Category: How to Get Started in Self Publishing

3 Eggs of Self Publishing Advice

Three eggs of self publishing advice to nest with.

Some self publishing helper companies may charge you for things you can do for free if you own your ISBN number… so you should know about 3 things you can do for free as a self publisher.

  1. You can create your own cover using the print-on-demand’s online software for no additional fee, although I strongly recommend you get your cover professionally done. This is true for any author actually. You don’t have to have your own ISBN number. It depends on what POD service you choose. Both Createspace and Lulu offer a free cover creator tool.
  2. You can register for a Library of Congress Control Number yourself, for free. (You must mail them a copy of your published book).
  3. You can list your title in Books In Print for free.

Also, consider this when evaluating a company’s service pricing:

You can register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for $35 – $65 (and, depending on your project. You must mail them a copy of your published book)

You can get your book on yourself by using the right print-on-demand company. Research LightingSource and Createspace before paying a company to put your book on Amazon. Expanded distribution will cost, but putting it on Amazon may not. I have used Createspace and I’m happy with their service and product, but there are other companies out there that I haven’t tried yet (future posts!). If I have an affiliate link on this site to a company, that means I’ve used the service and I like it… and I’ve probably got a post in here somewhere reviewing it. Createspace is in, and you don’t pay extra to get your book on Amazon, because Createspace IS Amazon.

As with everything else, if you do decide to pay someone else for a service you could do for free… there is value in the fact that you don’t have to spend your time whacking away at the search engines and web portals to get it done. But my mission in my self publishing journey is DIY and DIFF. Do It Yourself and Do It For Free.
Because knowledge is power.




Barnacles of Self Publishing Advice

Self Publishing can be barnacled with confusing terms and definitions.

Publishing chatter today is very confusing. Self publishing, vanity press, subsidy press, independent publishing, traditional publishing, print on demand, epublishing, … whuuut?

And it doesn’t help that almost all of the companies who come up under a google search of Self Publishing are offering to help authors by handling the publishing for them. Which is not always self publishing…

It’s all about the ISBN number.

If the author owns the ISBN number, then the book is self published. 

Even if the author hired out portions of producing the book.

And in order for the author to own the ISBN number, the author had to establish a publishing business. This can be as simple as getting a business license and giving the business a name. So the author is now a publisher.

Self Publisher.

If the author accepted the free ISBN number offered through the print on demand company, then the author is not self published. The print on demand company is the publisher. That’s not always bad, but it isn’t self publishing.

The companies that offer help with self publishing must require you to get your own ISBN number, otherwise they are actually the publisher for your book. Many of them state this upfront, but I am frustrated with the ones that don’t explain it well enough and offer the ISBN number for “free” as “part of the service”.

It is free… but if you want to take your book and publish it somewhere else, you discover that they are the publisher and you can’t easily do that. (You can get your own ISBN number and go on your merry way… but my point is the confusion involved.)

Authors can buy a single ISBN number for @ $125 (as of 2012) or a pack of 10 for @ $300 from Bowker. Self publishing authors should buy the 10, because having gone to the effort of publishing one book, it’s a good idea to put out another one. You will need the ten.

Own the ISBN and you own the rights.
It’s important.



Barrels of Self Publishing Advice

Barrels of Self Publishing Advice Coming Up!

Upcoming posts will cover each of these steps in depths… definitions, tips, overviews, underscores…

Write It:
Before we publish ourselves, we have to have something to publish. Self publishing discussions usually start after this is done, but it’s a journey worth talking about.

Edit It:
The biggest critics of self publishing fault this step the most, and as publishers – we have to be good editors, or find good editors, or pay for good editors.

Re-Write It:
Because only ancient composers wrote complete perfection the first time around… and that’s probably a myth as well.

Re-Edit It:
Seriously. Editing is important.

Design It:
Book Design and Cover…How you do this depends on what you have installed. If you already have Adobe InDesign – great!  If not, don’t despair. There are plenty of tools out there.

Set Up Your Publishing Business For It:
That’s the irony of self publishing. You become a publisher. Business license and all. I’m writing (and self publishing) a book to help, step by step. But in the meantime… watch the posts!

Proof It:
This is another way to say that editing is really important. Let’s put out high quality books and deprive the self publishing critics of things to be critical about.

Publish It:
About the ISBN, the LCCN, Books In Print, Copyright, Distribution… you CAN do all of this yourself.

Market It:
A website to support it, Reviews, Interviews, Release List, Getting it in stores, Pitching it…

Stock it:
Print on Demand, Short Run Printing, Inventory – or not.

Support It:
Blogging, for instance. Keep the readers reading. Speaking, teaching, writing How To.

Do It All Over Again…
Because as Self Publishers we ARE publishers, and if you build a marketing stream you should use it again – efficient!

So please stay tuned… literally if you add my RSS to your feed reader, or by subscribing to the blog via email (three posts a week on average) or by checking back frequently or through the social networking I’m building. So many ways… so little time….. !

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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