Q:

How hard is it to self-publish a book?

A:

Quick Answer

Modern self-publishing tools have made it easier than ever for authors to release their own books without the need of major publishing houses, but the process is still involved. Authors must determine which formats and publishing services are the right fit for their books.

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Full Answer

Format is the first major consideration for self-publishing, and the choice between digital, print or a combination of both is an important step. Deciding on a format often hinges on the book’s genre and how the author plans to reach readers. A picture book, for example, is more difficult to publish digitally across multiple platforms due to its illustrations. Digital publishing is cheaper, but readers in certain demographics may prefer physical books. Authors should research the market before committing to a specific format.

Choosing a publishing service is the next step in self-publishing. Whether publishing an e-book or print edition, it’s necessary to research publishers before committing to one. Most digital publishing services do not charge authors fees upfront, and authors should avoid services that do try to charge fees. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is one of the largest e-book distributors, allowing writers to sell their books for the Kindle. Amazon also runs CreateSpace, which allows authors to print and sell physical copies of their books on demand.

While Amazon’s services offer authors the ability to sell their books only through Amazon, other distribution services offer sales of books through multiple channels. While this may put the book in front of a wider audience, these services often charge fees and may take a percentage of sales in exchange for increased distribution.

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