Self publishing is as easy as downloading software and clicking publish now a days. The hardest part of publishing a book is actually writing and editing said book. That’s why there are so many books in the Kindle Market Place. Since anyone can be an author it’s opened the door for many people also being publishers. Vanity presses or publishers are utilizing the same self publishing tools but with a team of writers on their roster. It’s great if you know what to look for but people have asked what’s the difference between self publishing and joining one of the thousands of vanity presses? The answer is boiled down to vanity publishers take the work out of self-publishing but come with many downfalls. There are some things to know before signing a vanity publishing contract.
Think of traditional publishers as Wal Mart and Aldi and small publishing companies as mom and pop stores that can do whatever they want as that’s exactly what they are. Vanity presses get to decide how much they pay you in royalty fees and they do all the hard work when it comes to publishing. Some of them edit your work, some don’t, some charge you for cover art, and some don’t market at all. Sometimes vanity publishers initially ask writers to pay them for publishing (run far away as that’s hustling backwards) but what if I were to tell you that publishing isn’t that hard? In fact, practically anyone can be a self published author.
So how do you self publish? Finish the book first and worry about everything else later. After you’re somewhat happy with your final-ish draft create an account on one of the many sites that aide in publishing. My favorites are Kindle Press and Lulu Publishing as they’re both easy to use and offer wide forms of distribution. At all costs please avoid the cover creators as there are so many people with the same cover out there and with such a saturation of books, you need your cover to potentially sell books. Amazon KPD offers a template that you can work with to customize your dream cover.
After finishing the exterior and the interior, order a proof of your book. You might not think you need it but you absolutely do! Go page by page and edit for structure, content, and grammar. If you made it this far, pat yourself on the back as that’s the hardest part. Treat yourself to something nice after hitting the publish button because there’s a difference between publishing a book and selling books.
Now you have to figure out the best way to get someone to read your book and make your story stand out. That’s where those vanity presses do come in handy. Some of them market your book for you or come with an audience. But remember some vanity presses will take up to fifty percent of your royalties from each book purchased while KDP will allow you to keep up to 70 percent. Think wisely while you’re deciding what to do with your book that you’ve worked hard for. Last year I published books for others on several different platforms and these were three of the most common questions.
How much should I charge for my book?
Putting a price tag on your book is hard. Review a few other people in your genre and compare. I always say a good novel should cost more than a greeting card. Yes, your work is priceless but don’t forget to be realistic but don’t give it away.
How do I create an eBook?
KDP has this awesome software that will format your Kindle book, create a table of contents and let you preview your book on a bunch of different devices.
What’s the key to marketing my book?
Tell everyone! You know how some people hate bragging? Brag about your book like it’s your baby and most prized possession. Don’t stop talking about it. Give away a few free copies. Sign up for Insta Freebie and entice a few new readers in exchange for honest reviews. Sign up for one of the many book blasts on Twitter as they have stats to back them up. Link up with other writers in your genre.
Four books, one publisher, and many sites later I’ve figured out this publishing thing and the pros and cons of these many platforms. The one you select is totally up to personal preference. The work you put into your book is worth it and if you do go with a publisher please make sure to read the fine print. What self publishing question is most pressing to you?