Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Writing Tip Wednesday--Intro to Self-Publishing

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! The writing career series has come to a close and is now available as Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and Createspace. Be sure to check out the writing craft series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, also available in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and Createspace.

This week’s post begins a new series on Self-Publishing. With all the choices in the publishing world today, many authors are self-publishing, either as the sole means of getting their work to readers or as hybrid authors with more than one publishing platform.

What is self-publishing?

With this publishing platform, the author is the publisher and is responsible for all aspects of book production, distribution, and marketing, including but not limited to editing, cover art, and formatting expenses. The author receives all royalties directly from the chosen distributors.

It isn’t the same as vanity publishing, in which the author pays to have her book published. Vanity publishers charge fees for book production, distribution, and marketing, in addition to handling royalties.

Self-publishing requires an initial investment if the author hires contractors to edit her book, create cover art, and format the book for publishing. Those contractors do not/should not receive any part of the royalties. One-time fees are the norm for editing, cover art, and formatting services. Narrator contracts for audio books may contain a royalty percentage as payment rather than a set fee. However, a flat fee is not uncommon. The author must review the contract and decide if the cost and payment method are fair before signing.

Yes, all contracted work—editing, cover art, formatting, narration, promotion—should have the terms and costs in writing and signed by both parties. This protects the author and the contractor.

Once the book is complete—is edited, has cover art, is formatted—the files are then uploaded to retail outlets like KDP, Nook Press, iBooks, Kobo, and Createspace by the author or formatter. After the files are approved and all information is completed on the retail site, the book can be published and will be available for purchase within a couple hours to a few days. Each retailer reports sales and pays royalties to the author according to its terms.

Self-published works depend on the author for marketing and promotion, much like many of today’s small digital publishers. The author also has to make all business decisions, besides deciding what type of business to have—sole proprietor, LLC, or S-corporation.

A lot of time and effort goes into a successful self-publishing path, and it isn’t a good fit for everyone. Take time to research the process and contractors. An educated author is far more likely to succeed than one who dives in headfirst.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

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