What self-publishing platform worked for you?
I am nearly ready to self publish, so I'm looking to hear good and bad experiences with various self-publishing portals. Particularly: price/value, flexibility for quantity, hard cover/soft cover versioning, marketing support, paper/digital sales opportunity, etc. I'm not self-publishing necessarily to make lots of money, although breaking even through sales is a goal. Primarily, I'm looking for the most cost effective marketing tool with a long shelf life.
So far I didn"t go for self publishing in its real meaning so I can"t advice you - all the best .
I have been a CEO for startup self publishing company and consulted for two others over the last year and a half and helped grow revenues from about 5k per month to over 50 k per month and during that time, we published over 150 books. From what I have seen, KDP has the lion's share of the market (almost 80%) with Nook, Googlebooks, ibooks, Lulu, Smashwords far far behind.
When you're self-publishing, there are a few things you want to keep in mind
1. What format you want to publish - ebook or paperback or both
2. Amazon for instance has royalties that differ based on geography and file size for ebook versions.
3. Distribution - If you're publishing your ebook on Amazon, you can choose to provide exclusive sales rights to Amazon by enrolling into KDP select. Using Createspace on Amazon gives you the option of making use of their expanded distribution channel. (Note: Createspace itself does not have its own distribution - it uses Ingram's distribution channel). Royalties are different for different channels
4. Marketing support - it boils down to optimizing your title just like you would when selling products on ebay and Amazon - the same principles apply. I have explored other external internet marketing, but in my experience, nothing beats good sales page optimization - this includes keywords, metadata and such, and selecting the smartest category (note that I did not say "the right category" but "the smartest category"
5. If you do, at some point in the future, want to get your book into retail stores, then publishing through Createspace may not be the best way to go. When you publishing a book through createspace, you are assigned a Createspace ISBN. Retailers don't want to have anything to do with a createspace ISBN because it identifies Createspace as the publisher and the stores hate Amazon. CS (As we call createspace) offers to worst return policy and margins to store owners. When you buy your own ISBN, you're identified as the publisher. You can use Lightningsource to get your books out to retail stores - LS (which is also part of Ingram) has a wider range of trim sizes and paper options.
I have an excel sheet with some research on the different self-publishing platforms, their royalty ranges, pros and cons. did that about 7 months ago, but it's most probably still very relevant. Happy to share it with you if it'll help.
Hi Tom, many interesting platforms here, here's my addition, hope it helps: I have interacted a bit with http://pressbooks.com/ , but not as a self publishing author, only as an editor. It seemed user friendly and worth giving a try for your own book.
Self publishing with Amazon, and achieving best seller status in a short period of time, can help to excel book sales and help promote you as an author and "expert" in what you do.
I like Createsspace as it has worked well for me fo several yeas.
I have tried several self-publishing platforms and have found that Createspace and KDP Amazon to be the most user friendly. Since Createspace is owned by Amazon your book will automatically generate to the KDP Amazon. Royalties are based on your pricing for E-books, Printed books, and the countries you are marketing to. There is not a fee to create your book. KDP Amazon also offer special book promotional tools and options. I started receiving royalties after the first month. You can also increase visibility for your books by using Facebook (join groups regarding your book title), Twitter, and Google Plus. Enjoy the Journey. Feel free to reach out for additional details.
I published with a company called Diggypod, they can help with almost anything you need to have done, as well as the price was affordable. I sold all of my book but 5 and plan to publish again this year and do even better. You will have to decide who you are marketing to and set up book signings to break even or to do well if that is your plan.
I have recently published my first book and am now into my second. I started out with Create Space, Kindle/Amazon, having first talked with Balboa Press whom I decided against due to their low royalties.
My book is a reference book for emergency care, and in color. So the problem I am having with Create Space/Kindle is that is cost so much to print a single copy, making the price of the book rather high.
However, like others who have commented, my book is a resume of sorts of my knowledge and authority in the subject. So the question arises, "why are you writing the book?". "What are your goals?".
I am now also looking into Red Brush (www.redbrush.com) which is a fulfillment company. Our relationship is in its infancy, but they will work with you from book to taking the material out into the world in a variety of forms.
Regarding editing, I suggest you have more than one (I had four) editors review your work before going to press. It is amazing the things that are overlooked then you are the writer working with the material ongoing.
Lastly, be sure to research the cover. Think audience. Have fun!
I used CreateSpace.com for physical copies and Amazon for digital copies. In the past I used Smashwords.com for multiple formats and distribution on all three of my books.
Ligtningsource.com - I have loved them for the print-on-demand service. Very easy. They do not market, but they do make sure you are listed on Amazon et al.
I use creatspace.com which is an Amazon/Kindle connection. It was easy and quick and I recommend it highly.
I've used Lightningsource but have found all the answers interesting and will check them out as I am also ready to publish another book. I've also given a few workshops on self-publishing so it's always good to see what else is out there
I used Createspace (Amazon) for my paperback and KDP auto-bio. Although I had my own editor initially I found the use of their professional editor was well worth the cost. Note however, that the self publishers (possibly with the exception of Leanpub, which I don't know too much about) will do very little to promote or help sell your book. Because of the volume out there you will be on your own. You will be very lucky to break even.
I use createspace.com It was easier to use than lulu.com (in my experience)
I have used Amazon and Createspace. Both simple and easy to use. All platforms have their plus and minus. If you haven't done so recommend APE by Guy Kawasaki, a good read on authoring and publishing, before you make your final decision.
I self published my own book myself, but my friends use Lulu and have done many good books with them
consider JIT publishing - to publish on-order/sale so you avoid losses and stockpiling.
I have used createspace.com for three books. Since they are an arm of amazon.com, the books are automatically available in all markets that Amazon has a foot in. Overall, I am satisfied with the experience.
By far the best platform I've used is Leanpub, although I've used Smashwords, Lulu, and Amazon. I currently have two books at Leanpub with plans in the works to publish three more (https://leanpub.com/u/robertdbrowniii).
I've co-published both books that I currently sell at Amazon, but I've sold 3 times as many books on Leanpub and made greater margins (90% royalty vs. ≤ 70%).
The great thing about Leanpub is that it lets you publish in a lean product development manner. You start publishing your work, get feedback, create a readers list, and get pricing recommendations. An author's page is also included for you to create a landing page for your readers. Each book is also given a very attractive landing page with more opportunities for reader interaction than through Amazon.