In the pre-Internet days, it was difficult, if not impossible, to self-publish a book. You had to be connected with an established publisher or have access to a printing press to get your work out there.
Times have changed, and now anyone can publish their manuscript on the Internet or even in brick-and-mortar stores.
Many websites now offer various services to help authors self-publish their books, and the costs have come down significantly.
It’s a matter of choosing the best among them using these criteria:
1. Services Offered
Many companies offer various services to self-publishers. Others focus on editing and book designing, while some include marketing.
Doing so helps bring down the costs and gives you more control over the publishing process.
2. Ease of Use
The website should be easy to use, and uploading your manuscript and book cover should be straightforward.
It would help if you didn’t have to wait for days or weeks to get a response from customer service. The company’s FAQ section should answer most of your questions.
3. Publishing Options
You want to have as many options as possible when publishing your book. That includes selling on various platforms, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books.
Some companies also offer print-on-demand (POD) services so you can have physical copies of your book. Others can help you distribute your ebook to libraries.
The cost of self-publishing has come down significantly in recent years. Still, you don’t want to overspend on unnecessary services.
Compare the prices of different companies and choose one that offers the services you need at a price you’re comfortable with.
5. Author Royalties
You should receive a significant portion of the book’s proceeds (70% is standard). Make sure there are no hidden costs or unexpected fees.
The company should also provide timely royalty payments. Most companies make payments quarterly, but some do so monthly.
6. Marketing Support
If you want help marketing your book, look for a company that offers this service. They can create professional book trailers, assist with social media promotion, and even arrange for book signings and other events.
Keep in mind that marketing support will likely come at an additional cost.
Check out the company’s website and social media accounts to see what others say about their experience. Make sure there are more positive than negative reviews.
You can also ask friends or family members if they’ve heard of the company and whether they would recommend them.
8. Contract Terms
Before signing a contract with a self-publishing company, be sure to read the fine print. You want to be sure you understand and agree with the terms, including any fees or royalties.
It’s also important to know how long the contract is for and whether you can terminate it early if you’re not happy with the services.
With so many companies offering self-publishing services, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Be sure to do your research and compare different companies using the guidelines above before deciding.
The most important thing is to find a company that offers the services you need at a price you’re comfortable with. And don’t forget to read the fine print!