Sunday, December 19, 2010

Self-Publishing Business Models - A Basic Overview

Self-publishing is a business. Many authors fail to recognize this fact when making the decision to self-publish their book. A solid business plan is essential for the books success, even if the author is not overly interested in financial success but desires the greatest number of possible readers to obtain the book and its contents. Part of the process of developing a successful business plan for a self-published book is to understand the common business models in the publishing world.

The information below has been excerpted from 301 Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Publishing.

117. Can you provide some examples of different business models for a self-published author?

Traditional publishing as a business is centered around distributing books through brick and mortar stores. The advent of the internet and the growth of Amazon into the largest book retailer in the world has changed the book industry forever.

For the self-publishing author several business models now exist. The advent of POD printing and distribution has created the POD business model. Another business model that relies heavily on the POD model is to steer sales toAmazon. Niche marketing to non-traditional points of sale is also a viable business model.

118. What is the traditional self-publishing business model?
The traditional model of self-publishing relied on the technology of the times, requiring large press runs of books using an off-set printing press and the warehousing of the books until they could be sold. This approach required a fair amount of capital to be invested by the author in order to self-publish.

119. What is the “Print-on-Demand” business model?
Unlike the traditional method of publishing using off-set printing and then warehousing the printed press run of books, the POD business model allows the author to sell and print books only when a copy has been ordered or purchased. Multiple or single copies of a book can be printed on demand. The cost per copy can be higher than using off-set printing, but there is no warehousing cost, no inventory, no capital outlay and no inventory to pay taxes on. Books are only printed when ordered and if LSI or CreateSpace is used as the POD printer, distribution is also handled for the self-publisher by either of these two companies.

120. What is the primary advantage of the POD business model?
This business model allows for self-publishers to enter the business with a very low capital investment and to lower operating costs to an absolute minimum.