The book industry is thriving, and self-publishing is on the rise! If you want to learn more about how to self-publish a book, you’ve come to the right place.
I think all people go through important transitional moments in their lives, and if we’re lucky, during those moments we stumble across tools that help us to find and better understand ourselves. When my mom died just before my final year of art school, I walked head-first into one of those major life-altering periods and my sense of self seemed to have been lost somewhere along the way. But there’s an interesting, and slightly magical, thing that happens when we lose a piece of ourselves — it makes room for new discovery. For me that discovery was poetry, specifically in published, physical form.
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Ask 100 different people who have self-published how difficult it was, and you will probably get 100 different answers. After all, we are writers. Give us an open-ended question and the probability we give you a longer answer than you wanted is high. But the truth is, the journey to self-publishing and the process you take to release day is different for every person.
Our world needs memoirs.
It needs individuals who are willing to share the honest reality of who they are and the things they’ve experienced. When someone chooses to read a memoir, it means they’re searching for something. They’re searching for understanding, to gain perspective or insight, and they’re hoping to find something within your story that they can resonate with—perhaps something that gives them hope.
The fantasy genre in literature, especially that of the Young Adult (YA) age group, is a constantly changing and maneuvering beast of new ideas, expanding themes, widening horizons, and tedious design—not only inside but outside of the book.
Though the days of women selecting masculine pen names for fear of being unable to publish are predominantly past, authors still frequently write under names that are not their own. Why is this?
When I was nine years old, my fourth grade teacher read a story to our class about a boy and his two hunting dogs in the Ozark Mountains. Where the Red Fern Grows did more than make me teary-eyed; it filled my young mind with wonder, imagination, and inspiration.
I’m sitting here in my kitchen window on a January snowy day in New Mexico thinking about all the possibilities ahead in 2020. With this new year just dawning, it’s a perfect time to take inventory of what's happening in the world of self-publishing. Here’s a review of self-publishing trends in 2019 and what I see happening in 2020.
As we look back on 2019, we want to take a moment and celebrate some of the best and brightest ideas on the blog. The verdict is in—here are your top ten most viewed self-publishing blogs from IngramSpark in 2019!
Did you catch the Season 4 finale of IngramSpark's self-publishing podcast, Go Publish Yourself? We featured some exciting guests this season—publishing experts from all over the globe sharing their secrets to successful indie publishing. With over 100,000 listens in more than 70 countries, Go Publish Yourself is the go-to podcast for indie publishing knowledge. Listen to Season 4 to learn more about self-publishing in Australia, the business of book publishing, and the top self-publishing mistakes today!
Learning a new language is like learning to see the world in a new color: you suddenly notice shades of sounds in rolled r’s and guttural consonants, and potential friendships tucked behind an “hola” or “salut.” That’s why it’s so special when a child has the opportunity to learn another language, especially through a book you write! As language learners embark on this journey, bilingual books can be an incredibly helpful resource for them.
There was a time when becoming an author was a far-fetched dream, and writing a paper was the closest anyone in my community had come to sharing a message. The journey to becoming an author has not been a straightforward one. It has been one of mental challenges, imposter syndrome, and lack of knowledge around the phenomenon that is indie publishing—but it's been so worth it.
You’ve just spent what seems like a huge chunk of your life writing your book, and now, at last, it’s time to hit that publish button . . . but not so fast! Is it really time to publish your book? Just because a book is finished doesn’t mean the timing is right. Your publication date is important. There are certain months that would be perfect for your book and make your pitch to retailers and media outlets easier, and some months you should avoid altogether. Below are some tips to help make sure your book doesn’t launch with bad timing.
For most of us, barrelling into the end of the year means getting ready for the holiday season in a flurry of last-minute projects and parties. For many writers, though, November brings an added challenge—National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short.
Your imprint name is different to your author name, which is the name you are writing a single book under. It’s also different to your publisher name. Are you confused yet? Let's break down what an imprint is and how to set it up.
You can write the absolute best book in the world, have top-of-the-line book distribution and quality, but another essential part to being a successful publisher is taking the time to invest in expanding your publishing knowledge and expertise, because, at the end of the day, your book’s success needs your input.
Coloring books are a great way to relieve stress, have fun, and create a shared creative experience between the customer & artist. Behind the scenes of what goes into creating one is an art form itself, and we’re excited to share our experience. We hope to inspire future indie artists to bring their imagination to life and create that shared experience with others. Here’s our journey in creating Wandering: a coloring book of the unusual!
To self-publish or not to self-publish? For many aspiring children’s book authors, that is the question. In fact, as a children’s book author myself, it’s one of the questions I receive most frequently. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to publishing, I believe that fully understanding your options can help you decide.
Writing and publishing a book is a huge undertaking, and it's important for authors to understand how to make money while doing it! Some may think it's as simple as publishing a book, then sitting back and waiting for it to sell—but that's only scratching the surface. It takes hard work and a little creativity to make a living as an author, but there’s more than one way to do it. In this post, we talk about six different ways to earn author income.
For the past few years, diversity in the publishing industry has been quite the hot topic and the inspiration for numerous initiatives and social media campaigns calling out for more representation in books. From #WeNeedDiverseBooks to the #OwnVoices movement, there is overwhelming agreement that we need greater representation and inclusion in the publishing industry.
Self-aware authors know they're taking on a challenge when they choose to self-publish a book, a rewarding and exciting challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. With advancements in technology and opportunity, and a lessening of the bias against self-publishing, every author now has a chance to succeed in the publishing space doing it on their own.
Self-publishing is booming, and with this transition comes a plethora of organisations worldwide offering author services to writers. But what if your budget doesn't extend to a professional editor, typesetter, cover designer, and so forth? Does this mean your book will not meet industry standards, be of poor quality, or sadly never be published? Absolutely not.
There’s a lot we can learn by taking a look at the year’s bestselling books—both from the books that appear on the list, and from the books that don’t. Publisher’s Weekly shared a list of 2018 bestselling print books in this article, published on January 4th. This list of bestselling books is a great resource for self-published authors to analyze upcoming trends in the publishing industry. In this post, we take a look at 2018's trending book topics and break down some key points you can take away to enhance your writing career.
Earlier this month, The Authors Guild shared the results from their 2018 Authors' Income Survey, leading to buzz around dwindling author salaries. With over 5,000 writers participating in the survey, including some IngramSpark authors, we saw the largest U.S. survey of published authors to date, and the findings have created conversation amongst the book publishing industry. The good news? Self-published author incomes are on the rise! Here are some of our key takeaways from the survey, as well as some tips to help you maximize your self-publishing author salary today.
The beginning of any year presents a unique opportunity to combine reflection with forward thinking, and 2019 is no exception. Whether you're beginning a new novel, writing a book marketing plan for an existing book, or working on any aspect of your self-publishing journey, now is the time to examine the self-publishing landscape at the conclusion of 2018 and prepare accordingly for 2019. So, what’s ahead for the self-publishing world in 2019? Here are my insights into trending book publishing topics for the New Year:
If you intend to make a business out of self-publishing a book, be sure you understand the key elements to the book publishing process. Once you have an understanding of these basic publishing terms, you’ll be more prepared to succeed in this business we call the book business.
A crucial element of your book marketing and sales strategy needs to be making your book easy to categorize and discover. You achieve this with good book metadata. Successful self-publishers know how to incorporate as much quality metadata as possible into their publishing strategy, and while you don't have to include all of the following elements, consider incorporating those that are applicable to your book and your potential audience. Following are the metadata components that impact book sales most.
We launched our self-publishing podcast, Go Publish Yourself, in January 2018 and have since completed Season 1, Season 2, and an Author Spotlight series for a total of 30 episodes. We’ve been blown away by your warm reception of gaining self-publishing tips in this way. With over 70,000 listens in more than 70 countries, the people have spoken, and we look forward to producing even more episodes!
Your IngramSpark account setup is complete – now what? The first step in moving forward is uploading a book into your account, so here’s how you would go about doing that!
Back in 2005, I wrote my first book manuscript for a business startup guide, and I attended a writer’s conference where I had the opportunity to pitch agents. Many requested proposals, and in the months that followed, my mailbox filled with rejection letters. Eventually, one of the agents took the time to call me and he said, “I like what you’re doing, but nobody knows who you are. You need to build an author platform. You need to be out speaking to thousands of people each year.”
I remember the first time I "published" a book. My grandparents owned a bookstore, and I would spend most of my adolescence in the back office helping to price books, doing my homework, or goofing off. While bored one day, I came up with an idea to make money the same way my grandparents did—selling books.
When you embark on the journey of getting a book published there’s a lot to consider and one of the things that should be on your priority list is how much you’ll be pricing your book for, which is a key piece of your book metadata. The editors of traditional publishing houses must fill out a profit and loss spreadsheet (P&L) before they can even acquire a book, let alone publish a book. The P&L accounts for decisions they’ll need to make in order to turn a profit on the book they hope to add to their list. One of the best places to start when determining the profit goals of your book publishing endeavors is to seriously consider how you'll be pricing your book.
One thing many indie authors come to terms with is that they’re not just publishing a book, they’re starting an author business. It is one thing to say you want to publish a book and become a published author but another to actually do it. And with advancements in technology and resources, many people can publish a book, but it takes a bit extra to start your own book publishing business, and a successful one at that.
An engineer can look at the foundation of a building under construction and tell you its eventual height. The deeper the base, the higher the structure will be. Similarly, an independent publisher must create a strong foundation to support a title's future growth. This preparation is performed in five phases.
Authors can self-publish a book in many ways, from print publishing to digital publishing. No matter the format you choose, providing an ISBN is an important component to publishing your book. Let's talk about all things ISBN!
A literary agent can be an author's best friend. They know how to get you the best book contract and ensure that there’s nothing in the language that will hurt you. They also can help get your book in front of the right editors. All of that is nice if you are planning on traditionally publishing your book, but what if you want to publish the book yourself? Should you hire an agent? It’s not a requirement, but it’s certainly an option.
It has to be said that print on demand (POD) has changed the way the publishing industry does business. But before we talk about the wonders of POD, let’s define what it is. In a nutshell, it's the process by which a book is printed when an order for that book is received. With POD there’s no inventory being stored or anticipated demand being measured—get a book order, print a book, one at a time.
I’m in a torrid love affair with romance novels. The headstrong heroines, the misunderstood heroes, and the happily ever afters are everything I could possibly want in a good book. I devour them. And I’m not ashamed to read the paperback (cover out!) on the train during my commute. Another reason I love romance novels so fiercely is because they go hand-in-hand with self-publishing. I spend my days helping self-published authors share their books with the world, and a majority of those authors write romance. This is no coincidence and here are five reasons why:
The author and publishing world has been abuzz with the recent news from Amazon that its CreateSpace print-on-demand business is now being folded into its Kindle Direct Publishing program that launched officially a few years ago. Whether or not this action will be a positive move for authors will inevitably be seen in time. But today, IngramSpark client support is blowing up more than normal with questions from authors asking us what it all means. The question we used to get most often was, "What's the difference between IngramSpark vs CreateSpace?" Now it seems the question will be, "What's the difference between IngramSpark vs KDP?" So, I will attempt to help clarify with as much information as I have.
Authors who decide to self-publish a book are effectively taking on the role of a business owner if the end goal is to make money from book sales. When you decide to self-publish, you’re no longer a writer, or even an author, but a publisher. Although there is a learning curve when you make the leap from author to publisher, it doesn’t have to be intimidating; it can actually be fun with the right tools. Here’s what you need in order to become a publisher:
Your writing has value. You don’t know whether it’s worth $10 or $10,000,000, but your work deserves protection just like your car or home. While the legal aspects of writing can be intimidating, a basic understanding of what you own (and don’t own) is key to protecting your rights. So here are the basics.
There are many reasons an author might decide to self-publish instead of pursuing traditional publishing, beyond the facts that the barrier to entry is much lower and the opportunities for print quality and book distribution are level. Here are a few answers to the question: Why should I self-publish?
Goals are the foundation of a solid book publishing plan. They provide a target at which to aim and the standard against which you can gauge your progress. Author goals divide your vision statement into manageable steps and provide a path to its realization. And written goals provide a means for looking back to see how far you've come.
Every book is a startup business. A book needs a mission statement, a book marketing plan, and a budget. As an indie author, these are all your responsibility, making you an entrepreneur. Do you have the traits needed for becoming an indie publisher?
How much does it cost to self-publish a book? This is one question every indie publisher asks and one for which the answer varies. First of all, there are two types of costs associated with self-publishing a book: intangible (your time and effort) and tangible (that's the money part). For now let's focus on the tangible: how much money it takes to publish your book independently.
For any writer, the ultimate dream is to write a bestselling book. But before that can happen, you have to find a publisher who likes your book enough to buy it and publish it. And before you can do that, you normally have to find a literary agent. One of the most common pieces of advice I give to aspiring writers/authors is that publishing a book isn’t even the bullseye you’re trying to hit, it’s finding a literary agent. After all, there’s no point in daydreaming about hitting a home run if you can’t even get into the ball park.
Technology has made it easy for authors wondering how to self-publish a book. Self-publishing offers a cost-effective way to share your book with the masses and make a bit of money off of your writing. Whether you are hoping to self-publish a print book or electronic version, here are eight tips on how to self-publish a book.
Over the past 15 years, the book industry has changed significantly with the introduction of digital printing and print on demand (POD). With change or advancements in any industry comes doubt, confusion, and misinformation. While the book industry has embraced digital printing, there are still common misconceptions about POD.
The end of any year presents a unique opportunity to combine reflection with forward thinking, and 2018 is no exception. Whether you're beginning a new novel, writing a book marketing plan for an existing book, or working on any aspect of your self-publishing journey, now is the time to examine the self-publishing landscape at the conclusion of 2017 and prepare accordingly for 2018. Here's what we saw and predict!
Authors of adult fiction genres are targeting self-sustaining adults. Adults have credit cards, and can buy ebooks or physical copies online at their discretion. But what if you write YA for teenagers?
Every month I speak to authors who are on the fence about abandoning their search for a traditional publisher in favor of going indie. Their concerns vary, but their top two reasons not to independently publish are fronting the money and their deep-seated desire to be legitimized by outside forces within the publishing industry otherwise known as traditional publishing houses.
You've heard the terms: traditional, hybrid, independent, entrepreneurial, co-publishing, self-publishing. But what do they all mean? And is one better than another?
Four in ten people suffer some form of visual stress when they try to read print. They may hold the book at arm’s length, squint and look away from the page frequently; they may develop a headache; suffer nausea; or even have a migraine. And chances are that one of those four people will be dyslexic. Visual stress and dyslexia are ever-present issues for a lot of people, and are not usually addressed in book production, but as an indie author, I realized they can be.
Having a book production schedule filled with the right tasks in the right order, will not only result in a professionally produced product and enough time to plan your release, but will also reduce your stress, and ensure you’re not throwing your book into the sky and hoping for the best. Breaking the process into parts makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time and get each step right without getting overwhelmed.
A book’s title is extremely important. According to Thomas Nelson publishers, research shows that consumers look at a book’s title first and foremost when the author’s name is taken out of the mix (well-known authors are sometimes the deciding factor in purchasing a book). However, coming up with a compelling book title can be arduous, time-consuming work. Here are four guidelines to help you craft a compelling, memorable title for your book.
Expanding to a new language market is a huge and exciting step for indie authors. By translating your book into a new language, you give it the potential to expand its reach to hundreds of thousands of new readers. You should be aware, however, that translation is only one step in the process of bringing your book to a new audience.
You had a great book idea, you wrote a fine book, and now you think you're ready to self-publish it. Before you take that leap of faith, however, there are several things you should consider in order to publish like a professional.
When a consumer purchases a book, they don't purchase it because a specific publisher published it. They purchase it because it fulfills a need and is well-designed and edited. This means there are no “get-out-of-jail-free” cards for self-publishers. On the contrary, each and every day, self-published books must compete for shelf space and consumer recognition alongside traditionally published books. Because of this, the level of professionalism brought to self-publishing must mirror, or in many cases exceed, the level of professionalism brought to traditional publishing.
Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in publishing right now, and suddenly every content creator wants a piece of the action. So, how does an independent author or publisher decide if a title is audio-worthy? The short answer is that there is no magic formula, but there are some proven methods that can help improve your chances of bringing an audiobook to market and turning a profit.
The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) has been championing independent publishers big and small, self and otherwise, since 1983. That’s over 30 years of advocating for indie voices in the traditional publishing industry. Over this time, we’ve seen a thing or two.
As a self-publisher, the success of your book falls solely on your shoulders. Self-publishing allows you to have complete control, but as Spiderman learned, “With great power comes great responsibility.” You must decide on everything from the book’s interior and exterior design, the forms of marketing to use, and how to distribute. How can one person possibly know everything there is to know about publishing? The answer is simple, they can’t. No one is an expert on all things. So, how can you do everything by yourself knowing you won’t have all the answers? You look for publishing resources to learn as much as you can about the ever-changing world of the publishing industry and you turn to your peers, fellow self-publishers, who face the same roadblocks.
Before setting up I_AM Self-Publishing, I spent years working at a trade publisher and a literary agency, so I have seen just how many hoops authors need to jump through to get a publishing deal. In fact, one of the reasons I moved into self-publishing is because it became very difficult to get a publishing contract for a debut author, no matter how good they were. Here are reasons why literary agents and publishers reject books.
The ebooks vs print books debate is a very popular one within the publishing industry. There are loyalists on both sides. There are people who believe that print books are dead (which they've said for years now . . . definitely not dead; very far from dead). And with a normalization in ebook sales, some are saying it's time to ditch the digital format (also false). We believe in both formats and here's why.
BISAC subject codes are essentially genre codes. These codes are intended to guide shelving, categorization, merchandising, and marketing efforts. BISAC codes help signal to potential buyers, retailers, distributors, and search engines what your book is about – the primary genre(s), topic(s), and theme(s) that matter in regards to your book. Without these codes, readers and those within the industry cannot identify what your book is about or if they'd like to stock or read it.
Authors unfamiliar with the book publishing industry can sometimes stumble on the path to publication by not understanding the definitions and roles of people in editing, production, distribution, and sales. By having clarity on the function and purpose of service companies and freelancers, authors can be smarter about hiring the right help.
On this day, internationally recognized as a day dedicated to expressing our love for one another, we on the IngramSpark team would like to write a little love note to our first love: books. And you can't have books without authors, so this one's for you too, authors! We love books so much that we decided to make careers out of helping authors create them and share them with the world. We believe in the power and value of books (above all) and the magic that authors create every time they publish one, but on a more personal level, this is why we love books and authors:
I’ve been speaking at writing conferences since 2002, and over the last 15 years, the one topic of conversation that has changed the most dramatically is self-publishing. Not only has the substance of the conversation changed, but everyone’s attitudes have completely transformed. The trouble is that while this change has been largely welcome (at least from my point of view!), it hasn’t always been for the best.
As an author advocate, part of me dislikes creating a top ten list with a negative slant, and yet, it’s so easy to get things wrong in book publishing that it’s easy to come up with a list like the one below, which is hardly comprehensive. If you recognize your book in any of these errors, don’t fret. Part of becoming an author, and especially a self-published author, has to do with learning the ropes, and doing it better each time around to avoid common mistakes authors make.
Self-publishing is a really exciting process. After spending years putting blood, sweat and tears into your book, it can be tempting to rush to the finishing line, but that only leads to mistakes. Some authors don’t realise just how many careful processes are involved once the final draft is complete but before it makes sense to actually print a book.
by Holly Bryant-Simpson (@hollishter), public relations director for ListenUp Audiobooks (@Listen2Books)
Not a week goes by without another article that asks the question – does listening to an audiobook count as reading? Whether you answer yes or no, you can’t deny that audiobooks are a major player in the publishing industry.
What are effective ebook pricing strategies in today’s book business? Based on trends we observe at Ingram Content Group from both publishers and readers, we think about three general segments for ebooks: entertainment value, education value, and marketing value.
You’ve spent months on your book; you’ve paid for editors, designers, marketers—this book is your baby! And then someone kidnaps it. Without warning, you stumble upon your book being offered free—or worse, someone is actually profiting from it and not passing that profit on to you—and you feel violated. Piracy happens. But if you care about your work, then there are ways to limit and eliminate it by understanding piracy protection for books.
Independent publishing has been around for hundreds of years. Whether it’s a small indie press that sees value in an author’s work or an author using a contemporary platform to self-publish, it takes a truly entrepreneurial spirit to achieve successful independent publishing.