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Learn To Publish Your Own Book

Publish Your Own  Book

Publish Your Own Book: An author should not attempt to publish a book without first having a strategic book marketing plan in place. The very first step is to determine your target audience.  What is the primary gender of your customers?  What age are they?  What income bracket are they in?  These are crucial questions that must be answered if you plan to publish your own book.

A USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is the one thing that you can say that no one else can.  It is a one sentence description that defines how you are different from your competitors.   You have to make your book stand out through your USP or your book sales will suffer.

As certain what the target customer wants.  Then you can cater your book’s message to deliver that value to them when you publish your own book.

  • Is my target audience professional (business) people or do they represent the general (trade) consumer?  Professional consumers typically prefer hardback books with dust jackets and have a higher threshold for the pricing.  General consumers prefer paperback and are more price sensitive.
  • Is my target audience male or female?  This answer will dramatically affect your book packaging, including trim size, cover design (i.e. prominent colors) and cover type.  82% of book purchases are made by women; so even if your target audience is primarily male, it is likely that a woman will purchase your book for a male.
  •  Most business books will be around 200 pages or less to err on the side of being brief.  Business people are busy.  Capture their attention while you have the chance.

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With the message of your book in mind, it is vital to write the title, subtitle and back cover copy text before penning one single word of the manuscript.  The title can make or break the book’s success. The subtitle’s purpose is to pick up where the title left off. It helps the consumer know what is being offered when you publish your own book.

A book’s cover design is the sales pitch that gets it sold.  If you don’t captivate the reader with the outside, they’ll never open your book to look at the inside.

It is best to prepare your book as a PDF, an Adobe Systems file format that can be precisely reproduced on different systems. PDF files are often sent to a printer.  You can create PDF files easily by using Microsoft Word to create your book.   Then you can just click one button to convert it to “PDF.”  PDF is also the format for e-books.

Never attempt to edit your own book.   You already know every word of your manuscript, so you will miss simple errors that a trained and objective editor will not miss.  In addition, editors are walking style books. They know, for instance, whether a particular manuscript calls for spelling out numbers, using numerals, or a combination thereof.

It is easy to spot a professionally designed book cover (or dust jacket).   A well-designed book interior is organized and consistent in both format and style.  It is best to use a professional graphic designer trained to know what attracts customers when you publish your own book.

The three elements of a book that really capture a consumer’s eye are Cover Designs, Book Titles and Subtitles and Back Cover Copy of Book Jackets.  Book jackets have to be created correctly from front to back. Every inch matters.  The back cover should be given as much attention as the front.   Back cover copy may close the sale when you publish your own book.

Keep these things in mind when brainstorming for copy to use on the back cover of the book you publish:  Use it to communicate your USP in clear terms. Express what your book will deliver. Make your target audience feel they need to buy your book. Help them decide it’s worth buying by telling them what’s in it for them.

To publish your book has both rewards and downsides.  It guarantees creative freedom, offers quick turnaround, and ensures high profitability.  But it also requires prepping the book for press, fulfilling orders and a sizable investment.

When you publish your own book, authors own all the rights to their books and can create other products based on it, from calendars to audio books to DVDs.   Books can be printed quickly and profitability is high.  The average self-published book enjoys a profit margin of at least 70 to 75 percent per copy.  The cost is only $5 or $6 per book and authors can sell the book for $20.

On the other hand, when you publish your own book, you have to do the editing, design and formatting. Doing these things yourself rather than relying on experts can seriously compromise quality.

Then there’s order fulfillment if you publish your own book.  You have to implement a toll-free telephone number dedicated to taking book sale orders – and you have to take those orders yourself.  This involves everything from processing credit cards (which you also have to obtain the infrastructure for) to standing in line at the post office.

How To Publish Your Own Book

Up-front print runs for self publishing usually involve a minimum of 2,500 copies.  That means you have an up-front cost of $15,000 to $20,000 and no guarantee of success.  If all the copies don’t sell, where will they end up?  If you don’t rent storage space, they’ll end up in your garage, your closet, and your living room.

With these things in mind, you might consider co-publishing as a means of publishing your own book.

With co-publishing, the author owns all rights and retains creative control.  The author has the freedom to reprint the book in other countries or produce related products such as CDs, DVDs, or audio books.

Co-publishing typically offers quick turnaround times of 4-6 months.

Co-publishing requires no minimum print run.  The author is not required to purchase copies up front.  If the book isn’t a hot seller, the author hasn’t thrown away $20,000 on a garage full of unsold, dusty books.  The author can purchase copies at up to a 50 to 75 percent discount off retail, still making it very profitable.

Co-publishing also includes distribution and order fulfillment.  That means authors are utilizing their time to schedule speaking engagements and meet with clients – not taking orders over the phone or standing in line at the post office.

Most co- publishers can provide comprehensive professional services such as editing, cover design, and marketing.  When you want to publish your own book you should look for a co-publishing company that offers all the services you may need, such as:

  • Comprehensive book publishing
    • Copyright, ISBN, registration
    • Ghostwriting
    • Editing (Developmental Editing, Line Editing, Copy Editing, Title Editing)
    • Cover Design, Interior Book Design
    • Printing
  • Comprehensive book marketing
    • Distribution (online and into bookstores)
    • Sales representation to trade
    • Publicity
    • Marketing materials
    • Strategic marketing and product development plans
    • Web design

Co-publishing works for a range of needs, from authors who don’t want to figure out every detail and warehouse a lot of books to authors who want the credibility of being able to say, “Buy my book anywhere books are sold.”

Co- publishing offers the author flexibility to choose and may be just what you need to assist you in your effort to publish your book.

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