In this type of publishing, authors publish their book by themselves without taking help from any traditional publication house or publishers. An author who publishes his or her work alone can get all the work needed in publication such as editing and marketing by own or can hire professionals for the same. With the rise of the internet age authors can publish their works as eBooks and sell their copies online.
What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing is an alternative of traditional publishing where they get their work published, sold and shelved in bookstores all by themselves. In earlier times getting self published meant hiring an editor to edit one’s work, employing a book cover designer for getting one’s work in shape and ready for printing and then hiring a printer for printing and binding the book. This process was very expensive as it involved paying money for all the services and thus in a way the self-publishers had to, in many cases, set their own small scale publication houses.
But in the recent times thanks to the world of internet, there has been a major evolution in the self-publication sector. With the help of internet, authors and writers can upload their work in the form of a word or PDF file onto the internet. They can either upload their work to the online booksellers and producers who keeps the work in their databases; show cases them on their websites and sells the finished products on order. In self publication writers need not hire any professionals for editing or proof-reading and can do all the work by themselves.
With the advancement of technology the world of self-publication has seen as rise as now-a-days people can self-publish their works digitally in the form of e-books and earn money for the same on a download basis.
Many authors and writers choose the route of self-publication instead of the traditional route out of frustration as in the traditional route sometimes to get one’s work published, it may take months or years and in many a case after struggling for months and years all they may get is rejection. Other writers who either have their specific-niche audiences or those who want to publish their books in a small-scale for limited audiences usually go for this route of publishing.
This route of publishing is very difficult especially if one wants to create audiences at a national level as media awareness and publicity of the same is quite a large task. Although self-publication is difficult as a lot of work goes into it, it is not impossible if one understands the aspects of the publication fully and clearly.
What is a self-publisher?
A self-publishers are the authors and writers who publish their works independently. They set up their own mini publication company and obtain their own ISBN range. The ISBN range is needed to be obtained for getting one’s company recognized as the publisher of the proposed book or work to the book databases. A self-publisher not only writes the manuscript but also is responsible for all the publication related functions. The author has to cater for proof-reading, editorial, cover designing, indexing and illustration of his or her work and in case he or she wants to produce their books by offset printing then he or she has to look after the fulfillment of order and shipping of the same along with keeping an account, looking after the marketing, publicity methods and sales. Self-publishers not only write the book but they also create, produce and bring to life the finished product.
A self-publisher who wants to make it big in the market of books and best-sellers should be well-educated and well aware about the nitty-gritty of publication world and should also be familiar with working methods of the bookselling industry and trade. He or she should have good knowledge of the advertising and publicity world so that they can launch their book smoothly and get noticed by the media and readers alike. A self-publisher also has to run their own book review campaigns and also need to sponsor their own author tours.
Who can choose this route of publication?
Self-publishing works the best for all types of writers, especially those writers who have attentive and well-demarcated audience. Such writers are mostly lecturers, motivational speakers, people and preachers who hold specialized topic seminars. For such authors it becomes easy to publicize their books as they talk about their books to their audiences and can sell their books without any unwanted competition.
This kind of publishing is also effective for the people who have a limited audience such as their family and friends. They can publish a handful of copies by themselves and distribute the same.
Writers who have established themselves well in the literature market can self-publish their books when their novels go out of print, when their publishers stop publishing their books and also in those cases where the publisher cancels out the publication of a book from any series writing, for instance the last book of a trilogy.
With the onset of ebooks, self-publishing has also benefitted first-time writers, optimists and unknown writers. Priced correctly good books get sold comfortably in the form of e-books. For publishing one’s work as e-book and for selling the same well, the writer has to provide an eye-catchy book cover design, a resounding brief and a good engaging novel.
Why should one go for self-publication?
The simple reason why people should go for self-publishing publishing is to get their books published and out in the market for the people to read. Some of the authors or writers go for this publication because:
- They have authority in their specific field which have small but niche audiences. They can promote their works through on-line forums, local magazines and can also promote their books in professional circles. The rate of success is high in this field and hence it is worth the risk taken for self-publication.
- Business or government consultants can self-publish their books on a narrow interest subject. These books are not only good source of alternate income but are also good source in reputation building.
- Established authors go in this route when they want to change their genre of writing or when they try to break into a new genre of writing, for example a fictional writer trying to write a non-fictional book or vice-versa. Self-publication is easy for them as they have their dedicated readers.
- Activist authors who burn for a cause usually take the path of independent publishing for getting their thoughts in the form of a book out for the other people, passionate about the same cause, to read. Activist writers’ books get free publicity as they are promoted through the cause-related organisations and also the sales of their books are assured as people patronise them and their works.
- People who are short-story writers or poets have a very good reason for going independent in publishing as they, in most cases, never get a chance to publish a book through traditional publishing. Self-publishing helps them to realise their dream as they can publish their work and can share the same with the world. This kind of publishing acts like a driving force for them.
Some tips to get success in self-publication
Few general tips which can guide the writers and authors into the right path of publication for getting success in their field are as follows:
- The authors and the writers should have a lot of patience and realise that getting published is a time consuming process. The writers along with working on their manuscript should also invest their time in reading and in learning. They should keep on referring to their manuscript and develop it for better over time.
- First time writers should not set unrealistic goals for themselves; they should have clear cut definitions of success and work accordingly.
- The key to success is practice and diligence. Authors and writers should continue writing books, especially in the genre that are liked by the readers.
- While publishing a book independently, the self-publisher has to keep on experimenting with the price and length of the book until the decide and unless he or she is not satisfied.
- Get self-published online through e-books and go into a book reviewing campaign and make other bloggers read your book, so that you can get good number of reviews and in this way generate curiosity about the book among the readers.
- Think big. Authors should start selling their books among the niche audiences first and then try to expand their reach worldwide.
- In order to create a successful book sale, authors should put emphasis on the book cover.
What really is a book cover?
One of the most important characteristics of book marketing is having a good book cover. People’s decision to buy a book depends on the book cover. If the book cover is enticing enough, people buy the books. Books are judged by their covers and if the packaging of the book is good then there is a marked rise in the sales. Readers which browsing the available books never reads the books in the store, they approximately spend about eight seconds in checking the front cover of a book and take about fifteen seconds to read the back cover of a book. If they like what they see and read, then they almost always buy the book.
Importance of book cover design?
Designing a good book cover is a very important aspect of marketing for self-published authors and independent publishers. Authors and publishers understand how essential a good book cover as packaging means everything in today’s competitive world. Having good book covers are important because:
- They are the first thing that attracts and engages the readers. The reader sees the front of the book and picks it up if it catches their attention.
- The second most important thing is the comprehensive brief written by the author on the back cover of the book. If people like what they read then they choose the book and buy it.
- In e-books too book covers play a very important role as they are the first image that people see on their screens and if what they see appeals them then they click on the image to know more about the book.
- Book covers are important as they are the face of the books and they help in generating expectations, good or bad, about the books. So people should choose book covers carefully for grabbing the attention of the readers in a positive way.
- No author is a book cover designer so it is important to hire a professional book cover designer for making an impactful book cover design.
Tips for good design
- While designing book covers, people should do thorough research of the same and should understand the process of designing book covers, especially self-publishers.
- The book cover design should reflect the most important elements of the proposed book. For making an impactful cover, it should be clutter free, should highlight one or two strong elements of the book and should have a clear message.
- The image used on the front cover can be symbolic in nature which is the representation of the story.
- Other than the image, designers should also put emphasis on colour, font and placement of author’s name in the cover and they should also help the author in choosing a good title and effects. Designs make the books impactful when they are designed according to their genres.
- In case of e-books, the book cover has to make its impact right at the thumbnail size. In order for the book to stand out among its peers, it is very important that the font and color used in the title is clear and makes it readable. The consistency of the cover should be good at larger sizes too, like posters and full scale images of the book.
Choosing the right book cover can be a major hiccup in the world of self-publication. The pressure is on the author to choose the one which will sell the best. For handling this situation, the publisher can do an opinion poll among their well-wishers, whichever, gets the highest votes can be used.