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  • Writer's pictureGerald C. Anderson, Sr.

Things to Keep In Mind Before Self-Publishing Your Book

It has become a norm for individual writers to self-publish their books. Self-publishing has its benefits. However, that doesn’t mean that you should rush into it blindly. Self-publishing can be a profitable but also a perilous venture. You should keep the following in mind before trying it:

The Platform

Which platform are you looking to publish your book on? Because there are many, you should take precautions and choose the one you feel is right for you. The type of book you have will be a major determining factor. It could be a novel or a photography compilation. What do you want? Is it an ebook or paperback?

Here are a few platforms to help you with your research:

CreateSpace is an Amazon company. Through CreateSpace, you can sell book for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing, while maintaining more control over your materials. CreateSpace makes it simple to distribute your books through Internet retail outlets, your own website, and other bookstores, retailers, libraries, and academic institutions.Lulu. Fiction and non-fiction writers alike can create, print, and sell their books through all major retail channels.Blurb. Develop your book and integrate it with your blog, SmugMug, Flickr, and Picasa.Xlibris. Free consultation to put you on the right path to self-publishing.CafePress. Upload a PDF file of your book. Customize it using different templates.

Publishing Expenses

You will pay some base costs to the platform you choose to publish your book with. But that’s not all. In the end, you would want to buy an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) if you are interested in distribution. ISBN is the unique numeric code that helps identify your book. The cost of an ISBN runs about $99.

If you need assistance with design, editing, and marketing, be prepared to pay for these services. There are many firms that charge to put your book in tip-top shape. Do some research to select the most cost-effective firm for you. Don’t just take the first one you find. Look around.

Distribution Method

What is your ideal distribution channel? While online-only sales are a common distribution method, there are a number of platforms that can guarantee your book a lot of attention. Take expanded distribution and global REACH distribution by CreateSpace and Lulu respectively. They make your book available online but also in listings for large distributors. These programs could put your book in brick and mortar bookstores and libraries. That’s not a guarantee but being in the program is very helpful.

Publicity and Marketing

The method you choose for distributing your book will determine whether it sells or not. It requires investing money in publicity and marketing campaigns to make meaningful sales.

If you don’t have the money to work with a professional marketing firm, here are some ideas to help you get your book to potential customers:

List your book on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble.Create a website solely devoted to your book. If you will be writing more than one book you should create a website for you as an author. This way you can list all of your books in one place for your fans to follow you. You can also create a blog and capture potential customers by writing meaningful and consistent blog post.Make use of social media platforms. Setup social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. As you meet people you will want to have a business card with your social media listed on it. This way your readers can follow you.Reach out to small bookstores. Small bookstores want books that may not be sold in the bigger bookstores.Draw up a press release. A good press release can help you with publicity and marketing.

There are several companies that can prepare a press release for you.


How much does your platform charge in terms of commission? For example, Lulu will charge you 20 percent of the net profit from the book. That means you will receive 80 percent while LuLu receives 20 percent. CreateSpace has a royalty calculator. You can determine your royalty by using their calculator.

This is just a few ideas to help you get started. Make sure you do in depth research before you make a decision. Remember it’s your book, so don’t be pressed by anyone. Take your time and release it when you’re ready.

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