I was talking to a first time self published author last week who decided to employ the services of AuthorHouse http://www.authorhouse.co.uk, and make no mistake there are other companies like it who exist to prey upon novice writers who don’t know any better. They make their money not from selling books, but from selling (largely useless) services to writers. Like everything else in life you sometimes have to learn the hard way. The reasoning I gave this budding author was that it would probably take me under an hour to convert an ebook and upload it to all major retailers. Why would you ever pay anyone ludicrous amounts of cash in exchange for an hour of work? I probably use the same software (Indesign), its just plain ridiculous.
“I didn’t know small self publishers exist”? was the stock answer I usually get. Take a good look around the web before you dive in to spend your hard earned after you have finished your book. There is plenty of advice and information to complete the last part of your publishing journey. You have done all the hard work in writing your book, why fall at the last leg. The publishing industry has been described as the “Wild West” at this moment in time. After working in Print for Forty years, I know a lot about technological change and the disruption it brings to peoples’ lives. The Capitalist system was invented so the fittest survive.
The Self Publishing Golden Rule
I hate to preach but here are a couple of rules to adhere by. Please deal directly with retailers, distributors, and printers yourself. If someone else is uploading a book to THEIR accounts at Amazon, B&N, Lightning Source, etc., you have BEEN published. You are not SELF published. I just think it’s a bit of a scam when Companies claim to “help you self publish” while actually publishing your work is very misleading. A legitimate author services company WILL charge you for editing, cover art, layout, etc., and then once you have paid they will give you the completed file to upload to YOUR accounts with retailers, distributors, printers, etc.
Also please avoid Companies which charge you money up front AND any percentage of sales. You should probably be very wary of enticing deals like these. If its to good to be true it usually is!!. Distributors which charge over 10% of the list price on a book are charging too much, since there are plenty which charge 10%. This might change as BREXIT kicks in as everything else seems to be going up in price at the moment.
I hope this information helps you over the publishing finishing line in your quest to see your book out there, but one thing has not changed: most self-published books sell fewer than 100 or 150 copies, some isolated successes will happen, and some writers can make money simply by selling their e-books at low prices, if you have a big social media presence. I know such a writer who sells his book at 99p and has 4000 followers and even if just 1000 of those buy his self published book, thats still a lot of money such is the power of Internet Marketing.