1. What is the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing?
The benefits of publishing your book by yourself is that you can get your book out really quickly through book launches and events and social media. However, it can take years with a traditional / mainstream book publisher. If a traditional publisher offers you a book deal, or advance, you must sign their publishing contract which allows them to take a higher percentage of royalties from your book sales. Bookshops and book retailers (e.g. Amazon) will also take a percentage of royalties from these sales. If your traditional publisher agrees that your book is worth their investment, they will print many copies of your book and distribute them to bookshops. For this, they take large royalties from your book sales.
However, print-on-demand self-publishing warehouses will print whatever number of copies of your book that has been ordered by an online-buyer / wholesaler / bookshop / distributor. This empowers you to sell your print book in thousands of shops worldwide with zero warehousing, be it soft paperback or hardcover book. Nowadays, many authors prefer to start with self-publishing before negotiating a contract with a traditional publisher. By starting as a self-publisher, an author can show proven sales and buyer-demand for their books, which gives them more leverage in negotiations with a traditional publisher later on. If a traditional publisher rejects their book or negotiations fail, the author still has the option to continue as a self-publisher with many of the same distribution channels used by traditional publishers. If you accept a big advance from a traditional publisher, this will lead to more pressure on you that your book must perform well in sales.
But with self-publishing there is less pressure on you. Self-publishing is fast, but formatting, converting and uploading files is tricky and time-consuming. It is advisable to seek expert assistance as to the layout, so that all your book formats appear neat and presentable to readers. We can assist you with formatting and converting book files.
2. Can I earn a higher percentage of royalties if I self-publish?
Yes, it is true. For ebooks, self-published authors can earn around 75% royalties (instead of around 25% or less usually offered by traditional publishers for publishing ebooks). For print books, self-published authors can earn around 40% royalties (instead of around 8% or less usually offered by traditional publishers for publishing print books).
With self-publishing, you are in control of the profits and you can see all your earnings online in real-time with sales data / reports for global distribution channels. You can update your books and adjust book pricing in tandem with your new campaigns / promotions - with no delays. Traditional publishers can only provide you with a royalty statement usually around every 6 months. These are long complicated sales statements that might require an accountant to help you understand the statements. However, self-publishing makes it easier to manage and track your book sales.
3. What is Print-on-demand?
Many writers fail to realise that it is absolutely FREE to self-publish books and ebooks on major websites like Amazon. They never even heard about options like Print-On-Demand that make life so much easier. If you're an author using On-Demand, you just sit back, relax and watch your book sales roll in. You don’t have to do anything! While you’re relaxing, factories in various countries are automatically assigned to print your books. These books are then shipped to buyers, bookstores and libraries – on your behalf. The lion's share of the royalties can accrue directly to you. Only the printer's and retailer's (e.g. Amazon) share are deducted, you’re paid directly into your bank account. So now you don’t need to print thousands of copies of your book, nor sign contracts with traditional publishers that give away your book rights. Happy days!
Self-publishing and On-Demand generate a higher percentage of royalties than traditional publishing. By comparison, eBook self-publishing earns around 50% more royalties, and On-demand earns around 32% more royalties, than traditional publishing / mainstream publishing. Traditional publishers expect a contract, and so you give away your book rights and royalties to them.
4. How do I reach the 39,000 booksellers in 220 countries/territories?
Our services enable you to self-publish your book in order to reach over 7 billion readers worldwide through 39,000 booksellers in 220 countries and territories. By using a combination of safe distribution websites (e.g. KDP Amazon, Ingram, Smashwords, GooglePlay, Audible, Pothi), your book will be linked to global ordering systems, 39,000 booksellers, libraries, schools, online retailers, E-book retailers, universities, indie bookshops, distribution partners, local niche retailers, internet commerce companies, large and small chains in 220 countries and territories.
Your books will also be connected to online customers, and to all leading smartphone / e-reader shops (including Apple iBooks, Kindle, Android, Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook, scribd, etc.). The book retailers (e.g. Amazon) take small royalties, which will happen with either traditional publishing or self-publishing anyway. Bookshops constantly order online new books from self-published authors via retailers / distributors. There are many ways your book will appear on their radar. For example, new books are advertised to bookshops, retailers/distributors via daily / weekly catalogues and email alerts. Perpetuity Publications are experts on how to publish a book and how to promote a book.
5. How do I get an ISBN?
It is important to use an ISBN barcode to safe-guard your book. You will need a different ISBN for each book format (e.g. ebook, paperback and hardcover). Authors usually source their ISBNs from agents within their own country / region of residence (e.g. a ministry may sell ISBNs). ISBN prices vary by region / country and some ISBNs are free. For example, in some EU countries, you can buy 10 ISBNs for approximately €100-€150. Some distribution websites can also provide ISBN barcodes for free. However, you must be careful that you do not buy fake ISBNs online. You can email us to see a list of credible ISBN traders in your country / region.
6. Which book distribution websites should I use for self-publishing?
You should always self-publish your book via safe multichannel distribution websites, so that you the author, retain copyright (provided that your work is original, and you own the ISBN), and no other action is required. But be careful to publish only on safe websites!
Safe book distributions websites include:
KDP/Amazon/Kindle (print-on-demand & ebooks).
IngramSpark (print-on-demand & ebooks).
Google Play Store/Android (ebooks).
Amazon ACX/Audible/Spotify (audiobooks).
7. Should I “opt out” for Kindle on Smashwords?
If you want to publish a Kindle ebook, it is better to submit your book directly to Amazon Kindle. They pay you a 70% royalty. You might be paid less if you go through third-party ebook distributors, but these distributors may give you the option to “Distribute” or “opt out” for Amazon Kindle.
8. What is DRM and Kindle Select?
When publishing with Kindle, Amazon usually gives you the option to opt out of DRM as well as choose to select or ignore Kindle Select. Be sure to weigh up the Pros & Cons before you decide on both. DRM is to stop unauthorized redistribution of your book and restrict the ways someone can copy the content. In addition, checking the box for Kindle Select gives Amazon exclusive rights to distribute your ebook. Therefore, you can’t sell your ebook on other retailer platforms, like Apple iBooks or Google Play Android. Think very carefully about choosing to select or ignore Kindle Select.
9. How do I price a book?
It is better if your ebook price ends with __.99 (i.e. $2.99, $9.99 etc.) which many retailers prefer. For Amazon Kindle, it is best to choose a price from $2.99-9.99. Kindle pays 70% commission on ebooks within that price range. They pay 35% on ebooks priced more than $9.99 or less than $2.99.
10. Should I change the book's price or cover image to improve sales?
If you experience low sales, then maybe consider changing the book’s cover design or lowering the book’s price. This might make a huge difference because many people judge a book by its cover or price. Professional cover design is important.
11. Can I publish a book for iPhone and Android users?
Yes. If you publish via Smashwords / Draft2Digital, your book will be available on the iBooks store. GooglePlay / Android stopped accepting ebooks for a while, but as of now they are accepting ebooks again for self-publishing. Readers may prefer to read your book on their android phone / tablet, rather than on iPhone / iPad or Kindle. The more options you provide, the better!
12. How do I promote a book?
You can promote your book through book launches, events, social media, seminars and tours (also virtual online book tours). Book reviews are always helpful. Some retailers use algorithms to push hot popular books that receive many reviews and high star-ratings. Amazon even uses a ‘verified purchase review’. You can also promote your book for free online via book communities for readers and writers. This allows you to gather thousands of followers and fans who can write reviews. It is not advisable to pay people to write your book reviews or to give you high star-ratings. You can pay for ads (e.g. Amazon ads, Instagram Ads, Google AdWords and YouTube Ads) or you may consider hiring a publicist.
Before you publish, you should always add promotional content inside your book. At the final pages of your book, you can also insert cover images and / or sample chapters of your other book(s) - especially if you have a book series or different language versions or different formats (libraries particularly like paperback / hardcover copies and even audiobooks). For ebooks, you have the option to insert your web links into your ebook at the start and / or end of your book. Links can include your social media pages, websites, author profiles and retailer links to buy your other book(s) or to connect with you. This allows readers to click or send the links to their friends; write book reviews and buy your book series or different language versions and different formats.
It is best to not include prices in book cover images. Retailers may reject books with prices on covers. Try to get 'book forewords' from influential people who have read your book. You can insert the 'book foreword' at the beginning of your book and / or on the cover of your book.
With print-on-demand, you can print many copies of your book at low cost, in order to sell your books at book events (seminars, book tours/exhibitions etc.) or to offer free copies of your book to promoters and PR allies (e.g. journalists, bloggers, etc.) and other authors who will read your book and write reviews for your book on Amazon customer reviews, etc.
For free, you can set-up Google Alerts for keywords related to your book. This will help you find the right journalists and bloggers to pitch your press release. Also, register for free on HARO (Help a Reporter Out: Free Publicity-Connecting Reporters) to receive free daily email queries from reporters. But abide by the HARO rules.