So you want to write your own book or you’ve started the process already and you just don’t know how to publish it.
This article is going to help you immensely.
Let’s start off by discussing why you should self publish your book rather than going through a major book publisher.
6 Reasons Why You Should Self-Publish
1. EDITING – It’s excruciatingly difficult working with traditional publisher’s editors. It’s a back and forth editing nightmare.
I’ve had multiple friends who’ve published with major publishers tell me they’ll never use a major publisher again just because of all the hassled they had to go through to get things the way the publisher wanted them.
2. SLOW! – From the time you finish your editing to the time it hits the streets is around a year. A YEAR!
That’s just plain crazy! When you self-publish you can have your book hit the streets the same month you finish writing it.
3. ROYALTIES – You make WAY more money. Traditional publishers take 85% – 90% royalties when your book is sold. When you self-publish, you get up to keep 70% of your sales and maybe even more (plus you don’t have to wait around 7 months to receive your royalties, you can get them immediately!
4. CONTROL - You have complete control over what you write, the title of your book and how it’s designed. There’s nothing more frustrating than having your publisher overrule the title of your book.
5. MARKETING – One of the reasons you get published with a major publisher is because they’ll sell your book for you. NOT!
Publishers will hardly do anything to market your book. You’ll have to do all the marketing of your book if you want to make sales. So why not just self-publish anyway.
6. ADVANCES – Forget trying to get an advance on your book. Unless you’re already a big name, you won’t get it.
With the emergence of free information on the internet and more competition, advances only go to the most well-known authors.
7. AGENTS – To get your book published through a major publisher you need to go through a literary agent. Agents are prima donnas. Good luck trying to get their attention.
DID YOU KNOW: A typical book agent receives close to 5,000 book proposals a year. On the average, agents will choose only 11 new books to represent, which comes out to about 1 in every 500 proposals.
With all the said, if you really want to see your book show up on a bookstore shelf, your chances are infiniately greater if you go through a major book publishing house.
Here are the top 10 publishers in the U.S.A.
Your Self Publishing Choices
When you choose to self-pubish your book, there are a ton of companies out there to work with.
Each company has a range of services they offer.
Typical self publishing company services include…
1. Book ghostwriting
2. Book editing
3. Book ISBN purchase
4. Book interior design and formatting
5. Book cover design
6. Book printing
7. Book distribution
If you were to buy all these services bundled with a company that helps you self-publish it might cost you thousands of dollars.
For instance, as of this writing, Lulu.com will sell you all seven services above bundled together in one service package for $4,949.
By the way, that price does NOT include full editing of your book, only an “edit review.”
You’ll need to purchase a full editing service if you want your book professionally edited, which usually costs around between $4 – $8 per page.
So if you were publishing a 200 page book you could expect to pay around $1,300 to get your book edited.
How To Get Your Book On a Bookstore Shelf
Well, when you purchase “distribution” services from most self publishing companies, what you’re buying is their help to place your book on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com and other online booksellers.
They will NOT guarantee that your book will show up in book store.
The way your book ultimately shows up in a bookstore is a pretty long process.
Step 1 – First you have to find a literary agent because nearly all publishers ONLY accept book proposals through literary agents.
Step 2 – Once a publisher accepts you and publishes your book, their sales reps have to convince bookstore buyers to purchase your book.
Step 3 – Once the bookstore purchases your book, most follow on purchases are made through a book wholesale distributor like Ingram Book.
Step 4 - Finally, if the bookstore decides to buy your book, they will buy it in small quantities to test it out so you might see a few copies of your book show up on a bookstore shelf.
Why Bookstores Don’t Buy Self Published Books
The reason your self published book will never see a bookstore shelf is simple, publish-on-demand (POD) publishers like Lulu.com or AuthorHouse.com, who help self published authors, don’t offer the same terms as major publishers.
Here’s what I mean…
1. The discount is less than 40%.
2. Bookstores can’t return the book.
3. It has to be paid for when it’s ordered.
4. The prices for POD published books are normally higher.
5. The quality is lower (because it hasn’t gone through a major publishers rigorous editing process).
BUT, bookstore buyers DO look at how well books are selling online at places like Amazon.com or BN.com.
If your book is a consistent bestseller online then you might have a chance at a bookstore buying some and doing an in store test.
Some POD self publishers offer their book to bookstores on consignment so the bookstore doesn’t have to pay upfront for any book and can return it if it doesn’t sell.
How to Self Publish with CreateSpace.com
1. They are a leading POD self publishing company.
2. They are owned by, and tied to the hip with Amazon.com.
3. They make self publishing super easy.
4. You can have your book on Amazon.com FAST and a book IN YOUR HAND fast!
5. There are no membership or title set-up fees.
6. They have a flexible royalty model.
7. You get a non-exclusive agreement (keeps your future publishing and distribution options open.)
8. You also get a free CreateSpace ISBN or UPC if you don’t yet have one.
I helped an author publish their book on CreateSpace and have had a great experience with it.
Also, the charity I’m involved with publishes their “Write to Give” books through CreateSpace.
Here’s the Steps You Need To Follow
It’s important to note before we go through the steps that you can create your book all yourself with CreateSpace or you can purchase their done-for-you services.
Their flagship done-for-you package is called, “Total Design Freedom Marketing Pro,” which costs $4,853 and includes multiple rounds of copyediting, custom book design, and an assortment of effective marketing tools.
STEP 1 – Create Your Account
Go to www.CreateSpace.com and enter your personal information to set up your account.
STEP 2 – Finish Your Book
Make sure you have your book edited and formatted properly. You need to make sure you’ve created your title page, dedication page, back cover and all those “other” pages outside of the actual text of the book.
CreateSpace has templates that you can use that already have the proper formatting you need to submit to their system.
Now it’s time to convert your document to a pdf file. The latest MS Word program will allow you to save your document as a pdf. (You’ll need to do the same for your book cover.)
NOTE: CreateSpace has a plethora of articles about formatting, book editing, cover design and a lot of other publishing topics.
STEP 3 – Setup Your Book
CreateSpace has an intuitive process that guides you step by step through inputting your book title, description, credits etc.
You’ll also be asked for your book size, type of paper, paper color in the set up process.
CreateSpace will give you a free ISBN number to use, however if you ever want to publish this book through a major publisher, you’ll want to have your own ISBN ($99).
STEP 4 – Upload Your Book
Now it’s time to upload your book’s text files and the cover of your book into CreateSpace.
This is just like uploading any graphic online.
STEP 5 – Set Up Your Sales Information
Now that you have your book’s files uploaded, you need to enter in sales information.
Based on the number of pages and the book specs, CreateSpace will tell you how much it will cost you to print your book.
With your print cost, you’re ready to tell CreateSpace the price of your book. Once you do that, the system will tell you what your royalties will be from the sales of your book.
Your royalties are calculated by sales channel (CreateSpace’s estore, Amazon.com or expanded distribution) minus the fixed charge (cost to create the book).
Here’s an example of what you’d make if you published a 200 page, black and white book.
STEP 6 – Submit Your Book for Review
After you have your book uploaded it’s time to submit it for review. It usually takes around one day to get your book reviewed and approved.
STEP 7 – Proof Your Book
If your book is approved, your next step is to order a proof.
When you get your proof, this is your opportunity to see what it will actually look like.
If you see errors, just make the changes to your files and re-save it as a pdf file and upload them again.
If you’ve made changes, you’ll need to order another proof to make sure all the changes are good and your book is exactly how you want it.
STEP 8 – Approve Your Book For Sale
If it’s a green light, you can approve the proof.
Once your book is approved, it will immediately go live in CreateSpaces estore and it will be put on Amazon.com in around 15 business days.
You can then track your book’s sales activity through your dashboard.
STEP 9 – Create Your Author Page On Amazon
If you’ve decided to sell your book on Amazon.com (I hope you did), you need to create an author page with your full bio and headshot.
You do that through Amazon Author Central. To do that you need to open an author account.
STEP 10 – Upload to the Kindle Store
If you want to sell your book on Kindle then you’ll need to convert it and upload it through the “Kindle Direct Publishing” site.
CreateSpace has a conversion service for converting your book to the Kindle format ($69). However, you can reformat the book yourself if you’d like.
When you upload your book to Kindle, it will be automatically matched with your Amazon book.
Here’s Some Great Tips for Publishing on CreateSpace
TIP # 1 – I suggest playing with their royalty calculator before you decide on the format and size of your book.
TIP # 2 – CreateSpace doesn’t offer a hardcover option, only paperback. If you want to self publish a hard cover book, look at Lulu.com
TIP # 3 – Make sure you get your friends to review your book. The more 5 star reviews you get, the more people will buy your book.
TIP # 4 – If you don’t have the money to purchase CreateSpace’s services, you might want to raise some money over at Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com.
TIP # 5 – Design your own book cover. I had my complete book jacket cover for, “The 60 Second Referral” designed at www.KillerCovers.com for around $600. They did an awesome job.
TIP # 6 – If you find CreateSpace’s formatting template difficult to use, you can use these instructions to do it manually.
TIP # 7 – Sometimes you’ll have problems with embedded fonts when you convert your Word doc into a pdf yourself. To fix this, upload your Word doc and let CreateSpace convert it into pdf for you.
TIP # 8 – If you have questions, use CreateSpaces’s forums. You’ll find a lot of experienced people there who will help you out.
TIP # 9 – Here’s a great online article that will take you screenshot by screenshot through the CreateSpace process.
TIP # 10 – If you need a coach to help you create your book, I recommend Kristen Eckstein from UltimateBookCoach.com.
TIP # 11 – If you want to do systematic blog campaign about your book, check out AuthorBuzz.com.
Publishing your own book has become super easy with today’s technology and the internet.
If don’t absolutely need your book to be found on a bookstore’s bookshelf, then you should definitely consider self publishing.
CreateSpace is a great service for self publishing and provides with all the tools you need to be successful.
So if you have a book in your head, get it out of there and get it published!
P.S. Want to learn how to get your blogging audiences’ help in creating the perfect live event and packing the room with thousands of raving fans? Well, then you’ll love this interview we did with Elisa Camahort.