A Budding Author’s Guide to Self-Publishing Your Book
An author’s origin story can be a pretty personal thing. Maybe you’ve been a great writer your whole life and you finally wrote that book your friends and family have been encouraging you to write for years. Maybe you’ve just been through something life-changing and know that others would benefit from your experience. Whatever led you here, here you are, you’ve breathed life into a story and it’s time to share it with the world.
Unfortunately, the publishing club is a fairly exclusive one these days and the demand for traditional publishing is so high that actually being published is near impossible if you head to one of the bigger houses. But fear not! We have had the good fortune of working with authors from independent publishing houses who are more open to new members in the author club. Here are just a few that we’ve worked with in the past:
Xlibris Publishing provides a variety of services including black-and-white, full color, and specialty publishing. Their specialty publishing covers formats for various genres of publication. For example, they have specific formats for poetry and children’s books that wouldn’t be the same type used for sci-fi, literary fiction, etc. They also provide editorial and marketing services as part of their packages. If you would like to add your book to the Library of Congress, publish a leatherback version, or expedite the publication process (just to name a few), Xlibris has add-on services available for additional costs. Xlibris has over 40,000 authors signed with them. You can read about some of their experiences here.
Smashwords exclusively publishes e-books, which is something important to know going in. They have access to publication through major vendors including iBooks and Barnes & Noble, and thousands of libraries all over the world through companies such as OverDrive, Gardners, and Odilo. Other services include Smashwords Coupon Manager, Pricing Manager, and Daily Sales Reporting so you can see how your campaign is progressing on a regular basis. By signing with Smashwords you can earn 60% of your books’ sales from retailers and 80% of the list price from books purchased on the Smashwords store. Here’s an in-depth review of Smashwords from The Independent Publishing Magazine.
CreateSpace is a hub of independent publishing, offering its services to authors, musicians, and filmmakers. They claim some of the best royalties offered in the business, but you can decide for yourself using their royalty calculator. Their publishing package includes design, editing, and marketing services and access to free tools like a cover creator, interior reviewer, and preview – where you can allow reviewers to see an early edition of your book, give feedback, and make your changes before final publication. CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, so you are also ensured a listing of your title on both Amazon.com, Amazon Europe, and Kindle in addition to your own website. Here’s an in-depth look at CreateSpace from TopTenReviews.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each of the available self-publishing services, but only you can determine which one’s services are the best fit for you and your work. It could be that none of the above companies work for you and that’s fine too! These are only a few of the ones that our authors have used, but there are plenty more out there. We’ve provided some other possibilities in the graphic above so feel free to explore, do some research, and find your perfect publishing service!