Express Route or Final Resort?
There are many questions surrounding the realm of self-publishing, and as many – or more – ways to go about it. Some writers jump to this means of publishing right away as an ideal method to get their work into print, others, only when they’ve become frustrated from what seems like endless rejection. It can be viewed as easy and cost-effective. Books can be made available in small press runs or even “on demand.” Some self-publish E-books online to be made available as downloads.
Whatever your reason for choosing self-publishing, you should enter this business, like any, fully educated and aware of its benefits and risks.
Contracted Self Publishing
A writer hires or contracts one outside company for services such as
editing, typesetting, cover design, printing, distribution.
Most fees are “upfront” – not for book sales. However, promotion and marketing MAY be left entirely up to the writer; this can be a challenge.
Solo Self Publishing
A writer acts independently, handling all aspects of the publishing process, including, editing, typesetting, design, layout, promotion and marketing, etc. – at times contracting out these aspects of the business to individuals, running his or her own “company” as it were.
Expert Advice – Keep in Mind the Following
- Always use a Professional Editor
- Editing services are available through Poets & Writers and other reputable writers’ magazines and journals, also through colleges, small presses, writers’ networks, etc.
Unless you are a professional designer, you may also want to hire a professional designer. The book market is competitive! As with any product on any shelf, someone trained in design knows what grabs attention and sells. Your book cover (and spine, title, size, and a whole host of concerns you might not even consider) should be scrutinized by a marketing professional to put your book in the best possible position to be purchased.
Promotion & Marketing
You will need to promote and distribute your book or hire someone to do this. You will also need to schedule readings to “launch” and promote your book. If you do not have the time/confidence to undertake these aspects of self-promotion, you may wish to reconsider self-publishing.
Helpful Links for Self Publishers
- Copyright Basics
- Writers Digest List of 60 Self-publishing Companies
- Writer Beware – scams/warnings for self-publishers
- Self-publishing Blog
- Dog Ear Publishing – comparisons
- The Writers’ Site – the query letter, publishing advice & more
- A Tax Cheat Sheet for Kindle eBook Self Publishing
- Money Saving Guide for Authors & Writers (submitted by Marisa Miller – thank you!)