Some of you may wonder why we have devoted several items to the world of independent publishing. Well, there are a few reasons. First, more and more writers are passing by the traditional publishing houses in order to get their work out faster as well as collect a larger share of the profits. Second, the same writers learn a bit more each time they go through the process.
Independent publishing of one’s book isn’t a simple matter of formatting, shipping to a place like CreateSpace or BookBaby, and letting the money roll in. There’s cover design, promotion, creation of legal documents and, most important, editing. All of these items cost money. Certainly not like the thousands of dollars vanity presses charge, but it could cost a couple of hundred dollars when all is said and done. This means creation of a budget to make sure funds are available when needed. To help, here are a few more items to consider in the process of getting your book ready for publication.
No matter how perfect their manuscript is, there is someone out there who can find holes in it. Do not go cheap and forego the editing process. A book full of grammatical errors will sit on the virtual bookshelf for eternity. Ask writer friends around your community for assistance in editing. See if they’ll do it for free or barter if possible. Should you decide to go with a professional editor check sites like the Editorial Freelancers Association to find present rates.
This bears mentioning again. A book cover is just as or of greater importance as editing because it’s the first thing a consumer sees. And you need a cover regardless if you’re publishing a print or electronic version of a book. There are a number of websites out there that offer the services of cover artists. The site 99designs is one example. It can cost a minimum of $300 to get a design, but you have the choice of possibly hundreds of samples delivered during a weekly contest.
You can’t rely on social media and word of mouth to sell a book, unless you’re someone like J.K. Rowling. You have to promote it through other means like book signings or materials like bookmarks and postcards. A book signing requires the purchase of books to display on the table for you to place your signature, and you might also want to add some bookmarks or other materials the public can also purchase. There’s an upfront cost to all of these that needs to be added to the budget.
Let’s say you want to go one step further and create an imprint for your material as well as books from other authors. You need a detailed contract prepared to cover you and the client. This may require the services of an attorney with experience in publishing law. How much it costs depends on what you require.