Book publishing has just become a lot easier for all of the aspiring authors out there. Normally, the process of creating a book would include producing a manuscript, several drafts and reviews, and the end result—which is to ultimately be discovered and signed by a well-known publishing house. However, times have changed and more of the book publishing business has been mitigated to online platforms.
Self-publishing removes a huge financial strain and brings forth another incentive: self-publishing via print-on-demand, or POD, and digital downloading. This benefits the author by eliminating the pressure to publish a minimum amount of books that most publishing houses require. The only cost that an author incurs is for the printing and shipping of their books.
As lovely as it may appear, the world of self-publishing has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that the author controls how, when, and where their book will be distributed.
A major disadvantage is the absence of a publishing company that would carry the distribution expenses and assist in the promotion toward major companies. When the author chooses to self-publish, they are now forced to create their own marketing plans and promotion collateral. Because a variety of skills is required, only the strong survive.
Despite the prevalence and efficiency of these sites, it is recommended that authours purchase their ISBM numbers elsewhere. Bowker.com is a good website that can assist with this task.
Hewlett-Packard has jumped on board to support this effort by launching Magcloud.com. The website allows aspiring publishers to produce their own magazines with no initial printing or shipping costs. Users simply set up an account and upload a PDF of their publication (up to 100 pages). Hewlett-Packard charges 20 cents per page and handles shipping.
As wonderful as it may be, self-publishing is not for everyone. It requires a savvy professional who has an established network and/or knows how to create one. It also requires a lot of time and patience as marketing collateral must be generated and multiple edits of the book or magazine must be completed. Overall, the world of self-publishing has proven to be effective for a lot of aspiring authors. For more information, visit www.selfpublishing.com. Good luck!
(Photo by Tienvijftien)