I’ve been reading a few blogs and books about self publishing, lately. And one thing stands out. Although a lot of the advice is good, everyone seems to assume there’s only one right way to do it.
Publish your books as ebooks on Amazon, says one. Get a printing company to run off 1000 copies says another. Another praises print-on-demand, so you don’t need a lot of stock. And another says to create a “PDF” of your book and set up your own website to sell it as a download.
All can work. All can work really well, in fact. But I wouldn’t blame anyone for being confused.
Here’s the simple truth: there is no one route to success. There are lots of ways to do it.
But you don’t need to just pick one. First you need to do a little thinking… thinking about what you want to get out of it.
Thinking through the different options about how to get your book published is the first step. Don’t listen to anyone saying that one way is the only right way… or even the best way. What’s best depends on your aims.
If what you’re after is having a printed copy of your book on your bookcase (and this is a great feeling), then ebooks aren’t going to satisfy you. But getting 1000 copies printed at a traditional printing company is probably excessive. On the other hand if you want to make a living out of selling your book, this might be the best way to go – as long as you know how you’re going to sell them.
If you want to get your book out there – but aren’t into anything technical, then creating a PDF file and selling it on your own website is going to be a tricky business… and probably take longer than writing it in the first place. On the other hand if you’re a computer whiz and want a little income without having to keep any stock or deal with the orders yourself, this could be a good method.
If you want to sell books to make money (and yes, it is possible, even for an individual. Not easy, but possible) then visiting a few local bookshops with a handful of copies of your book isn’t likely to do it for you. But if what you want is to see your book on sale and have the satisfaction of being a published author, this could be a great method.
So don’t listen to anyone who tells you there’s only one right way. Work out what you want to get out of publishing your own book, then pick the way that suits what you want to get out of publishing your own book.
Tim Wakeling writes www.theyoupress.co.uk – tips, help and advice for people who want to self publish, or have and want to sell more copies.
(c) Tim Wakeling 2011 May be published elsewhere but only including this full message.