I recently announced I am planning to self-publish a collection of my work camping stories.
In the post, I mentioned asking the Poet for all the information she had about self-publishing. She graciously sent me an informative email within a couple of hours.
In response to this information, one of my readers asked, Is there any chance that you could pass this on? I just recently heard about it, but don’t know much about the where and how-to. I would be grateful for any info.
I asked the Poet if I could share her information in a blog post, and she said, yeah for sure!
The following is the information I received from the Poet, with names removed and only lightly edited. I hope this information helps other folks who aspire to self-publish.
The two main ones are CreateSpace through Amazon and Lulu. I think they’re similar, but Lulu if you get on their mailing list sends lots of discount coupons/promotions for publishing through them. I’ve received 30% off coupons from them a few times…
I have a good friend who uses CreateSpace to publish ebooks, mostly lesbian erotica. I don’t know if you want to publish it ebook and paper book simultaneously? I think you might need Microsoft word for that, but I’m not certain.
Also you need if you’re going to sell ebooks (or maybe paper books too) to link it directly to your bank account so you can get the funds you earn direct deposited, at least through CreateSpace. That turned me off because I wanted to route things through PayPal, but when I was researching a few months ago, maybe half a year ago?, that wasn’t an option.
You have all these options–they try to sell you packages that include cover art options, editing, and other kinds of help. Of course the more work you do yourself, the cheaper it is.
So you upload your text in the right format, you check and make sure everything’s okay, you do your cover. You get an ISBN. Then you pay them something. They mail you a proof, which I think takes a little while. Then you okay the proof and I think there’s a little time delay after you tell them the proof was okay before the book is actually available.
There are different packages where you get so many copies for yourself. But the main appeal about print-on-demand is that you don’t have to buy a thousand copies of the book yourself and store them and sell them yourself–people order them directly through Amazon or Lulu or other ways. You can do a package where they make your book available for booksellers to sell, like Barnes & Nobel can pick it up, for example.
My friend just wanted to get 30 books printed for him to sell and give away himself, not to sell print-on-demand or ebook, so he was able to do that and I guess he found the shipping to be expensive. But he got what he wanted.
I think this whole process takes a while so if you want it in time for Xmas probably other people are thinking the same thing so I’d hop to it.
I know more about CreateSpace than Lulu. Most of the info I give you above is what I learned about CreateSpace.
I think one of the main ideas is that you self-publish and your book gets noticed so a regular publisher decides to pick it up. Then you’re in a good position and will get an advance and some promotion maybe and the book will take off.
That’s about all I know. And hopefully things haven’t changed much since I researched it. Good luck!
I hope this info works for you and I wish you the best in your endeavor to self-publish ! 🙂
Thank you, Ming. I hope I have a book to hand to you and yours next time I see you.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I published a book through “supported self-publishing” — namely, Balboa Press — in 2012; wasn’t satisfied with the high cost and poor service, so I’ve been studying other options for the last 4 years. I think it’s important to use Amazon for at least two reasons: (1) they have the largest market in the world; and (2) most people read a book’s reviews on Amazon, rather than other sites; they tend to one-stop-shop; as as you get more reviews, the Amazon algorithm will automatically promote you.
If you go to the trouble to write a book, you want it positioned to reach the largest possible number of readers – right?
Thanks for sharing your experience and the good advice. You are right that I’m writing the book so it will be read.
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