Help! There are so many self-publishing companies!

So you’ve decided to self-publish, congratulations! Now it’s time to pick a self-publishing company. As you’ve probably already realized, this can be a stressful task since comparing self-publishing companies is like comparing apples to oranges. At first glance, you might think it is simple to compare packages from different companies, but once you dig deeper, you’ll realize that each company’s packages feature different services.

When researching and comparing self-publishing companies, be sure to ask yourself these questions:

1) What services do you want and need?

Before you start researching companies, make a list of the services you want and need. Reference this list when you are comparing packages as some packages may include services you don’t need, and thus don’t want to pay for, or may not include the services you want. This will help you narrow down your options.

2) Consider add-on options.

In addition to publishing packages, self-publishing companies offer add-on services, such as custom cover design or editing. In some cases, it is more cost effective to purchase a cheaper package and add-on options than purchasing a more expensive package.

3) Get a true comparison.

To get a true comparison, you need to determine the per author cost for books after publication and the per book royalty you will earn . (See an example here.) You may find it is better to spend a little more upfront to reap the benefits of higher royalties on the back end. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better.

4) Think about your after publication needs.

The work doesn’t end once your book is printed. To be successful, you will need to market and promote your book. Self-publishing companies offer a variety of marketing options, so be sure to consider the after publication services when choosing a self-publishing company.

5) 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 require you to purchase hundreds of books yourself.  You must find a good balance of upfront costs, per book cost and royalties.

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.”

Choosing a self-publishing company is like any important decision in life; you can analyze and analyze and analyze, but eventually you have to make a decision, and sometimes that decision is based on something other than logic. Trust your instincts.

If this seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Self-publishing companies have great teams of professionals to help you pick the best options for you.

 

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.

How to Compare Self-Publishing Companies

So you’ve decided to self-publish, congratulations! Now it’s time to pick a self-publishing company. As you’ve probably already realized, this can be a stressful task since comparing self-publishing companies is like comparing apples to oranges. At first glance, you might think it is simple to compare packages from different companies, but once you dig deeper, you’ll realize that each company’s packages feature different services.

When choosing a self-publishing company and package, you should consider the following:

1) What services do you want and need?

Before you start researching companies, make a list of the services you want and need. Reference this list when you are comparing packages as some packages may include services you don’t need, and thus don’t want to pay for, or may not include the services you want. This will help you narrow down your options.

2) Consider add-on options.

In addition to publishing packages, self-publishing companies offer add-on services, such as custom cover design or editing. In some cases, it is more cost effective to purchase a cheaper package and add-on options than purchasing a more expensive package.

3) Get a true comparison.

To get a true comparison, you need to determine the per author cost for books after publication and the per book royalty you will earn . (See an example here.) You may find it is better to spend a little more upfront to reap the benefits of higher royalties on the back end.

4) Think about your after publication needs.

The work doesn’t end once your book is printed. To be successful, you will need to market and promote your book. Self-publishing companies offer a variety of marketing options, so be sure to consider the after publication services when choosing a self-publishing company.

If this seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Self-publishing companies have great teams of professionals to help you pick the best options for you.

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 Self-Publishing Companies of 2013

Choosing the right self-publishing company is an important part of the self-publishing process. There are many self-publishing companies available, and they all offer different types of packages and services. When choosing a self-publishing company, it is important for authors to do their research to help them decide which company is best for them.

One of the best ways to learn about self-publishing companies is consumer reviews. Unlike the materials available on company websites, consumer reviews aren’t trying to sell you a certain product; they are honest reviews by people who have used the services. They can tell you the good and the bad about the company. One great place to find reviews is TopConsumerReviews.com.

TopConsumerReviews.com recently announced the top self-publishing companies of 2013. The list includes Llumina Press, Trafford Publishing, iUniverse, Books Just Books, Virtual Bookworm, and Outskirts Press. Out of the companies reviews, Outskirts Press was ranked number one and received five stars.

To read the full reviews, visit http://www.topconsumerreviews.com/self-publishing/.

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.

NaNoWriMo – 6 Month Check-in

It has been six months since NaNoWriMo. Yes, six months! Time really does fly. As you probably know, I spent a great deal of time back in November sharing about my experience with the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but when I hit the 50,000 word mark, I saved the working document and haven’t looked back…not once!  For me, the six month mark is a chance to reflect on my project and set goals to refine and further improve my manuscript.

If you’re in the same boat, here a few things you should ask yourself as you reflect on your NaNoWriMo project:

How is the book coming along?

Since the challenge ended, what have you done with your manuscript? Have you continued working on it? Is it sitting in a (virtual) drawer somewhere collecting dust? Now would be a great time to open it back up and finish your manuscript. With six months passed, you can look at the manuscript with fresh eyes and bring new life to the project.

Is your manuscript done?

You may have finished writing the manuscript, but is the project truly finished? Maybe you still need to edit. Maybe you need to come up with a great title. Maybe all you have left to do is publish and market your book. Now is a great time to set new goals for your project so you’re ready in six more months to start a new novel all over again.

Are you ready to publish your novel?

If your manuscript is complete, now may be a great time to look into publishing options. Research self publishing companies. Talk to other authors. Figure out your goals and choose an option that is best for you.

Are you ready to market your book?

Even if your book isn’t yet published, it is never too early to begin marketing your book. You can share the news with family and friends. Set up social media sites. Talk to your local press. Begin making a marketing plan now, and you will have a much easier time promoting your book once it is complete.

I’d love to know, what have you done since NaNoWriMo?

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.

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.

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.

5 Reasons for Self Publishing in November

As the end of 2012 approaches, you may be wondering if now is the right time to begin the self-publishing process. Well, here are five reasons why November is a great time to for self-publishing authors to finally make their dreams come true.

1) An early Christmas gift for yourself – When we write and publish, we often think about the reader, but at the end of the day, publishing is also about the writer. It is a major achievement to write and publish a book. Give yourself the priceless gift of seeing your book in print this year.

2) An early 2013 release – If you start the self-publishing process now, your book will probably be complete in early 2013. The beginning of a new year is a great time to begin marketing a book.

3) The calm after the storm – For most people, November and December means rushing around to decorate, shop and entertain, but January and February are typically slow months. If you start the self-publishing process now, you can take advantage of the after-the-holidays calm and use the slow months to perfect your book.

4) Get an early start on your 2013 resolution listSelf publishing a book is a common task on the New Year’s resolution list. By self publishing in November, you can get a jump-start on your to-do list, and enjoy the satisfaction of completing a resolution in the beginning of the year.

5) End of year promotions – Many self-publishing companies are getting in the holiday spirit by offering great deals on publishing packages and marketing options. Ask your self-publishing company about their current promotions.

I’d love to know, why do you want to self publish in November?

 

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.