From literary fiction and poetry genres to self-help and how-to, self-published books are finding their way into reader’s hands on a consistently increasing rate. Of course it follows that custom self-publishing companies are growing in number and service options to meet that demand. Here are a few points to consider when determining the best direction for your book:
1. Keep all of your rights and more of the profits
The intellectual property and copyright of your book is very valuable. You should always retain all your rights. When considering a publisher, be sure that you retain all rights to your work and that their contract does not tie you down for ANY amount of time and does not penalize you for leaving early (many do). It’s your book and your future.
2. Set your own pricing
Would you rather control your retail price or leave that in the hands of the publisher? How about the best of both worlds? The publisher should recommend a price based upon market knowledge, but leave the final decision up to you. Look for a publisher that provides this flexibility. A few publishers even provide online calculator to help you estimate and even set your own book pricing.
3. Full-service distribution and flexible print runs
Ingram and Baker & Taylor are the two largest book wholesalers in the United States. Many publishers only submit your book to one or the other. Few publishers distribute through both. Look for one that does. Ideally, your book could sell 50 copies, or 50,000 copies. In either case, you should never have to pay additional out-of-pocket printing costs or manage fulfillment. But do also look for a publisher that allows you to purchase copies at low base prices in small quantities so you can manage an inventory of books on your own for things like book signings and events.
Once you have found the self-publisher that fits your direction and goals let the fun begin!