So many people want to publish their own book, but are confused with the choices available.
How to publish your own book is an important question—one that often results in confusion for the poor self-published author. Mostly it comes down to not knowing how and what it will cost. There are many routes and many flavours, because this is an ever-evolving industry. Fortunately, for you, there is not a one-size fits all and you can follow different pathways depending on your needs and ultimate outcome.
I spend quite a lot of my time explaining what the pros and cons of each are to my clients. You need to review them and make a decision based on:-
- why you are writing your book?
- what it is you are publishing?
- what you want to do with your book, once you have published?
Let’s look at the options, after which you can do some quick research and make an initial choice. You can change your mind later.
Publish your own book – publishing choices
Your own website or blog
Typically, you will publish your book as a PDF and either give it away for free or sell it via a shopping cart.
Self Publish (1)
You put your manuscript onto a self-publishing platform, like Lulu / Blurb / Smashbooks / Book Tango.
Self Publish (2)
You put your manuscript onto Amazon CreateSpace (Print on demand) Kindle Direct Publishing (digital – Kindle) platform and they manage and enable your books to be printed and distributed.
Printer / publisher
You give your manuscript to a printer / publisher and they will take your manuscript, convert it ready for print, and handle your warehousing and distribution. They will additionally format your manuscript for print and digital, and then upload to online platforms such as Amazon.
Hybrid Publisher (supported self publishing)
You place your manuscript with imprints such as Balboa Press (Hay House) or Author Solutions (Penguin). Hay take your manuscript and depending on your package will provide a number of services and publish you.
Agent to publisher
This route depends on your agent. They will want a book proposal or possibly the completed book and then will find the best publisher for you. Terms will depend on negotiations.
My favourite route
Self Publish (2) with Amazon
- Level of control: You create and manage your own accounts and Amazon provide some support to ensure that your book can be printed
- Typical process: You upload your manuscript and cover. Amazon do technical checks, but do not check your manuscript editorially
- Royalties: After Amazons share – all yours
- Advantages: Your book is available from Amazon worldwide. They also offer a whole range of additional services. Amazon are the most well-known platform for books – more opportunities to sell
Whichever route you take, you will still have to build your platform and be prepared to market and sell your book.