The Best Way to Self Publish:
A Guide for Budding Authors

The best way to self publish depends on your target market, budget and personal preferences, but there are several different methods to choose from, all of which have proven quite effective for budding authors who need to publish on a budget. Rather than go through the headache of trying to find a big name publisher, you can now do it all yourself and reap the financial rewards that come with it.

The first option is print-on-demand, or POD. In this case, you work with a publisher who only prints copies of your book when there is customer demand. This way, you avoid the expense of printing a large amount of copies that don’t sell. You will have to pay up front to have the POD publisher set your book up for printing, but once that is done they can print as many copies as you need. Best of all, unless you have a revision change, you can keep ordering your books forever. To get this done as quickly and easily as possible, read my article on CreateSpace publishing.

My self-published book which is printed by a POD printer has been in their system since 2004 and I’m still ordering copies today. (Despite everything that I've been told, my self-published book is still selling. In fact, you might want to take a look at it as inspiration for yourself: see parenting book.)

best way to self publish

If using print-on-demand doesn’t seem like the best way to self publish, then you can get a quote from a traditional printer. Traditional printers will produce a specific amount of copies of your book, which you will have to pay for and then store until they are sold. For people who don’t have a lot of room to store thousands of books, this can be an issue though ordering in bulk will keep costs down.

Because traditional printers only print your manuscript, you will be responsible for all of the work involved in preparing it for printing. This can include formatting, converting it to PDF file (which is the standard for print files), designing a front and back cover, purchasing an ISBN number and, of course, marketing and selling your books. It’s a lot of effort, but many authors have found it is well worth it and enjoy having control of the entire process.

For some authors, the best way to self publish is to look at the options for online publishing. This is usually because their information is timely or because they don’t want or need a physical version of their book. As with physical books, there are a number of ways to go. You can focus on one or offer your book in a variety of formats. You can create your own ebook and offer it for sale on your web site or you can make your book available on various readers like the Kindle, Nook and iPad. Going this route, means that you do not need to build and maintain your own web site. Of all these options, the Kindle is way to enter the self publishing industry.

If you build your own web site, you can promote your book and offer it in PDF format or offer a free excerpt which encourages customers to purchase it as an ebook or in print form. This is a good way for you to maintain creative control throughout the entire process, which makes it highly attractive to some authors. It's also a great place to post all your reader testimonials and built a platform for your book.

When searching for the best way to self publish, you can deal with an e-book publisher to help you get your book into electronic format. Some of these publishers allow you to download your book for free but will charge a small percentage for every sale when customers download it from your site. Though there is a cost involved, it can be considerably less than what traditional publishing costs.

It's a great time to begin your career as an author because today's authors are no longer at the mercy of giant publishing houses. You can publish what you want, maintain your vision and your voice and can get your words out there to your prospective audience with minimal technological knowledge and minimal cost. Making your book available in all the formats covered in this article is a smart way to repurpose your work and create multiple income sources from one product.

Feel free to share this article on social media or to leave your comments, tips or questions below.

Copyright © by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved.

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