Regular TVWriter™ visitors know that we think that contemporary self-publishing and its various platforms is the best thing to happen to literary life since…well, since the last best thing (which we’re pretty sure was before our time.)
So, for all those who have the courage and strength to write things that will actually be read instead of performed (OMFG! All those words!), we happily present this recent find:
How to decide where to publish your books when self-publishing
by Nathan Bransford
Once you’ve decided you want to pursue self-publishing, it’s helpful to make two important decisions as early as possible:
- Which formats do you want to publish in? Print and e-books? Just e-books? If print, which kind of print, hardcover, paperback… papyrus scrolls? Stone tablets?
- Where do you want to publish your books? Who do you want to print your books? Do you just want to go to Amazon for e-books? Do you want to have e-books available wherever e-books are sold?
“Wait a darn second here,” you might be protesting. “Isn’t getting everything published the last step?”
Here’s why it’s important to decide where you’re publishing as early as possible. The format(s) and distribution methods you choose influences several key steps in the self-publishing process:
- You’ll need to design interiors (or have them designed) for the right print and e-book formats.
- If you’re publishing in print, you’ll need to draft cover copy.
- It will help decide the format and size of your eventual cover, which you’ll need to tell your cover designer.
Decide early and decide often!! Err… Scratch that. Decide early and TRY to decide only once. You can change your mind later, but you may have to repeat some steps.
Here’s how to decide where to publish your books when self-publishing.
Do you want to publish in print?
One still prevalent myth about self-publishing is that it is difficult and/or expensive to create print versions of your work. This is no longer true.
You don’t (necessarily) have to pay anything up front to have your book available in print! There are print-on-demand publishers who will happily, well, print on demand, meaning they’ll print copies when someone buys your book. Gone are the days when you have to pay a bunch of money to invest in an expensive print run of a few thousand copies.
That said, you will have some decisions to make about which service you go with. Some of the players include:
- CreateSpace – CreateSpace is owned by Amazon and it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways of getting your book in print. However, they only offer paperback, and books with color are more expensive. So if you have a very design-heavy project, you may want to look elsewhere.
- IngramSpark – While IngramSpark costs just a bit more up front, they offer a few more distribution and format options (including hardcover) that may be of interest to people who are confident they’ll be selling quite a few copies.
- Blurb – Blurb’s emphasis has historically been on design-oriented books, so if that’s your jam they may be a solid option for you.