Self-Publishing Printed Books
If you have written a book, then you probably want to publish it. Self-publishing is definitely the way to go these days, but when you read information online or try to learn about it, almost all of the information out there refers to digital self-publishing. What if you want to self-publish your book, but you want it published in print; an actual, physical book? There are some solutions to this problem, and we will be examining two of the biggest ones here.
One of the things that you do not want to do in self-publishing a printed book is to use what are called vanity publishers. There is a huge difference between a self-publishing print publisher and a vanity publisher. Vanity publishers are there to trick you into signing up for their service with the promise that they will do everything that a conventional publisher will do for a price that is often several hundred or even several thousand dollars. This is simply a bad idea. For one thing, many of the services that they charge hundreds of dollars for you can either do yourself or hire someone to do for a lot less. For another, your book is not going to be marketed any more effectively with a vanity publisher that if you were to publish it yourself.
When it comes to self-publishing printed books, there are two main options to go with. Both of them are actually owned by Amazon. The first is what is called CreateSpace. CreateSpace is a self-publishing platform that will allow you to upload your book and your own cover and then use the print-on-demand model to sell your books. What that means is that your books will be listed on the Amazon site as a paperback listing – as well as a Kindle listing if you choose – and people that buy the paperback of your book will trigger a printing of the book. You’ll get paid a certain percentage of the price, and CreateSpace will get the rest. How much you get depends upon what you set the price of the book at. CreateSpace will tell you up front what the book is going to cost you to create, so suppose that your book is $2.85, then setting your paperback price at $9.99 would give you about $7 each time your book is sold.
The other paperback publishing platform is actually offered by Amazon as part of the Kindle Direct Publishing program, and it is still in Beta. It is likely that – since CreateSpace is owned by Amazon – these two services will eventually merge. In addition, you don’t have any hardcover options right now, but Amazon says that may change as they roll out this new print-on-demand beta service.
But the bottom line is, there are options for getting a print version of your book to bookstores and in libraries everywhere. CreateSpace has a distribution program that you can pay for that will get your book listed in the industry catalogs.