Top Four Reasons to Self-Publish: Part 2 – Money

Last month, I did a series on the most popular questions self-publishing authors ask. The posts were such a hit, I’ve decided to do another series this month. Each week in August, I will discuss one of the top four reasons why you should self-publish your book.

This week, I’ll discuss one of the most popular reasons authors choose to self-publish: money. (Check out last week’s post on control.) There are two things that are unique about self-publishing in relation to money.

1) The author sets the price.

The price of your book influences the profit you make and how well your book sells. Different authors have different pricing strategies, and you need to give this decision a lot of thought. Rather than a publisher deciding the value of your book, you set the price based on your goals and personal situation.

2) The author earns100% royalties.

If you talk to authors who use traditional publishing firms, royalties are a hot topic. Many authors are unhappy with the royalty rate (which is often in the single digits). Self-publishing authors enjoy 100% royalties. Yes, 100%. Whatever you earn from your book is yours to keep. This reason alone is why many writers choose to self-publish their work.

I’d love to know, how has price and royalty influenced your publishing decisions?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Top Four Reasons to Self-Publish: Part 1 – Control

Last month, I did a series on the most popular questions self-publishing authors ask. The posts were such a hit, I’ve decided to do another series this month. Each week in August, I will discuss one of the top four reasons why you should self-publish your book.

The first reason I’ll discuss is my personal favorite: control. Self-publishing allows the author to control the entire process: the manuscript’s content, the cover design and copy, even the selling price. This is a completely different experience than if you  use a traditional publisher.

With traditional publishing, the editor or publishing firm calls all the shots. They decide how your book should read. They choose what it will look, when it will be released, how much it will sell for, etc.

While there is nothing “wrong” with the traditional publishing route, many authors cherish their work so much they can’t stand the thought of someone else being in control of their project. Others want the creative freedom to express themselves and to take chances.

Control is the number one reason why famous authors who have previously published with traditional publishing companies are choosing to self-publish their books.

The Huffington Post recently interviewed six popular authors who switched to self-publishing because they wanted control. You can read the interview at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/why-traditionally-publish_n_2487464.html.

I’d love to know, how has the need for control influenced your publishing decisions?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Self Publishing Authors Beware: Cheaper isn’t Always Better

I recently saw a commercial with the message “cheaper isn’t always better.” The advertisement illustrates that cheap is good and sushi is good, but cheap gas station sushi isn’t good (or something like that, I’m sure you’ve seen it).  This analogy immediately made me think of self publishing. For authors considering self publishing, it is important to remember that cheaper isn’t always better. When choosing a self publishing company, consider these two questions.

1. What are the upfront costs, the per book cost and royalties?

You may find a company that has incredibly low per book author costs, but don’t let that govern your decision.  Just because a company promotes a low per book cost doesn’t mean they are the best bargain — they may have high upfront costs and low royalties.  And just because a company offers low upfront costs doesn’t mean they are the best bargain — they may have high per book costs, low royalties and even requirements for you to purchase hundreds of books yourself.  You must find a good balance of upfront costs, per book cost and royalties.  Consider all of this when self publishing.

2. What services are available?

In many cases, the cliché “you get what you pay for” is true, and self publishing is often one of those cases. Not all self publishing companies are created equal, and you need to consider your professional goals and needs when choosing a company. A cheaper company often does not offer all the services and support needed to create a quality book, and if you want to be respected as an author and sell books, you need to offer your readers a quality product.

Ultimately, the self publishing company you choose depends on your goals and needs as an author. Some people can go with the cheapest option and be completely satisfied, but many serious authors find that spending a little more is worth the extra expense.  You want to find a company that will produce a top-quality product, offer you plenty of options such as professional editing and custom covers, and a variety of options for marketing and promoting your book.  As you research self publishing companies, be sure to consider all the costs as well as the value of the services offered. You may just find that “cheaper isn’t always better.”

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Comparison of Outskirts Press and Trafford’s Self-publishing Packages

Deciding which self-publishing company to go with can be a real challenge. To assist you with this process, I’m writing a series of posts where I do the leg work for you! I’ll prepare a side-by-side comparison of two similar publishing packages from two self-publishing companies. I’ll strive to keep it as simple as possible to help cut through the vast amount of information out there by giving you an easy to read chart and a brief summary of my impressions on the comparison.

This installment of the series is a comparison of two of the most robust self-publishing packages available: The “One Click for Coaches & Speakers” from Outskirts Press (which you can enjoy even if you’re NOT a coach or speaker, by the way) and the “Scroll,” from Trafford. The information shared here is current as of the date I completed the comparison (19 December 2012) and is dependent on what I could located on the websites without contacting representatives.

Outskirts Press One-Click Publishing For Coaches & Speakers
$4,497
Trafford Publishing Scroll Publishing Package
$5,749
Production Options Paperback Format
Custom Cover
Professional Interior Formatting
Copyright registration
Library of Congress Control Number
Interior Elements Up to 20 images Up to 60 images
Copyediting Up to 75,000 Words Up to 250,000 Words
Author Copies (Paperback) 10 Copies 40 Copies
Expedited Service
Cover Scribing
Your ISBN/ Imprint or ours
Hardback Format
Author Copies (Hardback)
Indexing Up to 500 entries
Additional Formats Secure EBook Edition
Amazon Kindle Edition
Espresso Book Machine Edition
Marketing Services Book Video Trailer & Distribution
Custom Press Release
Author Webpage
Barnes & Noble See Inside
60 Second Book Video Trailer 1 of 3 choices
Social Media Marketing Setup PMA
Post-Publication Marketing Assistance Marketing COACH (2 years) Learning Center (1 year)
PR Publicist Campaign
Personal Marketing Assistant (PMA)
Submission to 10 Reviewers
Electronic Clipping Service
Publication Press Release
Streaming Audio
Amazon Cover Enhancement
Amazon See Inside the Book
Bookseller’s Return Program
Marketing Promotional Materials 100 pieces

With Outskirts Press, for $1,252 less you receive expedited service, a private label (optional), the Amazon Kindle edition of your book, the Espresso Book Machine edition, a PR campaign, 10 Book Reviews, a clipping service and 5 hours of personal marketing assistance with a professional book marketing expert, among other benefits.

There are a few options that come with Trafford’s Scroll package that are not included with the Outskirts Press package such as a hardback format and more author copies.  Although, you could order most if not all of those services a la carte with Outskirts Press and likely still come in at an overall lower cost.

My vote? Outskirts Press! See all the benefits and features of the One-Click Package for Speakers & Coaches by clicking here.

I’d love to know, which option would you choose and why?

Compare CreateSpace and Outskirts Press Self Publishing Packages

Deciding which self-publishing company to go with can be a real challenge.  To assist you with this process, I’m beginning a series of posts where I do the legwork for you!  I’ll prepare a side-by-side comparison of two similar publishing packages from two self-publishing companies.  I’ll strive to keep it as simple as possible to help cut through the vast amount of information out there by giving you an easy to read chart and a brief summary of my impressions on the comparison.

I’ll start this series with a comparison of two of the most robust self-publishing packages available: The “One Click for Coaches & Speakers” from Outskirts Press  (which you can enjoy even if you’re NOT a coach or speaker, by the way) and the “Total Design Freedom” from CreateSpace.  The information shared here is current as of the date I completed the comparison (18 November 2012).

Outskirts Press One-Click Publishing For Coaches & Speakers CreateSpace Total Design Freedom Marketing Pro
$4497 $4634
Production Options Expedited Service
Copyright registration
Custom Cover
Enhanced Interior Formatting
Cover Scribing / Promotional Text
Library of Congress Control Number
Your ISBN/ Imprint or ours
Interior Elements Up to 20 images Up to 10 images (add’l @ $15 each)
Copyediting Up to 75,000 Words Up to 60,000 Words
Additional Formats Amazon Kindle Edition
Secure EBook Edition
Espresso Book Machine Edition
 Marketing Services Publication Press Release
Custom Topic Press Release
PR Publicist Campaign
Electronic Clipping Service
Author Webpage

After comparing these two self-publishing services side by side, the winner looks to be Outskirts Press. For $137 less, you receive expedited service, official copyright registration with the US Copyright Office, the Amazon Kindle edition of your book, the Espresso Book Machine edition, electronic clipping service, a PR campaign, and five hours of personal marketing assistance with a professional book marketing expert, among other benefits.   

See all the benefits and features of the One-Click Package for Speakers & Coaches by clicking here.

I’d love to know, which option would you choose and why?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in   sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services   for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department   is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants;   together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the   book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your   career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist   seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Top 5 Customer Service Characteristics of High Quality Self-Publishing Companies

As an author, when you choose POD publishing, you get to make all of the decisions during the publishing process. While this is perfect for authors who like to have all of the control over their finished product, it also means that you may have some questions along the way and need some guidance.  A high quality self-publishing company will offer excellent customer service, and that is what every author should expect.

Here are five characteristics to look for when evaluating a company’s customer service:

  1. Professionalism — How do the company and employees present themselves. Do they communicate professionally (in person or on the phone and via email)?
  2. Cheerfulness — Have you ever been to a store where it was clear the person helping you wanted to be anywhere BUT there helping you?  When a person doesn’t enjoy what they do, it’s obvious (and sad).  Attitudes are contagious and good customer service agents know how to spread cheer.
  3. Knowledge — Do they know the product information?  Can they provide you with the information you need?  If they can’t answer your question right away, can they find out and get back to you or point you in the right direction?
  4. Active Listening — It is important that the customer service agent listens to your individual needs.  Active listening involves asking the appropriate questions in order to fully understand your requests or concerns. Do you feel like you are being heard?
  5. Responsiveness — Do they reply to your emails and/or return your calls quickly? It’s not reasonable to expect everyone to have the answer to every question, but if they aren’t able to answer your question right away, are they able to look into it and get back to you in a reasonable amount of time?  Do they provide you with frequent updates on the status of your project?

These are the characteristics every author should look for when choosing a self-publishing company.

Best of luck with your self-publishing endeavors, and may all of your customer service experiences exceed your expectations! 🙂

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

The New Era of Digital Books

Not too long ago, if you wanted to read a book, you had to go to the bookstore, library, or online store and retrieve a print copy. Now, it is becoming easier and easier to read digitally formated books. Readers can purchase and download e-books on their computers or digital book readers such as Kindles or Nooks.  Even smart phones have digital book reading options.

Having a book published in print is no longer enough. Readers expect options, and successful authors are willing to accommodate different reading styles. If you only publish your book in a print format, you could potentially miss out on a large audience — those who prefer digital books.

Not only is digital publishing in demand, it is also a smart choice for authors. In many cases, it is less expensive to produce a digital book than it is to produce a print book, and the publishing option is eco-friendly because there is no wasted paper. If you are interested in taking part in this growing trend, find out what options  self-publishing companies offer and keep those options in mind when choosing a publisher.

I’d love to know, what questions do you have about digital books?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.