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Welcome to the Indie Author Movement
Orna Ross: You want to know more about self-publishing services so that must mean you’ve written a book. Your first perhaps? Or maybe you’re moving from trade-publishing to selfpublishing, or you’ve self-published already and now want to explore new services that will expand your reach?
Whatever your circumstances as a writer, thanks to the digital revolution, putting a book out is getting easier all the time. But publishing well—presenting an author’s words in a way that makes them valuable to readers and reaching as many readers as possible—is as hard as ever. Good publishing is seven processes done well. Each has its own set of challenges and requirements to be met:
- Editing (content, copy/line editing, proofreading)
- Design (ebook and print cover design)
- Production (manuscript conversion, ebook and print layout/formatting, audiobook production)
- Rights licensing
The new self-publisher is, therefore, embarking on a steep learning curve. Almost immediately, questions start to arise. Who are my readers? Family and friends, or wider? What services and supports do I need? How much will it cost me? How much can I make? Can I really go it alone? What will other people think? Starting out, many writers type “self-publishing” into a Google search and instantly find themselves drowning in results, bogged down in jargon, or confused by who does what and who serves whom. The answers to their questions are in there somewhere but framed in a hundred different ways by a thousand different people.
Soon, instead of clarity, the writer emerges with a whole new suite of questions. How much should an editor cost? How do I protect my copyright? What is an ISBN? Do I need one? How do I get one? Is it worth paying for promotion? No wonder aspiring authors feel overwhelmed. They are adrift in an unregulated market: on one hand creative, innovative, and exciting; on another, idiosyncratic, illogical, and incoherent. Some services are run by people who are knowledgeable, dedicated, helpful, and fair; others are clueless, greedy, callous, and manipulative.
Are you struggling with the decision of whether to go the DIY or Assisted self-publishing route? Amazon only or go wide? Createspace or Ingram Spark for print? Who can I get to help? How do I recognise a good or a rogue service?
“There are sharks out there in the literary waters… [but] this guide gives you all the skills and information you need to comparison shop. And if you are planning on successfully self-publishing, comparison shopping is essential.” ~ Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware.
Book 2 in our Successful Self-Publishing series “Choosing the Best Self-Publishing Companies and Services 2018” was compiled by the Watchdog team at The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). It tells you all you need to know in order to choose the self-publishing pathway that’s right for you.
Drawing on recommendations from ALLi members, warnings from our Watchdog Services, other community word-of-mouth and in-depth research, the book compares the most significant self-publishing services, from single service suppliers to package providers; from large big brand names to smaller sole traders; from off-the shelf providers to bespoke services.
We evaluate these players, compare one to the other, tell you what they do and don’t do, what they charge and for what.
Offerings are categorised, prices examined, royalty structures broken down, terms and conditions trawled, small print scrutinised, and claims checked against the experience of real-life authors who have actually used these services.
Using these twenty examples, we show you how to do such a comparison yourself: the good and bad signs to look for, the questions to ask. The aim is to demonstrate all the options you are likely to encounter and show which services are doing a good job — and why you might avoid others.
Most importantly, in a landscape where things change rapidly, the Guide provides the criteria by which you can evaluate any author service.
This Self-Publishing guidebook:
- Defines the questions you need to ask, whether you plan to go direct, use trade publishing as a service, or hire an full-package assisted service.
- Tells you the good and bad signs to look for
- Rates the most significant services, Amazon, Apple, IngramSpark, Kobo, Nook and other providers
- Offers ALLi’s Code of Standards against which all services are rated.
- Evaluates some of the emerging pathways to publication, including author co-operatives, crowdsourcing, agent assisted self-publishing, digital imprints and “hybrid” publishing models.
This organic guide to a volatile industry is updated annually by ALLi’s Watchdog team, so all the information is bang up-to-date.
It provides everything you need to know to harness the creative power and potential of self-publishing.
Ebook and Print version available
All ALLi members can download a complimentary ebook version of this self-publishing guide (and all of our other ALLi guides). Just visit the ALLi Member Zone to access your free link to download a PDF, MOBI or ePub version.