Self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media without the involvement of a mainstream publisher. Self-publishing is gratifying and could be a highly profitable endeavor; the author can reasonably expect a good return-on-investment (ROI) from selling the first 100 or so copies. The author retains copyright and has more control of the entire process including design (cover, layout, content illustrations), formats, price, distribution, publicity and marketing. SAWN offers the author publishing choices, from the editing stage to printing and binding. SAWN will only assist an author to self-publish their book if it is of an acceptably high standard.
Technological advances have enabled the growth of self-publishing to include Print-On-Demand (POD) and online retailing (hard copy books, e-books and direct publishing on Kindle. Print-On-Demand (POD) self-publishing is an economical option if an author only needs a minimal number of copies (as little as 50 books); however, bear in mind you will pay more per book on small quantities compared to a run of 500 and more. It is wise to “test the waters” before going to the expense of printing thousands of books that may end up in your garage unsold; if self-publishing is undertaken in the right way you can plan your subsequent print-run requirements according to demand.
Popular formats for e-books include .mobi, PDF, HTML and Amazon’s .azw format. Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Antrik all offer online tools for creating and converting files from other formats to formats that can be sold on their websites. e-book publishing is an extremely popular option for self-publishers.
While marketing your own book is a challenge it is not as daunting as it might sound. Approach every bookshop, retail outlet that stocks books and book clubs and ask if they would be willing to stock a consignment of your books; you could even suggest they display a poster advertising your book and hand out bookmarks to their customers. Consider asking whether they could host a book signing or book launch. Offer to talk about how you went about writing your book to writing groups; make sure you have books on hand to sell. Contact the editor of your community and national newspapers to ask them to review your book; they may decide to interview you and publish your contact details to invite orders. Send a synopsis of your book to radio stations and ask them if they would be interested in conducting a telephonic interview with you. Offer a complimentary copy of your book as a prize in a lucky draw.
The author is also responsible for:
- submitting the requisite number of books to the legal places of deposit (e.g. National Libraries)
- generating publicity in advance of the book launch
- negotiating with book store owners/managers to sell books on consignment
- placing advertisements in magazines and newspapers to sell copies though direct-mail
- running workshops/seminars where copies of the book are available for sale
- distributing copies of the book to meet orders
- creating a dedicated Web site to market the book online
- listing the title on Amazon, Kalahari, Bid or Buy, Loot
- using the book as a marketing tool to propose adaptation for film or television
Contact Theresa (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a proposal and itemized quotation of the following services:
- Reading and assessment of the manuscript (manuscript editorial review)
- Proof reading
- Design of the cover
- Registration of the ISBN (also converted to Bar-code)
- Creating a “mock” book for final proof reading and signing off by the author
- Printing and binding (spiral, plastic comb, stapled spine, and perfect (pages are adhered together at the spine with a thermal glue)