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Should you self publish your book?

Updated on June 10, 2015
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Absolutely, yes you should.

Today, it's incredibly hard to get the attention of a traditional publisher. It seems that every celebrity brings out a book on a regular basis. Established authors can have a huge output too. Then there are all the autobiographies, reference books, compendiums, annuals and more that the new or budding author has to compete with.

But self publishing means that we can all hold a copy of our own books in our hand (what a great feeling that is) and, even better, offer it for sale to everyone, worldwide, online. FREE.

If you want to get started, or you'd like to see more information, click here.

Here are a few points to consider:

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Instructions:

1. It is completely free. You can see some of the advantages if you take a look on the screenshot on the right. This is from the self publishing site that I use and prefer. (I've used several). There is no minimum order either; you're not obliged to buy dozens of copies of you book - just order one if you wish.

You can choose the format or your book too from a wide range of sizes,papers qualities and binding methods. If, and this has happened to me, you find a typo in your book, or you want to change something, that's no problem.

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2. Your buyers can purchase your book directly from the site. You can also get your book into Amazon and other online booksellers.

You retain the copyright to your work and something that I particularly appreciate is that the company has print and distribution facilities in the UK, in Europe and in Australia as well as the USA.

When an order is received, the company prints the book, packs it and ships it. You don't have to deal with a thing - the publishers even see to any returns. Because you set your own price, you determine how much commission you receive from every sale.

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3. OK, it may be that you're publishing your book so that your work becomes known and that money is a secondary issue. But remember, you can choose.

You can make $1 on every book you sell or $15; it's up to you. But it is rather nice to check into the site and see something like the screenshot you see here. It's pretty cool to see that you're due to get a check for over $300 - my commission for the first two weeks of January.

4. See the image below.

You will also see which of your books (if you have more than one) are selling and when. This enables to plan for the future. As you can see, I had a bulk purchaser, which was nice. If you buy your own book, you buy it at cost, which enables you to sell copies to your local bookstore. Then, and most are keen on promoting local authors, the bookseller can order directly from the site and discounts are available for fifteen or more copies - the more the bookseller buys, the greater the discount.

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5. The site has easy-to-follow directions too.

The publishers realize that you are a writer, not a teckie so they make it easy for anyone with basic computer skills.

You can see from the screenshot on the right that you can even calculate the cost of your book before you start.

By selecting the right size, the correct binding and the suitable paper quality, you are in control over the eventual cost of printing your book.

You can even see how much it would cost in different currencies.

6. You will receive your own author page on the site. See the image below for details.You can add your bio and any other information you want. This can be edited at anytime and all your books will be shown. This is a great link to send to your friends and potential customers. You'll see that your potential readers can buy your books directly from your spotlight page.

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7. You CAN judge a book by its cover.

You will upload your book in PDF form to the site. The publishers will take care of everything else. But a good cover is a great marketing tool and this is uploaded as a separate file. See the example on the right.

If you don't have design skills it could be worth asking a design student at your local college. Note that the publisher offers a design service, for a fee, but that is purely optional.

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8. Create your own cover.

If you can't find anyone to design your cover, you can create your own in less than five minutes. Choose a fabulous, knock-out image that quickly shows what your book is about.

Add the title and author in simple text in a plain font. (This is not the time to use funky typefaces). Be sure to keep it simple.

You can always upload a different cover at a later date if you wish.

The example on the right took less than two and a half minutes.

Your book itself becomes its own marketing tool. Once a book is sold,it's going to be seen. Friends and family of the purchaser will see it. People might see a buyer reading your book on the train or on a plane. Every book you sell will generate more sales.

Oh, and be sure to have a copy of your book with you at all times. In addition to the bragging rights, you never know who you'll meet who might be interested in buying a copy.For every book we publish, we have inexpensive business cards printed with the book title, the author and the most important item, the website where the book can be bought.

When you're out and about, just doing your daily tasks, you can pin them to noticeboards, give them to colleagues or use them in many various ways to promote your book. Word of mouth will soon work for you.

If you don't have the ability to create PDFs, then take a look at the product below. You can download it directly from Amazon for a very reasonable price. Do take a look at the reviews - this is a very well-recommended product at a fantastically low price.Good luck with your book!

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      That's so nice of to you say Merrci, thank you. I'm so pleased that it's helpful.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      This is great Jackie. Thanks for another good lesson. My sis and I were just talking about this last week. Pinning and saving. You are so good about sharing your knowledge. Really appreciate it.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Thanks so much Barbara!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      looks good here Jackie - glad I found this page again - going to pin for later this time

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      Very interesting, there are so many ways of doing it for free these days. I have been using CreateSpace which is owned by Amazon, they accept a number of different file types including Word which eliminates the need to convert to PDF.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @favored: That's so nice of you - thanks!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Another one of yours to bookmark. I need a board just for your stuff :) Thanks again.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sukkran trichy: I hope that you're working on a cookbook - I love your recipes!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CherylsArt: I hope so :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      thanks for your useful guidance. book marked this page for reference.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 4 years ago from West Virginia

      I'm inspired. Maybe I will publish my book(s) some day. : )

    • Fiorenza profile image

      Fiorenza 4 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the advice; am very interested in this subject. I think there is a tax implication for non US citizens who use Createspace (not sure which one you were showing here); they want a ITIN (think I've got that right) and it's difficult to get that in the UK, involves an appt with the passport office and American embassy in London I believe.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Just let me know if you've any questions.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Tim Bader: Thanks Tim. Just let me know if you need any help.

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago

      Hmmm. That's the sound of my brain considering a totally new concept -- for me. I have so much to learn. Thanks for one more piece of the puzzle.

    • Tim Bader profile image

      Tim Bader 4 years ago from Surrey, UK

      Thanks Brit!I'll be publishing my own book very soon - I hope (currently waiting on a photographer friend to design the cover for me), so this information was very timely.I've read and re-read the e-book info on Amazon and it's still difficult to retain it all - thanks for making it so clear and concise.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @LiteraryMind: Thank you - that's so good to know.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very helpful information. I learned a lot.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @goldenrulecomics: Thank you for visiting :)

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      This looks very good. Thank you.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Linda BookLady: Thank you!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      A good primer on self-publishing!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank you. Publishing your own book is so very exciting!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      this is very helpful - it's an area I plan to learn more about and having this page will make it easier to get pointed in the right direction, thanks!

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