April 27, 2011 | Design Trends
For years, if you wanted your book to find its way onto book store shelves and into readers’ hands you had to sign on with a publisher who edited your book, had it designed and typeset, paid for the printing and then used their distribution and marketing channels to help get the books out.
In recent years, many people who wanted to write, distribute and/or publish their own books have found that a traditional publisher was not necessary. These people are starting to go out and self-publish their own books.
We help these clients with book cover design, typesetting and page layout, creating web sites to help market the book and its authors, etc. It appears that the small guy is gaining traction and e-book publishing is pushing them forward.
The Wall Street Journal just wrote about the effects of low-priced ebooks is having on Amazon’s best seller list.
Unlike five years ago, when self-published writers rarely saw their works on the same shelf as the industry’s biggest names, the low cost of digital publishing, coupled with Twitter and other social-networking tools, has enabled previously unknown writers to make a splash.
On Amazon, publishers have different options for how they price their books. Self-publishers have recognized (much more quickly than other publishers) that low-cost e-books have great appeal for the mass market. And while the price (and return) is lower, the increased sales make up for it in the end.
Costs for publishing your own e-book
Since e-book costs are essentially fixed whether you sell one or a million, the lower pricing makes more sense than with printed books.
- Editing and proofreading. While you may be an accomplished writer, always have someone with fresh eyes at minimum proofread and maybe even edit your book. The difference between editing and proofreading is the extent to which you expect the reviewer to make changes. A proofreader will probably limit their revisions to things like grammar errors, spelling mistakes, etc. A editor may revise entire paragraphs, reorder sections of a book or more.
- Cover design. For an e-book you often only need a front cover, but that front cover will be used extensively to market the book. It will probably be shown on retailers sites (like Amazon.com) and if you’re the author you’ll want to show that cover everywhere from your Facebook page, to a web site, to posters and even email signatures.
- Typesetting / e-book setup. If you are only creating an e-book file such as e-pub or Kindle formats, you do not need the level of typesetting services as a printed book. This is because you just do not have control over things like line and page breaks. However, you will need to get your manuscript into the e-book formats you want to distribute. Read ePub Book Conversion: Costs, Quality, Design to learn more about ePub development costs.
- Marketing. Whether you plan to use social media, book signings, a web site, or more. Plan to spend a lot of time and some money promoting your book if you expect to find readers.