The least you need to know about Self-Publishing from David Carnoy
I just came across an article titled Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know, by David Carnoy. It's truly the best, most succinct lists of need-to-know info on the subject I've ever come across.
Written from his personal experience publishing a novel, Carnoy cuts through the clutter, the BS, and the drama to give those considering self-publishing a real look at the pitfalls and plusses of heading into this enormous undertaking.
Here's the list, with my comments - but I HIGHLY advise that you go read his column for the nuts and bolts.
2. Quality has improved. Also true. The self-publishing industry has come a long way since the horrible production jobs where you were lucky to make it to Chapter 2 before the pages started falling out of the book.
3. Some of the more successful self-published books are about self-publishing. There are a LOT of books on self-publishing out there. But think about it - what's in it for a traditional publisher to print a book about self-publishing? Some are definitely better than others.
4. Good self-published books are few and far between. While this is true about self-published books, I would also argue that it's true about ALL books.
5. The odds are against you. Only in that there are 200,000 new titles released every year, so the odds are against everybody.
6. Creating a "professional" book is really hard. Yes, yes, yes. But if you're going into this to brand yourself or your business, make the best book you can!
7. Have a clear goal for your book. File under "Duh!"
8. Even if it's great, there's a good chance your book won't sell. You MUST have a marketing plan if you want to sell books!
9. Niche books do best. True about almost any business.
10. Buy your own ISBN - and create your own publishing house. And do NOT make the name of your publishing house in any way reflect YOUR name.
11. Create a unique title. If you're using this book as a branding tool, make sure your keywords are in the MAIN title, not relegated to the subtitle, which frequently is left off in reviews and online cataloug
12. Turn-key solutions cost a lot of money. Think of yourself as the general contractor for your book.
13. Self-publishers don't care if your book is successful. I think he means the companies that offer self-publishing tools. Why would they care, as long as they get paid?
14. Buy as little as possible from your publishing company. True. Create Space's printing costs are highly competitive. They're like a car dealership, though. They make their money on the upsell of ancillary services.
15. If you're serious about your book, hire a book doctor and get it copy-edited. Eh-hehm ... it's good to be validated!
16. Negotiate everything. Practice ahead of time, if you need to, but get this one down!
17. Ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to complain. Not so much on the complaining, but yes, make sure you get your needs met!
18. Self-publishing is a contact sport. And how!
19. Getting your book in bookstores sounds good, but that shouldn't be a real concern. For the most part, this is true.
20. Self-published books don't get reviewed. Unfortunately, still very true.
21. Design your book cover to look good small. EXCELLENT advice!
22. If you're selling online, make the most out of your Amazon page. So many authors neglect this very easy step.
24. Electronic books offer the most potential for self-publishers. The wave of the future - and if you've already written it, why NOT make it available for the growing ereader crowd?
25. Self-publishing is a fluid business. The entire publishing industry seems to be changing daily. Either make a commitment to stay on top of it, or hire someone who can help you do that.
All that being said, it's time to get busy writing, building, and marketing your book! Don't let this list scare you. Let it inspire you and guide you so that your experience is as seamless as possible.
I invite you to do 2 things next:
Visit Write | Market | Design to download your free eBook copy of The First-Time Author's Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU!
Visit my Facebook page — and "Like" it if you like it!