Self-Publishing Basics–What it Really Takes
Self-Publishing in the digital publishing age is an amazing option for those who have always dreamed to publish a book. But what are the real self-publishing basics you need to know to get started? Using print on demand is almost a miracle when compared to the traditional way of publishing a book. Since I have self-published (or helped writers) with nearly 100 books, I am extremely familiar with the process. As a publishing coach, I find a lot of confusion surrounding the use of the term “self-publishing.” So before I go any further in this article, let’s define the term “self-publishing.” Self-publishing is the process of bringing a work to market by its author. There are many so-called “self-publishing” companies online purported to be self-publishers, when in reality this is not possible. The true definition is that the creator/author is the person who brings his or her works to final printed form. This means that you as an author, take on the role as publisher.
Self-Publishing a Physical Book
We all have our niches. I specialize in guiding people through the self-publishing process for a physical book. The e-book trend is starting to subside, and the good old-fashioned printed physical book remains a standard. New reports are show that the growth of e-books is slowing, and the printed book is showing a stronger trend. This article and site provides tools and resources for those publishing a book, a physical book.
Print on Demand
Print on demand is the most recent development in digital technology that has made self-publishing possible and affordable to the masses. Basically print on demand is a digital method of being able to print one book at a time without costly setup charges. Digital art and digital printed presses make it possible for the print on demand company to print books as they are purchased, thus avoiding a large investment in inventory, and expensive set up costs.
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What Self-Publishing Really Takes
The biggest problem in the self-publishing arena right now, besides the fact that the terminology is misunderstood, is the fact that many of the print on demand printers are representing themselves a “self-publishers.” This is quite misleading, and for those “who don’t know what they don’t know,” which is most of us; they easily go down a path fraught with unexpected technical frustration and over-spending in order to finish their book. It becomes like a remodeling project gone bad. Is is better to know what it requires to be your own publisher. Below is a list.
1.Project Management: As your own publisher, you become the “general contractor,” the project manager. You make the decisions, oversee the different aspects, pay the subcontractors, and guide the quality of each separate piece.
2. Comittment to Complete: You will need a very strong comittment to complete the book publishing project. It could take up to a year, depending on the size of the project and how much time each week you have to devote. Traditional publishing companies require that authors sign an agreement before they begin the publish. You may do the same. See or Intent to Publish Agreement.
3. Timeline Finesse: You will juggle the interior editing, copy editing, proofreading, design, layout and preparation of the digital art file to submit to the printer, on a timeline, with the book cover design, and the author website needed to market the book. Timing is essential is getting the book published in a reasonable period. Refer to our Self-Publishing Checklist. It could take from three months (if experienced and super organized) to publish your books up to a year or longer, depending on the size of the project.
4. Digital Expertise: You will need to understand basic digital terminology related to digital printing. You may refer to our Dictionary of Publishing Terms, which defines a few basic terms. You’ll need to understand art software, specifications, and basic print on demand terminology.
5. Marketing and PR Ability: These days over 73% of books are sold online, which means you’ll need to market your book online. Having book signings in stores and promoting book sales in that way is quickly fading out, as such small percentage of books are being sold through book stores, so you will need a website. You will also need to learn how to market yourself and your books online. This would be if selling books is important to you. Some people increase their fees to do consulting, workshops, and seminars, and do not have a need to sell a lot of books. Certainly, if selling books is part of your goal, you will need to learn some online marketing skills in order to promote yourself as an author, and to sell books.