Saturday, October 30, 2010

Excerpts from my latest book: 301 Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Publishing

The passages below are brief excerpts from my latest book, 301 Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Publishing: Answers to Common Questions About Self-Publishing, Print-On-Demand, Book Marketing, Using CreateSpace and More
175. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using CreateSpace to self-publish?
This section describes the pros and cons of using CreateSpace based on my experiences.  What might be a major issue for me might be irrelevant to another author, so please take these statements for what they are.  These are what I think are the strengths and weaknesses of using CreateSpace to self-publish a book.

The Advantages
Low cost per copy for the author

For me personally, this is the most important reason to use CreateSpace in order to self publish a book. The low cost per copy for the author allows the author to make a healthy profit on direct sales. 
         The low price per copy for the author also creates opportunities for the author to act as the wholesaler of the book and still make a reasonable profit on each copy sold. Authors whose business plan includes sales other than on Amazon will benefit from the low cost per copy for the author.

The cost to publish is low

The cost is not just low, it is free. Well, sort of free.  Upgrading to the Pro Plan obtains the lowest possible price per copy for the author.  The author must also purchase a proof copy and pay for the shipping.  Compared to other methods of self-publishing, this is still the least expensive means to self publish a book.

Author sets list price

The wise self-publishing author has done considerable market research prior to publishing.  Part of that research should have included pricing of competing books in the niche or genre the author’s book belongs to.  The author controls the pricing of the book and can price the book optimally to sell as many copies of the book as possible.  If the author makes a mistake in pricing, it can easily be changed.

Print on demand printing

CreateSpace uses print on demand printing. By using this relatively new and still improving technology, CreateSpace allows self publishing authors to take full advantage of the “print on demand business plan” and all of the advantages to this approach to self publishing.

Automatic listing on Amazon.com

CreateSpace automatically lists the book on Amazon, if the author wants to sell the book on Amazon. Within fifteen business days or less after the author approves the proof copy, the book will be listed and available for sale on Amazon. 

Easy access

If you have access to the internet, you can gain access to CreateSpace.  It really is that simple.

Excerpt Number Two:
 
185. What should I look for when selecting an author services company?
Reputation and price are the two biggest things to be concerned with when looking for an author services company. There are a lot of sharks in the industry who charge too much for their services and do shoddy work. Because it is your book and your money, take the time to do a background check on the author services companies you are selecting from. Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau. Post a question on a message board used by self-publishing authors and inquire about the experiences other authors have had with the companies you are researching. Be sure to read the author contract carefully for each company. A sure sign to avoid a company is if the company will not provide you a sample author contract to read. Reputable author services companies are happy to answer questions and provide as much information as you require in your decision making process.
186. What are the advantages of using an author services company?

If you are using a reputable company who does a good job, if you have written a good book the company will do a good job for a reasonable price in producing your book.
         For a first time author who does not know the ins and outs of the publishing industry, this can be very helpful. The author services company will produce the book, list it on Amazon and other online book retailers, deal with the POD printer, handle the financial transactions and pay you on a quarterly basis.
187. What are the disadvantages of using an author services company?
The time involved to produce your book will be much longer than if you design the cover and interior yourself, hire your own editor and deal directly with a POD printer and distributor such as CreateSpace or LSI. Your book is just one of many the author services company is producing and unless you pay a rush service fee it will be produced in the order in which the company contracted to produce the book. In other words, first come, first serve when getting your book into the production line.
       Costs can be lower or higher to produce your book when using an author services company. This will depend on the company you select or the freelancers you hire. Be careful, do your homework and shop around regardless of the approach you use to produce your book and publish it.