The best and least expensive way to publish your own book is by doing all the preparation work yourself and then using a POD Printer to print the book and fulfill the orders. There are many POD Printers and they are often referred to as POD Publishers. In some cases they are the publisher but if your plan is to self publish then you are the publisher and that means they are the Printer of the book.
This is an important distinction because being the publisher is the only way to really control your own book. When you are told that your ISBN is free and you accept the offer, you are no longer the publisher. ISBNs are not transferable so the owner of the ISBN is the publisher and can decide where the book is printed. Being the publisher requires a lot of effort and knowledge but it is the only way to maintain a large share of the profit from your book. In future post I will cover more about being a self publisher.
Unless you have experience self publishing your books, it’s wise to proceed with caution. While there are many honest companies to help you self publish your book, there are many more whose sole objective is to part you from your money. Two kinds of companies to avoid are Vanity Publishers and Subsidy Publishers. The information below describes how they do business.
Vanity Publishers - This business got its name from the way they prey on the vanity of writers who want to see their book published at any cost. These publishers will contract with you at an excessive cost to produce your book and will come up with a final product. They provide nothing to assist you with marketing your book and have no interest in the process since they make all of their money from you even if you don’t sell a single book. Even if you do happen to sell some books, your profit will be miniscule because of the high cost of publishing the book.
Subsidy Publishers – While a little different from Vanity Publishers, the cost to the writer is still quite high. They do publish the book under their own imprint but the cost to the writer is still excessive and precludes much profit even if you do sell some of the books. They also distribute the book to some extent under their imprint but for this they maintain much of the rights to the book and limit your control significantly.
Neither of these options is a good deal for writers even for a book that sells well and should be avoided. In the next post I will discuss the best way to self publish your book to maintain control and make a reasonable profit from a book that sells well.
My new book “Self Publishing: Writing A Book and Publishing Books and Ebooks For Yourself and Others,” will be available soon. It is now in the final proof stage. This is a complete, comprehensive how-to book that includes all the information you need to write and self publish a book successfully. It is based entirely on first-hand experience and the methods included have been used repeatedly to publish books and ebooks.
I am looking for ten individuals who are willing to read it and send me comments. The first ten to contact me will get a download link to a pdf version and the first ten to comment will get a free copy of the paperback version once it is published. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com. Thanks.
Positive Imaging, LLC just published a new Kindle book that I wrote. “Self Publishing Simplified 2: Creating Ebooks For Kindle, Smashwords, Clickbank, and Your Own Ebook Store” is available from Amazon.com now at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E50T28
Here is a description: If you have a story to tell or a skill to teach others, ebooks are the perfect vehicle to get your message across. In this down-to-earth, easy to read, how-to ebook by Bill Benitez you will find detailed instructions on writing, editing, and preparing a quality ebook for Kindle, Smashwords, Clickbank, and even your own web site. The step-by-step instructions, based entirely on years of first-hand experience, will guide you through the entire process. As added value you have access to a how-to blog and an email address for questions.
Remember, Kindle books are not only for reading on Kindle readers. Now you can read your kindle books on your iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, Mac, Blackberry, Android, and Windows 7 Phone. Check it out now at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007E50T28 .
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Thanks.
I have just published a first novel for Brian Meeks pictured below. (Wood box pictured not included, though it is adorable.) This novel, 200 pages, is a perfect gift for the mystery reader in your life. Here is a little detail about it.
Henry Wood is suffering greatly from a festive night of saying goodbye to 1954. His world is one of black and white, right and wrong, but his life is about to change and there will forever be shades of grey. An average detective, with a passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Henry is about to be hired by a beautiful woman, to find her father and his journal. It seems simple enough, but when a second woman appears, wanting his services, to find the same journal, he suspects he might be in over his head. He’s right. They are the least of his problems. The local mafia boss, Tommy ‘The Knife’, wants the journal too. As long as it is missing, he is vulnerable, and the other bosses smell blood in the water.
Who can Henry trust? Henry has a mysterious benefactor that he has never met, but seems to have his best interest at heart. Will Henry take the help that is offered? Does he have a choice?
For a limited time you can get an autographed copy at:
After that you can always get a copy from my eStore at:
Learn more about this book and Brian on his blog at http://extremelyaverage.com
The two previous posts cover using Word to outline and write your book. What I failed to cover were the problems that may be encountered with Word formatting. There is a tendency to set paragraphs, indents, styles, etc before beginning to type in the mistaken belief that this will make the final draft easier to format into a press ready document. Instead, this formatting makes things more complex and time consuming for the person facing the task of formatting your book.
Don’t attempt to format your book as you go along. Type with the Normal defaults until your entire book is completed. Once it is finished and edited then it will be ready to format by you or someone else. If you are doing it yourself, it can be done with Word but I prefer to import the entire document into a desktop publishing program such as PagePlus. Either way, the final formatting should be done after the writing and editing is complete.
This doesn’t preclude additional editing once the formatting is complete but it does keep it to a minimum and makes the final formatting much easier.
Working from the outline, go through it and make certain it’s organized so each section is complete, flows well into the next section, and follows a sensible order. Everything should fit together, proceed through the entire book, and end logically. Make it as easy as possible for your reader to understand the material.
The application you choose for writing your book is entirely up to you. After writing several books I have developed a method that works well for me and I will share that with you. However, it’s not the only way and while I find it best for me, you may have something just as workable.
I create my outline using Microsoft Word but you could easily use OpenOffice, an excellent and completely free Office Suite. Or, you can use almost any word processing software. Wordpad, the useful word processor program that comes with Windows, is also a good tool for your draft. It saves the documents in the .rtf format, which is the format I suggest for saving your outline regardless of the word processing program you use. Word uses the .doc format and OpenOffice uses the .odf format but both allow you to save your document in the .rtf format. Rtf is short for “rich text format” and is compatible with almost all word processing applications whether Windows or Mac. This facilitates easily importing or exporting your work to another application if necessary.
The application you choose for writing your book is entirely up to you. After writing several books I have developed a method that works well for me and I will share that with you. However, it’s not the only way and while I find it best for me, you may have something just as workable and perhaps better.
I have used Word to create most of my outlines but am now using a program called Jarte. This is a free program that takes advantage of the Wordpad program that comes with all Windows operating systems including XP, Vista, and Windows 7. You can also use OpenOffice, an excellent and completely free Office Suite. Or, you can use almost any word processing software including Wordpad without the addition of Jarte. The advantage of Wordpad and Jarte is that it uses the .rtf file type which is compatible with almost all word processors whether Windows or MAC.
If you plan to create your final book on a word processing program then I definitely suggest that you use either Word or OpenOffice as they have the additional formatting options necessary to prepare your final book file. I don’t use them because my final files for either paperback or ebooks are prepared with a Desktop Publishing Program. There are many of these programs available but my favorite, which I have now used to create five books, is PagePlus made by Serif, a British software manufacturer. In future posts I will describe how it works and why I use it but for the next post I will describe how I create my outline for a book.
The most important question to ask yourself before writing a book is why. This is important because it helps determine how to proceed. If you are like me, selling what you write is important. Some people write for the sheer joy of it and others simply have something to say and have no interest in marketing. If you plan to sell copies of your book then the first step has to be determining if there is an audience for your topic. Not much point in writing a book to sell if no one is interested in the topic.
Seek the potential readers and write your book for them. The more you know about your readers the more likely you are to have a book that sells. I suggest avoiding general topics that seem of interest to everyone and target a niche group. Once you have decided for whom you are writing, the process will be much easier.
There are many of these companies and they provide a variety of services at varying prices. As you might expect, after publishing six books, three of my own and three for other writers, I have a favorite. To everyone who asks, I recommend Createspace, an Amazon.com company. They are reliable, maintain a high level of quality, deal effectively with problems, and provide an easy gateway into Amazon.com listing.
I won’t list the many others because you can easily find them with a brief google search. In future posts I will discuss how I deal with Createspace, prepare my books for printing, and why I believe Createspace is best including specific experiences.
I welcome your comments regarding any POD company your have worked with and how you rate them.