Key words: Independent Publishing, Self-Publishing, print-on-demand, POD, manuscript, legal entity, market, sell, e-book, Ron Kurtus, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions
Self-Publishing Business Overview
by Ron Kurtus (revised 2 January 2015)
Routes to getting your book published includie having the projects picked up by a publishing house, paying to have the book published by an independent or vanity press, or forming a self-publishing business and managing the publishing yourself.
Self-publishing consists of starting your own business, contracting with a printer and distrbutor, and promoting your book to get sales. You can also expand your business to publish others' books.
Questions you may have include:
- How do you start a publishing business?
- How do you get your book published and distributed?
- How do you promote your book to get more sales?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Starting a publishing business
Starting a self-publishing business is similar to starting any business. You need:
- Initial funding
- Establish it as a legal entity
- Set up shop
You do need some up-front funding to start up your publishing business.
As with any business, it must be organized as a legal business entity. You also need to get a work location, proper equipment and software, and support personnel.
The goal of the publishing process is to deliver a product—hard copy book or e-book—and make it ready for marketing and sales.
Get books printed and distrbuted.
This production process consists of:
- Write or receive a proposal for a book
- Determine if it is a worthwhile venture
- Decide to publish the book
- Write or obtain the manuscript
- Edit the material
- Format the material according to book design
- Create a book cover
For a p-book or hardcopy book, you then:
- Transform manuscript and cover into PDF files
- Send them to the printer
- Review proof copies
- Send them to printer to get copies to sell
For an e-book, you:
- Convert into various e-book formats
- Verify e-book formats are correct
Then, you can move toward marketing and selling your books.
Getting your books distributed and sold
In order to sell your books, they must first be made available in bookstores and online stores. Then you need to promote your book by various marketing methods.
In order to get your hardcopy book in bookstores, you usually need to go through a distributor such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor. Major bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble, seldom carry self-published books in their stores.
A distributor is also needed to get your book listed in online stores. However, Amazon.com often requires that you publish your hardcopy books through their CreateSpace program..
Promotion consists of letting people know about your book. In many cases, this part of marketing is supposed to start before the book is published.
Ideally, you want to market to a niche audience. Methods to use include:
- Newspaper reviews
- Social media
You can also sell your books from your own website.
If you have a great idea for a book and want to get it published, you can try getting a publishing house to handle your project, or you may consider using a self-publishing service. However, if you want complete control of the publishing process or plan to publish more than one book, starting a self-publishing business is a good route to take.
Starting a self-publishing business is an entrepreneurial venture. As with any business, it must be organized as a legal business entity. You also need to get a work location, proper equipment and software, and support personnel.
Once you have established your publishing business, you can start production. This consists of writing a book proposal, doing market research, and completing your manuscript. Then you edit and format your manuscript and send it to a printer. You also format the manuscript as an e-book.
Finally, you get a distributor to get your books in physical and online bookstores. You also need to promote and market the book yourself to ensure sales.
Know all the rules
Resources and references
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