which self-publishing platform

Choosing a Self-Publishing Platform Ain’t Easy

If you’re in the process of finishing a book and wondering how to self-publish your book or eBook, you might have started doing some research online. Soon you realised that there are so many self-publishing author services, vanity presses, and Print on Demand that you cannot possibly make a clear decision. So it comes back to finding out the opinion of self-published authors who have been through it.

CNet’s David Carnoy says: “Royalties are better (with an author services company e.g. CreateSpace) than what “real” publishers offer, but there are caveats, and true self-publishing pros prefer to cut out the subsidy press (which takes a cut) and go straight to a POD printer like Lightning Source to maximize profits.”

Note that David chose BookSurge (now CreateSpace) and then shortly after securing an agent (and publicity), went on to get a traditional publisher to publish his fiction books. (His post: Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know).

Subsidy press includes the American: Balboa Press, iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse (who has 255 complaints).  In Australia, Hybrid seems to be subsidy, BookPal offers a different way, they cost it into the printing. Editing, however, might not be of the standard of a freelance book editor.

The takeaway is… the potential volume of book sales envisaged may be the deciding factor, because a $10 profit on 50 books is not going to even pay you back for writing time, let alone marketing and production costs. It also depends on the desired goals for the publication:  do you want widespread education, or impressing of new and existing clients, or do you just want to relish the process of diverging your secrets?

What you are also looking for in a Self-Publishing Platform is ease of use. That’s why for many of us IngramSpark is a good option, because they offer forms to sign electronically. But due to the difficulties of contact via online help, if you are a serial author / mini publishing house, you might prefer your own account representative. In this case, set up an account with Lightning Source Int’l, the parent company. Setup & proof fees weren’t very friendly when I used them five years ago, but not sure if that changed.

ISBNs and Re-versioning

Remember that in Australia, you can purchase one ISBN for $42, or 10 for $84 from Thorpe (myidentifiers.com.au). Consider whether you’ll need an ISBN barcode; this depends on who your publisher is, as some will give you a clear barcode on the cover for nil cost.

It’s best to list the publisher as YOURSELF or your trusted BOOK PRODUCTION HOUSE, if in frequent contact. There are many subsidy self-publishing houses who provide the ISBN but you cannot take it anywhere else… plus, you cannot keep re-versioning your book with them unless you pay editing and other fees. Thus, if you wanted to publish the book again you would have to rework it and choose a completely new title, new ISBN, and start the marketing over again.

If you’d like to chat about my mentoring package for self-publishers, please contact us via email – enquiry @ jenniferlancaster.com.au.


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