Self Publishing Books - Finding a Reputable POD Publisher

Self Publishing Books - if you're ready to to publish your book, you may be looking at POD publishers as an alternative to performing all the publishing duties yourself. If so, then you'll need to read this article to find out what you should look for in order to find a reputable company in a sea of scam artists.

Although the current trend of self publishing serves authors in many ways, it has created two big problems:

  • authors who think they have expertise in areas they don't (for instance, an author who thinks she can learn book layout overnight or worse yet, use a word processor to lay out her book)
  • a cottage industry rife with operations that take advantage of authors' enthusiasm and naivete.

Let's start with the first issue on our list. Like any trade, the book trade has professionals who specialize in certain areas. There are editors, book designers (who design and layout the interior pages of the book), cover designers, publicists, graphic designers who create the marketing materials (like one sheets, book brochures, postcards and bookmarks, etc.) . There are also specialists who take care of all the paperwork: obtaining the ISBN, LCCN, registering the copyright and getting the book listed with wholesalers, distributors and online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

self publishing books

The description above makes it obvious that self publishing books requires wearing many hats which is probably why you're considering a POD publisher. But the problem with many POD publishers is that they:

  • Overcharge for services
  • Accept any book for publication. They don't careabout quality because they make their money fromproducing and printing your book, not from sharing apercentage of the sales.
  • Markup the printing costs and force you to buythe book from them at sky high prices which means you have a very small profit margin on sales.
  • Keep the copyright. You sign away the rights to yourbook as part of their contract.

Now, not all POD publishers misrepresent themselves, but some do. The last thing you want after spending all that time writing your book is to have that heart-sinking feeling that you've made a huge mistake and signed a contract that you can't get out of.

So if you're self publishing books, you need to choose carefully and make sure you understand a POD publisher's contract before you sign their contract. Here is what you should look for:

  • A contract that can be canceled
  • Access to tools to create your book and design an attractive book cover. Although the saying goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover," everybody does. Don't settle for a template. While a template works fine for an ebook, a book that you can hold in your hands—a traditionally published book—needs a custom designed cover.
  • Professional layout or a system that automatically generates the files from your document
  • The copyright should belong to you

If this article has made you aware of some of the pitfalls in the world of self publishing books, that's good. There's nothing worse than realizing that your book is not going to earn any money because your cost per unit is too high to make any money and that you've signed your rights away to a company that was just preying on your excitement.

There are some good POD publishers out there and now, you know enough to do the due diligence to find the one that is right for you. Of course, you can also wear many hats and learn the process step-by-step, as I did when I self-published my first book.

Fortunately, there is a great alternative. If you understand the benefits of outsourcing duties for which you have no expertise, there is a publishing service company that meets all the criteria in this article. In fact, I have published my own books through this company. Best of all, by using their service, you can get your book listed on Amazon. Their system makes it easy even for newbies to turn a manuscript into a beautiful, professionally-produced book. Unlike POD publishers, you'll get your books at a reasonable per-unit cost. Plus, you'll keep the rights and most of the profits. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up your account, click on CreateSpace publishing.

Self Publishing Books - Book Publishing

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