- Contact Us
Most self-publishing companies offer optional editing services, so if you submit your manuscript without first having it edited, be sure to take advantage of the optional editing services most likely available at your publisher of choice. Most optional editing services range in price from 1.2 to 2 cents per word.
DIY (do-it-yourself) self-publishers ask the author to format the manuscript themselves and submit a formatted file. This is the easiest and most common error authors make, because they mistakenly think a document formatted in Word is sufficient for a professional publication. It isn't. If you want your book to look like you published it yourself, by all means format the interior yourself. On the other hand, if you want your book to look professional, have a professional format the interior. Don't make the same mistake thousands of self-published authors make by thinking you can format the interior of a book as well as a professional can. Full-service self-publishing services will typically provide professional interior formatting for you. Be sure to select a company that offers this.
Since the cover is the single most important element of your book, this is not the place to skimp.
A "free custom cover" offered by many self-publishing companies is an istock.com or photos.com image with your title on top and your byline at the bottom. This is not the same as a professionally designed custom cover, which integrates the creative into the design, as opposed to simply slapping an image on the front.
No matter how tempted you are to do this, resist the urge. The only thing that reveals a "self-published" book faster than an inferior interior is an author-designed cover. I designed the cover for one of my first books, Publishing Gems, because I thought I knew what I was doing. I understood Photoshop and the requirement of 300 dpi. How hard could it be, right? Now that I use professional cover designers for my later books, I cringe whenever I see the cover of Publishing Gems. Don't make the same mistakes I've made. Let the cover designers do their thing. You'll be much happier in the long run (and the short run probably won't be as frustrating, either).
6. Keep 100% of the rights to your work. This is one of the main reasons for self-publishing, right? So don't choose a self-publisher who takes your rights. Some of the more unscrupulous publishers even try to take the rights to your NEXT book, too, even before you've written it.
Self-publishing requires self-promotion, which means you will be doing most (if not all) the marketing. You might as well keep most (if not all) the money, right? Some self-publishers will ask you to pay up front for publishing and then will keep 25-85% of your book's profits on the back end also. Choose a self-publishing company that allows you to keep 100% of your Royalties. This decreases your choices to just a handful to conduct a thorough comparison.
There are production costs, retail margins, and trade distribution discounts to account for. The more informed you are about how
the retail price of a book is divided among all the participating parties, the better. Self-publishing companies WANT you to succeed, even if you get all the profits from the book sales. After all, the better you look, the
better they look. The more books you sell, the more books there are floating around out there with their logo on the spine.
You will not sell a million copies of your book in the first 90 days. The sales curve of a self-published book is the inverse of a traditionally-published book. Sales will start slowly and build momentum over time as you promote and leverage word of mouth and positive buzz.
It takes less than twice the effort to promote two books. It takes far less than three times the effort to promote three books. This is digital leverage. Now that self-publishing a book is so easy, build your brand name and your author platform by publishing multiple books -- on different topics or the same topic, it doesn't matter -- just make sure you're mentioning ALL your books whenever you mention one of them.