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.

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.