How exactly can I self-publish a book?
As I have been getting stuck into writing my first novel I have also been researching the options that I am going to have when the time comes to self-publish the book online.
If you have been following my blog you know that I am all about taking matters into your own hands. This is why the self-publishing route stands out to me. The potential benefits seem far greater than traditional publishing.
From my research, I have discovered that there are three main ways to self-publish in 2017. I am going to be outlining all three of these in this blog post.
Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. You can make a choice to prioritize one of the three based on the type of book it is you are publishing and/your personal situation. However, I would encourage anyone who is self-publishing to consider using all three methods.
The reason I say this is that as you publish your book in different formats and on a variety of platforms you will automatically increase its exposure. You could potentially x3 your sales by choosing to use all three of the publishing methods below.
Anyway, let’s get into it.
1. Kindle Publishing
Kindle publishing is the easiest and most common form of online publishing for books.
The advantages to publishing your book on the Amazon Kindle store is that barrier for entry is low, it’s easy to do and takes very little upfront investment. There are also millions of potential readers scouring the Kindle store ready, willing and able to buy your book.
One major downside of publishing on Kindle is that because it’s so easy to do, the competition is also extremely high. The market is saturated and you will need to find a way to stand out from the competition if you want to start making noticeable sales.
Another downside is that the books you publish through Kindle will need to be marketed at a minimal price if you want to stay competitive. This is especially true for someone like me who has no reputation or social media following to fall back on. If you think about it, most of the those who are going to be buying your book (at least initially) are going to people who discovered the book through searching on Amazon or Google. They have nothing to go on except the cover of the book and its description. You can’t expect these people to risk too much of their hard-earned money on a book and author they know nothing about.
Overall, Kindle Publishing is a great way to get your book out there and it’s going to be the first place that I am going to make my finished novel available. However, consider the next two options if you want to break away from the noise, stand out from the crowd and open your book up for greater revenue potential.
2. On-Demand Publishing
The second publishing option is on-demand publishing which is slightly more difficult to get set-up than Kindle publishing but not by much.
There are a variety of on-demand publishing services online which allow you to sell physical copies of your books. The great thing about these services is that they have little risk involved. Your book is only printed and sent out to a customer after it has been ordered meaning that you are in no danger of spending money on printing a whole load of books and then having no success in selling them.
The most popular service out there seems to be CreateSpace which is an Amazon owned company. All you need to go is sign up for an account, upload your book and submit. You will receive royalties for every book that is sold with very little work on your end.
The great thing about using an on-demand publishing service is that you will be able to stand out from the kindle crowd and charge higher prices for your books as the customer will be receiving a physical copy.
However, one disadvantages of using these services is that around 50% of each sale will be taken by the company – which is fair enough considering they are printing the book – this percentage charge will also depend on a variety of factors including what service you go with, the length of your book, the price you charge and some other factors.
A second disadvantage is that you will also need to put more care (and possibly make a greater investment) into the product itself. Unlike publishing on Kindle, you can’t make changes once your book has been shipped to a customer. Therefore, you may need to consider getting a professional book cover designed and hiring a professional editor who can fix your missed spelling and grammar mistakes.
3. Audio Publishing
I would imagine that most people overlook turning their book into an audiobook but it’s a viable option and one that can get your product seen by a whole new audience.
Audiobook publishing is a rapidly growing market. I love audiobooks and would personally choose to purchase an audiobook over a traditional book or a kindle electronic book. The biggest name out there in audiobook distribution is Audible another Amazon company.
The problem is that audiobooks take a much greater time and monetary investment if you want to make a quality product. You can record the audio version of the book yourself if you are a good speaker. Alternatively, you can hire a voice actor to do it, which can obviously become expensive.
On the flip side, because audiobooks are harder to pull off successfully, the market is also a lot less crowded and it’s far easier to get your book discovered by customers. If you can find a way to turn your book into an audiobook then the rewards are there for you to take.
These are the three-main options I have discovered for self-publishing a book in 2017. As I said previously, you can choose one method that you feel is the best fit for you but using all three methods will lead to higher sales in the long run.
I hope you found this information helpful. I am by no means an expert in this topic but am just sharing what I have been learning from other sources. If you have anything to add, be sure to leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Also published on Medium.