There’s little doubt that one of the most exciting things you can do as a writer is to publish a book. (I should know, I’ve had over a hundred a course in miracles podcast published in my time and it excites me every time.) So here I’m going to explain how you can actually publish your own book…. and make good money from it. In the past you pretty much had to find a publisher if you wanted to publish a book. But today new technology makes it possible and actually not too expensive to become a self publisher and do it yourself.
And – self publishing can be a very smart choice indeed. It’s affordable (if you know how), fast, pays much better than standard royalty agreements, and lets you keep control over your book too. Publishers might offer you a royalty starting at as little as 5% of the cover price. Self publishers can increase that to 50% or more!
Can the average person successfully self publish a book? Yes they can! There isn’t really any mystery involved. You don’t need to set up a big publishing company – you can do it part time from home. All you need is a saleable subject, good presentation – and determination.
These are the basics of self publishing: Writing your book, preparing it to be printed, getting it printed, distributing the book, getting publicity…. and, of course, counting the profits. Choose your book subject. Non-fiction books tend to be much better for self publishing than fiction. Because they sell for higher prices and aren’t usually heavily discounted like novels and so on are.
Try to choose a fairly small, specialist subject to publish on. If your subject is small big publishers won’t be interested in competing with you yet you can still make good money from your book.
Do some research. Look for competing titles and figure out how to make yours better. Find out what sales of those books have been to see if they are good sellers or not. Tip. Have a look on Amazon to see what similar titles there are, and find out how popular or unpopular they are by looking at their Amazon Sales Rank. Go into some bookshops and ask the staff there if the kind of book you have in mind is something they get asked for often or not.
You can save money by doing as much as possible yourself. You will need a printer. But beyond that, do as much as you can yourself and just buy in the extra services you need from freelancers. You can even typeset your own book using software such as Adobe Publisher. Use a freelance editor/proofreader to edit your book and a freelance designer to design a good cover. It needn’t cost much if you shop around.
Decide what format you’d like to publish your book in: Hard cover or paperback for example. Take a look at competitors’ books to get some ideas. Paperback might not look as impressive as hardback but it can cost as little as a quarter of the price.
Get lots of quotes on printing – since this is likely to be your main overhead. In general, the more copies you print, the lower the unit cost. On the other hand, you don’t want a garage packed to the rafters with your books! Before hiring a printer ask potential suppliers to send you samples of their recently printed books.