Which self-publishing company is good for me?

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Self-publishing is getting a lot of exposure in the National dailies, leading to increased awareness and curiosity about the availability of alternative modes of publishing. It has caught the fancy of numerous authors who want to know how do I select the best self-publishing/Vanity publishing/POD company?

There is no one answer that fits all authors. However there are broad pointers one can look at while deciding which self-publishing company can work for you.

  1. List out your most important goals. The goals you are hoping to achieve by publishing this book. May be you want recognition as an author, to improve standing in your professional community or open doors to various public platforms like invitation to panel discussions, featuring in the local media etc.
  2. Determine the approx. amount of money you are willing to invest in self-publishing.
  3. The services you most need for publishing your book.
  4. Once you have the above, speak to people who have self-published and get their inputs on the process and the companies.
  5. Check online the feedback different self-publishing companies have got.
  6. Narrow down your search to 2-3 companies that have received good feedback and meets your goal.
  7. Then order one book which they have recently published, to check for finish and product quality.

By this stage you are all set to start correspondence with one or two companies that you have narrowed down your search to.

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Are you an author? Are you concerned about marketing your book?

Postman with envelope and e-mail sign

Here is expert advice

Consider these facts:

India is the third largest publisher of English books in the world! More than 90,000 new titles are published every year, in 24 languages. One fourth of which are in Hindi language and one fourth of those titles are in English language. What this means for an author is that no matter which language he writes in, he faces stiff competition. His book, no matter what the genre, is competing amongst 100 if not thousands of similar titles and he needs to make his book stand out, to be noticed and get the readers excited enough about his book to buy it.  So he needs to create awareness and excitement about his book.

Advice – don’t give up hope, is one, lage raho is next.

Assuming that the book content is useful, well written and professionally edited. To achieve the objective of creating awareness among the target audience and increasing sales. I will outline a couple of simple steps that can be followed:

  1. Begin your marketing effort as early as possible. A mention of the book to all those you meet with and also post about it anywhere you can. Keep the message brief and interesting to the target audience.
  2. Consider who your target audience is, make a list. Consider all factors about them, their age, interest, profession etc.
  3. Once you have your target audience and their brief profile, make a list of all the places where a post can be made on a regular basis:

Social media sites 

Blogs

v  Newspaper (identify which ones you would like to post in)

v  Magazines

v  Radio

v  TV

v  Cable

v  Festivals (college, school, city, cultural, any or all festivals anywhere etc.)

v  Place of work (as in company magazine, newsletter, notice board)

v  Place of stay

  1. Once you have your list of places you would like to market your book in place decide on the posts that you are going to post in each site. Each post has to appeal to the target audience so tweak the post to suit the audience in each site. “No one shoe fits all”
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Is self-publishing good for me?

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Can I give up my job if I am published by a traditional publisher?

Can I give up my job if I am self-published?

In majority of the cases the answer to both is a resounding NO.

Do self-published authors reach the best seller list?

Do traditionally published authors reach the bestselling list?

The answer to both is YES.

So then what is the fuss about?

Additionally

Self-publishing gives the author a choice. Self-publishing puts the author in control and his dream of becoming an author is no longer hostage to a traditional publisher’s whims and fancies

It is what allows the author to fulfil his passion- his passion to see his name in print to have his work published.

Self-publishing allows the author to be in the driver’s seat.

It allows him the option of testing his belief in his writing and seeing it work on the ground.

It allows him to invest his money where his passions lie.

It allows him to keep honing his skill as a writer till he has a winner in his hands.

It allows him the thrills of having his book picked up, discussed and be treated as an author.

The last but not the least it allows him to be a published author.

Life is all about living your dreams and self-publishing allows many authors, potential authors to live their dream.

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Have you written a book?

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If your answer is ‘yes’ or hope it is ‘yes’ in the near future then one needs to start looking around for a publisher that will publish your dream book.

 Once you start the task of finding a publisher you will realize the job is difficult for a first time author to even  find a literary agent let alone a publisher who will take on the book.

 If this is the scenario you have a couple of options: 

  1. Continue your dream of finding a good traditional publisher, infinitum. 
  2. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to find a good Publisher and then take a call to follow point no 3, 4 or 5. 
  3. Self-publish the book yourself
  4. Find a good self-publishing company to help you publish your book
  5. Junk the idea to publish the book, altogether.

 If point no 1 is your choice: You need lots of patience and perseverance, a good literary agent and a book that will appeal to a publisher.

 If point no 2 is your choice: You have spent a reasonable amount of time and effort to find a publisher for your book and then taken the next best option. In most cases this is a satisfying option.

 If point 3 is your choice: Time will be the biggest factor that you will need to contribute, to finding the various processes that go into book production but also the professional way to carry out those processes. Risk is – you may still not match the skill of a professional and despite immense amount of effort the book may turnout shoddy in appearance and you may or may not have saved any money.

 If point 4 is your choice: Be prepared to spend money, get professional editing done and be prepared to market your book. As is the case with finding any vendor even for a self-publishing company research the market, compare services and prices. Ask for hidden costs. Order a book to gauge quality of books on offer and look for author feedback for the company to measure the level of services actually being offered.

 If point no. 5 is your choice: then ‘Nothing ventured nothing gained’

 We have myriad publishing choices available to us. So cheers to choices!

 

 

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Should I get my book edited? Continued……………..

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                                                                       “Reading is an adventure that never ends”

What does editing do for your book? It improves its readability.

If you want your book to be read by others good editing is absolutely essential. You may ask “If my language skills are good then can I edit my own work?” The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Good editing is expensive hence you need to decide the purpose for which you are writing the book. If it’s for private circulation, amongst friends, family, and within limited groups and you have good language skills, then go ahead and edit your book yourself. If you plan to publish the book through a traditional publishing house then they will pass your book through a few round of edits before publishing it. The catch here is that for getting your book accepted by a traditional publisher you need to submit a piece that is already well edited.

No matter how good the story line or the content is , if it’s a book meant for mass circulation then it’s always advisable to get your book edited first by a professional editor – both fiction and non-fiction books. An editor will look at all mistakes or omissions that slipped your gaze. He/she will look at typos, spelling, grammar, sentence construction, the suitability of a word in a particular context, pace, tense, voice and many other factors. This will lead the reader to a happy reading experience. Editing will happen only once but the pleasure for thousands if not millions of those reading your book will be immense with every read.

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Should I get my book edited?

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There are several factors that are involved in the success of a book:

People in today’s world are inundated with choices and thousands if not more books are out there vying for the reader’s attention. If we have to grab the reader’s attention we need to take care of ALL major and minor aspects that will affect the decision of the reader to pick up your book. One of the most important elements in a book’s success is the readability, structure and flow of the text.

The moot question an author has to ask him/herself is – what am I writing this book for? In most cases the answer will be- for the book to be read by others! If the book does not provide people with a pleasant reading experience and all their attention is focused on either errors of spelling/punctuation/grammar or tedious description, will they then read it?

What does editing do for your book? It improves the readability of your book by correcting typos/punctuation/grammar and rewriting/adding/removing/substituting unnecessary bits of the text. Even if a manuscript is lucky enough to be noticed amongst thousands of manuscripts by a traditional publisher it may face rejection because of poor editing and therefore poor readability.

In the case of self-published books, it becomes even more necessary to get professional editing done if you want to achieve your primary goal.

The next question an author will ask is, can I edit my own book or should I engage a professional editor? Our next post will cover this aspect too. So watch this space.

                                                                           “Reading is an adventure that never ends”

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We all love success stories. continued…….

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What is a successful business start up to do with a successful book?
In most cases a successful book is the result of the same basic principles, as in business. A strong belief in your book, formulating some guidelines, implementing them, experimenting, tweaking your plans as you go along. Learning from other success stories.

Here is another link for those thinking of sucess in business should look at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/business/livepersons-chief-on-removing-organizational-walls.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

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