Are you considering self-publishing your book? According to self-publishing gurus Marilyn and Tom Ross, some 8,000 to 11,000 new publishers enter the field every year, most of whom are self-publishers. While self-publishing isn’t new, the explosion in self-publishing numbers represents a trend that is only likely to grow. There are a number of reasons for this – some of which are directly related to the difficulties inherent in obtaining a traditional publisher and to the low royalties on offer, while others are around the increasing ease and significantly lower entry costs for publishing. Many traditional publishers use print on demand (POD) methods, and many more use readily available distribution channels and inexpensive online promotional venues, which means that the differences between traditional and self-published books are shrinking.
One thing that hasn’t changed, and won’t change, regardless of the medium is the value of high quality words and serious, significant, and learned editing. Without those a book won’t be of value to readers regardless of the publication medium. However, beyond that, many authors are getting their books together themselves and taking them on the road. If you’re one of those people, you need a decent guide. While the number of resources available to self-publishers is growing rapidly, the Rosses have long been known as the most knowledgeable of self-publishing mavens. The first edition came out long before self-publishing became the household process it is today, and the latest version has been completely revised it, bringing in dynamic self-publishing consultant Sue Collier to give the book a facelift and add much needed freshness.
The book covers the many aspects of self-publishing from the benefits and stumbling blocks, goal setting, publishing e-books, book clubs, subsidy publishing, print on demand printing (and how it varies from POD publishers), choosing a marketable subject, creating a platform, writing tips (especially for nonfiction), editing, design and typesetting, cover design, choosing paper and illustrations, proofreading, printing, creating a publicity campaign and marketing plan, getting reviews, stage managing a book signing, and much much more.
The revised version also contains references to very novel technologies such as the Expresso Book Machine, co-publishing (a very tricky situation that the authors cover well), the latest in e-books including readers and distribution, creating a website “magnet,” search engine optimisation, recent trends as Seth Godin’s use of free books to generate buzz (and why you might want to try something similar), using Amazon, Web 2.0, social networking, podcasting, the use of videos, virtual book tours, and using the web to not only research but create content and creative use of emails for promotional campaigns. The book now has a very clear sense of the rapid pace of online change, and what that change means for writers and publishers: