There are four huge reasons why you should consider, and main, publishing on your own: quality, control, timing, and money. And in no particular order—although, if you have a “hot” topic the time factor rears its head first.
1 Quality is, well, about quality. If a printed book—the cover presentation; back cover copy; the paper; the interior design—the whole visual aspect of the book. Then there’s the content. The story makes sense; you don’t need a special urban dictionary to figure out all the typos and God awful grammar nuances and just plain things that make no sense that a great red pen would have whacked out. Quality—when you see it, you know it.
2 Control hooks on to quality. Control of how the cover will look and feel—what it actually says and does it reflect what the author’s message is about. Control is about the author having input that is heard and implemented.
3 Timing can be everything. If the book is about anything in the technology work, even six months can be make it invisible—it needs to be out! If it’s political—there’s an election around every calendar corner. If the topic is truly ground-breaking, or a necessary position for a career move—timing becomes an essential ingredient.
4 And then there is Money. Always money. To publish on your own costs money—sometimes minimal, sometimes lots. It’s not just a few hundred dollars—anyone, for $97, $197, $297, $397, $497 or whatever $97 of the month is the current flavor—is telling you the rest of the story.
Yes, there is someone who will do your cover for $5 a la fivrr.com … and 99.999999 percent of the time it will look like $5. There is someone who will design the interior for mini-moneys—and believe, it will look like it … you might as well do it yourself, something that is not recommended unless this is what you do professionally. And there is someone who edits your book for a few hundred dollars … or less … and it will read like it. Then you print it—costing anywhere from a couple of dollars too many dollars per book, depending on where and who you work with. In the end, you have an inferior product—your book, your baby.
This is the world of the vanity presses and the pay-to-publish operations work within. And within them is a large array of publishing predators, all beckoning, “Come to me, come to me.” Well-established publishing houses have partner, some of them stealthily, with the vanity presses. The prey is the naïve author who thinks they are working with a true subsidiary of a major publisher, where in truth, they have signed on with a “contract” operation.
When it comes to money … you must and must is the appropriate word … learn what the costs of true publishing are. Editors, Design, Illustrators, Consultants, Printing—all have a cost and you can get it upfront so there are no surprises. Post publishing has costs too. Social media—are you doing it yourself, or are you hiring/outsourcing it? What about any publicity and/or marketing costs? Plan, budget, execute.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.
Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen