As mentioned, the focus of my blog is to provide some insight for writers who might be considering publishing their own work. As someone who is new to self-publishing, I claim no expertise on the topic, but would instead like to take others along my own journey of discovery in this rapidly growing domain. I think it might be best to start at the very beginning: how does self-publishing work? As this becomes a popular means of distributing a book, most are probably familiar with hearing about the topic from news articles or other writers, but many might not be aware of all the ins and outs of independent publishing. So, let’s start at the beginning!
Self-publishing can be defined as, “The publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher.” This means that the author is responsible for the whole process of bringing their book to life, including how they want the book to look, how much they feel it should cost, as well as distributing and marketing it for readers. Some authors choose to tackle this process solo, while others are guided by companies that walk them through the steps or offer services of assistance.
If you’re like me, your first question might be how much is this going to cost? This can be a hard question to answer depending on which routes you choose to take as the author. Go ahead and Google self-publishing and you will get an abundance of companies claiming to offer a reasonable price for their services- the next steps are up to you, this whole process is indeed in your hands! Liberating or overwhelming? You’ll decide quickly I’m sure.
Here it claims that today, one can create a book of decent quality for around $5,000. (Also an interesting video from an author who’s been there)
If you decide to get assistance from a company, the prices will not be made clear until you have requested an estimate- they will need to take in account the number of pages, artwork and illustrations, etc.
The three primary ways to get your work out there are print-on-demand, paperback publishing, and e-publishing. E-books have skyrocketed because of the easy process and the fact it won’t cost a cent to upload your manuscript to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashword etc. E-book conversion could be a book in itself so I will discuss the process at a later time.
Print-on-demand (POD) or publish on demand, is a print and distribution plan that enables an author to have their books printed and shipped as individual orders are made. This means that books can be printed and ordered one at a time- a great option for an author who is writing a memoir or book that they intend only for family members or a small audience.
This is just our general starting point. Look forward to a wide array of entries providing insight on ordering an ISBN, typesetting information, cover design and layout as well as some tips for the often overlooked aspect of publishing—publicity & marketing!