Self Publishing Companies Tips

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How many books will I sell with an on-demand publishing solution?

Publishing Company Book Sales

Recent research shows that book sales from print on demand publishers tend to be quite low. This reflects that fact that many print on demand publishers do little to market your book. Recent figures show that Authorhouse sold approximately 111 books per title, iUniverse sold 165 books per title, xLibris sold less than 200 copies per title. These figures are not very high and most of these sales are to authors' friends and family.

Can I sell my self-published book or ebook through Amazon?

Self Publishing With Amazon

As long as a book or ebook has an ISBN it can be listed on Amazon. The online retailer has a number of programs to choose from. For people who are still looking for a publisher, Amazon provides self publishing services through Booksurge. Booksurge includes manuscript development services, marketing and publishing. Publishing through Booksurge makes it easy to sell your self-published book through Amazon and other large online retailers.

Do I still own the copyright if I use online publishing services?

Copyright Questions

Even if you publish your book online you still own the copyright. This is an automatic right that you do not need to register. In North America, copyright registration gives you the legal protection you need to sue for copyright infringement. This is not necessary in the UK. When you use a publisher you should retain the copyright to your work, even if you assign some limited rights to the publisher.

What should I look out for in a contract with an on demand publishing company?

On-Demand Book Contracts

If you are signing a contract with an on-demand publishing company, make sure the contract is for a limited term, so that you don't sign away all the rights to your book forever. Look out for (and avoid) contracts which:

  • Ask for all rights for the full copyright term.
  • Ask for other rights to your work.
  • Try to keep an interest in your work beyond the life of the contract
  • Try to make you purchase unsold copies before returning all rights to you.
  • Allow the publisher to edit your work without consulting you.
  • Base royalties on net income rather than gross income.
Contracts which feature terms of this type are best avoided.

Why should I look for a royalty publisher?

Book Royalties

Why accept a 5-15 percent book royalty when you can have a 20-80 percent or more margin? A book royalty publisher may have the distribution in place and finance the project, but you do all of the promoting. If you self publish a book and it proves successful, then you can pursue a book royalty publisher and negotiate from a position of integrity and previous experience.

How long should my ebook be?

The Long Game

Ebooks have become an important way of self-publishing, because they are cheap to produce and can be delivered easily. Ebooks vary in length depending on the publishers' requirements and the type of ebook. Most ebooks have about 250 words per page. Short non-fiction ebooks might be as little as 24 pages (6000 words), while longer ebooks are often between 10,000 and 20,000 words. The best approach to deciding the length for an ebook is to read publishers' or self publishers' guidelines to see what length they recommend for particular types of ebooks.

What should I look for when choosing an online book publishing company?

Publishing an E-Book

If you want to publish an e-book, there are a number of online book publishing companies to choose from. Many of the criteria you should use to choose them are the same as you would use for assessing other self publishing companies.

For example, if you sign a contract with them, check to see who owns the rights to your book and what rights have been assigned. Most e-book publishers should only require digital rights and these should be for a limited time only. Check to see how long the website has been up (more than a year is good) and whether they have a good range of titles. You can even contact some of the other authors to see if they are happy with the service they have received. It is also worth checking to see whether your e-book is available to download in different formats as PDAs and PCs often have different e-book readers.

What questions should I ask when evaluating on demand publishers?

Evaluating On-Demand Publishers

When evaluating an on-demand publishing company there are several questions you should ask to make sure they are reputable. Look out for hidden fees, disguised as set-up charges or an investment in your book. Try to make sure the publishing company has been in business for a year or more and has a decent backlist of published titles. Take a careful look at the pricing scheme as well. Although this publishing method can be more expensive, it shouldn't be so expensive that no one will want to pay for your paperback. Finally, check to make sure that the contract isn't asking you to sign away rights that should remain with you. As a self-publisher you should own all rights to the books you publish.

What are the advantages of on-demand publishing?

On-Demand Publishing Advantages

Many self-publishers are choosing on-demand publishing as their preferred publishing method. Although many on demand publishing services can be expensive for a single copy, this is not as costly as paying for the storage of thousands of books published the traditional way. On-demand publishing can be a cost effective option for self publishers who only need to print the number of books they have orders for. Another use for this type of technology is to re-release books that are now out of print. This allows authors to bring their books to the attention of a new audience.

Should I submit my poetry to contests?

Publishing Poetry

While there is nothing wrong with submitting your poetry to contests, be careful where you submit. There are many websites that promise to enter your poem in a competition. These are often a front for unscrupulous publishing companies who will try to get money out of you for publishing your poetry in a book. Legitimate poetry contests have small entry fees (perhaps as much as $25) and small prizes. Contests without an entry fee and with prizes that seem too good to be true usually are. It's worth paying attention to the rights you might be signing away. Many poetry scams retain the right to publish your poem online and then send an endless stream of junk mail inviting you to spend more money so you can see your own poem in a book.

Will book publishing companies help me write my book?

Ghostwriting With A Publishing Company

Some book publishing companies provide a complete service for people who want to write a book but who don't feel confident in their writing skills. A book publishing company can provide ghostwriters who will work with you to write your story the way you want it to be told. The ghostwriter will work with your notes or recordings to create your manuscript. The publishing company will also be able to help with the other steps of getting your book into publication, such as editing, layout, publishing and distribution. Ghostwriting services can cost several thousand dollars. This needs to be added to your overall budget for self publishing your book.

How do I own all of the book's rights?

You own the Book's Rights

Deciding between figuring out how to self publish your own book and wondering if you should find a publisher to publish your book is a big decision. Remember, after signing a contract, a royalty book publisher would own certain rights to your book, preventing you from printing copies when the book publisher loses interest—placing your book out of print (unless you purchase those rights back).

*A self publisher owns all of the book's rights and may sell all, none or a portion of those rights at any time.

Can I set up an account on behalf of my mother who is an elderly woman of 80 and totally computer iliterate?

Authorhouse Account Set up

It seems that you really have two questions here, so I will answer them, one at a time. Setting up an account with Authorhouse should have been taken care of when she published with them. I am assuming she published her book there? If she has, then she can just register. They have an author center where it allows her to register:

The second question: you cannot find her book unless you knew the title or author name. This is standard in the industry. If you want people to find her book easily, they have a way to set up a website for her, and then you can just tell people what site to go to to buy her book. Here is the link for that:

Hope this helps!

Can I revise my book if it's published by another publisher?

You have the Power to Revise

Often, book publishers print one copy of a book, and that is the copy that stays in print, year in and year out. When you self publish your book, you have the ability to revise it as times change and information needs updating. You control the print runs and the revisions, not the publishing house, and this is an important idea when thinking about self publishing pros and cons. Let's say you want to reprint your book. Guess what? You only have to run your revisions past one person—you. Self publishing means that you are the boss.

Why should I avoid self publishing in a vanity anthology?

Vanity Anthologies

Vanity anthologies work similarly to scam poetry contests, though they are not scams. There is usually a newspaper ad which plugs a free poetry contest. Once the poem has been submitted, semi-finalists (everyone who submits) are offered the chance to have a copy of an anthology with their poem in it. They may also purchase add-ons such as author's bios or gifts with their poem printed on it. Although anthologies are published, they are not distributed to bookstores and most copies are sold to family and friends. Self publishers who want to make a name for themselves should avoid this type of publishing.

How can I make sure I don't sign a contract with a subsidy book publisher?

Read Between the Lines

There are literally hundereds of self publishing companies doing business online these days, so the wily self publisher should be able to spot a subsidy publisher quickly and easily. Sometimes, however, the companies are quite clever about hiding all their information until they "reel" you in.

*Make sure you understand just who will own what right to the book before you sign a contract with any of the self publishing companies online.

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William Pirraglia