Many aspiring authors are usually confused between a self published book and a traditionally published book and whether its a good idea to self publish your book or keep trying for traditional publishing. First of all you must understand the difference between self publishing and traditional publishing.
Self publishing is publication of the media that is the manuscript by the author himself without the involvement of the established publishers,here the author need to spend a certain amount of money for the publication of his book. the amount is distributed between editing,cover designing,printing and book promotions. Self publishing is an investment and it’s totally up to the self published author to decide how much money or time he wants to invest.
Coming to the traditional publishing,it refers to the process of publishing of a manuscript into a book with the help of established publishers who not only help the author throughout the publishing process at almost zero the cost but also provide him a good distribution and also certain amount of book promotions. This is precisely the reason (even when books are sold in the name of author) why people pin for traditional publishing. Though in traditional publishing the publishers control all the book rights depending upon the contract they have drawn with you and also you get a only a fraction of royalty. And it is not a bad scenario,they give you good royality at the end of the year.
How to self publish your book
- Get your manuscript edited by a professional book editor.
- Hire a freelance cover designer or avail the services of the small publishing house that helps you with the services for self publishing your book.
- Be careful about the ISBN number alloted and try to keep it under your controls.
- Make sure to keep the legal contracts in your favours,get it read by a lawyer at least once.
- Get the book printed and published
How to traditionally publish your book
- Get your manuscript edited by a professional and good editor with some prior experience of editing manuscripts.
- You can also hire literary agents who will ensure your book is published.
- Submit the manuscript with a query letter/cover letter describing about the unique points about your book and marketing plans.
- Wait for the publishers approval
- They will decide the timeline.
While it is always better to get your book traditionally published because you get a huge infrastructure and support of publisher’s resources for your book, though these days self published books are also doing great. Both the traditionally published and self published book intersect at one common point which is marketing. No publisher is going to help you with the marketing (or provide little marketing unless your book attracts their attention with the sale) and you have to understand that your book is your baby,
So I suggest both the self published and traditionally published authors both, to invest in marketing extensively. Book is just not a book but your baby.
How much does it cost to self publish a book
There are many self publishing houses like partridge,notion press etc which provided your services for publishing your book but they charge gold,it may range from one lac rupees to two lac rupees and they also take a share in royalty so I suggest you opt for cheap local self publishing houses which only charge you for book printing because ultimately the books will sell on author’s name and it will all come down to how much book promotions you have provided. Also the quality of the book,plot,character basically the story of the book plays the most important part. So get it read by several book reviewers first hand and try to get an unbiased opinion about it before investing much money on the book. Self published book costs usually revolve around book cover,book editing and book promotions.
How much money can you make from a self published book
Well,it is really a tricky question because the first books are always published out of passion and need investments which also pave ways for your writing career further. But if your books are selling good there are chances of you making a good amount of money and there are also chances that you might lose money over your book as well. So when it comes to investment,don’t expect much of returns initially and also fix a budget before hand to minimize losses.
How to self publish your book for free
There is also an option to sell your books without any cost and I personally feel it is the best option of self publishing for beginners or aspiring authors. You can always self publish your book through Amazon Kindle direct publishing. All the books, whether self published or traditional published depend hugely on Amazon for their sale. Amazon provide huge market to book sellers. It also provide an estimate of how one’s books are performing through its sales ranking. So if you self publish your ebook on Kindle through the services offered by Amazon Kindle and your book has potential then it has fair chances of being reflected by Amazon which can also prove to be a shortcut of getting published by publishing giants like Penguin,Westland,Harper,Rupa etc. It literally cost you 0 rupees and all you need to do is promote your book well.
Are there any chances your story will be copied or plagiarism will affect your book?
In my opinion there are hardly any chances that somebody will be interested in copying book content of an aspiring author in India or a new author. There are thousands of stories floating around and nobody bothers. Also technically its not possible to publish plagiarised manuscript,not only it involves legal implications at any stage of the book publishing but it also affects the natural flow of the story.
My advise on best way to self publish your book in India
To self publish your book in India for free, I give you two self publishing platform which might prove to be ticket to your traditional publishing
Publish your book on Kindle,Amazon customer care will generously guide you there,you just need to have a complete manuscript with you,possibly a book cover as well,If you don’t have a book cover, Kindle helps you with that too. Market the book effectively that it atleast make a place in top 100 best selling books on Amazon and best would be if it could make a place in top 50 best selling books on Amazon. Send the sales report to the publishers and viola, chances are you might be published in paperback as well.
It is one wonderful platform for first time authors in India. They can easily publish their story on Wattpad. Don’t worry about plagiarism rather focus on marketing and promoting your book effectively and build an effective wattpad community which will increase your views,win you several Wattpad badges,award and recognition and bingo produce the details before the publishing houses in India. You might be published in paperback for free,all the expenses will be borne by your publishing house.
International Stars of self publishing books
- E.L. James whose Fifty Shades trilogy was initially self-published as Twilight fan fiction.
- Hugh Howey, the American sci-fi author whose novel Silo first become a bestseller when they were self-published as a series of novellas.
- Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley tech evangelist whose book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur laid out many of the principles self publishing authors now use to find success.
Self publishing stars in India
- Vineet Bajpai whose self published Harappa series books turned out to be the biggest best selling books of the year of its launch.
- Saavi Sharma whose first book everybody has a story was initially self published and later sold lakhs of books.
- Swapnil Pandey whose second novel love Story of a Commando sold thousand copies within the first month of its launch and was acquired by Westland Publishing house immediately.
Even if you are a self publishing author try to have at least one two book launches which provide good visibility to your book,ensure that it gets hugely featured in media to create enough buzz. Enroll some celebrities from Twitter,Instagram,Bollywood,Politics or other fields of life to do so.
At last I wish you all the best with your book and remember Book publishing is a long tedious process and there is no shortcuts to it. If you have patience,passion and persistence then only one day you can find your books laid out in a store and receive the appreciative book readers fan mails which matters the most.