In the self publishing field royalties are better than what “real” publishers offer, but there are caveats, and true self-publishing pros prefer to cut out the subsidy press.
- Self-publishing is easy.
- You will handle your project.
3. Quality is good.
I can’t speak for all self-publishing companies, but the quality of POD books is generally quite decent. You can’t do a fancy matte cover (yet), but the books look and feel like “real” books. The only giveaway that you’re dealing with a self-published book would be if the cover were poorly designed — which, unfortunately, is too often the case.
4. Since self-publishing’s so easy.
One of the unfortunate drawbacks of having a low barrier of entry into a suddenly hot market is that now everybody and their brother and sister is an author. That means you’re dealing with a ton of competition, some of which is made up of hustlers, charlatans, and a bunch of people in between.
6. The odds are against you.
The average print self-published book sells about 100-150 copies — or two-thirds to three-quarters of your friends and family combined (and don’t count on all your Facebook acquaintances buying).
7. Creating a “professional” book is really hard.
Barrier to entry may be low, but creating a book that looks professional and is indistinguishable from a book published by a “real” publishing house is very difficult and requires a minimum investment of a few thousand dollars.
8. Have a clear goal for your book.
This will help dictate what service you go with. For instance, if your objective is to create a book for posterity’s sake (so your friends and family can read it for all eternity), you won’t have to invest a lot of time or money to produce something that’s quite acceptable. Lulu is probably your best bet. However, if yours is a commercial venture with big aspirations, things get pretty tricky.
9. Even if it’s great, Think of Niche Book
This seems to be the mantra of self-publishing. Nonfiction books with a well-defined topic and a nice hook to them can do well, especially if they have a target audience that you can focus on.Religious books are a perfect case in point. And fiction? Well, it’s tough, but some genres do better than others. Indie romance/erotica novels, for instance, have thrived in the e-book arena.
11. Create a unique title.
On a more cynical note, some authors are creating titles that are very similar to popular bestsellers. Also, some authors use pseudonyms that are similar to famous authors’ names so they’ll show up in search results for that author. Check out this list of Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs.
12. Turn-key solutions cost a lot of money.
These folks can potentially put together a really nice book for you. But I’ve also heard a lot nightmare stories where people come away disappointed with the process and feel ripped off. You can do a search in Google for the companies you’re considering and find testimonials — good and bad — from authors who’ve used the services. Proceed with caution.
13. Self-publishers don’t care if your book is successful.
They say they care, but they really don’t care. You have to make them care.
14. Buy as little as possible from your publishing company.
Self-publishing outfits are in the game to make money. And since they’re probably not going to sell a lot of your books, they make money by with nice margins. T
15. If you’re serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy edited.
16. Ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to complain.
17. Self-publishing is a contact sport.
The biggest mistake people make when it comes to self-publishing is that they expect to just put out a book and have it magically sell. They might even hire a publicist and expect something to happen. It’s just not so. You have to be a relentless self-promoter. Unfortunately, a lot people just don’t have the stomach or time for it.
18. Getting your book in bookstores sounds good, but that shouldn’t be a real concern.
19. Self-published books rarely get reviewed — for free anyway.
20. Design your book cover to look good small.
21. If you’re selling online, make the most out of your Amazon page.
22. Pricing is a serious challenge.
Many of the self-publishing operations have their own online marketplaces where you can offer up your book and get a significantly better royalty rate.
24. Self-publishing is a fluid business.
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by Shashikant Nishant Sharma