There are many self publishing services available on the web. But are they reputable and reliable? Will you be signing your work away by signing a contract? These are the questions that you need answers to as a new author.
When I wrote my first book, I felt a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Since some of these companies just want to take your hard-earned money, please consider my recommendations carefully.
As a self-published
author of two award winning books, three traditional books, and two ebooks and a DVD-series, I have learned each step of
the process. Like me, you can do everything from concept to finished
product, learning each step along the way or your can outsource
functions that you do not want to do yourself.
Before I get into detail, let me outline the process. To be a successful self publisher, you'll need to wear many hats. You'll need to be an author, editor, cover designer, typographer, paper pusher and marketer. Now, I don't want to discourage you because it can be done. I've done it successfully and so have many of my colleagues. It's a lot of work, but it's also fun to see "your baby" through each step of the process while maintaining full creative control.
If, after reading this article, you think this is too much work and would like to outsource the process, I recommend Create Space which will perform all these services for one reasonable, upfront fee. Best of all, you keep the copyright and most of the profits. Just click on the link so I can show you how to properly set up your account.
For those of you who want to do it all, get ready to read, learn, and work. It's an exciting process and I've detailed the steps below, making distinctions when the final product is a book versus an ebook. All my recommendations are based on products and services I've used myself.
After you've finished the first draft of your book, the first self publishing service you'll need is professional book editing. Although I edited my first book myself (and after it was published, I found a few small mistakes I did not catch), hiring a professional editor is highly recommended. Although you are obviously a good writer, editing requires a different level of expertise. While reading over your work, you will come to know the words so well that it will be easy to miss mistakes. And it's also possible to introduce new errors as you're fixing them. Plus, there's nothing worse than to find a glaring error after your book is in print.
Next, you need to think about the cover design of your book or
ebook. For an ebook, cover design is just as important. Remember that the function of a book cover is to grab the reader's attention. You need to do this whether your book is on a shelf competing against others or displayed on a web page with the next web site just a click away. This is the graphic designer I recommend for designing unique book covers.
Once your manuscript has been edited and you've designed your cover, you'll need a software program to make your ebook. This creates a pdf file which you can upload to your web site for download or email to those who have purchased your book.
Self Publishing Services: The Necessity of a Hiring a Professional Cover Designer for a Physical Book
If your book is a physical book, then you must hire a professional cover designer. A physical book requires
a professional cover designer. (See my recommendation above.) Did you notice that I repeated myself?
That's because I'm making an important point. (Even though I did
practically everything myself when I published my book including taking
the front cover photo, this is the one job I knew I had to outsource.) A
professional looking cover is everything because it creates the first
impression of your book.
Proper editing, cover design and typesetting are critical to the perception of the quality of your book. You may want to outsource these important self publishing services as they require a special level of expertise.
After your manuscript has been edited, you'll need someone to typeset your book. This is where the font selection and layout occurs. A professional-looking layout is very important to the perception of value of your self-published book. You can learn to do this all-important step yourself by using software such ADOBE InDesign. I used InDesign to lay out my first book and it wasn't hard to learn. One advantage of doing the layout yourself is if you have last minute changes, you won't be charged extra fees.
Whatever you do, please, please, please do not use Word to do your layout. Books that have been typeset in a word processing program have an unprofessional look that is noticeable even to untrained eyes. Ignore this bit of advice and I promise you will regret it.
Self Publishing Services: Book Printers
Next, you'll need a printing quote. For a step by step guide to how to set up your account with the printing company that I recommend (which also allows you to get your book listed on Amazon), click on book printer. You'll get a price quote and will be able to upload your files from your computer. Best of all, you do not need to be lots of inventory.
Once you have your book in your hands, you'll want to get started
on marketing and promotion. You can hire a PR agent if you have $10,000
to $25,000 set aside for your advertising budget. If not, you must
perform these functions yourself. I have many creative suggestions for
and marketing that you can do fairly inexpensively online.
If you have had good experiences with editors, typesetters, cover
designers, illustrators, PR agents or any other self publishing
services, please submit them with your recommendations using the Contact
Us link to the left. Let's help each other succeed.
Once again, if reading this article makes you realize how much expertise is required to publish a book, consider hiring a service that will take care of everything from editing, cover design, typesetting, to creating a web site for your book and a marketing plan. The people at Create Space are honest and reputable and will not take the rights or any of the profits for your book as some so-called publishing services companies do. Using a service like this will free you up to do what you do best: focus on your writing. It will also allow you to get your book listed for sale on Amazon.
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Self Publishing Services