Monday, February 04, 2008

Publishing Your Own Book

If you’re a self-published author or are thinking of forming your own publishing company to publish your book, you’ve probably had people tell you not to do it. The truth is, the odds are against you. Just considering what it entails can be daunting.

If you turn it over to a print-on-demand publisher like iUniverse, they can do the editing, designing the cover art, printing and helping you get it on online outlets like Amazon. But it’s gonna cost you, perhaps dearly. And you won’t have nearly the control over the book that you would have if you formed your own publishing company.

That said, even with your own company, it’s going to be a steep uphill climb. It’s still going to cost you and you’ll have to do everything yourself or farm it out. You’ll have more control – you’ll have all of it, from the editing, the artwork, the printing, the selling to bookstores, the publicity, sending out ARCs, trying to get reviews, everything. had an article about the author of The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry. She and her husband went the set-up-your-own-publisher route. It cost them $50,000. Gary Ward, Barry’s husband, said: “It’s not for the faint of heart.”

But before you get too depressed, Barry’s story is a fairy tale, one of those happy endings. Last October she signed a two book deal, for The Lace Reader and a future book, for more than $2 million. New York Entertainment said the rumor was that “the deal was for $2.5 million, not $2 million, but that hasn't been confirmed.”

So, if self-publishing is something you’re considering, read her story. Self-publishing has never been the easy way into bookstores. And few people who take the route end up in Wonderland. But you can learn what Barry had to do to achieve such a profitable end result – beyond just writing a great novel.


  1. Well... there are several models which don't neatly fit into the either/or scenario of subsidy publishing (iUniverse and the like) and forking over tens of thousands for to do offset printing and pray for a distributor.

    Obviously not everyone has any desire to go the route of starting your own company, but it can be done with a minimum of startup capital and still be profitable. I'd point people to Aaron Shephard (Aiming at Amazon) and Morris Rosenthal (Print on Demand Book Publishing) for a run down of the most cost effective ways to use digital printing and distribution without paying thousands of dollars to subsidy press that won't bother to actually sell your book.

  2. Thanks, Charles.

    I went online and found both books available. Aiming at Amazon seems to be a resource book for getting your book on Print on Demand Book Publishing seems to be more on the how of publishing your own book. There wasn't a lot of info available and few reviews, so if anyone has read either and wants to tell us about them, let me know.


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