OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Print on demand and self-publishing truly changed my life. I went from someone who dreamed of being an author, to seeing my books for sale on the biggest book site in the world, Amazon.com. I also learnt so much from the process that I started this blog which kickstarted a whole new business and career for me, so I am a huge fan of self-publishing (or indie publishing, as we like to call it these days!).
If you are just starting out, and you want to write, publish and sell your own books, these two books will give you a great head start. DON'T waste time with this. Spend a little on information and you will find it returned multiple times in saved time and money for yourself. Believe me, I did it the hard way!
The Complete Guide to Self Publishing – by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier
This is a HUGE book, and contains pretty much all you need to know about self-publishing from considerations before you write, to book and product development, through all the publishing options and how to market it once it is done. All the basics are here but some of the things I thought were particularly interesting were:
- Establishing your publishing company, operating procedures and managing your business. So many authors seem to forget that they are essentially a small business when they self-publish. You need to know all these practical things, as well as the exciting, fun stuff!
- There are lots of ideas on marketing but also areas I know little about – like marketing to book clubs (which is huge in the US), as well as direct marketing tips, plus advertising options if you have a budget.
- A great self-publishing time-table which is an essential tool for authors. You don't realise how far in advance you have to do this stuff until the day you have a book in your hands, and no marketing underway! (believe me, I've been there!)
POD for Profit – Aaron Shepard
I have been a fan of Aaron's for a while and used his “Aiming at Amazon” book to navigate the world of Amazon.com for print books. Print on demand (POD) is also my hobby horse and I love to tell people about it.
Basically, you load digital files to a provider like Lightning Source, then when a customer buys a book on Amazon.com, one copy is printed and shipped. No stock to hold or store or ship, no up-front costs, no waste, no shredding. Brilliant! It truly is a life-changing technology for people who want to get their books out there. No middleman. The market decides whether your book is worth buying.
Aaron's book guides you through the process of specifically publishing using Lightning Source for print-on-demand. It covers all the nitty gritty details from ISBNs, to formatting, what you need to include in your data, preparing your files and getting your book on Amazon.
Highly recommended if you are serious about getting your book published using POD technology. This book will definitely save you time and money and I will be using it myself as I am switching from Lulu to Lightning Source with my next books.