So you’ve finally finished writing your masterpiece. You’ve had a freelance editor edit your book and now you are ready to publish, but where to start? Self-publishing may seem like a daunting and almost impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. Publishing your book on your own can be easy and rewarding.
The Best Services for Self-Publishing your E-Book
The first questions you will want to ask yourself are who you want to reach, how many people you want to reach, and how you will reach them.
There are two key categories of e-publishing services. Single-channel self-publishing services put the power in the hands of the author. With these services you will do most of the work and your work will only be sold through one channel. For example, when you use a single-channel service your work can be published through Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press.
Multiple line services on the other hand act as middlemen, and do all or most of the work for you, they also allow you to reach many different retailers and distributors. With these, you typically pay an upfront fee and may have to give up a percentage of your sales. For this reason, we suggest starting out with a single-channel service.
Here are three single-channel services that you can use to get your book published in no time.
This service is owned by Amazon and allows you to print your book for distribution to Amazon with no upfront cost.
This service allows you to print your book and reach more than just the Amazon universe. IngramSpark (IS) is a tool that provides publishers with simple and affordable access to Ingram’s global distribution network for print and ebook content. The upfront cost for this one is $49.
With this service, you can publish your work as an ebook for distribution to Amazon and there is no upfront cost.
With all of these services, you will be responsible for uploading your files for publishing and distribution. While they don’t offer that extra assistance, they also don’t take any rights to your work. If you are in need of a service to help with print and ebook formatting, design, and distribution try multiple-channel services like BookBaby or Draft2Digital.
Before you get started with publishing your book, it is key that you know whether ebook or print is better for you. It is important to know:
1. Do your readers prefer print or digital books?
If most of your readers prefer to find their reading material online or primarily use a Kindle or Nook to read, it may be better for you to start with an ebook and print your book later if necessary.
2. What’s preferred in your genre?
If you aren’t sure what your readers would prefer do a little research. If it is more common for authors in your genre to publish ebooks only, then going that route may be a better bet for you as well.
3. Does your book include illustration?
If your book has a lot of illustration and would require a lot of colors it will be a bit harder to publish and distribute across multiple digital platforms.
4. How will you spread the word?
Are your readers more likely to go out to shops and bookstores to buy your type of book, or does your audience shop for books online? Knowing the answer to this question will help you decide what avenue works best for publishing and marketing your book.
How to Self-Publish a Print Book?
If you want to print your book without working with a large publisher there are two primary ways you should consider, Print on Demand (POD), and Traditional offset printing.
Print on demand is the most popular way to produce print copies. Pros for POD include:
- Little to no upfront costs
- Making your book available for sale through online retailers like Amazon, as well as wholesalers like Ingram.
- Your readers probably won’t know the difference between POD and offset printed books.
Offset printing is how most major publishers print their books, which means the majority of books you see for sale in any brick-and-mortar bookstore were produced using offset. Pros to going this route include:
- Lower unit cost.
- Higher quality production.
- Plenty of copies to go around.
Marketing and Selling Your Book
Finally, and possibly most importantly you will need to know how to get the word out about your book and maximize your sales.
If you’ve ever read a book on your Kindle or Nook you have probably seen that independent authors charge very little for their work. This is met with both Concord and criticism but it is important to remember that your competitors will be setting their prices at $2.99 or lower. While this may seem low for your amazing work, it is vital that you remember that readers are more likely to take a chance on an unknown author when they don’t have to pay a lot for the book.
Amazon is well known for paying 70% of list to authors who price their e-books between $2.99 and $9.99. The percentage falls to 35% for any price outside this range, which is why you find authors periodically switching their price between 99 cents and $2.99.
Reviews are critical
Your book is stellar, that part we know, but there are other factors we need to keep in mind. Your Amazon page may be the only page your readers look at when deciding whether or not to purchase your book. You will want to put your best foot forward here as well, the hard work doesn’t end with finishing the book. Reviews are critical. If you don’t have any reader reviews yet, you can always purchase editorial book reviews.
Develop a solid marketing strategy prior to releasing your book.
If you’re releasing a Kindle book, a great way to jump up in the Kindle book charts is to offer your book for free for a limited amount of days during which you heavily market your book.
The Kindle bestseller list is watched closely by just about everyone in the business and can be a key driver of visibility and sales.
More Helpful Resources with Self-Publishing Tips for Authors
For more tips for marketing yourself Read these guides for in-depth coverage.
Now that you have a little more information on self-publishing you can begin the process to get your work out there. Still have questions? We thought you might.
Check out some other helpful posts on self-publishing:
- How to Publish an E-Book: Resources for Authors
- The Basics of Self-Publishing by David Gaughran
- 10 Questions to Ask Before Committing to Any E-Publishing Service
- Mick Rooney’s Independent Publishing Magazine offers in-depth reviews of just about every publishing service out there. Read his review before using any service. You can also hire him for a consultation if you need expert guidance.
So you still want to pay someone to do it all for you? We’ve got you covered check out these services:
To your self-publishing success!