Today there are fewer and fewer publishing companies who give you an advance, for your book, and you then write the book, turning in chapters set up by the publisher. The movies show that, but normally a publisher does not work that way for a first-time author. They want a copy of your manuscript to see the quality of your work. More and more authors are self-publishing their own books and marketing them through companies like BookBaby for this reason. This is an easy way to publish your book and have it sold on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Advantages to self-publishings: You make more money, and the money goes into your pocket. When you self-publish you end up with 100 percent of the eBook sales. Bookbaby does not take any commission from the eBooks. You also make more money if your sales come from your Book Store on Bookbaby.com. Spreading the word about your book on social media sites, LinkedIn, etc. helps to bring more readers to your book.
The only negative to self-publishing through sites like Bookbaby is you have no control over distribution. If your book takes off and sales go sky high, the book sites will run out of books. They only order so many books, and this could hinder your sales. You have no control over the number of books being sent from the distribution center to the bookstores online. They also do not have any control over a book physically hitting the book shelves in the box stores. Publishing companies have the links to the box stores to get your book on the shelf, in view of the consumer.
Do you need your book in the physical big box stores? There are a lot of people who are now consumers of places like Amazon, and they have the Prime account to get their goods in two days. Does that make it easier for them to order? The only thing you are missing in your sales is the impulse buyer. How many people walk into a store and look for a book to purchase?
According to Publishers Weekly, “According to the “2010–2011 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics & Buying Behaviors Annual Review,” only 11% of book buyers who bought a book online said they did so as an impulse purchase, while 44% said the book they bought online was the one they intended to buy. The results were significantly different at physical bookstores, where the ability to browse through the shelves resulted in 26% of book buyers saying they bought a book on impulse, compared to 28% who bought the specific book they had intended to buy. Browsing also helped buyers choose a title, with 30% of shoppers at stores reporting that they bought a book that they had not planned on buying compared to only 17% of online shoppers.”
Self-publishing means you cover all the cost of the book. No matter how good of writer you are, you NEED a good editor. One very wise person once told me you never edit your own work. How many times have your read something you have written and your mind reads what it is supposed to say, not what is typed on the page? If you publish a book, you do not want to have grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Depending on the expertise of the editor and the length of the book this could cost you a few thousand of dollars. In the end, it is a great investment. Do you want a book review that tears your book apart because of writing errors? As an author you want your book to stand up to the best of them. Who doesn’t want their book on the New York Post Top 10 list?
Another cost is the book cover. You will pay several hundred dollars to have your book cover produced. The book printer needs high-quality graphics, and they need the book cover done printer ready. If you only want to put your book on eBooks, you can list the book through Amazon for a very low cost. The cost to go through BookBaby is again going to cost you a little bit of money.
I am in no way discouraging you from self-publishing your book. I am so glad I didn’t start my book with a publisher. Since I began my book project, I have learned so much. Understanding what the publisher goes through helps with negotiating a contract with them. If you start out self-publishing, you have more control over what the book cover design looks like and how the book is put together, from the front page to the acknowledgments/author biography. My goals were to prepare you for the steps to publish your book.
The Silver Heart is my baby. I have believed in the book since the last word was put on the page. I was offered a deal with Harlequin, but they wanted me to split the book into two books, creating a sequel. This idea just didn’t feel right for me. I put the book in a file drawer and let it sit, I knew one day I would pull the book out and work on it again, and I did,
Enjoy writing and never forget to have fun with it. When it becomes work you tend to put it away. Make every day an adventure and smile as you follow your dreams.