How to Avoid Self-Publishing Scams

self-publishing scams alert

Self-publishing Scams to Avoid

Self-Publishing Scams

by Deborah S. Nelson

So you are thinking of publishing a book! Fabulous. And you want to know how to avoid self-publishing scams that dot the landscape of digital publishing. Good idea. This article will help arm you with knowledge, BEFORE you publish a book.


Self-Publishing

As a self-publishing coach, I am often asked: Which are the self-publishing companies to avoid? Although this sounds like an easy question to answer, it is not. In the changing landscape of digital publishing, companies are coming and going daily. Self-publishing is an emerging industry. The music and photography industries have already made their transition to the digital age. We enjoy downloadable songs and sheet music, digital cameras, online photographic services, online magazines to name a few. Book publishing is still working through the twists and turns of its transition to online digital publishing.

Therefore, to name self-publishing companies to avoid would be a tricky full-time job. Although this is not the easy answer, education is your best defense against self-publishing scams.

Basic Self-Publishing Terminology

Before you decide which company to hire, learn the basic terminology of self-publishing. Two great tools for this are the Dictionary of Self-Publishing Terms  and WIKIPEDIA, the definition of Self-Publishing. Once you understand self-publishing is you handling your own project, which self-publishing company to hire is solved. It is nearly impossible to hand over your self-publishing project to someone else. When you do, you create an unnecessary middleman. As SELF-PUBLISHER, you are responsible for all aspects since everything passes through you (or should). Inviting a third party could complicate and slow down the project.

Self-Publishing Companies to Avoid

Avoid self-publishing scams by choosing not to hire a so-called “self-publishing company.” By definition, only you, the author, can be the self-publisher. Shift your focus to hiring  a good print on demand printing company for book printing. The two most experienced print on demand companies are CreateSpace and LuLu. Educate  yourself about the book publishing process. Hire your own freelancers for book covers, interior design, promotional copy, editing, and proofreading. For further details read: Self-Publishing Companies: How to Shop Them. For further education, download our free self-publishing toolkit below.


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How to Make a Book Online | Three Types

How to Make a Book Online | Easy-Medium-Advanced

How to Make a Book

Three Ways How to Make a Book Online

Digital publishing has brought new developments.  Now it is easy for an ordinary person to learn  to make a book online. If you are creative and have always wanted to write and publish a book, this article will give you an overview of the options and steps to make that possible. To simplify the process, I have divided different ways of how to make a book yourself into three different categories: The Four-Color Gift Book,  Print on Demand Paperback, and Short Run Book Publishing. With all these options, your creative spirit can soar with the use of your computer and print on demand to make a book online.

Easy | Four-Color Gift Book


Self-Publishing

If you want only a one-time book project with no need to market your books, the four-color hard cover book is fun and easy to do. For this option, I feel that the the best company is Blurb.com. I love Blurb! You can learn how to self publish a book with the greatest of ease using Blurb. The beautiful thing with Blurb is you can create full-color books with a hard cover. If you want to publish a children’s book,  a book of art, a photography portfolio, or anything that requires full-color on the inside and outside, Blurb.com is your best choice to learn the beginning basics of how to make a book online. With their proprietary software, BookSmart, you can easily create books without the steep learning curve of professional book publishing software. Blurb software automatically does page numbering, the copyright pages, and the right blank pages, and a few pages of optional front matter. Blurb has no option for marketing your book through online booksellers or the book publishing industry.

This is a great option if you want to create a gift book or legacy book or a book to use for presentations in your business. The books might seem pricey, but the fact that you can print just one book using their print on demand system for under $25-$500 is phenomenal (depending on how many pages). My daughter created an epoch 400-page book following her friend’s romance which led up to marriage as a wedding gift. Another book she created was a photo-journal of her best friend’s cat, about 250 pages, in memory of “Jet Boy” who was lovingly euthanized for cancer gone wild. One of my students collected old Italian recipes from her beloved grandmother and published the recipes in memory of her. If you prefer creativity and minimal technical frustrations, you can learn how to make a book with the greatest of ease using Blurb’s proprietary book software.

Medium | Print on Demand Paperback | Sell on Amazon

The next option, especially if you want to sell books, is to use a print on demand printer to help you publish a paperback book. This option is great if you want to buy books in small quantities to provide for workshops or seminars you may teach. Additionally, The easiest and least expensive print on demand option is to use the paperback format. The paperback format usually offers multiple size options, depending on which print on demand company you choose. All of them offer four-color front and back covers with black and white interior, up to as much as 400 pages. You will need to create two digital files, one for the cover, and one for the interior of the book. Most print on demand companies require the file to be in a print ready (300 dpi) PDF format. To get a professional designed look, the initial layout is usually done in In Design, and then the graphic artist will export that file to a print ready PDF, which you may upload to your print on demand account.

Advanced | Short Run Book Printing | Sell in Book Stores

The final option for how to make a book online will be to search Google for the short run printing companies to print your book. Depending on the size, color (or black and white), hard back cover, type of paper used, number of copies require, and shape you will gather different quotes for the cost involved. They will quote you based on “camera- or print-ready art.” You will need to find various graphic design specialists for the cover, and the interior of the book.  In order to sell in book stores, you will need to register as a publisher at Bowker Books, and get your book an ISBN number so that it will be listed in BOOKS IN PRINT, from which book stores order their books.


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Widbook: YouTube of Self-Published Books

By Deborah S. Nelson, Author/Publisher Publishing SOLO & VRTG

Widbook is just one more of the rich revolutionary developments in the new digital publishing age. Like the World Wide Web itself, Widbook was originally created as a tool for professors and students to collaborate on projects. Widbook, a self-publishing platform, has now achieved a membership of 50,000 readers and authors. More than a community offering free e-books, Widbook has become a hot spot on the net where emerging self published authors may reach a wider audience and build an author fan base.

“Widbook gives new self published authors a chance to expand their readership. I published my book ‘Churinga’ there and in a few weeks had many followers and views,” remarks U.K. Songwriter-turned-author Jonathan Broad, 57.

Publishing Solo encourages our community of authors in the making to join this community and reach out to the marketplace of readers. To read more about the Widbook self-publishing platform see today’s news release in Sys-Con Media:

“– Eight months after raising funds, Widbook (www.widbook.com), the digital collaborative publishing platform, has reached the milestone mark of 50,000 members worldwide. During times when technology is revolutionizing the publishing industry, Widbook’s fast-growth and exclusively collaborative tools position it as a leader in the crowd-writing and self-publishing industries.

More than being a platform for established authors and book lovers to publish and read ebooks for free, the community has become a doorway for new writers. U.K. Songwriter-turned-author Jonathan Broad, 57, is excited to be a part of the digital publishing space and is eager to see what’s ahead for the market. “Widbook gives new authors a chance to expand their readership,” he said. “I published my book ‘Churinga’ there and in a few weeks had many followers and views.”

Another notable trend is participation from younger generations who feel the self-publishing platform is an opportunity to get noticed in this competitive industry. Denmark’s 18-year-old Louise Warberg started using Widbook after seeing one of her favorite writers publishing there. “Widbook seems very professional, so I chose one of my more mature, serious stories to publish there called ‘Stories the Butterfly Told Me,'” she said.

Writing since childhood, Bryony Magee, an 18-year-old from the U.K., reached millions of reads with the adult novel ‘The Popularity Debt’ and is working on publishing in print. She’s currently writing the book ‘The Sleeping Arrangement’ on Widbook. “The platform is a great way to reach a wider audience — most of whom would not know about me otherwise,” she said.

In addition to its exponential membership growth, Widbook recently launched its Android app available via Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.widbook.widbookapp&hl=pt_BR), which enables reading books from anywhere.

Anyone can sign up for Widbook’s free platform by visiting widbook.com and simply creating a profile. (read more)

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