Saturday, 26 April 2014
Day Twenty-Six: Self-Publishing your Manuscript #BYBin30
If you plan on self-publishing your manuscript, there are several things you need to keep in mind.
1. Where do you plan on self-publishing your book? There are several self-publishing companies you can choose from or you can go with all of them, keeping in mind that doing so will mean that you will have to create your book in several different formats. You can publish through Lulu or Lightning Source. Though both of these companies offer ways to publish your books in both e-book and print, they do not have the marketing power of the Amazon companies. One thing that Lulu and Lightning Source both offer that Amazon's CreateSpace does not offer though is the ability to publish your book in hardback. Amazon's CreateSpace does print books and offers the ability to have your book formatted for e-books as well, but I recommend creating these files separately and publishing your print book through CreateSpace and your e-book through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing for reasons I will explain below. You can also publish e-book through Apple's iBooks author program.
2. In which formats do you intend to publish your book? Print books can be much more satisfying to hold in your hand, and print books are the ones you are more likely to find in book stores and libraries. They are also the format you will need if you plan to tour doing book signings. However, e-books are popular with on-line buyers, and e-books have the potential to earn you more money per sale because there is not printing cost associated with the production of them. Anyone on-line can find your e-books, but you might have to do more marketing in order to sell your print books (although, they, too, can be found and bought on-line). The reason I suggest creating your e-book and print book formats separately is because when you create your e-book yourself, you can add hyperlinks within the text. You can have the chapters listed in the table of contents link to their corresponding chapters within the text of the book, and if you have any text within your book that suggests recommended reading or places to go on-line, you can make them clickable so that your readers can click on them and be taken directly to the website you want them to go to.
3. What type of book are you publishing? If you are publishing a picture book or a chapter book, your book will need illustrations and those illustrations will increase the cost of publishing your book a great deal, unless you are skilled enough to create your own illustrations. When you price your book, you will need to take into account the cost of creating your book, which means an illustrated book should be priced higher than a non-illustrated book. If you are hiring an artist, will you be paying them a fixed fee for the illustrations or will you also be paying them a percentage of the profits from the book?
4. Do you need an ISBN? It used to be that, in order to publish your own book, you needed to buy an International Standard Book Number. That is no longer the case. Most of the self-publishing print-on-demand companies will provide you with an ISBN free of cost, but if you use their ISBN, be aware that it will list the company you are printing your book through as the publisher. If you want to be listed as the publisher on your book, you will need to buy your own ISBNs. In the USA, you will buy your ISBNs through Bowkers. You can buy one ISBN or buy your ISBNs in batches or 10, 100 or 1,000 if you plan on publishing more than one book. If you plan on publishing your book as a paperback and as a hardback, you will need a different ISBN for each. In the UK, you can also buy a single ISBN or you can buy your ISBN in batches of 10, 100 or 1,000.