A step by step guide to Self-Publish your book.

How to Self-Publish My Book – a step by step guide

Selecting The Right Publisher

Which publisher shall I approach? How to identify the right publisher for my book? Will they ever look at my manuscript? When will my book be published?
You’ve already written a book and these questions are haunting you day and night. Being clueless to get the first book published is not the thing happening with you only. It has happened with every author may she /he be a bestselling author or a little known. To get published one has to understand a bit about publishing houses. Publishing houses are largely divided into two segments Trade Publisher & Self-Publishers. Let me explain it in a bit of detail.

Trade Publishers

have a selection process every author has to go through to get published. You submit your manuscript, their editorial team goes through it and judge it on following five parameters

  1. Quality first is obviously the quality of the content. If the editor has a gut feeling after reading your manuscript that they can find readers to read this book they recommend it for publishing otherwise it’s of no use for them.
  2. List Trade publishers publish books according to the genre-wise list they’ve set to publish in the coming months or year to publish. Yes that’s the most important aspect, though the quality of content is good publisher may find that they already have their list of books complete in that particular genre, they may refuse it.
  3. Probable readers Trade publisher judge manuscript on the basis of probable readers for the particular manuscript. If they think they can pitch the book to a particular set of readers once it is published they’ll publish it otherwise they don’t.
  4. Life of book Future prospect is another concern of a trade publisher. They generally see if the book will be read year after year or it has a short life of 6 months or one year. They don’t bank upon short life books.
  5. Royalty As trade publishers take a risk and invest in the book they don’t offer a big royalty. The royalty of a new author is offered is very minimal. They don’t publish books of the author who demands a royalty enough to make some money out of the book or likewise.

Self Publishers adopt an altogether different process. They don’t judge manuscript. Actually self-publishing houses are companies offering services to authors to get published. They charge for publishing your book and in turn offer you services like – editing, proofreading,  e-book conversion, book designing, online & offline marketing, and all new age promotional services like social media campaign, author website, video trailer & whatnot.
But on the mere basis of this discrimination, an author shall not submit her/his manuscript to any publishing company. A lot of services are involved an author shall look for delivery of services, not mere promises. There are 11 main aspects an author shall look for while choosing a self-publishing company.

1. Area of Business

The first & foremost aspect is to look for areas of business that a particular company is involved in. They might not have published many books but if they’re involved in various aspects related to books it means they can make more readers aware of your book. Avoid the company which does just publishing and is not involved in other literary activities.

2. Point Of Contact

Who is your point of contact in that particular company? An author shall always avoid the company who has trained assistants who just give the details of the plans & packages and don’t have knowledge about books. If a senior executive having good knowledge of books & the literary world is the point of contact for you you’re in safe hands.

3. Publishing & Marketing Services

Publishing is not mere printing of a book. Publishing a book is no less than delivering a baby where the author is a biological mother and publisher surrogate mother. A book needs both pre & post publishing care. If the self-publishing company offers both pre & post-marketing, digital & physical marketing, editing, proofreading, book designing & other publishing services an author can choose it for self-publishing her/his book.

4. Price

It is the most intelligent factor to evaluate. While an author shall take care that she/he doesn’t pay much at the same time evaluate the services being offered against the price being charged. Many self-publishing promises heavens at unbelievable low prices. Don’t fall prey, if some company is promising publishing and marketing services at a very low price it generally means they’re befooling. They’re not going to deliver.

5. Sales & Distribution Network

An author shall look into the sales and distribution network of the self-publishing company very deeply. Do they’ve their own e-commerce portal, are they associated with physical distributors, how many books are listed on their e-commerce portal, these are key points to evaluate sales and distribution network of a self-publishing company.

6. Global Distribution

It is one aspect which shall be considered largely. If a company can give you global exposure you shall definitely go for it. Only maximum reach to readers secures an author’s future.

7. List Of Services

Make a clear list of services you require for your book and evaluate two or three companies on the basis. Keep in mind that a self-publishing company who offer tailor-made solutions for your book or in other words customize package on the basis of your requirements is the best company for you.

8. Negotiate

Since you’re paying for the services you shall negotiate a bit not just about the price but also about the services. Two types of companies are completely avoidable; one who is very reluctant to negotiate and say yes to all of your demands and two who is very rigid and not ready to negotiate at any point.

9. Timeline

The time required To edit, proofread, design, and publish it takes at least 45-60 days time if it is being done with honesty. If a company promises to do all these in a week or two’s time they’re not going to do it with honesty. There are no measuring scales for editing and designing. An author can never claim if it was done wholeheartedly or carelessly. Again don’t fall prey for false promises. It takes a reasonable time to deliver a good book.

10. History

If the self-publishing company has a good track record of publishing & marketing of books, if they’ve run good campaigns, made excellent video trailers they’re good for you. Because it means they’ve put in the heart not only in publishing but making readers aware of the books they’ve published.

11. Royalty

Generally, self-publishing companies offer 100% royalty and that’s genuine. As the author pays price for getting published she/he has all the right to get most on the investment made. But the challenge is the calculation of that royalty. If the self-publishing company has an e-commerce portal of their own they can really give you good returns in terms of 100% royalty. Companies dependent on other companies for online sales can never give an author good returns as most of the earnings are spent in paying the commission of online portals.

So! look for a self-publishing company that fits these parameters and get published intelligently. You can also be an author, your book can also be o bestseller charts.

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