How can I Publish or Sell My Book On My Own?
Paperclip Press offers a full service setup solution for authors. See this page for more informaiton. However, if you want to pursue it yourself here are your options.
READ THIS FIRST: This is a general guide, not a step-by-step tutorial. You are essentially setting up your own business and it will take some time. However, the account set ups are all within the scope of the average computer users. One tip: Create a master document and keep careful notes on all the URL's Logins, and Passwords for your various accounts.
Great General Resource: we redirect you to a helpful publication: "Mundane and Boring Subjects that will Change Your Digital Life." Download it at http://www.enktesis.com.
Here are Your Options:
You plan to publish other books and/or you would like to have your book widely distributed and you want to manage your publications.
Work with a Self-Publishing Company Like Paperclip Press.
Become Your Own Self-Publisher
- Setup an ISBN Account at Bowker: Visit http://www.bowker.com and setup your account. Bowker is the international registrar for ISBN numbers. You can one or a block of numbers. From the site you can assign ISBN numbers, create bar codes, and enter the numerous bibliographic data points that will be seen by the publishing world. The also have a number of marketing options and very helpful staff. However, see the note on CreateSpace below.
- Setup a PayPal Account: You will need this for various payment and services. If you don't need to take credit cards directly, the free PayPal account is adequate. Be sure to certify your PayPal account (it is all very clear). Visit http://www.paypal.com.
- Setup a SquareUp Account: SquareUp is a totally free service that lets you use your smartphone to take credit card payments anywhere. The rates are competitive and it flows right into your bank account each day. Perfect for fairs and public events. (https://squareup.com)
- Setup a book production/seller account: We suggest starting with CreateSpace (http://www.createspace.com). This is Amazon's print-on-demand and distribution system. They have a complete book production system that requires no inventory (though you can buy books from them at wholesale). You set your price, your distribution network, including the world. The site as complete instructions on setting up your book including templates for Word, Quark, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. This will place your book on CreateSpace, Amazon, and make it available to major distributors. In addition, they will facilitate conversion to Kindle (of course!). There is not cost to setup the account and minimal costs for setup of your publication. Note that CreateSpace can provide and ISBN and there are advantages to using them for this service. Read their description. After you've completed this work then setup an account at LightningSource (www.lightningsource.com). This is Ingram's Print On Demand distribution company.
- Setup an Amazon Advantage Account: This program allows you to provide books and other goods to Amazon on consignment. You setup the account and you can send them copies of your books for sale on Amazon. (https://advantage.amazon.com). They will contact you to request books and let you know when the need more.
- Prepare your files: If you are so inclined, both CreateSpace and LightningSource offer extensive templates and design files and services. However, it is often easier to work with a local designer. In any case, the safest way to submit your documents is in the PDF format. Why? The PDF format give you an absolute preview of exactly how the document will look. The technical intricacies of document design, preparation, and PDF conversion are beyond the scope of this discussion.
- Submit/Publish: Both CS ad LS conclude the book submission with a publishing phase. It's all very clear on the sites.
Third: Marketing Options
There are number of ways to sell your book online (beyond the Amazon Advantage account)
Ebay: Yes, Ebay. Ebay has become the clearing house of the world. You can sell fixed-price items. (www.ebay.com)
Create Your Own Store: This is much easier than you think. One of the most highly rated is Shopify (http://www.shopify.com). It is free to setup your store and literally take minutes (sort of). There are others.
Social Media: If you have a Facebook and Twitter account broadcast your book widely.
Pay Per Click Advertising: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google all offer online ads at varying rates.
Local Papers and Controlled Circulation Pubs: Every community has subscription and free papers. The rates for small ads are often very low.
Craigs List: OK. It has gotten a lot of bad raps. But it is still the ugliest, fastest, most bizarre collection of goods and services and people all over the country use it shop for almost everything. (http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites)
Create a Custom Website: There are many tools to do so. Again, the process of creating a site is out the scope of this article. Talk to friends, get local referalls.
Fourth: You Need a Publisher
Publishers offer a wide range of services. Do your research carefully. There are hundreds listed online. Read widely. Get referrals from people you trust.
Straight Talk from the Editor (FREE Ebook):
Follow Me On Twitter:
My blog, The Writing Life (over 1,000 entries):
Terry Whalin's Main Site