Many people dream of becoming a published author one day. In today’s publication racket, it is very difficult. Most publishers only want to work with writers they already know. Finding a publisher who will read what you’ve written or even finding an agent to promote your work is a discouraging, and for me, an impossible task.
Self-Publishing for FREE
In the not too distant past, the only self-publishing option was to pay several thousand dollars to have a printer make hundreds of copies of your book. Then you had to store these books and try to sell them. (Good luck with that!) For most aspiring writers, their foray into self-publication turned out to be a financial sink hole, completely discouraging and a dismal failure, leaving them with boxes and boxes of books that they couldn’t sell. But at least their mothers bought a copy of their books. :P
Now this has all changed. Anyone can self-publish at no cost!!! The two best ways to do this is through the Amazon Kindle and thorough a print-on-demand publishing service that sells your book on the Amazon website.
The Kindle app is an application/computer program that runs on PC computers, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android phones, and Blackberry phones. The Kindle website provides detailed information for self-publishers on how to correctly format a story for conversion to the Kindle e-book format. The Amazon Kindle store website also helps market your book by listing it online and by providing customer reviews and the ability for customers to ‘like’ your e-book on Facebook, as well as providing other marketing features on the Kindle store website. I published my Kitty Castle Books to the Kindle store (for free) and I’m very happy with the results. With Kindle e-books, authors set the price of the book and make 70% of that amount. I would suggest that this is the easiest way to self-publish a book.
Books on Demand
With the Books on Demand option, your book is listed on the Amazon website and a copy of your book is printed when someone orders it. With this option, the shipping is also done by the self-publishing company. Createspace offers the books on demand service. When selling books on demand, the revenue generated is less than when selling e-books and will vary depending on the printing options selected.
Other Self-Publication Options
I have also published my books for free on lulu.com. Lulu was supposed to publish my book to iBooks for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. So far, they have not and it’s been almost two months so… I’m not too thrilled with that choice. Smashwords is also popular as a free self-publication option. I didn’t find their documentation to be very professional so I opted not to go that route.
I have had my short stories and the Kitty Castle Series published to iPhone/iPod touch/iPad by Visions Encoded, the most awesome programming company ever. I was able to have mine published for free, but then, it’s my husband’s business so, unfortunately, free publication here would not be an option for everyone. But I’m sure we could make a book app for you for around $500. Again, revenue for the author is 70%. I have had the most sales of my stories through these apps.
Marketing of Self-Published Books
Marketing is the most difficult part of self-publication. A good place to start is to tell family and friends about your book. Facebook can be a good way to tell everyone you know that you’ve self-published! If any of you have self-published, I would love to hear about what you’ve done in terms of marketing. I’m still learning about advertizing/marketing, and I’m hoping to have greater success in this area in the coming years. J