Should you self publish your book?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!