Avoid a bad self publishing experience. Follow these rules!
Here are 7 rules for any author shopping for a good self publishing company:
1. You want to keep 100% of your rights
Any self publishing company that does not allow you to keep 100% of your author rights is not a legitimate company, in my opinion, and you should avoid them at all costs
2. You want a non-exclusive contract
You don’t want to work with a company that restricts your rights and who you can work with. You want someone who is trying to help you, not restrict you.
3. You want a company with a good reputation
Only deal with self publishing companies with a good rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, do an online search of complaints regarding the company. A lot of big self publishing companies have gotten themselves a bad reputation because they use very aggressive sales techniques, they don’t or won’t resolve problems when they arise and their staff is not well trained to answer questions about sales and distribution. Avoid them.
4. You must have these essential services
Your self publishing company must provide you with:
- ISBN number
- Bowkers Books in Print Registration
- Distribution on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com
- Distribution through the wholesaler Ingram and/or Baker & Taylor
- Print on Demand order fulfillment
If you are looking at a company that doesn’t offer these basic services, then they are not a publishing company, they are a printing company. They are going to print books for you, but no online or offline bookstore will make them available for sale
5. Decide if you need Full Service or Self Service
There are two types of Self Publishing companies, Full Service and Self Service. Full Service self publishing companies will help you lay out your manuscript, help you with your cover, give you advice, provide you with electronic proofs of your book before it goes to press and much more. Self Service companies, on the other hand, expect you to come to them with everything formatted and complete and if there are problems they are your problems. Most authors new to publishing should use a Full Service self publishing company to start
6. Compare publishing packages
Publishing packages come with a variety of services. When comparing publishing packages between companies be sure you are comparing apples to apples. In particular compare:
- The number of books that come with each package
- The price to purchase additional books
- EBook services such as Kindle, Nook and iPad editions
- Any additional fees such as shipping costs
7. Consider other services you may need
In evaluating self publishing companies, you need to consider what other services you may need beside the basic publishing services. You may want to consider:
- Editing services
- Cover design services
- Illustration services
- Marketing services
For example, if you want to aggressively market your book you will need to be sure that the publishing company you choose offers a variety of marketing services for your book.