WRITING WEDNESDAY- Rerun
On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and preparing to publish again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.
I am not an expert in Self-Publishing but I know a lot of self-published authors and I am planning to self-publish myself, in the future so I have been taking notes.
There are a lot of advantages to Self-Publishing:
- The Author has total control
- The time frame. Your book can be published in a few months vs. 18 months-2 years
- Royalties of 20-80% vs. 5-15%
The disadvantages of Self-Publishing are evaporating quickly. The success stories are mounting. Like any business venture (yes writing is a passion but publishing is a business) it will take research, investment, hard work and most importantly a great product to have any chance at success. No matter which publishing choice you make it will be difficult at times and will take time and patience but it will be so worth it. I cannot even describe how amazing it feels to hold your first book in your hands.
Once your manuscript has been critiqued and professionally edited by a literary editor and you are planning to self-publish on your own, you will need an ISBN number [International – Standard Book Number] for your book. This is a social security number for the book. There are a lot of company’s out there that will be happy to sell you an ISBN # but BOWKER is the International clearing house for these numbers so you might as well skip the middleman and get it from them. The cost is $125.00. If you are using a company to assist you with self-publishing they may offer to get the ISBN# for you. Deep discounts are offered to companies that buy multiple #’s so they may offer it to you for less or include it in their package. If they charge more than $125.00 you can easily apply for it yourself.
You will need a business plan/proposal or an outline for fiction
If you are planning to self-publish 100% than Amazon is the place for you. Smashwords is One of the Amazon companies for e-books and Create-Space is used for print books.
If you use Amazon for publishing your book will never be available in an actual book store. This is because Amazon Publishers will not process returns. You will have to design all of your marketing around online booksellers. Amazon offers a KDP (Kindle Direct Program) a program that offers some marketing opportunities.
Lightening Source is a company you can use if you want your book to be available in book stores. They process returns, for a charge. All publishers, even traditional ones charge you for your returns.
To have any chance at having your book in a book store, your publisher has to be willing to offer your book to them at a wholesale discount price of at least 55% off the cover price. The books must be returnable if they do not sell within the stores allotted time-frame.
All print books are delivered through a book distribution center. The two major distributors are Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If the publisher you are planning to use does not use one or both of these distributors, move on from that publisher.
Here is a list of random Self Publishing Boutiques that offer a variety of packages to authors and come with some good references. As always never sign a contract unless you have had it reviewed by an attorney.
- Blue Lobster Book Company
- She Writes Press
- Book Locker
- Turning Stone
- Lucky Bat Books
- Assisted Publishing
Tate Publishing and Enterprises- Tate offers a publishing package that includes editing, formatting, cover design, ISBN#, copyrighting, marketing assistance and they handle returns. They deal with Ingram so your book will be available to any store, school or library that wants to stock it or make it available for order. Once your book sells 1000 copies, Tate refunds your investment. They basically operate like an Independent publisher. There are many other companies out there like this one and new ones are being started every day.
I cannot stress enough for you to have any contract reviewed by an attorney and ask for and check references. It is also a good idea to order books from several authors of any company you are considering, so you can check the quality of the printing etc…
A good book to read is Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur/ Guy Kawasaki
*FYI-Tuesday is the only day of the week that new books are released
Traditional Publishers make their money selling 100’s of copies of only several titles verses other publishers that make their money selling 100 copies of thousands of titles.
If you have any experience with self publishing it would be great if you could leave tips in the comments. Did you work with a company that you were thrilled with, please share.
If you have any questions please leave those in the comments and I will do my best to answer or find someone who can.
This Saturday August 1, 2015 (Can you believe it is almost August?) I will be at The Big Blue Marble Bookstore (7pm) with author friends, Maria Casale and Dylaan Rhea. We will be reading from our books and talking about writing and women under pressure. We are bringing snacks…
551 Carpenter Lane /Philadelphia, PA 19119
I am SO excited and such a nervous wreck because I am going to be co-hosting (for the first time) The Insecure Writers Support Group for August! Next Wednesday right here!