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Self-publication of a book: Twenty-five things you need to know
It has been initially released in 2008 and last revised several time, on June 13, 2012. The main focus of this paper is the self-publication of a printed book, although many of the advice also applies to e-books. If you have special information about publishing an e-book, see my accompanying paper, "How to post an e-book yourself.
So apologize to the gadgets while I make a short stop in the country of self-publishing, which has become much more high-tech than many do. Some years ago I was writing a book. I' ve worked on it for several years, bought a powerful operative, had some brushing at big publishing houses, then barbecuing.
While I could have tried to choose a small publishing house, I was said that my book was "a larger book" with more business ambitions, and respected small publishing houses were interested in more books. Also I learnt that many small publishing houses were annihilated by the "self-publishing revolution", a move not so dissimilar to "citizen journalism" or the blogger revolts of recent years, which had a great influence on the majorstream press, as well as this one.
Prerequisite is that anyone can become a small publishing house. I' ll give you the right to your book. If you are selling any of your titles, you will take home a larger fee than you would normally get from a conventional publishers. Contrary to the opinion of my agents, I started looking through the websites of the big self-publishers and assessing what they had to say.
And then I began sniffing around the blog and messaging board to get client feedback. Considering this, I decided on BookSurge, a print-on-demand (POD) look that Amazon had with the straightforward POD operating CreateSpace. Throughout 2009, after my release, Amazon fused BookSurge and CreateSpace under the CreateSpace trade name, so when I say booksurge future, you should think CreateSpace.
It is remarkable for those new to self-publishing that CreateSpace is seen as a grant issuer or writer service organization. However, the keys to these companies are that they only print when someone orders a copy; neither the writer nor the publishers are obliged to buy and sell a heap.
Emoluments are better than what "real" publishing houses provide, but there are reservations, and genuine self-publishers choose to turn off the grant presses (which requires a cut) and go directly to a standard digital printing device such as Lightning Spring to maximise upsets. When I did it right, I thought, and succeeded in getting him some exposure, a "real" editor could come and find out what a jewel these 20 strange editors had given away.
Now, thanks to a small ad from Apple and a declined - then accepted - free iPhone application, four and a half month after I released "Knife Music" myself, my agency was selling it to The Overlook Press, an independant publishing house that released the book as a hard cover in July 2010. This year Overlook will release my second novel "The Big Exit".
However, most of what I have learnt and what I have taken with me from other persons who have also released themselves is more valid than ever. Touching Amazon Kindle Oasis: The self-publication of a printed book is simple. As the main subject of this paper is the self-publication of an old-fashioned book, here is the thin part of what it needs to compile such a book:
Select a book to resize, reformat your Word script to this fileize, turn your Word document into a single Adobe Acrobat document, make a Photoshop artwork, turn it into a single Adobe Photoshop document, and load it into the publishing house of your choosing, and get a book review back within a few week (or earlier) if you've formatted everything right.
Once you have published your book formally, you can make changes to your envelope and inner text by sending in new PDF files even though your book goes off-line for a weeks or two ("out of stock"). Businesses may levy a subscription rate (approximately $25-$50) for the upload of a new artwork or upholstery. CreateSpace and Lulu both provide good tutorials for the audience and it is not so hard to create a good-looking book (the definitions of OK are different).
Digital, not printing, is your best choice. First of all I tell the writers who tell me that they want to release a printed book is that printing should be their second priority. I advise those who have text-based textbook ( "no graphic, illustration or photo") to test the self-publishing water with an e-book before going to hardcopies.
It' much simpler to create an e-book, especially when it comes to layout and covers designs. Though you can also rate a digit product for large indefinite quantity inferior than a softcover that kind it casual to sale (the number of self-published estate product outgo $13. 99 and up, time the number of indeie e-books outgo in the $.99-$5. 99 tract.
Of course, all in all, you can carry out both the printing and the digitization without any problems. When you have finished your book in a Word or PDF format, it is relatively simple to have it converted to one of the many e-book layouts - or simply available as a PDF load.
And, of course, Amazon's CreateSpace controls you to upload your book via Kindle Direct Publishing to the Kindle Store. I' m not able to talk for all self-publishers, but the POD book is generally quite good-looking. It is not (yet) possible to make a matt and unusual book jacket, but the book looks and feels like "real" one.
Doing the only give-away you have to deal with a self-published book would be if the design of the book was bad - which is unfortunately too often the case. This means you have a lot of competitors, some of whom are crooks, quacks and a lot of folks in between.
There has been enormous expansion of independent publishing in the USA in recent years. As this development has begun to flatten off as few literate have unedited books in their wall cupboards to release, you can still be expecting to go up against large integer of different motivational individual literate.
It is rare to have good self-published works. Again, because the entrance barriers are so low, the vast majority of self-released works are rather poor. Miniscule fractions turn into hugely successful monsters, but every few month you get to know of someone who's driving them up (for those who don't know yet that the Fifty Shades of Grey trio was originally released themselves).
Your avarage self-published book will sell about 100-150 pieces -- or two third to three fourths of your total Facebook buddies and families (and don't add them to all your Facebook list.). While I have no sources for these statistics, I have noticed this on several blog posts and as a publisher's weekly articles entitled "Turning Bad Bucks into Big Bucks", while conventional publishing houses are aiming to release several hundred thousand examples of a few titles, self-publishers make cash by publishing 100 examples of several hundred thousand of these.
It is really tricky to create a "professional" book. The entrance barrier may be low, but to create a book that looks professionally and is no different from a book that will be released by a "real" publisher is very complicated and will require a minimal capital outlay of a few thousand bucks (if everything was said and done, I would earn about $7,500, which includes about $2,500 in advertising costs).
One wonders why "real" works last nine month - and usually much longer. It' difficult to do everything right (if you're a beginner in book editing, Microsoft Word will be your biggest enemy). Do you have a clear target for your book? Like if your aim is to make a book for future generations (so that your boyfriends and families can continue to enjoy it for all eternity), you don't have to spend a great deal of your own energy or resources to make something that is perfectly human.
If it' great, there's a good shot your book won't go. When your book is really average, don't anticipate it taking off. However, even if it is a work of art, there is a good possibility that it won't go off the shelf (and by shelf I mean bookshelves, because most self-published textbooks don't make it into the shops).
You are fortunate to have your return on your investments, let alone a "hit" that will bring you a genuine one. Non-fiction is the best choice. Non-fiction with a well-defined theme and a cute catch to them can do well, especially if they have a targeted group on which you can concentrate.
Religions are a great example of this. Remark: If it's any comfort, most literature works - even those from "real" publishing houses - are struggling on the market. That is why conventional publishing houses hold on to proven writers with faithful followers. Purchase your own ISBN - and start your own publishing company.
When you have ambitions for your book, buy your own ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and start your own publishing house. There is no need for Lulu, CreateSpace, iUniverse, Xlibris, Author House, Outskirts, or whoever you have named as the editor, even if you choose one of the pay-press.
You can work with any small publishing house for about $100 (which will cost a lone ISBN) and a little more on paper. Lulu.com does not sell ISBNs, other self-publishers do not. Most self-publishing activities offer you a free ISBN for your book and e-book, but whatever provides you with the ISBN is featured as the editor.
You should find your book easily when searching Amazon and Google. In principle, you want the maximal amount of advancedEO for your book, so if and when someone is actually looking to buy it, they will find the links for your book - not an older one with an equal name.
You wrote your book and God knows you just want to share it with someone, get a professional staff to get it in and out. Well there are a multitude of companies that are offering to make just that to happen -- and do it in a break of the times that a conventional publisher would.
They may be able to put together a really beautiful book for you. I have also listened to many nightmares in which it is disappointing to see how much disappointment and rip off the trial. In Google, you can perform a Google based Google based on the companies you are considering and find reviews - good and poor - from writers who have used the service.
Self-editors don't worry if your book is a success. Purchase as little as possible from your publisher. And, as they probably won't be selling many of your accounts, they make good profit margins . Get back when, Booksurge/CreateSpace uses to get something named Buy X, Y programs that have coupled your book with an Amazon best-seller.
Though it was expensive ($1,000 per month), in a particular sell I purchased 3 moths for the cost of 2 and ended up coupled with John Grisham's new novel that put the picture of my book's thumbnails in front of a mob. Unfortunately, BookSurge/CreateSpace has now stopped this programme because the conventional publishing houses were annoyed that shabby self-published works appear on the same page as theirs.
It' been good while it took, and it was helping me selling tens if not hundred of them. I would never work with CreateSpace internal publishers, copy writers and designers. However, if you can, it is better to employ your own staff and work directly with them. In the ideal case, you should be able to get together with an editorial ist, an editorial and a graphics engineer in a personal meeting - and they should all have book publishing experiences.
I expect you'll see more self-publishers offering high-end programmes that connect you with a former journalist at a large publishing group. It is also noteworthy that Amazon itself has become a publishing company, with several prints that have either been purchased or made. Amazons plans to develop a new, hybride publishing style that will take the place of what it sometimes calls "legacy" publishing houses.
She has chosen certain "extraordinary" self-publications by "up-and-coming" writers with her flag ship Encore Inprint, bringing them, so to say, under the roof of the Amazon. When you' re serious about your book, you should consult a book physician and have it processed. OK, so I just said that you should prevent "packages" from publishing houses, and yet now I say that you have to edit and copy.
Now, before I sent my book to an agent, I employed a "book doctor" who was a former acquisitions journalist for a large New York publishing company (like most writers he worked in several different houses). Whilst I did not use his writer (I used a mate of a big publisher), he and other writers in his group can suggest guys.
For the record, this will not be a better business than what you would get from a self-published parcel contract, but these guys are skilled and will be straight with you. They not only push your book out to move it along the line on the conveyer although they try to earn a dole.
Many good book advisors, such as Alan Rinzler, who has an outstanding diary and crosses the line between being editor-in-chief of an John Wiley & Sons legal notice and delivering retail copy. CreatingSpace and other self-publishers always offer specific offers for their various products.
There''s not much room, but it doesn't do any harm to ask for dealing candy - like more free prints of your book (they often drop in free prints of your book). You have to keep in mind that these guys have odds and bonus on the line. As I released myself, I charged an additional $300 to speak directly to a real life contact on the telephone for client service.
Organizations such as Lulu and CreateSpace have full dialy capabilities and do not need to pay set-up charges. When it comes to self-publishing, the greatest error humans make is expecting to simply publish a book and like it. You could even employ a journalist and anticipate something to come up.
Unfortunately, many folks just don't have the guts or the intestines. What is the key to successfully market your book? Well the first thing I counsel -- and I'm not alone here -- is to come up with a good sales promotion scheme before you release your book. Nowadays, there is much discussion about a "blog strategy", and many well-known writers make book trips in which they provide an interview on various Blogs.
They probably don't have that luxuries, but you can certainly research what blogs might be interested in your book and make plots for them. It is difficult to assess what is a good and what is not, because the results differ so much from book to book. One of my friends, who has a "real" book from a conventional editor, was experimenting with putting $1,000 in Facebook adverts targeting those in "cold" states (his book is titled the story of the snowman and it's doing very well around Christmas).
A number of self-service advertising networking sites are emerging, such as Blogards Book Hive, which allows you to access a number of smaller booklogs at relatively low prices. MJ Rose has a publishing services company AuthorBuzz, which is aimed at both self-publishers and conventional publishing houses. It says the best thing for auto publishers will be a diary advertising campain - it will start at about $1,500 for a weeks of adverts (the designs work is included) and minds up in staggers of $500.
It says: "We place advertisements in thematic journals, not in booklogs. If it' s a secret about an antique shop, for example, we buy not only newspapers for self-identified people - who are not the majority of booksellers - but I'll find half adoze of newspapers about antiquities, cultural, art and investment and buy and follow the trail.
" She can get her book in front of at least half a million readers with this start-up outlay. But I can't tell you what effect a whole weeks or months of blog advertising will have on the sale of your auctions. Neither does it make an impression when you just twitter about your book (the same goes for your Google+ and Google+ posts).
Buying your book in the bookshops may sound good, but that shouldn't be a problem. They may always wanted to see your book in a bookshop, but bookshops are not sharp on wearing self-published textbooks and it is extremely challenging to get good placing in memory for your book, so chances are no one will see the three duplicates that the memory has on display anyway.
They use Baker & Taylor as well as Ingram and CreateSpace Direct to make your book "available to accredited retailers through our wholesalers website. "You will also receive sales to Amazon Europe (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.es, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.de). Self-edited works are hardly ever critiqued - free of charge anyway.
It' very difficult to get your self-published book repeated -- and the mantras in the handed-down publishing community is that reviewers are selling products. At first, they didn't take the blogger seriously, and now they did. It is interesting that renowned book critics such as Kirkus and, more recently, Publishers Weekly offer specific book review for self-published writers.
For Kirkus Indie, the writer will pay a charge to have the book checked (about $400-$550, subject to speed) and a freelance writer will write an impartial criticism (yes, they do bad reviews) in the same form as a regular circus reviewer. You can also send us your book in e-book only.
When it comes to publisher weekly, it has something named PW Select. Whilst you can file your book for evaluation for a $149 consideration, only about 25 per cent of the books submitted will be evaluated. Make your book covers look small. Well-established book designers create - or at least create - a book jacket to highlight a book in a bookshop and arouse the feeling that it should arouse.
Now that Amazon is becoming a dominating bookstore, your book must attract attention in the form of a picture of your thumbnails because that' s how most folks will come across it. When you sell mainly through Amazon, think small and work your way up. When you sell on line, make the most of your Amazon site.
I' m a little amazed how careless some self-published writers are when it comes to their Amazon-productsites. I' ve spoken to self-published writers who spent a few thousand bucks on a journalist, and their Amazon products page looks miserable - and they've hardly seen it. And I ask: "Where will they buy your book?
" You don't seem to understand how important Amazon is. Right, some folks are marketing through a website or buying Google keyboard words to increase site use. However, you need to make your Amazon site look its best and take full benefit from the utilities Amazon has to help you uncover your book ("tags", Listmania, readers' review, etc.).
A tip: Make sure your book is divided into five different sections (only five are allowed). This will help to categorise your book and will also make your book look better if it is a best seller in these catagories. A long time ago, when I was publishing myself, nobody at BookSurge told me; I had to find out for myself.
One of the main problems with the tour is that it takes more to make unique copies of your book than a thousand. It was a book in pocket - from BookSurge for 5.70 dollars. Now if I went ahead and had the thing print up directly through an offset-printers -- and ordered a few thousand of them -- I could probably slice the book's price in half and maybe even a little more.
/This is how conceit press used to work -- you had to consent to buy a few thousand newbooks. Use the CreateSpace royalties calculator to get a general impression of how much you can earn by buying your book.
Hiring the cost today at $14. 99, it looks like I would make about $3. 70 per book I was selling. When you have a longer book, you need to bet even higher to make moneys. In comparison to what is paid out by conventional publishing houses, the licence fees for self-published works are actually quite high.
Usually, the fact is, in order to be able to rival the best-selling books from conventional publishing houses, your book should be valued at $8. 99 or $9. 99, and that is just not possible if it is longer than 250 pages. Most of the self-publishers have their own on-line market places where you can sell your book and get a significantly better licence fee.
However, you obviously have a much bigger public on Amazon, which is the first place places the public usually look for a book when they listen to it. Of course, the secret is to make everyone realize that your book is there. And I could do a whole play about the stunts the writers use to make their book better appear on Amazon.
Amazons Authors Central and Google are your best buddies when it comes to finding ways to better present your book. Editors are continuously improving their plants, infrastucture and prices, and what I -- or other experts say today -- could just be bad a few more months from now. Some years ago Amazon offered only 35 per cent emoluments on e-books.
It' now at 70 per cent for $2.99 and up. Please let us know your views on certain self-publishers or the sector in general.