3 Options in Self Publishing

Recently we discussed publishing industry whine bags and our changing economy. Even though publishing has taken a big hit, it’s not as bleak as certain parties would have us think.

According to The New York Times, “Self-publishing companies are ramping up their title counts and making money on books that sell as few as five copies, in part because the author, rather than the publisher, pays for things like cover design and printing costs.”

Let’s consider some options in self publishing.

Blurb supplies users with free software to format their books, then prints the results on decent-quality paper. Clients can buy as many books as they like starting at $4.95 per book with prices growing at a healthy pace from there. Blurb provides a bit of webspace for promotion, but users must do all the actual leg-work.

Lulu enjoys a good reputation among self published authors. The site offers four publishing package options and another two dozen individual services. Lulu produces books, documents, photo books, comics and digital media. I’m not sure what it costs, but I hear it’s competitive with Blurb.

Yudu is the choice for green publishing. All publications are in e-format and the company is carbon neutral. I spent three months last year doing a bit of marketing for Yudu, and I’ll vouch for the quality of people on staff. Yudu is free to use, but authors looking to profit will need to upgrade to the paid version. There’s a couple of package options for those paying for the service.

Whatever company we choose to publish with, it’s wise to remeber the difference between traditional publishing and self publishing.

In the traditional publishing model, money always flows from the publisher to the author. This way of doing things may not make much business sense, but it’s been the standard for a long time. It appears changes in technology and the economy will force this model to make significant changes in the near future.

In self-publishing, money usually flows from the author to the publisher. The difficulties of this arrangement should be obvious. It makes it easier for publishers to profit from books which don’t sell all that well, but puts the burdens of financing and promotion on the author.

Related: Wil Wheaton shares a few self-publishing resources on WWdN: In Exile.

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About James A Woods
Freelance Writer, Constant Learner, Family Man

7 Responses to 3 Options in Self Publishing

  1. Maria says:

    The beauty of self publishing is that YOU can decide what to do.
    Think, write, publish, sell or not but your book is there available…. you do not have to beg the publisher and … to use your lovely name… the sky is the limit!
    You cannot lose on this one!
    Thanks
    Maria

  2. TexasRed says:

    Interesting to have all these new options. Thanks for the links.

  3. DPeach says:

    I played editor and layout guy for a friend’s masters thesis that we published through Lulu. We printed two different versions of the paper. One was bound following the university’s guidelines for a thesis and the other as a book he could give to his mom and a few friends.

    Other self publishing companies would have killed us on price for printing a single copy of one format and then just ten in the other. With Lulu the price was the same for 1 or 100. We could have done better through some publishers had we needed to order hundreds or thousands of copies, but for just a few, Lulu was perfect.

    I had seen some books published through Lulu previously, therefore knew about their quality. The binding is not the absolute best, but much better than many publishers.

    Self publishing through one of these print on demand houses is perfect for some situations.

  4. bcritchfield says:

    Great options for self publishing. It would be nice if some day in the future YUDU would connect with Lulu so that you could have both digital publishing as well as the printed version.

    I have used both and they are great tools.

  5. I find your choice really depends on your goals. I self-published through iUniverse because Lulu, although cost-effective, didn’t provide all the services I require. Especially editing…I read part of a Lulu book once and it could have a few levels of editing, to say the least.
    The big challenge for self-published (or POD) authors like myself is distribution and marketing. You have to be pretty saavy to get out there, and fortunately there are lots of avenues to take online. God Bless the Internet!

  6. Ray Harris says:

    Are there any other green options -such as the use of recycled papers etc?

    Ray

    photomuserh.wordpress.com

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