How to self publish
Why self publish?
You’re reading this because you’ve got an idea for a book, and you’d like to get it out there, selling, and working for you, right?
You may be an expert or guru with a message to deliver, or perhaps you’d like to establish yourself as an expert by authoring a book on your subject. You have a client base, and you know that having a book published is going to increase your client base, sell your services and sell out your seminars and workshops. As the author of a book, you know that you’ll get publicity and media attention when you launch your book, and you know that the media will frequently call on you for comment as a published authority in your field.
Or you may have a compelling story to tell, fiction or non-fiction, an autobiography, a family memoir, or words of wisdom, and be keen to see people reading your story, gaining new understanding, inspiration and motivation.
When you self publish, or indie publish as the process is also known, you have creative control, you can get your book out there in a fraction of the time it takes to find a traditional publisher, and the profits are all yours.
These are the basic steps:
1. Write your book.
2. Have it edited by a professional editor.
3. Have a professional book cover designer create a winning cover.
4. Liaise with a book distributor at this stage if you want to sell through book shops. Book shops take books on sale or return only.
5. Organise your marketing and selling strategies.
6. Have a professional book designer do internal page layout and typesetting.
7. Organise your ISBN and other publishing details.
8. Have the final work proofread by a professional proof reader.
9. Get it printed, or produced as an eBook.
10. Launch your book! Get media reviews!
Make this process simpler:
2. On completion of your first draft, hire a specialist project manager to organise everything from editing through to book launch – or to handle or supervise any part of the process.
Paperback or eBook?
You can dramatically cut production costs by publishing in eBook format instead of paperback. Benefits of eBook production include:
1. No printing costs.
2. No freight costs.
3. No shipping and handling costs.
4. Increasing number of readers prefer eBooks to paperbacks.
5. Instant gratification: readers can buy online and download instantly.
6. You can test your market with an eBook before committing to paperback.
7. Use reader feedback from eBooks to make changes to your text or add testimonials to your back cover when go into paperback production.
8. Offer lower rrp than paperback.
Print on demand (POD), or bulk printing?
Bulk printing – usually a minimum of 500 copies, but generally at least 1,000 copies – is mass production by offset printing. The larger your print run, the lower your unit cost. Depending on the size of your book, your unit price for a 3,000 copy print run will probably be two or three dollars. Decide on your rrp and do the maths. This is where you can make a great profit direct selling online through your website or blog, or to your client base and through your seminars.
Print on Demand (POD) is digital printing. Set up costs are minimal to zero, and minimum print run is usually 1-5 copies. The unit cost is much higher than bulk printing, but you can still make a profit. The advantages of Print on Demand include:
1. Saves on printing outlay. Buy as required.
2. Suitable for boutique publishing, e.g. gift for friends, corporate gift.
3. Test your market (and perhaps make changes) before bulk printing.
4. Use to send to celebrities and other experts to get testimonials that you can put on your back cover when you go to bulk printing.
5. Use to send out media copies to radio, television and print media journalists who respond to your press release if you are otherwise publishing in eBook format or deferring bulk printing decisions until you can measure demand.
Traditional publishers – a last word
How much money do you make on your books if they are published by a traditional publisher? Usually 10-12% of the rrp. Do the maths.
How much time does it take for a traditional publisher to publish your book? About 9 months from receiving your final draft.
How easy is it to find a traditional publisher if you’re a first time author? Think needle and haystack. You can greatly improve your chances of having your manuscript or book proposal accepted by getting a ghost writer on board right from the start – to get the structure, content, style, message, book title and branding right – and by having your draft manuscript professionally edited before approaching a publisher or literary agent. A traditional publisher will edit your book, but it’s such a competitive market that you’ll need to have it edited to a high standard to gain their interest in the first place.
How much creative control do you have over your book with a traditional publisher? Very little to none.
Ready to start?
Contact me now.