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Self-publishing your books is easier today than ever before. Sites like Amazon and KoboBooks allow authors to post directly to their online sales catalogues. Other sites, like CreateSpace and Lulu, are one-stop shops that allow authors to post their work and have it distributed to affiliate sites including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. The question is, should you self-publish because you can, or should you give her manuscript to an independent publishing house to do it in your stead?
If you’re unsure which way to go, this might help you decide:
You may need an independent publisher if you
An independent publisher will accept your manuscript in Word format and complete the formatting and uploading for you.
- aren’t artistically inclined
Many independent, hybrid publishers will include the cover art for your book in your contract, which means you will have a professional-looking cover with which to showcase your work.
- need some clout in the competition world
A number of contests, competitions and grant-awarding institutions won’t accept self-published novels as contenders. Signing with a publishing house, no matter how small, adds a bit of prestige to your work.
You may want to self-publish if
- you want to maintain control
Indie-publishers have contracts preventing you from changing or posting your work for sale for the duration of the contract. This means you must be willing to give someone else control over your intellectual property for one to several years, depending on the contract.
- you want to vary the price or “sell” it for free
Though most indie-publishers are small Internet businesses, there are still overhead costs for running them. Unless you want to run a brief giveaway for a few eCopies of your book, chances are an indie-publisher won’t comply with a “free” sale for the duration of the contract.
- you are willing to make mistakes
You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right? It takes a lot of research, planning, and trial and error to get it right in any field, and the world of self-publishing is no exception. If you have the time to make revisions, post to social media, and figure out what works with respect to advertising, then maybe you want to self-publish.
Whichever way you decide to go, the author is generally the one responsible for the bulk of the publicity and advertising when it comes to sales. Some hybrid publishers, like EMSA Publishing, will assist with this for a cut of the royalties, and at no additional cost to the author. In addition to publishing your book at all major online retailers (including print-on-demand options for paperbacks), EMSA Publishing will
- provide a copy edit of your manuscript
- write and post press releases
- post to social media
- organize a blog tour
- keep you informed with respect to what’s happening in the publishing world
most of which are not offered by other independent publishing houses.
If you have a completed manuscript, consider joining the EMSA Publishing family. See the Submissions page for details.