There are three main ways that you can self-publish your book:
- in print
- as an (electronic) e-book
- as an audio book
For now, this info blog focuses on how to self-publish in print or e-book format using the ‘DIY’ method based on my own experience.
Self-publishing involves quite a steep learning curve but with the range of free templates and help available, it is perfectly possible to do most of the legwork yourself. At the same time, there are some fabulous and reasonably priced freelancers out there who you can call on to check your files at the last minute if you run into trouble and I’ll include info on this at the relevant points.
Self-publishing in print
In the early days of self-publishing (‘vanity publishing’) aspiring authors would pay a vanity publishing company to create and publish their work. This was not only costly, but would very often leave the author with a stock of books to try to sell once friends and family had been exhausted. Happily for today’s authors there is another way – which is using ‘Print on demand’.
As its name suggests, with ‘print on demand’ your book gets printed after the customer places an order. This is made possible by digital printing, which has none of the set-up costs and high volume print-run requirements associated with traditional printing in order to make it economically viable.
Digital printing on demand is music to the self-publisher’s ears because orders as small as a single book can be fulfilled without affecting your retail price. You can read about the popular print on demand options here.
As well as, or instead of, self-publishing in print, you can choose to self-publish electronic books – formatted for the Kindle, Kobo and other e-readers. E-books can be downloaded instantly across all borders, which makes them an attractive proposition for both buyer and seller. In addition, the royalties that authors can earn on e-books are significantly higher when compared with a print equivalent. You can read about self-publishing to Kindle and other e-book formats here.
Audio books / podcasts (Updated June 2014)
There are clearly enormous potential markets for audio books, including:
- those who are visually impaired
- walkers and runners
- commuters and holiday travellers
- unable to read due to illness
- anyone else too busy to find the time to sit down and read!
I’m keen to make The Secret Lake available as an audio book but until I find time to research this area properly and try it out, you might want to look at the links below. The first three links offer great insights into how to take advantage of the ACX self-publishing platform to create audio books and distribute them via Audible, which is an Amazon company. The last three links are for simpler ways to produce your book in audio. If anyone would like to suggest additional links to add here please email me.
- How to make an audio book using ACX by Roz Morris
- Moe tips on making an audio book using ACX from Roz Morris
- How to record, produce and distribute Audio books (interview on Joanna Penn’s website)
- Audio book marketing and distribution tips from Joanna Penn
- How publishers and authors can use SoundCloud (via Galley Cat – opens in new window)
- How to start your own writing podcast (by Iain Broome – opens in new window)
- How to create a PodCast (by Joanna Penn – opens in new window)
An early recording of The Secret Lake on YouTube
Back in November 2012 I created a YouTube reading of the first three chapters of The Secret Lake using Garage Band and iMovie on my iMac. I definitely read too quickly and it’s a bit ‘hissy’ but it’s worth taking a listen to see just what you can do from your office at home! I will blog on how I did this at some stage (famous last words!) – but it was really a case of playing around with Garage Band and iMovie until I worked it out. For a simple marketing tool it’s worth investigating. Here is the link – please do share with your children age 7/8-11!
Karen Inglis reading Chapters 1-3 of The Secret Lake