Where Should I Publish My Book?

By Bruce Jones

In my previous post I talked about Why Should I Self-Publish My Book? In this post I will talk about where you can self-publish.

There are many, many places to publish and sell your book, but the main place to focus on is Amazon.com. Everything else pales compared to Amazon. I recommend always starting with Amazon and then move out to the other sites including your own.

For a physical printed books this usually means paperback and working with www.CreateSpace.com. CreateSpace.com is the print-on-demand side of Amazon and is an excellent service. Basically you upload two files, a hi-res pdf of your book insides and one for the cover, fill in some info and they take care of the rest.

For the e-book side it is Kindle. Kindle is the highly popular e-reader developed and sold by Amazon.com. A text or MSWord file is uploaded at KDP Direct, (www.KDP.Amazon.com), along with a cover graphic and Kindle moves the files over to Amazon ready for selling. If you have a physical book Amazon will match them up so your customer can choose which option they want.

Amazon takes care of displaying, selling, printing, shipping, collecting the money and depositing it in your bank account. It is a wonderful thing. Cost for both of these sites is $0.00, they are free.

If you want to have a hard cover, or spiral bound or maybe a book with a cover wrap then you can look at sites like Lulu.com or Blurb.com. CreateSpace has streamlined the printing process to control prices and production and offer a limited product, just paperback. Though they just expanded the cover options to matt finish as well as the glossy finish they have always had. But it is easy to branch out to the other sites for a wider range of products. Most of these sites offer design and editing help for additional costs. They also are tied to Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, and other distribution sites. I have used all three and have been happy with each. Because you own all the rights you can also print on a couple of these sites so that you can offer different versions of your book. If you wanted to also sell a printed version on your own, I would recommend using CreateSpace as your printer, especially their color books. Such as when you do a book signing or a talk and want to sell your books. CreateSpace offers a very competitive paperback book product.

Along with physical books, there are also many options for producing an e-book. E-books break down to two basic formats, the mobi format for the Kindle and e-pub for all the other e-book readers. Kindle is the largest controlling something like 65% of the e-book market. But Kobo.com with their Kobo reader is big around the world especially in Canada and Japan and should be on your list. Again I recommend start with Kindle and then branch out to the others. An interesting development with Kobo and Nook is the ability to use their online tool to write and build your book. A trend that I am sure Kindle will pick up at some point. It just makes sense. If you want to be in the iTunes store take a look at Smashwords and Lulu.com both companies act as aggregators for Apple and they manage the entire process along with payment.

How to Publish Your Book

Books can take all kinds of forms and shapes these days. So start writing, illustrating, photographing, dictating, and get producing.

Sign up over on the right and pick up a free pdf copy of my new book How to Publish Your Book, A Beginners Guide for Print, Digital and e-Books.

 

Why Do We Self Publish?

The Caxton Celebration - William Caxton showing specimens of his printing to King Edward IV and his QueenI highly encourage writing and publishing your own books. This is an exciting and ever changing time for anyone who wants to create and send their content out into the world. Publishing has changed a lot over the last several years. Authors have more control of the content and rights of their books and with the explosion of e-books, tablets, and print-on-demand there are more and more options for publishing and distributing your creations around the world. Below are highlighted some of the ups and downs of today’s ever changing publishing environment.

Upside

  • Control over your own destiny, the word no doesn’t exist. You have control over the editing, the book layout, cover design, inside design, the marketing and the rights.
  • Speed to market is very much higher, traditional publishers can take 1-2 years to get your book to market if you can attract the attention of a publisher
  • Much higher royalty payments from the print-on-demand sites like CreateSpace and Lulu.com
  • More opportunity to create additional products from your content because you keep control over all your rights
  • Publishing can be close to free and with print-on-demand there is no need to have excess inventory hanging around

Downside

  • No book advance
  • You have to do all the work yourself, editing, design, formatting, publishing and marketing
  • You don’t have a group of professional marketing people to support you. Often though these don’t really exist and a lot is put on the author to promote and market
  • If you are actually self printing physical books you would need to front all of the printing costs.

 

Resources for Publishing Kindle and CreateSpace Books

Kindle Book ResourcesI have been a conversation today with some friends of mine on resources for publishing Kindle and print-on-demand books using services like Kindle/Amazon, CreateSpace/Amazon and Lulu.com. I thought I would start pulling some of this together in a post so others can access this info.

Kindle Book Resources
Amazon has a number of their own resources for pulling together your Kindle book, I found them quite useful along with some other sources. I found I need to read these books several times to get it to really stick. My books have a lot of images in them and it became very difficult to get the pictures to act and look the way I wanted.

  • Building Your Book for Kindle, from Amazon/Kindle, free download from Amazon, very useful, for the PC usersAaron Shepard Kindle Books
  • Building Your Book for Kindle for Mac, from Amazon/Kindle, free download from Amazon, for the Mac users, MS Word works differently on a Mac than a PC, you need this info especially for building your Table of Contents. Building the clickable TOC can drive you nuts

Aaron Shepard’s Books, excellent

Other Books

InDesign has Kindle and epub plugins for making ebooks, I started working down this path as I am an huge InDesign user but eventually went back to MS Word. A lot of people use InDesign to make their books, I just got frustrated mostly because of the heavy picture needs that I had and couldn’t figure it all out. If you are mostly text then life will be easier.

Youtube Resources/Playlist for ebook publishing
In my search for Kindle and epub knowledge I put together a YouTube Playlist called Kindle and Self Publishing

CreateSpace/Amazon Print-on-Demand Publishing Tips
I have another blog called How to Make and Sell Your Book and I did a long post on Using CreateSpace and Print-on-Demand called Publish Your Book Using Print On Demand with CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com, clever right. This article has a ton of info, including some guidance on building your cover. CreateSpace has upgrade the cover process some since this was written but it is still pretty helpful. There is also lots of other ebook publishing info on this site. How to Make and Sell Your Book

Other ebook and Print-on-Demand Links

  • Kindle Direct Publishing has a ton of tips on their site that are very helpful. Take a look at Preparing Your Book and Publishing Your Book
  • CreateSpace/Amazon, CreateSpace is the print-on-demand side of Amazon, it is where you upload and manage your books. Just paperback books, but you are on Amazon. I have over 20 books through these guys. They are excellent, great service.
  • Lulu.com, another print-on-demand book site, Lulu has more options for your books, including hard cover and spiral binding. Excellent quality

Kindle Direct Publishing has released an amazing tool for creating fixed formatted books for the Kindle called Kindle Comic Creator. This tool can also be used for creating picture books. I have just started to mess around with it but one of the things it can do is convert pdf files. It is free and works with both Mac and PC. I make a lot of image based books, music books, maps, and coloring books. My initial test is that it converts these book really well. It seems adding a TOC is a bit of an effort and maybe beyond me at the moment, but all the positives look really cool. Here are some of the things it can do:

  • Create a guided navigation experience with Kindle Panel View
  • Create books with double page spreads or facing pages
  • Import artwork from jpg, pdf, tiff, png and ppm formats
  • Preview content across Kindle devices before publishing

 

Show 6, Print on Demand, Bruce Jones Design Show

Print on Demand topic for Show 6 of the Bruce Jones Design Show. The future of publishing is here with print on demand. POD as it is called allows you to inventory your book on different book publishing sites as a pdf file. When your book gets ordered, it gets printed, shipped and the money is deposited right into your account. How cool it that

Print on Demand sites mentioned in the show:
https://www.createspace.com
https://www.lulu.com
https://www.blurb.com

Blog Idea for Show 6, Kick start your blogging with our Blogging Ideas
“Today I want you to write out some cool or favorite tips for using your product or services. The right tool, how to prep, clean up, answer the main FAQs.”

Post the answer on your blog, Facebook page, Linkedin update, twitter, how ever you get out to the world.