Self-Publishing a Book. Spending or Making Money?
Best Self-Publishing Companies for Your Book
By Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker
One of the questions I am most asked as a Publishing Coach by those wanting to self-publish a book, is “What are the Best Self-Publishing Companies?” I understand that this question would be on the top of the mind of aspiring writers. However, if you are truly serious about publishing a book, you’ll want to dig a little deeper than that.
What is Self-Publishing?
In this new era of digital and print on demand printing, confusion reigns. Before we talk about the best printers for your self-publishing project, consider what self-publishing really is. Now that may sound obvious, but there are thousands of companies listed in Google that call themselves self-publishing companies. The concept of a self-publishing company which is somewhat of an oxymoron and is a misnomer.
If you look up the definition of self-publishing in WIKIPEDIA, it says that the person who is the author of the work, takes on the publishing role in addition to the creative role. Typically being labeled as self-publishing companies, these are mostly printers with the ability to print on demand. Print on demand is a digital printing process that allows as little as one book to be printed affordably.
The old-school printing press required about 10,000 books to print at one time for affordability in the marketplace. Now, with print on demand digital printing companies can help writers to publish their works easily and affordably. At the end of the day, however, it is not the printing company that is the self-publisher. The author who takes on the job of publishing his or her own works is the publisher, the “self” publisher.
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Selecting a Print on Demand Company
So the real question is, who is the best printer for your self-publishing project? Everyone who decides to publish their own works makes many decisions, selecting a printer is only one. To learn more about self-publishing and becoming your own publisher see the Self -Publishing Checklist.
Having worked in the publishing and printing industry for a few decades, I propose that the answer to this question depends on the project. My most preferable “self-publishing companies” are Createspace, LuLu and Lightening Source, and Blurb for printed physical books, along with Kindle, Kobo, and Smashwords for the top electronic book formats. All these decisions will take into consideration your primary market along with is the book hardback, paperback, black & white, or four-color.
One of the best ways to figure out the best printers for your book is to employ the services of a print broker in your area. If you want to do a short run of books and keep an inventory, then that is one approach. If you would like to have Amazon.com print and ship books as ordered “on demand,” that is another approach. This all depends on the project and also on who you want to reach and how you want to reach them.
Digital Publishing Explained Video
To get a little more insight into what digital and print on demand printing is about, watch this 2 minute educational video by Publishing SOLO.
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