Guest Post | Self-Publishing in the Internet Age – Ella Davidson

In the age of blogs, Facebook profiles and pages, everyone is beginning to develop an opinion to share. The benefit of this technological age is that now all of those wishes, opinions and great ideas found on the Internet can be turned into polished novels. Before the Internet and self-publishing existed, traditionally you had to have connections or preexisting street credit (and a quality and marketable book! – ED) to strike a deal with a publishing house in order to get a paltry 5 or 10% in royalties. This is not the case now.
Now with the option of self-publishing, anyone with an idea and a little money can skip the whole publisher section of the book making process. This means you can turn any idea—whether it is a great novel, a manual, teaching instructions, or just a legacy—into book form within days.
There are both benefits and drawbacks to self-publishing. The benefits are that you can get any idea turned into just the right number of books quickly and determinately. Some websites can have your book to you overnight, you can order just as many as you need, and you really get the satisfaction of turning your work into a tangible finished product.
Also, since you own the rights to your own book you can do anything you want with it. You can change markets, advertisements, distributors, and styles anytime you want without having to check in with your publisher. You also have the opportunity to tailor all types of promotions to get the best value for your book, whether your view of the value is profits and sales margins or a gift to close friends and family.
The downfall of self-publishing is that you no longer have the benefit of a publisher. This means that after you finish all of the writing, editing, and fine-tuning, you now have to do all of the marketing, promoting, advertising, selling, distributing, and all other –ings associated with book sales. This large amount of hard work involved normally means that it is hard to make money off of self-publishing. You may get to make more per book—since all profits go straight into your pocket instead of just small royalties—but normally you end up selling less books or spending all of your time marketing instead of writing.
So if self-publishing seems like your cup of tea then your next step is to get an ISBN number. This book identification number marks you as the publisher. If you want to be the true publisher and hold all the rights of your own book then be wary of the publishing websites that give away the numbers for free.
Once you have that number, you need to track down a website that will print the book for you. Plenty of different places exist to make your book, so do a little shopping to find the best price for what type of book you want. Some places even give you a discount if you get the ISBN through them. Other differences between companies include quality, time of delivery, and quantity. Places like booksjustbooks.com and selfpublishing.com provide a good place to start researching basics and details of purchases.
If you make it this far, then you should be enjoying the feel of that brand new book in your hands and the smell of newly printed-paper. The final step, if you so desire, is to try and make money from the book. At this point a multitude of options still exist. You can get your book onto Amazon, try to sell get it on the shelves of stores, do book signings, and even convert it into an online book for e-readers and Kindles.
But many self-publishers stop before that last step, and this makes sense in the majority of cases. Maybe the book was personal poetry or a family heirloom and you do not need sales margins. Instead the book can be an end in itself. There is a special feeling that arises from seeing thoughts and creations in print form. Now everyone has the ability to attain this same feeling of accomplishment.
Guest Post: This post was written by Coupons.org’s Ella Davidson. Coupons is a provider of consumer related news as well as top-retailer coupons and deals for books, electronics and more.
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