Self publishing your book in the Internet age

Publish your own book? It's a very real alternative in the digital age

Publish your own book? It’s a very real alternative in the digital age

With the rise and rise of the Internet as a medium for writers and authors to publish their works and to manage the entire process from writing, production, printing (if this is an option), distribution to the all-important, actual sales.

In particular, writers of self-help books and non-fiction works are finding profitable marketing solutions with print-on-demand and Internet ecommerce options. However, self publishing is not new. Did you know that Mark Twain attracted a publisher by self publishing his first book?

Self publish on the Internet

Who would have thought that the Internet would turn the publishing world on its head? Sure, traditional publishing houses are producing some great books, but there is now the option for writers and authors to promote and distribute their books on the Internet. There are at least two ways to do this: your own website or selling through an online bookstore (or two or three).

Marketing your book on your own website

Think about having your own website to promote and sell your books online. An ecommerce plug in makes it easy for people to purchase your books and all you have to do is send the printed book. In some cases, you can even sell the PDF avoiding printing costs all together.

Selling your book on an web-based bookstore

Amazon is the most well-known online bookstore and has literally hundreds of thousands of titles, however, there are many other web-based bookstores, many that cater for more localised or niche markets.

If your book has a particular niche, you might also market it through websites catering for that niche.

Print on demand

Before you put your book out there, make sure you call in the professionals

Before you put your book out there, make sure you call in the professionals

Most traditional publishers produce books in print runs of various sizes. In Australia, you might be surprised to know that an initial print run of 5000 is considered massive. Steig Larrson’s books with sales in the millions is a very rare bird in the publishing world. BTW, if a book sells 5000, it is considered a best seller in the Australian book market.

With digital printing using laser printing rather than offset printing methods, smaller print runs are now viable. Now writers and authors can print on demand as books are ordered. This helps to test the market and decide whether a bigger offset print version is marketable. And because the quality of digital printing is so good, it is almost impossible for the average reader to distinguish between offset and digital printing.

What you need to publishing a book

Before you put your book out there for sale, there are certain publishing requirements that you will need to adhere to, for example, you will need an ISBN and you’ll need to comply with copyright legislation. Furthermore, a book that has not been through the production cycle of structural and copy editing, desktop publishing and a final proofread is going to look like and be an inferior product.

Quality is important when producing, distributing and selling your book

The reason why traditional publishing houses produce excellent products is that every book goes through a metamorphose from the first submission by the author to the final product. Self publishers need to get this process right if they are to compete with the big end of the publishing world.

Self publishing is a viable option in the digital world of the Internet. It can provide a great return on investment especially if you go the distance and make sure you get professional editors, proofreaders and graphic designers working with you to create a great product.

It is also essential to get advice from professionals about book production, marketing and distribution. And make sure your website has great search engine optimization (SEO) so that your target market can find you and your book. You need a website with excellent SEO that works for you 24/7 to bring in book sales.

Self publishing: it’s not for everyone but it’s becoming a popular option if you have a great product to sell.

Read some publishing tips from Susie Stevens, Professional Editor, Sydney

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Email Susie Stevens for publishing advice, editing and/or web development or call 0410 037 635.