By Nancy Hellekson
First, you’ve imagined and created your work. Then came the editing and proofreading. Next you designed your book so that it would be attractive and readable. Your cover looks great! People are going to want buy your book! But… who is going to publish it?
There is no easy answer to publishing your book. There are so many things to consider. It’s overwhelming!
Let’s start with the basics:
GET AN ISBN!
Forget the FREE one you get from Amazon/KDP and other sources. As much as we love FREE, having a free ISBN will limit where you can sell your book. An Amazon/KDP ISBN will only work on Amazon.
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is exactly what it says. It’s the international standard. There is a cost.
1 ISBN + bar code for the print book: $125
1 ISBN for your e-book: $99
You will need one ISBN for your print copy and one ISBN for your e-book.
Hallard Press supplies ISBNs and barcodes for our authors. Or you can buy your own at www.Bowker.com.
WHO WILL PUBLISH YOUR BOOK?
A Traditional publisher or a Self-Publisher?
Traditional Publisher chooses which books they publish and buy the rights to the book. They keep some of the author’s book royalties. It’s a business; they only publish books that they are sure will make a profit for them.
Indie/Self-Publishers publish book for authors, even if everyone agrees that the book may not become a best seller. The author is an integral part of the entire book production and publishing process. Indies charge a fee for their services and do not take any of the author’s royalties.
WILL YOU PUBLISH A PRINT BOOK OR E-BOOK OR BOTH?
Some publishers will only work with e-books, some only print and others will do both.
DO YOU WANT TO USE A POD OR SELL AND DISTRIBUTE THE BOOK ON YOUR OWN?
POD or Print on Demand is the latest way to sell and distribute your books. When your book is ordered on Amazon, Amazon prints one copy, puts it in an envelope and mails it to the buyer. It’s easy and the upfront cost is less; this is the reason some many people are publishing books today.
Back in the day, publishers would have you purchase 500 or more copies that you kept in the garage and mailed out yourself to each new customer.
POD is much easier and less time-consuming.
BUT, you may want to purchase 100+ books at the reduced author cost and sell them through your website or at book talks. Even after shipping and handling, you would get more in royalties than through POD.
DO I WANT A RETAILER, AGGREGATOR, DISTRIBUTOR OR A COMBINATION? Hmmmm?
Let’s go over exactly what these publishers do:
A publishing company that sells books exclusively through its own online stores. Think Amazon/KDP, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble Press, Google Books and Kobo.
Is a publishing platform for e-books. Using the ePub format, it distributes e-books into multiple channels all at once. Think Draft2Digital and Smashwords.
These companies make print books available to brick-and-mortar stores, libraries, and academic institutions. Think IngramSpark, Lulu, Bookbaby
There! That’s probably enough for today’s lesson. More next Monday.
We welcome any comments or suggestions in the box below.
Part 2 Next week (Jan 25, 2021 issue of Hallard Press Gazette)
Retailers and Distributors–what they do and don’t do.
Part 3 February 1, 2021 issue of Hallard Press Gazette)
What’s an Aggregator? Should I use one?