft2Digital.
Book builders and distributors are tools that will help you create and distribute your work all from one simple platform. This means you don’t have to use multiple interfaces when attempting to format and publish your eBook.
Once this is all done, whether it be for your eBook or print book, you have successfully self published your book! It can prove challenging and you may have had to overcome obstacles on the way; but you have done it.
You can now say you’re a published author!
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