Today’s Tech Talk addresses the issue of self-publishing. Have you considered self-publishing, but freeze up in total terror before taking the first step? Kimberly Rae might have an answer for you.
Kimberly, I’m so glad you’re here to help our readers find out more about self-publishing. First, please share three things about yourself with our readers.
(1) I’ve been to twenty countries–got to see Mt. Everest, raft the Nile River, and eat cow brains!
(2) My first romantic suspense series on international human trafficking led to a human trafficking training ministry.
(3) I had to leave the mission field due to Addison’s Disease.
Wow! You’ve definitely lived an interesting life. Why did you decide to pursue a career in the field of publishing?
Kimberly: I’ve been writing since childhood. When I was 10, my parents gave me a kid’s typewriter for Christmas. I used to pluck away writing my own little Nancy Drew stories. Then I’d tape them all together. I’ve been writing ever since, but never thought that’s what I’d be doing “for real.” I am so blessed!
After my husband and I learned enough to produce my own series of books, authors we knew started asking us for help. Some of them had spent thousands on subsidy publishing that had left them without much say in their cover artwork, book pricing, marketing etc. We praised Amazon’s Print-On-Demand option but many of them did not want to have to do the formatting and design themselves. That’s how we got started creating books for other authors and we’ve been doing it ever since.
I wouldn’t know myself where to start. So tell me, why do people find it so hard to professionally self-publish?
Kimberly: I think people are hindered from self-publishing for several reasons:
- The old stigma that self-publishing means your book isn’t good enough for traditional publishing. Fortunately, that stigma is changing drastically thanks to Print-On-Demand publishing and the huge popularity of e-books.
- The cost. Self-publishing used to mean spending several thousand dollars–money most authors would not be able to recover with sales. Now, thanks to Print-On-Demand, authors are able to create paperbacks and e-books with little cost.
- The design. Most authors are not artists as well, and a book cover that screams “homemade” is a big deterrent.
- The learning curve. To produce a book yourself means learning about formatting for the paperback, creating a cover, and HTML coding for the e-book. A lot of authors don’t want to spend that much time doing something that’s not writing.
Kimberly: A great cover. People say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all do. If I’m looking at books on Amazon, I will click off a cover that looks homemade before even considering the book. If the cover is sloppy, people assume the writing will be as well.
What makes a cover look great? I wrote a whole article on that once. You can check it out here:
That is so true. I won’t purchase a book by someone I don’t know if the cover is unattractive.What are the advantages of hiring someone to help, compared to do-it-yourself templates or services?
Kimberly: Do-it-yourself templates can often end up looking like you did them yourself. Again, for an author who doesn’t want to put a lot of time and effort into learning to be a designer, hiring someone is a great way to get your book out on the market and let you continue to focus on your writing.
Another advantage of hiring someone is the personal attention to you and your book, as opposed to, say, using a POD company that already has hundreds of clients in their system.
We writers do need our time to write. What other computer or book services do you provide for your clients?
We have a full sheet of options where authors can choose services such as:
Making their Createspace and Kindle accounts.
Creating a paperback with Print-On-Demand.
Creating an e-book with Kindle.
Creating a cover using their ideas, one they can be proud of.
Library of Congress number
Our author’s books are their own. They never have to get permission from us to use anything about their book to market or promote or even use in other books. I have friends who can’t use their own cover image without red tape and I feel that is wrong. It’s your book. It should belong to you.
We also walk our authors through the process of how to use the accounts, order books, do free days on Kindle, etc. Our publishing program is very small and we like it that way. That’s why we don’t have a website and work only through personal requests or referrals. Our authors get our personal attention and we like making books they are proud to present to the world.
I love the fact that you give the authors personal attention! Anything else you’d like to say regarding your field?
Kimberly: Whether you want to do it yourself of hire someone, I would definitely recommend Print-On-Demand over subsidy publishing. With POD, you get to make the choices about your cover, your interior, and your pricing. If you want to make changes down the road, you can for free (with subsidy, you often have to order hundreds of books up front, and if you find a typo, you’re stuck with it). Also, you have the freedom to market with the Kindle free day option, and you can use your cover art anywhere without copyright issues. I’ve been very happy with Amazon’s Createspace and Kindle programs and highly recommend them to other authors.
Happy book making!
Thanks for dropping by, Kimberly! If you’d like Kimberly to help you publish your book, she is offering a 10% discount to any author who mentions hearing about them through the Writing Prompts blog.
Author of 20 books, Kimberly Rae has been published over 300 times and has work in 5 languages. Her series of suspense novels on international human trafficking and missions (Stolen Woman, Stolen Child, Stolen Future), all self-published, are all Amazon bestsellers. She also has a series of non-fiction books on living joyfully despite chronic illness. Rae lives at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her husband and two young children. Find out more or contact Kimberly at www.kimberlyrae.com.
2015 Price Chart
How NARROW WAY DESIGN can get your book into your hands for less:
Interior Book Formatting:
This is putting your manuscript into the correct format to make a book with Createspace: 215.00
Depending on your preference and budget, here are the cover options:
1. Cover fully created, but using your photos and design–this is if you have the idea and pictures, but we make a full cover using them 325.00
2. Cover from scratch–this is if you have nothing and we work with you to create a cover you can be proud of. 435.00
Formatting and uploading your book for a Kindle e-book 185.00
OTHER STARTUP COSTS:
If you have photos to go inside your book, cost is $2 per photo for paperback.
$1 per photo for Kindle book
You can create your own account, or we can, including your Amazon book’s page info, keywords, and category. (You will need to put in your desired payment info, but we’ll walk you through that.)
KDP Account for Kindle:
Again, you can do this through your personal Amazon account, or we can create your KDP account either using your current Amazon signup information, or a separate account using new signup info.
Library of Congress number for your book:
Not necessary but looks more credible and is useful if you want to market your book to libraries. $35.00