Self-publishing options are expanding along with the
Self-publishing options are expanding!
Your self-publishing options include:
1. Acquiring all of the skills required to publish your book with a free or inexpensive self-publishing service company, such as CreateSpace or Lulu.com;
2. acquiring all of the skills required to publish a book and starting your own publishing business;
3. using a self-publishing services company to do all or part of the work;
4. and, publishing an eBook.
Free or Inexpensive Self-Publishing Service Companies
Of all of the self-publishing options, this is my favorite as you probably know by now. If you are starting from scratch, you have a lot to learn, but it is well worth the effort. You will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. And, if you go with CreateSpace, you will receive the best royalties available at this time.
Click here to learn more about CreateSpace.com.
Click here to learn more about Lulu.com.
Starting a Publishing Business
Of all of the self-publishing options, this would be my favorite if I were a young man. Once you have acquired the skills of a publisher, you should consider starting your own publishing business. You begin by making an appointment with an accountant to learn what it takes to start a business in your area and what records do you need to keep. Then you read, Aiming at Amazon, by Aaron Shepard.
Most people, when they understand what’s involved in publishing, would rather pay you to do the work. As self-publishing becomes more popular, there will be more than enough work to keep you busy.
You can become a complete publishing business, or specialize in an area you enjoy and are especially good at. I would be tempted to specialize in preparing manuscripts and covers for CreateSpace. There are many oportunities within the self-publishing options for specialization.
Many print on demand publishers use Lightning Source, Inc., (LSI) a highly rated print on demand printing service. In order to use them, you must be a publishing company, have your own ISBNs, and be familiar with LSI’s submission requirements, which are available online. You should also read their Operations Manual.
LSI uses Ingram, Baker and Taylor, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, as well as others to distribute their books. They also have distribution channels in the United Kingdom, but you have to select them.
This is a fabulous distribution network; however, it will not put books by new and unknown authors into bookstores. It will make them available to bookstores so that customers can order them.
Even if you only publish your own books, having your own imprint removes the stigma of self publishing.
I am not going to dwell on this option because if you are ready to start a publishing business now, you don’t need this Website. If you are interested in starting a publishing business in the future, then preparing books for CreateSpace is great training.
Using a Self-Publishing Service Company
Of all of the self-publishing options, this is the most popular and the most risky. If you choose this option, be careful. Research any companies you are interested in, and read their contracts carefully.
In Stacie Vander Pol’s book, Top Self-Publishing Firms, only six, including CreateSpace, were ranked “Excellent Overall.” In my opinion, two of these companies charged too much for their books. That only leaves three full service companies that I would use with an overall rating of “Excellent.” I believe there are more good companies, but the point here is, there are a lot of pitfalls.
Some will offer you a reasonable deal, and then try very hard to up sell you. Some will offer you a worthless book promotion package. Some will even tell you, that you need an additional service after you have signed the contract.
I don’t mean to give you the impression that there are no reputable self-publishing service providers out there, because there are. I just want you to be careful, and do your research.
Perhaps, I am being alarmist. I was burned when I first published The Misadventures of Russell Quigley. The wholesale price was such that I could not get a reasonable retail price on Amazon.com. I also purchased, what I now know, was a worthless promotional package.
Read Stacie’s book, Top Self Publishing Firms. Look for a company that has a generous royalty program, low author’s (wholesale) price for books, and a publishing package you can afford.
Another advantage of going with CreateSpace, and doing everything yourself is that you avoid a lot of pitfalls.
Publishing an eBook
The internet is digesting the book publishing industry. There is much gnashing and grinding of teeth, but the meal is real. EBook sales statistics for 13 large trade book publishers for April 2009 were released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Their trade eBook sales were $12.1 million for April 2009, an increase of 228.3% over April last year. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) reports that revenue is up 154.8% for the year. In contrast, traditional publishing is downsizing.
Simon & Schuster has announced a partnership with social publishing company, Scribd. Simon & Schuster is the first major publisher to sign on. Five thousand titles will be available in the Simon & Schuster Storefront. The titles can be purchased in Adobe PDF or ePub formats to be read on computers and mobile devices.
EBooks are big and getting bigger. If an eBook is not your first goal, make it your second. It needs to be on your list of self-publishing options.
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