I’ve visited self-publishing many times through WordPress. It’s something I have to try, but it’s also one the costly processes I’ve researched thus far. Of course, I can go with the traditional route and submit my work to a publishing house. As we all know, getting through a publisher with an unsolicited manuscript could land in the discard pile no matter how good the writing is.
Self-publishing seems to be the way to go. It’s DIY process to getting the content out there. The upside: The author becomes the publisher. They yield 100 percent of the profits. They get all the credit through copyright.
The downs: All of the work is on the author, and the process is extensive. Promotion, marketing, and cost is all on the self-publisher. Let’s not forger editing. And yes, as an author and publisher, an editor is required to polish the written content. As the author, you’ve seen the story over a hundred times. A second or third pair of eyes will help flesh out those characters and inconsistencies you might have missed.
It’s quite a journey, but I imagine that a future publishing house will take you more seriously if they see you’ve gone through the proper channels to get self-published.
What are the proper channels?
From my research, here’s what I found.
In the event that an author wants to self-publish, the author should:
- Purchase ISBNs from the website Bowker. The website suggests 10 ISBNs which costs $295 (price subject to change). Barcodes (about $25) are designed to stand on the book cover, which hosts the ISBN along with other vital information on the book edition such as Hard Cover, Paperback, or eBook.
- Purchase copyrights from the Library of Congress. By right, the author is entitled to copyright for creating the work. Registering your work with Library of Congress sets it in stone further protecting your work. It’s a safeguard investment everyone should take.
- Make sure manuscripts have been edited by others. All solid, good books have editors. CreateSpace seems to be a good source to start. If not, find an editor that can do several rounds of editing ensuring the content.
- Find a graphic artist whose skilled at book covers. It’s part of the investment. If the self-publisher is an artsy person, then time will be only invest there.
- Promotion and marketing. Getting the word out is easy but like this entire process, it will take time. Self-publishers have to funnel through hashtags and posts to get the message out, “Buy my book!” Don’t forget a solid synopsis. If you can, see if you schedule an interview with your local media.
Again this is my research. I haven’t actually done all of this yet, but I’m really close. Soon, I will purchase the ISBNs. Finding an editor for the nine (or ten) short stories I’ve written is much tougher than buying the ISBNs. But I’m coming along.