Congratulations! You are here seeking answers because you are about to take a trip. That is exactly what we do when we take a trip, don’t we? We find out all we can, and then make our plans. Our plans consist of: deciding what day and time we will be leaving; what we will carry; mapping out our route of travel, or what mode of travel.
The publishing journey is a lot like planning a trip, or vacation. So why is it when you (it’s not just you, most of us) decide to self-publish we dive in without a plan? You are among those who want to succeed and that is why you are here because you want to know so you can plan.
So what does it take to prepare to self-publish? What comes first? What can you expect? What do you need to know?
Here are a few questions and the answers to at least give you a basic starting point. Diving in without a plan, not knowing what to do, or expect, can make the difference between success and failure. These questions have been selected as the most frequently asked for first time self-published authors:
1. What type publisher should I look for?
There are commonly two types of publishers: Online and the Traditional. Online consists of primarily POD, Print On Demand. The type you look for will depend upon how much work you want to do, or how much you want to spend. Most online publishers you can give them a manuscript and they will do everything, including creating a cover for a fee.
The traditional publisher requires the sending of a query letter to sell them on your book idea first. If they want to know more they may request a book proposal. If you are up for it, you can do it yourself, or hire someone to write a book proposal for you at a cost of a minimum of $2500.
2. Where do I start to look for a self- publisher?
When you hire an online publisher to print your book and post online for potential buyers. If you Google “book publishing” you will have more than you need to get the job done. Suggestion: print out info, read and highlight about 5 before you make your choice.
3. How do I find traditional publishers?
The Writers Market is a book with listings of traditional publishers. It is an excellent resource. Reveals everything you need to know to choose the right publisher, editor, what they are looking for and how to query.
4. What is the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing?
Self-publishing can be done faster, cheaper, and with distribution options. Anybody can publish anything they want. Traditional publishing is slower, competition is stiff, authors have to query, wait on a response, to which they may or may not get a response, or request for more information.
5. How do I self-publish?
Select a Print on Demand (POD); submit a manuscript ready to go to print, with a possible cover concept, if you have one, decide on the amount of copies and within about 7-10 days you could be in print.
6. Why do most writers/authors fail to get traditionally published?
Lack of patience, unwilling to persist, querying wrong publisher, or their manuscript lacks appeal, etc.
When querying a traditional publisher, how long should you wait before you consider self-publishing?
Querying the traditional publisher is slow because they do not want you to query them as part of a group of publishers you are targeting to make it faster for you. It might have something to do with exclusivity. Exercise patience but the good news is, even if you self-publish, you can still continue querying publishers.
7. Is self-publishing very expensive?
No. The cost varies with each online publishers.
8. Why should I invest in self-publishing?
Faster, cheaper, bigger return on investment, control remains with the author.
9. How long does it take to get self-published?
If the work is ready for print and doesn’t need too many corrections or changes, it could take 7-10 days, or up to 30.
10.Are self-published authors welcome in bookstores?
Yes, some book stores after reviewing your book, might consider doing that, but book stores are not the best place for a first time self-published author.