In the past, self-publishing meant writing a book and then coughing up the capital to print, distribute, and market. If you were lucky, brick-and-mortar bookstores would be kind enough to give you a corner of their shelves. After all, shelf space is a finite resource. So, it makes sense for bookstores to treat it with the utmost care.
Traditional publishing models made it prohibitive for a self-publisher to go at it alone. With the emergence of digital publishing, you can get started in a few minutes. This is why many authors and startup publishers work with self-publishing companies like Amazon Kindle, Kobo, or Ingramspark. So, we’re going to be taking a look at five things you need to know about self-publishing companies so you can be successful from the get-go.
It doesn’t cost any penny to publish a book on Amazon Kindle. However, they make money off every book you sell. Therefore, you need to fork over a cut of your proceeds. The good thing is that Amazon takes roughly 30% to 50% of your book’s sales. That is a huge contrast when compared to the 90% traditional publishers take. Other publishers like Ingramspark will charge you a flat fee such as $25 for an eBook or $49 for a print-to-order book. So, make sure you are fully aware of these costs before you go ahead and sign up.
Traditional publishers generally leave new authors with about 3% to 5% royalties. As authors sell millions of books, they can leverage their cut. Still, extremely successful writers may only be able to manage a 25% cut. Needless to say, that is a bum deal. In contrast, Kindle pays up to 70%, while Ingramspark and Kobo can put you in the 40% to 60% range. So, please make sure you check the number of royalties you are entitled to before signing up.
Unfortunately, your book will not sell itself. You are going to have to do some kind of marketing. Therefore, you need to know what types of ads your chosen self-publishing company provides you with. By far, the best option is Amazon Kindle. With Kindle, you can pay for ads on a pay-per-click basis. This is a great choice as this enables you to keep costs down. Other self-publishing companies have the same option.
4. Print-to-Order Services
If you wish to offer hard copies of your books, then you need to consider print-to-order options. In this case, Kindle is the best option you can consider. Also, Ingramspark is a great alternative, especially if you’re looking to sell on your website. As such, it is important for you to look into print-to-order. It can open up an entirely new revenue stream for your self-publishing business.
5. Free Marketing
Self-publishing companies want you to sell as many books as you can. After all, they make money if you do. So, they are willing to offer up free marketing services for you. This means that you can count on them running ads everywhere looking to bring folks onto the site. Once there, you can run your own ads to improve your book’s visibility. Best of all, self-publishing companies will not charge you extra for this. That’s already included in the cut they get.
So, if you’re ready to give self-publishing a go, please keep these elements in mind!