Publish my own book?

A Pity not to Publish

If you’ve taken the trouble to write a book then it would be a real pity not to have it published.

However, you may not be aware of all of your options.

Your basic options when publishing your book.

  1. Find a traditional publisher
  2. Pay to have it published
  3. Self-publish
  4. Publish through a co-operative publisher

Let’s consider these in turn.

Traditional Publisher

Traditional publishers select authors’ works for publication based upon the commercial prospects of the books.

They are looking for likely best sellers in the particular genres in which they specialise.

The publisher funds and controls the whole process of production and distribution once a completed manuscript has been submitted by the author.

Production normally involves a print run in the thousands – which means a good cost per copy but a larger financial outlay.

The author receives a royalty (typically quite low e.g 8% – 10%) on each actual sale – which seems fair given that the publisher takes all the risk.

The author may have little say in what the publisher does (e.g. the cover is designed by the publisher)  and may have to pay full price (or close to full price) for any copies.

Although this doesn’t look like a particularly good deal for the author the one advantage can be that the distribution power of the publisher together with the publisher’s influence on media reviewers can lead to good sales volumes – at least in the short term.   For that reason, many new authors seek this alternative – even though their chances may be small – or even non-existent if their work is very specialised.

Pay to publish your book

Some publishers are willing to publish books on behalf of authors if they feel that the books have merit but are too risky commercially.

This is sometimes called “vanity publishing” because the author may be on an ego trip driven my pride and the desire to show off when in reality the book is worthless and any attempt to sell it in any numbers will be futile.  Unscrupulous publishers, including some printers that pretend to be real publishers, are only too eager  take large sums of money of unsuspecting authors.

Nevertheless, there are many good books produced in this way including many specialist works that will never be “hits” but will sell over time.  The sad thing is that with more help from a good publisher some duds could have been edited and improved to make them viable.

In general, books produced in this way are seldom promoted well by the publisher and the author is very often left out of pocket.

Self-publishing

Technical advances in all the stages of book production, and the simplification of many aspects of the process,  have made self-publishing a viable option.   Authors can create and format the manuscript on a home computer. They can design and create a respectable cover image too. Many printers will take these files and  run off multiple copies – and in many case a print run of even as few as 100 books may be viable.    The self-publisher is in control, pays the bills and reaps the rewards.

The problem is that the typical self-published author tends to make lots of mistakes – any one of which may be fatal.    These include…

  • Poor or inappropriate writing style
  • Poor editing
  • Poor proof reading
  • Bad layout
  • Unsuitable title  (very common)
  • Poor cover design
  • Mistakes over copyright
  • Poor sizing
  • Poor pricing
  • Bad or non existent distribution
  • Limited availability
  • Inadequate and unsuitable marketing
  • Wrong classification
  • Badly planned launch
  • Missing or inadequate reviews

As one self-published author said “the trouble is you don’t know what you don’t know”.

Nevertheless, some authors do manage to make a success of it and end up with significant best sellers.  These are the rare cases that are publicised.

What is usually less often stated is that most of these successes involve authors who have had a lot of help and already have writing experience.

Co-operative publishing

This is a half-way house between traditional publishing and self-publishing.   Basically, the author produces the work and has a big say in what the final book looks like but the publisher takes care of all the specialist things that the author probably shouldn’t be doing anyway.   For a previously unpublished author and especially for one who is writing in a a specialist genre this likely to be the best option – and likely to be much better than self-publishing.   There are a number of co-operative publishers around and The Endless Bookcase is a kind of co-operative publisher.

When selecting a co-operative publisher do check these points.

  • Does the publisher provide advise and guide?
  • Does the publisher take care of all aspects of design and technical production?
  • Is editing and proof reading provided or made available at reasonable prices?
  • Is the book made available and distributed in multiple formats through multiple channels and assigned ISBN numbers?
  • Can the author  purchase copies at sensible prices  for their own use and sale?
  • For copies sold by the publisher are the royalties paid to the author fair? ( at least 15% and probably more)
  • Does the publisher carry our promotions of the book?
  • Does the publisher offer additional services to the author to help enhance their reputation and sales?
  • Are the publishers fees fair and reasonable?

If there too few positives then it starts to look more like vanity publishing or not much better than self publishing.

So check out what you are being offered.

Why not publish with us?

Yes this is bit the advert but we hope that what we’ve just covered enables you to better judge for yourself.

Click her for what we offer :  Become a Published Author the Easy Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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