Self-Publishing News: 12.4.2017 – The Company Files!

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And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!

First off, that article everyone has been talking about. You know the one! It appeared on HuffPost earlier this week courtesy of Devishobha Chandramouli, an author and entrepreneur. And if you’re like me and were immediately turned off by the title (“oh, it’s clearly set against self-publishing!”) … well, give it a chance! It’s actually one of the most elegantly worded defenses of self-publishing to come out in recent years in any medium and on any platform. Chandramouli distills down the benefits of self-publishing to six key ones, points we’ve talked about at various points on this blog: everything from rights and royalties to self-publishing’s failure to “slow down” despite industry predictions, from achieving marquee success with certain breakout stars to the slow but steady disappearance of the stigma which has so often surrounded it. But Chandramouli also presents a few realistic points of warning: that self-publishing still requires good writing to make a success out of a book, and that it places more responsibility on the author than in the traditional publishing model. We’re excited to see what Chandramouli does (and writes!) next, and highly recommend you read her full article at the link.

Ever been curious what the situation of self-publishing might be abroad, in other countries? We’ve mentioned India before in previous weeks as a hotbed for self-publishing creativity, but here’s a little concrete news about publishing companies in India courtesy of the India Blooms news service, which has the latest on which companies self-publishing authors in India are choosing to publish through. The list is packed with names that might be unfamiliar to our North American readers: Power Publishers, Notion Press, Partridge Publishing (part of Author Solutions), Pothi, and Educreation. Of these five, only one was founded and is based out of India (Partridge); the rest are home-grown and proud of it. For more about what has made these companies a breakout success in one of Asia’s hottest literary markets, read the full article at India Blooms!

As we’ve mentioned before (and regularly) on Self-Publishing Advisor, books don’t have exclusive rights to self-publishing: arts and media of all kinds have found ways to support new, creator-centric platforms which celebrate diverse kinds of art and place the creative control, rights, and the bulk of the earnings back in the hands of their creators. We’ve written about self-published digital magazines–ezines–before, too, and at length … but what else has been happening in the world of catalogs and magazines? Are there other models for what self-publishing can look like in this publishing sphere?

The answer, according to Patrick Henry of Printing Impressions, is a resounding yes! In fact, DigiPub may just have a great new answer to the ongoing question he poses in his opening to this great article: “do they have a grip on the future?” He reports on his experience at this year’s DigiPub conference, and many of the products and people who were there to discuss options. It’s a fascinating article, and not one you want to miss if you love the glossies and are curious about if there’s a place for you among their pages!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Am I Self-Publishing If I Use a Self-Publishing Company?

When you decide to publish your book, there are essentially two well-traveled paths you can take – seek out an agent/publisher or self publish. Of course, there are a few other options in between but most authors fit into one of either of those buckets. Traditionally published books are those that the author doesn’t have to pay to publish. Normally the author secures representation by an agent, is sometimes provided an advance, and allows the publisher to do all the “work”. Of course, these authors still have to market their books, but all of the production costs are absorbed by the publisher. When you self-publish, you pay all of your own costs and are in complete control of your book.

Some that are from the school of thought that if you use a self-publishing company to publish your book, you aren’t really “self-publishing”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You are as much of a self-published author as any other author.

Let’s take it one step further. Dictionary.com defines the adjective “self-published” as “having published one’s own work independently: a self-published author”. The site also defines the adjective “independent” as “not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction”. Most self-publishing companies, including Outskirts Press, allow authors to have complete control over their book. So, by definition, authors that are able to exercise full creative freedom over their own work are self-published authors.

Using a self-publishing company is much like hiring a freelancer to work on your book. Why pay someone else to publish your book? The answer is simple – because you are a professional in your field, but not necessarily as well-versed in the world of publishing. Do you plumb your own toilet? Repair your own car? Wire your own electricity? Probably not. Can you? Sure – but you would lose more money in the time it takes you to learn how to do those things than it would cost to hire a professional. The same is true for publishing a book. In the end, will your “savings” really be worth it?

Have you ever published a book on your own? Would you do it again?

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.

How Should I Spend My Self Publishing Dollars?

Authors often want to know how to best invest the money they have set aside for self publishing their book. The answer is simple yet complex. It is simple because there are certain things that almost every book needs in order to reach a certain level of success (i.e. custom cover, professional interior layout and design, etc.). Then it’s also complex because every book is different and strategies that work well for some books don’t necessarily work well for others.

For instance, if you are an author who is writing a non-fiction book, editing is more important to your overall success. If you don’t edit your manuscript, you can be viewed as a poor resource. When you write a fiction book, editing is less essential (though still very important). Readers of fiction can be (not always) a bit more forgiving of grammatical mistakes as long as they don’t render the book illegible. Either way, I would recommend editing, but if you have to cut your budget somewhere, you can spend less on editing as a fiction author than we would recommend for a non-fiction author.

You also need to figure out where you want to sell your book. Do you want to reach an online only audience? If so, you may want to invest into things like Kindle eBook Formatting, Search Inside the Book, See Inside the Book, etc. If you’re going after an offline audience, you may want to invest a return program which makes your title more attractive to brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Lastly, you may consider the price of your publishing package (if you choose to go with a self publishing company like Outskirts Press). What bells and whistles are available? Does it include what you’re looking for? You have to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck here. Evaluate cost carefully.

DISCUSSION: What are you spending your self publishing dollars on?

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.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

There are pros and cons to any endeavor. Though we’d all like to say that our solution relieves the end user from making any of the wrong decisions, that’s simply not the case. However, there is a good and bad side of each coin. Here are a few related to self publishing:

Pros

  • Freedom of expression — you write your own words. You don’t have to change what you’ve written or even edit your manuscript.
  • You control how your book looks — everything from the cover to the interior formatting is in your hands.
  • You set your own price — it can be a low or high as you would like.
  • You receive 100% of your royalties — there’s no middleman stealing your profits.

Cons

  • No one critiques your manuscript — how can you be sure your story is “worth reading”?
  • You don’t have to edit your manuscript — a messy manuscript turns into a poorly-written book that very few people (if any) will want to read.
  • You control your book’s design — this is great if you’re a designer but not so great if you have limited graphic skills.

The best route to take is to choose a reputable self-publishing company. Interview several of them until you find the one that best suits your needs. That way, you can be given much of the same guidance you’d receive going with a “traditional” publisher, but you’ll enjoy many of the same freedoms that come along with self publishing.

What other pros/cons can you think come along with self publishing territory?

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.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Publisher Format Your Book

Your book’s format is important to its overall success. It’s so important that authors often outsource their book’s design to get the best possible results. While there are some authors who are skilled in graphic design, many authors are mainly talented in their own area of expertise — writing.

Authors that decide to publish their book using a self-publishing company, such as Outskirts Press, typically choose to allow the publisher to format their book for them. However, there are some authors who opt to either format the book themselves or hire a graphic designer. If you’re using a self-publishing company, you should not let them format your book if:

  • You don’t mind a poorly-designed book. The best writers can also be the most amateur book designers. If you aren’t experienced in graphic design, you should have someone else do this for you.
  • You want to pay more money — on top of your publishing package cost. In most cases, your publishing package has the fees for book design already built into the cost. Publishers typically don’t reduce the cost of your package even if you submit a “print-ready” manuscript. On top of that, graphic designers are in demand and charge premium fees. This can add a hefty amount to your publishing costs.
  • You want to have “more control” over your book’s formatting. One of the biggest benefits of self-publishing is maintaining creative control over your book. The importance of this benefit cannot be overlooked. So, while this may initially seem like a good reason to design your own book, you can achieve the same result by allowing your publisher to design it for you.

Did you let your publisher design your book for you?

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.