How to Avoid Self-Publishing Scams

self publishing companies to avoid

Scam Alert! Self-Publishing Companies 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.


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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 already made their transition to the digital age. We enjoy downloadable songs, sheet music, digital cameras, online photographic services, and online magazines to name a few. Book publishing is still working through the twists and turns of its transition to digital publishing.

Therefore, to name self-publishing companies to avoid would be a tricky full-time job. Although sometimes difficult, education is your best defense against self-publishing scams.

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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 what 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 is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing 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.


Publish your Book Blueprint by Deborah S Nelson

Have a Dream to Publish a Book—
But Lack the Time or Know-How?

Look no further. This potent and detailed DIY publishing guide grants you the time and know-how. Learn how to self-publish a book by doing it! Once you become a published author, friends, family, and peers see you in a whole new light! This unique system propels both aspiring and seasoned authors through the digital publishing process step by step. You won’t even need your completed manuscript to start!

Includes downloadable template
Free ISBN number & POD account
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Displays book parts in chronological order
Publish your book blueprint proof in a week


Those who have completed Ms. Nelson’s Courses are raving fans. See Videos Reviews & Author Library.
Hmmm … I am not quite ready—just send me the Free Self-Publishing Toolkit

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FREE SELF-PUBLISHING TOOLKIT

Self-Publishing a Book: 3 Rookie Pitfalls

Self-Publishing a Book Rookie Mistakes

Catch Self-Publishing Rookie Mistakes Before You Make Them

Self-Publishing a Book: Common Rookie Mistakes

By Deborah S. Nelson

So you are thinking of self-publishing a book! Bravo! Publishing a book is an excellent choice for a project that will stretch your imagination, patience, and fortitude. I have self-published 14 books and coached and taught authors to self-publish over 100 books. I can help you avoid the common rookie pitfalls. Self-publishing is similar to taking on the general manager role of building your own home. With that understood, get ready to discover mistakes that could sabotage your book publishing project and make you want to throw in the towel.


Self-Publishing

Mistake # Three: Hiring a “Self-Publishing Company”

Let’s get your thinking straight right away.  The term,Self-publishing companies” is one of the biggest misnomers of the twenty-first century!  If you truly want to master at the art of self-publishing a book, let me help you with terminology. Also see the Dictionary of Self-Publishing for basic terms. Self-publishing a book as defined in WIKIPEDIA: Definition of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by its author, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. A self-published physical book is said to be privately printed. The author is responsible for and in control of the entire process, including, in the case of a book, the design of the cover and interior, formats, price, distribution, marketing and public relations. The authors can do it all themselves or outsource all or part of the process to companies that offer these services.

What does this mean? It means you do NOT hire someone to “self-publish” your book-this is crazy! The ONLY  one who can SELF publish your book is YOU! I get questions and inquiries daily about “self-publishing companies to avoid,” and I say, “AVOID ALL OF THEM!” Having said that you will need to select a printer, most likely a print of demand printer (which often label themselves as “self-publishing companies”)

The reason for this is, since you are the author, YOU and only YOU are the publisher. You are responsible for the entire project. When you hire one of these so-called “self-publishing companies” you are putting a third-party in the middle, spending more money than necessary, while still needing to oversee all the work. This will not save you much time, if any.  These “self-publishing companies” are, are really print on demand printing companies. Yes, you will need a printer, but that is all you will need from these so-called “self-publishing companies.”

Solution: Subcontract your own workers. Hire a print on demand company for the printing only. Then contract experts in each area. You will need a book cover designer, an interior designer, content editor, proofreader and many other freelancers throughout the process. Many so-called self-publishing companies are happy to overcharge for these services. Read my article on Managing Self-Publishing Services.

Mistake #Two: Manuscript Written Equals Book Completed

Once finished writing your manuscript, you are done, nearly done, or halfway done. WRONG. You are one-third of the way to the finish line of your book project. I tell all my clients right away that you can expect THREE parts to the life cycle of bringing a book into the world:

  1. Write Your Book
  2. Publish Your Book
  3. Market Your Book

Keep in mind that once you have written a book, you are only 1/3 of the way to knowing the complete joy of self-publishing your book! Publishing or self-publishing a book is a marathon, not a sprint.

Solution: Keep this in mind throughout the entire process to build mental and emotional  stamina needed to make it to the finishing line.

Mistake #One: Including Friends, Family & Random “Experts” in the Process

This is the top mistake most people make when self-publishing a book that keeps them from actually finishing. However, if they do persevere through all the conflicting critical eyes, the book is likely to be a mish-mash of styles, looks, proofreading rules, editorial approaches, and your watered-down message.

Let me put it to you straight. Writing a book is about giving your readers a passionate message that only you know… a story that only you can tell. When self-publishing a book get a vision for your book, and stick to it. Everyone is a “so-called” expert, and when it comes down to it, most of the decisions in book publishing are personal and artistic preference. Don’t let everyone’s well mean opinion water down your passionate message to the world.

Solution: If you feel you must get feedback, do not ask for “feedback” to feed your ego–rather for the good of the book. Plan two focus group sessions, and carefully invite your key supporters, along with your book publishing coach to moderate. In the first focus group session, share your original unedited manuscript, and ask people to report back within 7-10 days with their ideas and positive feedback. After that, move on with your book publishing project. Self-publishing a book has a timeline, and you must stay on track to get it done. You may also create a focus group later, for the book cover, and again give people 7-10 days for their reaction, and then move on. This is the biggest mistake that rookies make when self-publishing a book. Looking for support, and complements, and an ego boost, can ultimately sabotage your book project.


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Is Self-Publishing a Book Profitable?

Publishing a Book Digitally 

By Deborah S. Nelson

Tablet computer color splashNow that digital publishing has entered the playing field of the World Wide Web, a new question arises over the horizon of online book publishing. Is it possible to make money when publishing a book? In this article we address the question for those considering entering the ring of digital book publishing.


Self-Publishing

Book Publishing reaches back into history; and traditionally was an expensive venture to enter. The printing press was a pricey piece of equipment in the first place, as was the set-up involved in printing just one book. This required an up-front investment for printing at least 10,000 books to make one book affordable. See the video below which explains in more

detail the difference between digital publishing and traditional publishing.

Now that digital publishing allows any of us to print just one book affordably, that makes self-publishing doable for a one person enterprise.

Money Required for Publishing a Book

Before we can talk about making money in publishing a book, we need to talk about the costs involved to get started.  Since expensive printing equipment or set-ups are not required, that means anyone with a simple computer and an idea for a book can enter the playing field of book publishing. With no large investment required, the potential profit margin obviously skyrockets.

However, expect to put in a great deal of sweat equity, or pay for labor costs involved in preparing the digital file for publication. To find out more details about the exact costs involved in  publishing a book, here’s an article entitled Real Self-Publishing Costs to Publish a Book to get a detailed analysis of initial costs involved.

The Millions Made by Publishing a Book with Digital Publishing

Digital publishing equipment has made a new self publisher era possible. No longer considered ‘vanity publishing,” many successful traditionally published authors are getting excited about the size of their royalties made by publishing a book themselves. Take Barbara Freethy, for instances, Author of 34 novels including the Wish series and first author on Kindle and Nook to sell one million books. She has been writing for 20 years, and was published through four different publishing houses. Freethly is now self-publishing. “Once I saw how well my self-publishing books were doing and how much more attention and focus I could put on my own books, it was a pretty easy decision [to continue self-publishing] because those books have been doing so much better,” Freethy comments.

Amanda Hocking has made millions with her romance series with on e-book platforms as well. Considering now that the self-publishing industry is estimated as a 52 million dollar industry in 2012, there is certainly big money to be made in publishing a book. This is true now, more than ever, especially when self-publishing figures appear to be eclipsing traditional book publishing numbers many times over.

Amanda Hocking and Barbara Freethy are just two of the most well-known millionaire authors; and this article barely scratches the surface. Huffington Post Live has a comprehensive video interview which interviews the some of today’s most successful self-published authors. With the publishing playing field leveled they interview Hugh Howey, Darcy Chan, Bella Andre, Jasinda Wilder, all New York Times Best Selling authors, and all approaching 1 million or more in book sales. With royalties what they are in self-publishing, you can bet those sales numbers has brought each of these authors millionaire status.


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