When I wrote my first book nearly 15 years ago, being a self-published author carried a stigma. For some reason, you were not considered a “real” author if you went the self-publishing route.
Fast forward to today and it’s a completely different reality. Authors have a plethora of choices in how to take their work to market.
Add to the mix eBooks and authors now have a lot of control over their writing, their revenue and their message.
According to a post on the Publisher’s Weekly blog:
- The Big Five traditional publishers now account for only 16% of the e-books on Amazon’s bestseller lists.
- Self-published books now represent 31% of e-book sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
- Indie authors are earning nearly 40% of the e-book dollars going to authors.
- Self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres but — and here is the surprise — they are also taking “significant market share in all genres.”
For the uninformed, self-publishing is where a writer has their work published at their own expense. They pay the full cost of producing their work and are responsible for marketing and distribution. They usually work independently and have control of the entire creative and selling process.
Regardless of what your publishing choice is, writing your books is a game changer.
Highly seasoned and respected book expert, Denise M. Michaels says, “Authoring a book is the time-honored way to elevate your perception professionally from where you’re at now to a national or even international level of prominence and expertise. It still works. In fact, authoring a book is the best way to open you up to a world of new prospective, new clients or customers, and be seen in a new light.”
Although you can hire companies to help you with the publishing process, as the author, you are ultimately responsible for what happens with your book. Even when you go with these type of companies, you are in reality a self-published author.
Self-publishing is the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry. As a result, there are new companies coming on the forefront every day to assist authors to get their works published.
Many of these companies actually use CreateSpace for the printing and fulfillment of the author’s work. If you have the budget, and don’t want to do anything but write the book, you can hire any number of companies to help with all the details.
When you hire a reputable company they can handle as little, or as much, as you would like including cover design, editing, formatting, ISBN number, and most every detail required to get the book done.
Some claim to offer marketing services, but often that simply means they post something on their website and send a media release to a few locations.
If you do decide to hire a self publishing company, have all agreements put in writing.
When you handle all the details, your costs are considerably lower, but you do have the responsibility of bringing all the pieces together.
You will need to have a cover designed, editing of your manuscript, formatting, and if you plan to sell online, making your book available on the major bookstores such as Amazon.com.
NOTE: Not matter how good of a writer you are, you definitely want to outsource the editing. Many authors mistakenly assume they can handle this aspect of their work. Huge mistake in that there will be things a seasoned editor can do for your work that you may not be able to. They will also find mistakes you likely missed.
Do yourself a favor and invest in an editor.
Should you go the complete DIY route, CreateSpace is an excellent service provider for self-published authors.
CreateSpace is one of the most recognized self-publishing vendors available. They offer a fast and easy way to self-publish paperbacks. CreateSpace also offers on-demand printing, eliminating the need for you to maintain inventory.
CreateSpace also offers very affordable professional services that you can pick and choose from including editing, layout, publishing and marketing services.
Even if you choose to use some of their marketing services, it is a great idea to learn as much as you can about marketing your book in order to get the greatest results possible.
- No membership or set-up fees; zero cost to get started
- Great customer care
- Amazon affiliation
- A flexible royalty model; You earn royalties every time Create Space prints a book to fulfill a new customer order placed on Amazon.com, Amazon’s European websites, your CreateSpace eStore, or through sales channels offered with Expanded Distribution. Plus, you can set your royalty payment option to local currencies including U.S. dollars (USD), British pounds (GBP), and Euro (EUR).
- Community forums for resources and tips. This is a great benefit for new to seasoned authors.
- A non-exclusive agreement allowing future publishing and distribution options. This means you are not bound to one company.
- Free CreateSpace ISBN or UPC. Although you can get a free ISBN, it is recommended to pay for at least the $10 level.
Today, more than ever, there is no excuse for an author NOT to get their work out to market. The days of, “No one will publish my work,” are long gone.
After all, books change lives. They are powerful tools to satisfy a reader’s need to escape reality for even a little while. Books impact how we run our businesses. They are great resources for those who want to get healthy. They provide insights into how to transform our mind, body and soul.
And isn’t that reason enough to finish your first, or next, book?