What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing is publication of your written work through non-traditional means. Instead of having an agent and publishing your work with a traditional publishing company that handles copyrights, editing, marketing, distribution, book signings, and more, you handle everything yourself.
When you self-publish your copyrights, subsidiary rights, and more of your royalties belong to you but the same is not said with a traditional publishing company.
When publishing with traditional companies, you can get an advance of money on your royalties, however it will be credited from book sales along with other expenses like editing, marketing, and book signings.
Self-publishing is much less expensive, however it requires some research prior to doing. You do not need an agent. Traditional publishing companies may not look at your work/manuscript unless you have an agent. Even having an agent does not guarantee a book deal.
Some agents require a fee to retain you as a client even though they have not provided any services.
Here are (2) ways to self-publish: (Full Service Self-Publisher or Printing Co.)
- The first way to self-publish is to find a full service self-publishing company. They can be found on the Internet. They provide the same services as the traditional publishing companies such as copyrights, subsidiary rights, editing, book design, royalty charts, marketing, and more.
If this is your choice, then you may want to have your work edited prior to submission as if you don’t then it is expensive to make changes and have the self-publishing company do it. Also, in some cases bookstores all over the world may be selling your book and you will wonder how they got it without your permission. That is a big question that you will have to confront the self-publishing company about. You may not be happy with the response that you get.
Full service self-publishing companies may charge fees upfront fees that can range from $2,000-$5,000 (USD). It depends on the package and number of items you select to see your work in print.
Once your work is submitted, there may be additional services you need that are not included in your package. Examine everything carefully or you will have to pay more money than you expected. For example, marketing may not be included in your initial package and will cost you more.
- The second way is much less expensive to publish your work. Prepare your written work and submit it to a printing company. This means that you will copyright with the U.S Copyright Office, proofread, edit, format, design and buy an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
If you are located outside of the U.S. then you will need to purchase your ISBN from a comparable company.
You will do all of this prior to submitting your work to a printing company. There are many printing companies found on the Internet. These companies have templates to assist you with book size and format. These companies will assist you in putting your work in print. Call and ask for assistance if you need help.
Submit your work according to their criteria and order the minimum number of copies. Marketing and distribution are done by you, so you can either order marketing cards from the printing company or design your own and print at your local office supply, like Staples, Office Depot or other similar company.
This method of self-publishing costs may be less than $1000 USD. What a deal!
Set up your book signings after you have received your books in print. You control everything, so whoever wants to buy your book must contact you.
Lastly, submitting your work with a printing company alleviates royalty problems as you handle all book sales.
Many printing companies provide the same services as the full service self-publishing ones but the difference is the control is in your hands.
Considering the chances of getting an agent these days, without sponsorship or backing it seems that a major publishing deal is slim. It may be better to self-publish using one of the previously mentioned options to see your work in print. This may allow you to get started on your next project.
The decision is all yours.
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