Indie publishing is the real deal
learn all about it . . .
There are many independent presses, various choices of distributors, and multiple book formats available to independent authors who want to control their own work and publishing platform. Many authors have chosen to self-publish rather than go the traditional publishing route, which often leads to disappointment. What used to be the ‘high standard’ of traditional publishing is now often nothing more than the true vanity or ego publishing. Many mid-list authors have been buying back their publishing rights from traditional publishers in order to go down the Indie publishing road.
Why? Many reasons, some personal, but common reasons are:
- higher royalties
- control of design
- control of editing
- no long waiting (hoping not to get dumped while waiting)
Perhaps this sounds bias, but after reading about all the options, the processes entailed, and other authors’ stories, it quickly became apparent that the responsibility for the marketing platform, the hardest part in my opinion, falls on the author even if signed with a traditional publisher. So why not self-publish! It only makes sense.
Here are a few suggested resources to help you decide what’s best for your journey.
If you want to self-publish you need to consider your book’s format. Most self-published authors release eBooks and use POD (print on demand) for a paperback.
You will need to write your best story and format the file for print in a PDF format, and format for eBooks used in digital readers and smartphones with epub and mobi files. (Yes, today many use their phone as a reading device – handy if you have a long commute or are waiting in the doctor’s office.)
The most popular eBook distributors are:
- Amazon Kindle for eBook uses Mobipocket – the mobi format
- Kobo for eBook uses epub format
- Nook Press (Barnes & Nobel’s digital store) for eBook uses epub format
- Apple iBook store uses epub format (you must load with a Mac or use a third party aggregator)
If you don’t want to load the files directly, or don’t want to manage the various dashboards for each distributor you can use an aggregator site:
- Smashwords sells all book formats and distributes eBook files to other distributors like B&N Nook, Kobo, and Apple stores, and other reader sites if you’d rather not load those files directly. They use epub format and also accept word documents, but it must go through its Meatgrinder and pass inspection to be approved to distribute to other stores.
- Draft2Digital distributes eBook files using epub format to various stores and reader sites without any special formatting.
For print on demand, the most economical for self-publishing to avoid warehouse costs and distribution issues, there are some commonly used POD printers:
- Amazon Createspace is easy to use and all criteria for needed files and the requirements are listed on the site
- INGRAM: Lightning Source for POD paperback and/or hardcover for small publishers
- Ingram Spark for self-publishers – the site also lists requirements to follow
- There is always the small local printer with minimum runs – usually, 1,000 or more copies required, which you would be responsible for all inventory warehousing and distribution of product
- Other companies that do the print services for you like Lulu, may have higher costs. These are best if you want small runs and are not in it for major profit but more for personal use, like gift giving to family members
Be very careful – there are many sites that offer services and charge for things that should be free, and can sometimes take your money needlessly. Be Very Wary! Never sign a contract unless you fully understand the fine print. For more detailed info about this subject read David Gaugrhran’s blog
Beware of print companies that disguise themselves as a publishing service or hide behind a legitimate publishing house’s name. They will take your money (with high unjustified fees) and then run. Before you enter into costly service agreements or sign contracts – with companies like:
- Abbott Press
- Xlibris Publishing
Read the fine print – don’t give away your rights.
There are other companies like Lulu that will provide as many services desired at a cost, and it may be a valid choice for short print runs if you don’t plan on mass distribution.
There are hybrid Indie publishers like She Writes, and small college and independent presses that will take in a few titles each year upon approval. Consider all the choices listed in the Independent Press and other pages, and discover the path that best suits your journey. Find the right solutions for you.
The digital publishing world is changing all the time, with new software and copyright laws, so remain curious. Stay informed. Learn more about digital publishing here –
Check your eBook files with these links
You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.
This site uses EpubCheck to provide validation information for EPUB 2 and 3 documents. If you are creating commercial EPUBs in volume, you must install EpubCheck instead of using this site.
Save time for writing.
A guide to information for self-publishing authors.
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