Copyright Assistance

When self publishing a book, authors need to be concerned with copyright issues. While self-publishing companies are not legal experts or copyright researchers, they do make recommendations and offer assistance to help authors get the advice they need.

One of the most common mistakes self-publishing companies encounter is authors using website images from “download free photos” websites. Many authors don’t realize these are low resolution images not optimal for a printed hardcopy format or that free downloads are for blogging and website usage, not permissible for printed book publishing.

Another common mistake is authors thinking  that everything on Wikipedia is okay to publish or use; many items will require authorization/permission release from the copyright holder/originator/entity. Song lyrics are also usually copyrighted, so utilizing a copyright research company is the best way for authors to protect themselves.

For more information on copyrights, visit http://www.copyright.gov/. You can also talk to a representative at your self-publishing company. He or she should be able to provide you with the resources you need to answer all of your copyright questions.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Self-Published Authors Have Input

One of the  many benefits of self-publishing is the amount of control the author maintains during the publication process. Unlike traditional publishing, you can call all the shots. However, it is important to note that not every self-publishing company offers the same privileges and options. When choosing a company, find out how much author input is allowed and if there are any additional costs for customizations. For instance, most companies charge for custom covers or interior design, but you don’t have to buy custom options to have author input. Even standard templates give you the opportunity to change and adjust based on your needs and desires. This is privilege that most traditionally published authors don’t have, and it is one of the main reasons writers choose self-publishing.

I’d love to know, what customizations are you considering?

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

How Much Do Illustrations Cost?

Like ghost writing or copyediting, illustrations take time and require a great deal of skill and talent. It is important to remember that illustrators must be paid fairly for their time and expertise. The price for illustrations can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. It depends on the size and complexity of your project. When considering illustrations, it is important to do some research, figure out your goals, and create a budget. Once you know your expectations, you’ll want to find an illustrator who meshes with your style. To do this, find out if your self publishing company offers illustration services and get a quote. You can also look at sites such as guru.com or elance.com to find a freelance illustrator. Be sure to always look at sample work before choosing an illustrator. There are many different styles, and you want to find an artist who matches your vision.

For more information on illustrations, check out these articles.

The Importance of Illustrations

What You Need to Know About Custom Covers

Illustrations Affect the Success of You Children’s Book

 

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Should You Submit Print Ready Files?

As a self-published author, you will be asked to submit ether print ready or native files during the publication process. Which method you choose depends on your goals and skills. Here is a brief overview of the two options.

Print Ready Files

  • If you hire a graphic designer for your cover, the format needs to adhere to your self-publishing company’s print standards.
  • While self-publishing companies typically follow industry standards, it is important to look up or request your company’s specific standards.
  • Print ready interiors are not common and are usually only submitted when the manuscript has a complex interior that consists of many graphs and charts.

Native Files

  • Sometimes submitting native files can save you money. Often authors submit print ready file only to discover that the files don’t adhere to the publishing company’s standards.
  • Most authors must hire a designer to create the print ready files since the authors don’t have the proper programs and skills needed to create them.
  • On-demand printing is different from home printing. Therefore, the requirements are specific, and files must be converted to meet those requirements.

To learn more about print ready and native files, review these two older posts.

Submitting Native Files Can Save You Money

How to Submit Print Ready Files

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

What Are Your Self-Publishing Questions?

Every week I write a post that hopefully answers some of your self-publishing questions. Recently, I’ve shared information about choosing a genre for your book, seeking advice from other writers, writing an annotation, and hiring a ghostwriter. This week, I’d like to know what questions you have so I can address them in upcoming blogs. Tell me, what confuses you about self-publishing? What decisions related to self-publishing are you having difficulty with? What services, such as ghost writing and illustrating, bewilder you? What do you need to know to make the self-publishing process easier and more enjoyable? Please comment on this post to share. I look forward to reading and answering your questions.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

The Importance of Genre

The genre of your book is one of the most important decisions you will make when self-publishing. It will impact who buys and reads your book as well as how reads it.

The most important to thing to remember when choosing a genre is to not pick a genre too soon. Too often, authors set out thinking “I want to write children’s books” or “I want to write adult mystery novels,” but writing often takes on a life of its own and your book may not best fit in the genre you originally intended.

Once the book is finished, it is important to consider the audience you hope to reach. Are children your target audience? Are professionals in a certain field your audience, or do you want your book to appeal to a wide, general audience? A narrow genre can limit the readers who find your book. This is one of the few cases where general can be better.

Finally, think about how readers will find your book. Will they primarily search online, or will they visit a  bookstore? If your readers will be searching online, consider keywords when choosing a genre. This will ensure that your book shows up in the search results.

If you are still unsure about the genre of your book, talk to other writers and people who work in the publishing and book distribution industry. Visit your local bookstores to look at the titles in your genre and talk to the sales people. Seeing and hearing what other writers are doing and what readers are buying can help make this difficult decision easier.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Other Writers Are Your Best Friend

In some industries, professionals are highly competitive, and they treat their fellow professionals as competitors rather than peers. Not in the publishing industry. Sure, it is competitive, but most writers respect other people’s work and want to see other writers succeed. When you considering publishing, befriending a fellow writer is the best thing you can do.

There are so many decisions that impact the success of your book: the cover, the price, the marketing efforts, and so on. Before you make those decisions, you should find out about other writers’ experiences. Most likely, they would be more than happy to share.

Look for writers in your writing group or classes, or reach out to a published writer in your area. You can also connect with other writers through online forums and social media. Most likely, the writers will feel honored to share their stories. Before talking with your new friends, come up with a list of questions. Here are a few to get you started.

Looking back, what would you do differently?

What was the best choice you made?

What were your goals?

What would you recommend to a writer considering publishing for the first time?

After your conversation, be sure to thank the writer for helping and consider staying in touch. It is great to have fellow writers to share ideas and stories with. It cannot only help you with publishing, but it could improve your writing.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.