I am literally one click away from choosing the publishing company of my first book. With the help of several people, the research has led me to, what I believe, is a solid choice in a self-publishing company. It has been a year since I began the journey of attempting to publish my first book. When I finally made the decision to self-publish I decided on five important features the publisher had to have to earn the right to publish my passion, hobby, and gift. This endeavor of mine has proven to be challenging but extremely rewarding.
The spring and summer of 2009 I shopped my manuscript by sending query letters to nearly 100 major publishing houses across the country. In August, the break I was looking for came when Ambassador Books invited me to send my manuscript. Six weeks later I received a letter telling me ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ Never did I ever take these rejections personally. I knew the challenge of publishing a book when there are thousands of authors out there trying to do the same thing in an economy that is effecting all business, including book publishing. I also knew, being a first time no-name author, that I was at the bottom of a large mountain of books published by a group of highly trained mountain climbers: the already published authors who have survived the highest of elevations in their climb to the top.
Late in August I decided that the best possibility for this book to be published would be to find a smaller, more user friendly hill. Furthermore, I had no idea how many copies of my book would even sell. I know my mom and dad will buy a copy, but beyond that who knows. That’s when I decided to investigate self-publishing. There are hundreds of self-publishers vying to publish books. The overwhelming amount of choices led me to The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine. This book begins by giving great advice on how to find a great self-publisher. Levine then outlines 45 different self-publishing, even categorizing them from best to worst. The information he provides includes contracts, features, and services of each of these self-publishing companies. A special bonus to buying Levine’s book is his free 30 minute personal consultation. Through the research and reading of this extremely helpful book, I zeroed in on five features I was looking for in a great self-publishing company.
- Communication: I believed I need to feel comfortable with communicating with ‘real people’ rather than automated phone messages or quick-respond form emails. I have found that.
- Professional Look: I want this book to look like a professionally published book. I wanted several interior templates to choose from, quality paper stock being used, a cover that will catch the eye of the average book browser, and a perfect binding. I have found that.
- Book Availability: I need this book available to people who are interested in reading it. In this conceptual age that we are living in as consumers I needed to think outside of the box. While I dream about having my book on the shelves at Barnes and Noble, I believe the book will sell and be the most available from online retailers like Amazon.com. The Print On Demand feature is extremely important for consumers to make purchases from the comfort of their living room. The website order fullfillment feature I was not something I was interested in undertaking. The book must be available on all major online book retailers. I have found that.
- Cost: We are always looking for a deal, right? Self-publishing, for the author, costs money. I needed to be sure that the money I would be willing to invest in this project would be worthwhile. The aforementioned features needed to be available to me at a good price. After all, I can’t make this hobby drain our bank account and chances are I won’t make megabucks on my first book. I believe I have found this.
- A Reputable Company: I have researched long and hard several companies. The company I ready to sign with has had GREAT reviews and have answered, quite well I might add, the criticisms.
This endeavor of mine has been challenging but extremely rewarding and will make me proud. I am excited to commence the publishing process.
And the winner is…..
Stay Tuned 🙂