“In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.” ― Junot Diaz
After sleepless nights and writing spurts, you have emerged triumphant- you have a book ready to publish! Now what? Self-publishing your book won’t take nearly as much time as writing one, but the decision on which print-on-demand service you choose is just as important as the actual writing process. Here are 5 self-publishing companies to consider for your first book.
BookBaby offers a mix of service packages for self-published authors as well as marketing offers and resources. The company claims to help you self-publish, print, and distribute your book worldwide at Amazon, Kindle, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble. Their main service is book printing with packages including self-publishing packages, specialist genre printing options, print-on-demand services, and wholesale printing packages. Their ebook service also includes packages for formatting and publishing. Before taking your book to market, Bookbaby also offers a book editing service with line editing, copy editing, Query Letter Editing, Book Synopsis Editing, and Proofreading. They also have a creative team on hand to design covers and interior formats.
Pros: Complete one-stop-shop for self-publishing
Cons: High up-front cost
Grammar Factory specializes in self-publishing non-fiction books for entrepreneurs and business leaders. By using a system like this, execs and entrepreneurs can expect a professional book without having to learn all the nuances of self-publishing and going it alone. There are different packages that Grammar Factory offers including Publishing, Editing, and book coaching based on the STEPS Method. Unique to their service, they also offer packages to turn your work into a published audiobook.
Pros: Audiobook publishing, optional editing service packages
Cons: Limited to non-fiction
Barnes and Noble Press
Barnes & Noble Press is a free self-publishing service through Barnes & Noble. Whether you want to print a book for personal use or sell through their massive market, Barnes & Noble Press enables you to publish and sell print or ebooks. Simply create an account and upload your book and you could see your book for sale within 72 hours. Users can also monitor sales on a daily basis with enhanced reporting tools. Exclusivity is not required to publish with them, so their service could be combined with others to increase your available market. Their commission rate varies between print and digital, but you can receive an estimate on their website.
Pros: Exposure to one of the leading book dealer marketplaces, fast and easy to use process
Cons: No editing or book cover design options
Lulu’s claim to fame is their print-on-demand service for print books, photo books, comic books, and more. Their variety of printing options includes 5 different binding styles, color or black & white pages, as well as3 different paper types. Lulu has been commended by users for its high-quality prints. For a 200-page book with B&W interior, lightweight pages, a paperback cover, and matte finish, Lulu estimates a print cost of $5.34 per unit- their price estimate tool is useful for your individual needs. Uploading your manuscript onto Lulu takes some time as their formatting rules are relatively strict. Lulu distributes print books to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Ingram network, and more, including its own Lulu Bookstore, however, they have lower royalties than any other print-on-demand service listed here.
Pros: High-quality books, great for a small number of print copies
Cons: No editing or design support, not designed with ebook authors in mind
Draft2Digital, or D2D, is one of two major content aggregators in the publishing world. D2D takes your manuscript and transforms it into customized files(s) that can then be distributed to D2D’s affiliate sites (iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo). D2D distributes directly to Amazon, the largest book market shareholder. Their formatting services are also available free of charge. As far as commissions go, D2D takes a 15% piece no matter where your book is sold.
Pros: Easy to use, distributes to the major book marketplaces
Cons: 15% commission, no editing or creative options
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