Book publishing has undergone a revolution in the last ten years, and both the power and profit are in your hands! Learning how to self-publish a book and getting your ideas into the world is easier than it’s ever been. There is a wealth of knowledge available online, shared by authors who have developed proven techniques for selling more books. There are also a number of ways new authors can access professional services without breaking the bank.
By self-publishing, we generally refer to the creation and selling a book online, outside the traditional publishing industry — in which publishing companies pay authors advances and a royalty, working with them to edit, design, and distribute the book.
Today, anybody with an internet connection can write an e-book and make it available to hundreds of millions of readers — pretty much for free. The new challenge is to make these books bestsellers with the right marketing maneuvers and strategies. How might one be successful in this endeavor? We’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions (and answers) about self-publishing.
- Will I have creative freedom?
You most definitely will. You have full control over the content, the title, the length, and the book cover design. You have the option to collaborate with editors and designers — but in the end, the only editorial approval you’ll need is your own!
2. What about my ownership of rights?
Traditional publishers sometimes ask for exclusive rights to prints, film adaptations, and merchandising as part of their book deals. However, the independent publishing route at least ensures you remain in full control.
3. How important is a good book cover?
Very much so. As the old cliché goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”- however, that’s just how many prospective customers will be deciding whether to purchase your product. Just a cursory stroll through online bookstores shows a variety of covers that would have benefited from a little professional attention.
4. What about editing? How important is that?
Editing is often overlooked, however, it is extremely vital to have a professional editor review your book. One of the biggest criticisms of self-published books is their lack of editing. We have provided a list of editors for your convenience.
5. How useful are self-publishing organizations?
New authors or publishers can learn from fellow publishers to make the process easier. You’ll find more information about the distribution and wholesale services with organizations like Independent Book Publishers Association IBPA, or The Association of Publishers for Special Sales.
6. In this day and age, social media would definitely help me market my book, right?
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are free, popular, and fairly easy to use in getting the word out about your book. Penny Sansevieri, a publicist with offices in San Diego and New York, has a great book called “Red Hot Internet Publicity,” a quick and easy guide on how to use these sites for self-publishing.
7. Amazon is usually the go-to website for this, but just how useful is it?
If you’re dreaming about bookselling online, Amazon is typically the first thing that comes up in your head. Amazon offers a couple of different selling programs at their site and needs an ISBN and Barcode for your order. In addition, to process their annual fee, you’ll need an email address, internet access, and a US bank account.
8. Do I really need to have a kindle version as well?
You’d be surprised how many readers digest content in this form. In addition to your printed version, you might consider offering a Kindle ebook for sale, considering that he price to convert your book is a one-time cost, and Amazon makes it easy to sell your Kindle version. Reminder- Amazon only sells Kindle ebooks, they do not sell iPad or Nook.
9. Should I also have my books sold in traditional bookstores too?
If it’s within your capabilities, then go for it! That would generally mean a more profitable and marketable outcome. If you make this decision, remember that They usually require a 40-50% cut of the retail price.
10. Do internet articles really spread my book out there the way I think it does?
It very much so does indeed. The Internet is a great place to post the information- you can reach hundreds of thousands of people by getting the word out about your book. You can submit your press release to places like prleap.com, pr.com, or prweb.com, where your article may also be picked up by regular media.
You are your publisher. You are the one who believes in the message and your art and now wants to share it with others and ultimately it is you who is choosing yourself to deliver that message. A message that, when properly packaged, will be a delight to the reader to receive.