5 Off-Beat Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book

The ways of promoting a self-published book are only limited by your imagination, but here are a few inexpensive ways to get the most out of your promotion dollars for a self-published book marketing campaign.

1 – Create a Facebook Author Page

Social media is replacing the traditional “word-of-mouth” that helps identify and promote popular books. Getting a presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, as well as Facebook, are free ways to build an audience for your book and promote it to your interested readers. This helps establish a central location for your fans to meet up and communicate with you. It is also an awesome way to announce the release of new projects, provide links to your author website and other articles and books you have published online. Keep fans engaged using discussions, polls, and the occasional giveaway to maintain an active presence on Facebook.

Promotion event to print your own book

2 – Promote the Book on YouTube

Another social media platform that is often overlooked for authors is YouTube. Consider doing a live book reading of the first couple of chapters of your book using a YouTube Premiere event. Another way to promote your book on YouTube is to have a Q&A session with fans on camera or answer their questions in a “Dear Abby-like” format. You can also deliver some sort of presentation or TED talk-like event on a topic that might be of interest to your audience.

3 – Create a Book Trailer

The trailer has been a staple of movie promotion for decades now, and with the advent of the internet–along with inexpensive video design and production capabilities–has made producing a high-quality book trailer an easy way to generate some publicity for your books in an oversaturated market. Why not look at creating a book trailer as a concise way to build buzz about your book and target a specific audience for it.

4 – Donate Books to Target Audience

One great way to build and expand your target audience is to donate copies of your book to groups, organizations, or locations where your target audience gathers. This is an especially good strategy for non-fiction self-published books.

Both fiction and non-fiction are popular at senior centers, retirement homes, hospitals, churches, libraries, and locally-owned book stores.

5 – Host a Virtual Book Club Meeting

During the time of COVID-19, meeting in-person is not only impractical but also unsafe. Many libraries and bookstore-based book discussion groups have taken their gatherings online using software such as Skype or Zoom to meet virtually.

Prepare a list of discussion questions about your book specifically designed for book club discussions and include it with your book. Also provide a means for book club organizers to reach out to you and schedule an online book group meeting that includes you, the author. Readers absolutely love book club meetings that include the book’s author.

InstantPublisher is Your Partner for Self-Publishing Success

InstantPublisher is a full-service self-publishing book printer that provides a variety of services to help support your self-publishing efforts. These include book covers and custom book cover designs, interior book design, and custom printing services to provide promotional materials for your books such as bookmarks, calendars, posters, flyers, and much more. Get more information about these services by calling 1-800-259-2592, filling out our online contact form, or sending an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

How to Choose the Right Book Binding Option for Your Book

When you look at the thousands of books available in your average bookstore, they use many different types of bindings. But what are the different types of book bindings available and how do you select the best one for your book?

Perfect Binding

Perfect bindings–AKA paperback bindings–are the most common book binding option available in the industry right now. Paperback bindings are popular because they are versatile, able to be used on a number of different sizes of books, from novels, to trade paperback books, to large reports and manuals. Perfect bindings are also popular because they are portable while still being durable for standard reading use.

Book printing and binding process

Hardcover/Casebound Binding

This is the highest quality of book binding available on the market today. These have covers that are made of heavy binder board where you can have your book cover design printed and glued to it to make it a smooth cover. The book is then sewn and glued to the inside of the board making it extremely durable. These are primarily used for books that store important information and stand up to heavy use over time.

Hardcover/Cloth Binding

This hardcover book binding option is the one that you see most often for hardback books sold in book stores or in library collections. The book has a binder board covered with cloth, with minimal ornamentation or identification information on it. This is typically paired with a full-color dust jacket that is used to identify the book and provide all other information typically on a book cover such as ISBN number, pricing, back cover copy, pull quotes from book reviews, etc.

Wire Bindings

There are some books that work best when they can lay flat on a surface. Books such as cookbooks, reference materials, and even calendars work best if they can lay flat when in use.

Saddle Stitch Binding

This is another common book binding style. Saddle stitch bindings use folded sheets of paper (in multiples of four) up to 64 pages which are folded along a “saddle” and then stapled into place along the spine. These are commonly seen in catalogs, booklets, brochures, magazines, and direct mailers.

3-Ring Binders

Printed material that can be inserted into custom-designed, full-color laminated binders using 3-hole punch paper to allow pages to be inserted within the binder are also common for publications such as training manuals, reference guides, and even cookbooks. The 3-ring binder is also designed to be flexible and allows the content to be expanded by printing and inserting additional pages into the binder as necessary. This is great for training that covers multiple closely-related topics.

Whatever book binding you select, just make sure that it meets the specific needs of your book buying audience.

Let InstantPublisher Help You Select the Best Book Binding Option for You

We offer all of the book binding options listed above and a few others as well. Contact us at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com to get more information.

6 Qualities to Look for in a High-Quality Premade Book Cover

Studies have proven that we do judge books by their covers, and as self-published authors, we must take this seriously. If you have a poorly designed book cover, whether you design it yourself, have it custom-made, or select a premade book cover, it has to be great. Because a book cover that is anything less than great will hurt your book sales.

1 – High Quality Cover Art

The art for your cover should be a dynamic image that properly represents the genre and story you are telling. It shouldn’t look like a stock photo taken from a free photo website, nor should it look like clip art pulled from your word processing application. Spend some time looking at different book covers for best-selling titles in your genre. What types of images do they use? What information do they include on the cover? What color schemes are they using? Use the answers to these questions to help you figure out what type of cover would be ideal for your book.

Graphic artist creating a premade book cover design

2 – Proper Cover Title Font Selections

Font choices on book covers seem like a trivial thing, but they often set the tone for the book. As a self-publishing professional, you need to educate yourself about fonts and how they work both on book covers and the interior layout. Joel Friedlander has a good article on the Top 10 Fonts for Book Covers and Interior Design and another good post from Cover Design Studio about different typefaces and fonts are a good place to start.

3 – Good Cover Text Placement

Even if you select the perfect font for your book cover, there are many other mistakes you can make with placing the text on your cover. Here are a few of them:

  • Text too close to the edges of the cover
  • Title text is too small and hard to read
  • Too much text on the cover – Too much text makes the cover look too busy or even cluttered, especially if you have some nice visual elements on the cover
  • Using more than 3 fonts on the cover – Two contrasting fonts work best. Never use more than 3 different fonts on the book cover.

4 – Making the Author’s Name too Large on the Book Cover

There is a myth out there that self-published authors should make their name on the cover very large in order to convince the book buyer that you are a popular, best-selling writer. This is true if you happen to be Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, or John Grisham, but if you are reading this article, you should not try to fool potential readers by blowing up the size of your name to misrepresent how big of a selling point your name is. The reader will see right through it.

5 – Has a Professional Look and Feel

There are millions of book covers out there, and many successful ones use dramatically different design elements, colors, and styles. Spend some time looking at book covers at a book store or library. Which ones do you like? What draws you to them? Book publishers spend a lot of time and effort designing the perfect book cover for every book they print, so steal their cover design ideas.

6 – Designed by Someone Who Designs Book Covers

If you do not have graphic design experience, it is very hard to learn the skills necessary to design a good-looking book cover. Even with some of the fantastic DIY book cover design tools available, the tools cannot be a substitute for skill and experience. And even if you are a graphic design professional, book cover design uses different stylistic choices that only someone familiar with the publishing industry might understand. If you hire a graphic designer, make sure they have experience designing book covers and that they have some example book covers in their portfolio. There are many high-quality book cover design professionals out there who sell designs at a reasonable price.

InstantPublisher Provides Premade Book Covers and Custom Book Covers

InstantPublisher is your full-service self-publishing book printer that provides a large selection of premade book covers and custom book cover designs. Get more information about these services by calling 1-800-259-2592, filling out our online contact form, or sending an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

What is a Vanity Publisher?

Vanity publishers–AKA vanity presses, vanity book printing, or subsidy publishers–are companies that offer commercial book printing services for authors who pay them to publish their books. This is very different than the “traditional” model of book publishing where the publishing company pays you for the right to print, distribute, and sell your books.

Vanity Book Printing’s Bad Reputation

Vanity book printing and self-publishing book printing are terms used interchangeably to represent any author who takes control of the publishing process to produce his/her own books.

Books printing at a vanity publisher

Vanity book printing has a negative connotation because it suggests that an author who uses such a service is vain and that if the author did not pay the book printing company it would never be accepted for publication or sold successfully by a traditional publisher. Vanity book printing also got a bad reputation because of a few unethical book printers who would overcharge the author for printing the book, take over the publishing rights to the work, and provide nothing in return. No editing services. No book cover design assistance. No marketing support. If the author wanted any of these services, he/she had to pay a premium for them on top of the book printing fees. All the author got in return was pallets of overpriced books sitting in the unfortunate author’s garage.

In a traditional book publishing arrangement, the publishing house takes on all of the risks—and thus the expense—of printing the book, and this makes it in their best interest to see that the author succeeds. As a result, these publishing houses provide editorial services, professional book cover designs, illustrators, book manuscript layout, distribution, and many other services in exchange for a large portion of the book’s earnings.

Vanity Book Printing vs. Self-Publishing Book Printing

Vanity book printing operates under a different business model than a self-publishing book printer. Where a vanity press earns most of its income by charging the author a mandatory premium for extra services such as editing, book cover design, and much more by overcharging the hopeful author who dreams of seeing his or her book on the NYT Best Seller list. A self-publishing book printer makes money primarily by printing a large number of copies of the author’s book. They provide these services at reasonable, competitive rates, and may offer additional services such as editing and book cover design as options if they are interested in using them. The focus on the self-publishing book printing model is empowering the author to make all of the decisions to make his/her book exactly as envisioned. From the book manuscript layout to the color of the lettering on the book cover, are all determined by the author with the self-publishing book printer as a partner in the process.

Self-Publishing Means You Assume All of the Risk

Even if you work with a reputable self-publishing book printer, it is important for you to understand that in this publishing approach you assume all of the risks. You are the one responsible for everything. You write the book, design the book cover (or hire someone to design it for you), you write the back-cover copy for the book, get the book reviewed by reputable book reviewers, distribute the book to sellers, handle all of the accounting for the book sales, etc.

If the thought of this level of control over the publication of your book excites you, then maybe self-publishing is right for you. If the thought of doing all of these things overwhelms or terrifies you, then maybe you should consider a traditional publishing contract.

InstantPublisher is Your Premier Self-Publishing Book Printing Services Provider

Whether you call us a vanity publisher or a self-publishing book printer, you get high-quality book printing at an affordable cost. We provide additional publishing services such as custom book cover design, typesetting, and book layout services at reasonable rates if you want them, or just do it yourself. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

17 Tips for Proofreading Your Book Manuscript

You’ve finished the fun part of the writing process, and you’ve had a couple of trusted readers review your book and provide feedback. Now you need to proofread the book to capture all of those quirky little typos, misspellings, and other issues that (if unnoticed) would distract the reader from your story or information and maybe even result in losing their trust as a reader altogether.

Most book printing companies do not proofread your self-published book before printing it, so to avoid embarrassing mistakes, proofread it before submitting the final manuscript to the printer.

1 – Print Out the Manuscript to Review and Mark Changes On

Several studies have shown individuals proofreading a hard copy manuscript catch more errors than those who edit onscreen. One study showed that people who are proofreading on paper can do it anywhere from 20 to 30% faster than those reviewing the manuscript on screen. To save time and improve your accuracy, kill a few trees by printing it out. (You can always plant a few trees in penance for your waste later.)

Proofreading a manuscript for book printing service.

Double-space the manuscript before you print it out so there’s room to insert comments and corrections. You must number the pages as well because you never know when your manuscript pages might get mixed up and out of order.

2 – Read the Manuscript Out Loud

This is the best way to catch errors such as missing articles (a, an, the, etc.) and words, typos that spellcheck misses (meaning to type “from” but entering “form” instead), and awkward and confusing passages. Better yet, have a friend read it out loud to you as you take notes. This way you can hear where they get confused or stumble when reading the manuscript.

3 – Look for Passive Constructions

If you remember from your high school grammar days that passive voice sentences are bad (most of the time). The passive construction is a sentence where the object of the sentence acts on the subject. Example: There was a great amount of snow covering the ground. (Passive) A lot of snow covered the ground. (Active). This is just a simple example, but make it a practice to look for all sentences that use linking verbs such as: is, am, are, was, were, be, being, and been (all forms of the verb “be”) and highlight them.

Next, go back and review each of the sentences with a verb underlined and see if you can rewrite it in an active form. You should identify and rewrite a good percentage of these sentences to make them stronger.

4 – Read the Manuscript Backwards

This approach helps when looking for missing punctuation or misspelled words. But also for catching things that you might have missed using other proofreading techniques. Read the last sentence. Then the next to last. And so on, until you reach the first sentence of the manuscript.

5 – Wait a While After Writing Before Proofreading

Writing and proofreading/editing are different processes that use different parts of the brain. If you jump from one task (such as writing) immediately into proofreading, you tend to miss things or “autocorrect” errors in your brain since the writing side of you still knows what you intended to say. Putting it away for at least a couple of hours (a couple of days would be better) to allow you to gain some distance from the project before you go into proofreading mode. This will improve the number of errors you find.

6 – Get Someone Else to Proofread the Manuscript

There is something to be said for “being too close to the work.” Especially if you’ve spent a lot of time writing and rewriting the same pages. Get another person to proofread the manuscript for you. They will see it with a fresh perspective and catch things you would typically miss.

7 – Review Apostrophes Carefully

One of the most common amateur author mistakes is misusing apostrophes in contractions vs. possessives–the most common example being the use of “your” instead of “you’re” when you are trying to say “you are.” Slow down and look at all apostrophes to make sure you use them correctly in your manuscript.

8 – Use a Red Pen to Mark Up the Manuscript

Using a red pen, or any other bright color, helps you make sure that you don’t miss any of the change suggestions you note on the manuscript. You can easily miss these if you mark them using black ink or pencil.

Proofreading marks for self-publishing book printing.

9 – Look for Words That End with the Suffix –“ly”

Words that end in “ly” are indicators of adverbs, a typically unnecessary modifier to verbs. Most of the time adverbs can be eliminated by choosing a stronger specific verb. For example – Ran quickly vs. Sprinted. Which one paints a clearer picture in your head? Use the “Find” feature in your word processor and highlight all of them. See if you can remove at least some of them. Also look at empty words that try to “intensify” verbs such as “much, more, very, less,” etc. You can eliminate these most of the time.

10 – Confirm That You Use Homonyms the Correct Way

Homonyms are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently, and have completely different meanings. When you are deep within the writing process, it is easy for your brain to enter the word that sounds like the word you meant. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if you sent out an invitation to “Meat the Parents.”

11 – Proofread During Periods of Focused Attention and Concentration

You should not save proofreading tasks until the end of the day when you are tired from doing other concentration-heavy tasks. You also shouldn’t try to do it while listening to a podcast, sitting on a conference call, or watching TV either. Proofreading requires deep concentration to do a good job, so limit your distractions and only proofread during times when you are very alert.

12– Turn the Manuscript Upside Down

This technique doesn’t work for everyone, but for those who like it swear by it. Turn your manuscript upside-down, face up. This requires you to slow down when reading each word and decipher it. This makes errors stand out.

13 – Make Multiple Proofreading “Passes”

This method of proofreading is time-consuming but works well. Only look for one issue at a time when you proofread the manuscript. For example, you review the manuscript once only looking for punctuation errors. Next, you go through the manuscript looking for homonym issues, then go through it again looking for passive voice construction, and so on. Reviewing the document multiple times assures that you plenty of chances to catch mistakes.

14 – Use Spellcheck, But Don’t Rely on It

Spellcheck does not catch wrong words that are spelled correctly because of a mistyped letter. (See Tip 2 – Read the Manuscript Out Loud for an example)

15 – Fact Check Carefully

Any time you quote someone, make sure it’s accurate and you know the source. Any time you use a figure or number, double-check it for accuracy. Confirm that the names of people, businesses, and products are spelled correctly. Make sure you cite all of your sources, providing links where applicable.

16 – Use a Checklist

Pilots go through a checklist before every flight. Doctors verify each step on the checklist before each surgery, so you should also use a checklist. Especially if you are writing several documents or one long document. It is easy to forget the spelling of a character name or a person of interest in your study. Use checklists to track these mistakes, especially those you make often. Include your commonly misspelled or misused words on the list and any other important project information on the list as well.

17 – Don’t Edit While Writing

Writing and proofreading need to be completely separate processes. While writing it is tempting to make corrections and tweak the wording but try to get a draft down on paper first and then (after observing Tip #5) proofread the manuscript when you are in a completely different mindset.

Following these tips will make you an excellent proofreader. Never underestimate the importance of a good proofread to make your book the best that it can be.

InstantPublisher is Your Premier Book Printing Services Provider

When your book is ready to be printed, have InstantPublisher take care of it. We offer many additional services such as custom book cover designs, different binding and formatting options, and much more. If you have any questions at all, please give us a call at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Print A Book.

As an entrepreneur what is one of the most sought-after items for your business?  It is Attention!

Even the best products will not sell themselves. If you need to sell more products or services, start with attention! Once you have the attention of your consumer, then you can show them the benefits of your product or service.  Same thing goes if your want to raise money….you have to get the attention from angles and PE funds to pitch them.

You see where I am going here?  There are many ways to get attention; but, in my experience, writing and publishing a book is not only one of the best ways to get attention it is one of the most under-utilized methods of gaining attention by entrepreneurs.

How does a book get your attention?  A book is great for getting attention because it is a multi-purpose marketing tool with unique abilities to create attention that you can turn into almost anything else you want: sales, media, word of mouth and authority.

How can InstantPublisher help?

Publishing a book is expensive, right?  Publishing a book is a lot cheaper than many forms of marketing out there if the author is willing to do the work.  Sure, if you want to hire someone to write your book for you then it will be expensive.  But if you have the ability to put your thoughts down on paper it can be extremely affordable.  For example, if you put together something simple in Word with one of InstantPublisher’s 5.5×8.5 templates you can publish a book for as little as $100 for 25 copies if you keep the content at 60 pages or below.  If you stick to this simple platform, you can also print 1000 copies for $1,000.

Can I customize my book to gain more attention?

With 100’s of different publishing options, InstantPublisher can create any book you can imagine. Sometimes quantity over quality may not be what you’re looking for and we can help with that as well.  With options ranging from simple rounded corners or foil stamping all the way up to custom leather hardcover with ribbon bookmarks….we have every option available.

Can I get help with my publishing project or am I on my own?

InstantPublisher can help you with your publishing project in every way you can imagine. Consultation services are provided to all our customers at no cost.  We offer many services ranging from simple layout and cover design to full-on ghost-writing services.  We can also offer marketing services including printing flyers and mailings or book warehousing and distribution.

If you’re ready to print your books and need a simple quote click here https://www.instantpublisher.com/book_calculator.aspx

For more personalized service, give us a call at 800-259-2592 or email questions@instantpublisher.com

What type of finish is best for my book cover?

Cover finishing

InstantPublisher offers many types of stock cover finishes.  For special requests not listed on our site, please email or give us a call.

UV Coating
This coating is the standard “free” option on InstantPublisher’s self-published covers.  UV is common in print and stands for “ultra-violet,” as the coating is dried by UV light.   The coating adds a glossy sheen to the cover similar to a clear coat.  It adds a little protection but not as much as plastic lamination.

Plastic lamination
Plastic lamination is a plastic film applied to book covers for a finished look that provides protection.  Plastic lamination will provide some scratch resistance to your book and is an upgrade on soft cover books but comes standard on our hardcover cased books.  This type of finish is recommended for any type of high use book like a cookbook or journal.  The standard plastic lamination InstantPublisher offers has a gloss finish.  Other types of lamination are available like antimicrobial, soft touch and matte lamination.

Linen Plastic Lamination
The linen lamination is similar to the standard gloss laminate but it is processed through a texturizer that adds a linen texture similar to an old photograph.  It still has a somewhat glossy finish but not as glossy as standard gloss laminate.

Foil Stamping
Foil stamping uses a metal stamp and a foil to create a metallic finish.  This type of coating is most popular on cloth or leather covers that cannot be printed on.  Usually it is just a title or something small as foil has its limitations.  At times, foil stamping is also used on printed material to make items stand out.  Foil is available in a variety of colors but gold and silver are the most popular options.

Embossing/Debossing
Embossing/Debossing is where a stamp is made and an area of the cover is actually raised or lowered for effect.  This is usually done in conjunction with print like a title or object that needs to stand out on the cover.  It is similar to Foil Stamping but without the use of foil.

 

InstantPublisher would like to introduce a new cover coating option with antimicrobial coating technology.  

Antimicrobial Coating

Instantpublisher’s antimicrobial coating offers added protection against certain dangerous bacteria and other harmful microbes. The specialty treated covers feature a durable antimicrobial coating that helps prevent the growth of some potentially harmful bacteria. Antimicrobial coating can also be cleaned with soap and water to further sanitize surfaces. This coating is ideal for use in books that are frequently handled.  This coating is a gloss lamination type of coating.

Surface Treatment
In some cases, microbes such as bacteria can cause illness in humans and animals.  Bacteria frequently grow on contaminated surfaces and may be transferred through physical contact. Antimicrobial coatings create a surface that helps limit certain bacterial growth. When these bacteria are unable to multiply and spread, they can easily be eliminated with common sanitation processes.

ISO-22196 Testing

Instantpublisher’s antimicrobial coating has been independently evaluated using ISO-22196 test methods to measure antibacterial activity on plastic surfaces. Antimicrobial coating has only been tested against specific bacteria and may not kill or otherwise neutralize viruses and other patho­gens.

Protocol 01 -1A Testing

Antimicrobial coating has also been evaluated using Protocol 01-1A to measure the performance of sanitizers on nonporous surfaces such as polyester. Multiple wear cycles are performed with test microorganisms to determine residual antimicrobial performance.

The additional cost will be $.50 per book.  The option will be located under the cover coating section of the order form.  Instantpublisher can supply a small logo to place on your cover to alert buyers of the extra feature per your request.

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

When you self-publish a book, you are not only taking on the responsibility of writing a high-quality book but all of the decisions (and expenses associated with) producing the book. So, you need to know how much it will cost to print each copy of your book so you price it appropriately in order to make money publishing it.

A frustrated writer learning how to publish a book

One factor to keep in mind is that most book distribution outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores and online outlets demand anywhere between a 45 and 65% discount on the book’s cover price in order to agree to carry the book. The amount of the discount typically depends on the cover price of the book. Higher cover prices earn you more royalties per sale. You might be thinking 35 to 55% of a profit on each book sounds pretty good when you consider that your royalties on a traditionally published book would be somewhere between 10 and 12%. But hold on, you have to factor in the preparation, printing, and marketing costs for the book. Even after you’ve done all of the calculations, a self-published book’s royalty will make considerably more than that of a traditionally published book.

Preparation-Related Self-Publishing Costs

When writing, the main cost to you will be your time, unless you decide to hire a ghostwriter to help you out with the writing process. Some self-publishing companies offer this service as part of their book publishing packages, but it might be better if you do the research and find a reputable ghostwriter on your own if you decide to do it this way.

One thing that you MUST understand about hiring a book printing service to publish your book is that they will print the manuscript you send them EXACTLY as you sent it. They do not correct typos (even obvious ones) or text that is formatted wrong, or blank pages inserted accidentally in the middle of your book. You are the quality control for your self-published book. That’s why you need to check, double-check, and check one additional time to make sure that your manuscript is PERFECT. Because correcting mistakes after the print run is expensive.

But it is very easy for the author to make mistakes within his/her own work. You are very close to the project and sometimes it is hard to see typos or missing words right under your nose. Our brains are just not good at catching these things for most of us. This is why it is important to have other people read your book and provide feedback. Here are a few professional services you should seriously consider hiring for the production of your self-published book:

Editing Services – 99% of self-publishing book companies do not offer any type of editing services. Anytime that you write a book it is important to have an experienced professional editor read your work to make sure that it makes sense, has accurate and consistent information, correct grammar and usage issues, is well organized and flows well, and much more. Editing services is typically one of the larger costs of self-publishing your own book, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Copyediting Services –Many people confuse copyediting services with general editing services. They are very different in nature. Editing services review the book as a whole looking for major issues of organization and consistency, which sometimes can result in deleting content, reworking existing content, and creating new content. Copyediting is the line-by-line review of a book looking for typographical errors, punctuation and capitalization mistakes, agreement issues, and much more. A good copyeditor is critical to your self-publishing book process because these types of errors can destroy your credibility as a professional author and turn off readers.

Illustration Services – Most authors are not blessed with both superior writing ability and artistic know-how, so you might need to hire an illustrator to help illuminate key information or events within your book. Some self-publishing book companies offer illustration services as an add on service, or you can go online and try to find an illustrator yourself.

Interior Book Design Services – Another frequently overlooked cost associated with printing your own book is the book manuscript format. A poorly designed book format may not only turn off possible readers of your book but may also increase the number of pages for your book overall which will drive up the price per copy to print the book. Unless you have some experience or knowledge of book manuscript layout and interior book design, you should allow the self-publishing book company to handle it.

Self-Publishing Book Printing Costs

The cost of printing the book itself will be the biggest chunk of expense when it comes to self-publishing a book. Because you make all of the choices when it comes to printing a book, you can control how much the base price might be. Here are some of the factors that determine the per-copy cost of printing a book:

  • Number of Pages– The more pages, the higher the cost.
  • Number of Copies Printed– The larger number of copies you have printed in a single print “run” the lower your cost per book will be. These discounts can be considerable if you print a large number of copies of the book in one print run.
  • Book Size– The dimensions of the book typically impact the cost per copy of the book.
  • Binding Type– These costs are mainly determined when choosing to print a paperback or hardcover book. These costs vary considerably depending on the book format, from spiral-bound paperback to leather-bound book bindings, and everything in between.

Stack of books from a short run book printing

Book Cover Design Costs

According to a 2010 Cover Matters Survey, 79% of all respondents said that the book cover plays a decisive role in a book purchase decision, and poor cover designs detract from the likelihood of a sale.

The proof is out there. We all judge books by their covers and because of this, it is CRITICAL that self-publishers spend some money on an excellent book cover design. The book printing company should be able to use your own book cover design. Full-color designs will cost more than black and white designs. Some book self-publishing services offer high-quality “stock” book cover designs and even custom book cover design for an extra fee. This is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners to save money.

Additional Printing Costs

Some costs are directly associated with the printing of the book itself such as:

  • Paper Quality – Higher quality paper equals higher printing costs.
  • Color Printing – The number of pages that require color printing drives up the cost as well.

ISBN Numbers and Copyright Fees

One thing that you will definitely need to sell your book is an ISBN number. The ISBN number is how booksellers and distributors track your book. Most book retailers will not carry books without an ISBN number. Each format and edition of your book requires a different ISBN number. For example, paperback and eBook versions require different ISBN numbers so that a customer doesn’t get the wrong version of the book by mistake. You can buy these yourself—you can even buy them in bulk at considerable cost savings–although many book printing services will buy these for you for an additional fee. Adding a barcode with the ISBN number also costs extra, but makes the books far easier to sell and more likely that retailers will stock them on their shelves.

Although it is not necessary to file an actual Copyright form to have copyright protection, some authors want the peace of mind that their work is protected. To do this you need to complete a Form TX application from the U.S. Copyright Office. The price for this is now $65.

These are all costs that will be generated by a direct result of working with the self-publishing book printing company. A reputable self-publishing company spells out all of the costs associated with printing the book upfront, often using a calculator for printing a book. This helps you determine how to best spend your budget for printing your book.

Marketing & Distribution Costs

Marketing and distribution are often strengths of traditional publishers. They have connections to major book distributors and buyers at chain bookstores that most self-publishers don’t have. But, unless you are a big-name author, few publishers will put much budgeting for a marketing effort behind a book from an unknown or little-known author.

As a self-published author, you put in as much (or as little) effort as you want to market and distribute your own books. You can sell them out of the trunk of your car at book festivals and writers’ conferences, set up your own book tours, send out hundreds of review copies, participate in online giveaways, and much more. The ways of marketing books are almost endless.

Some book printing companies will offer custom printing services that can be used to print marketing collateral such as bookmarks, business cards, promotional brochures, and much more. Collateral such as this is a great way to promote your book at book signings, author visits, conferences, or nearly anywhere else you go to promote your book. It is a low-cost way to get your name out there and remembered by potential readers.

If you take all of these potential costs into consideration when writing and using a book printing service for your book, and price the book well, you can manage to earn higher royalty amounts than those from a traditional book publisher to print and distribute your book. In addition, you cut down the amount of time between writing the book and publishing it, allowing you to write and release more books in a shorter time-span.

Are You Ready to be InstantPublisher’s Next Author?

Of course, you are. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t interested in taking complete control of your writing career and literary efforts. And InstantPublisher is always standing by to help you reach your publishing goals. Give us a call at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com to get the process started today.

7 Questions You Should Ask Before Selecting a Book Printing Service

Congratulations! You’ve written your book and decided to self-publish it. Now you need to find an excellent book printing service to publish the book for you. But what do you look for? Here are seven questions that every author should ask before selecting a book printing service:

1 – How Long Does It Take?

A high-quality book printing service has clearly stated ranges of time (in business days) of how long it will take to print your book once they have received the final manuscript from you. These will likely be estimates based on the type of binding for your book, the number of copies requested, and other services provided by the publisher.

Books printed from a high-quality book printing services provider.

2 – What is Included in the Book Printing Package?

The book printing service should have clearly stated information about what is included and not included in a book printing package. What size book does the price get you? What type of book cover does it include? Does the price include a proof copy of the book? Get an exact description of what you do and don’t get for the price.

3 – What Extra Book Self-Publishing Services are Offered?

For example, most book printing services do not proofread the books submitted to them unless you pay extra for those services. Look carefully to see what services are available and might be helpful along your publishing journey.

4 – What Book Binding Options Are Available?

There are many different book binding options available for books these days. If you are looking for your book to fold flat so it is easier to take notes in it, a plastic comb, plastic wire, or even a 3-ring binding might be best. If you are targeting the mass market trade paperback market, then a perfect bound paperback binding is your best bet. An excellent book printing service provides many options for you to choose from, everything from 3-hole punched paper to leather-bound hardcover books.

5 – Do They Purchase ISBN Numbers for Your Self-Published Book?

An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that is essential to identify the publisher and the book title for book publishers, distributors, and booksellers in order to track inventory. If you do not plan to sell your book in book stores or via a major online site such as Amazon, you don’t need one. Most publishers do charge for this service as a separate service.

6 – Will They Accept Your Camera-Ready Manuscript?

If you are a good do-it-yourselfer when it comes to book layout and design, it might be good to see if the book printer accepts camera-ready manuscripts, or if it requires the manuscript to be formatted using one of their pre-defined templates. Most book printing services accept manuscripts that are pre-formatted as long as they fit into one of their standard book sizes.

7 – What is the Book Printing Service’s Price Per Book?

The best way to determine the price that you will be able to sell your book for at book stores and online book shopping sites is the printing price per book from your book printing service. Some of the factors that impact this price include:

  • Size of the book
  • Binding
  • Black & White or Full Color
  • Number of copies to be printed (the larger the number of copies in the print run, the cheaper the cost per book will be)
  • Extra services purchased for the book

InstantPublisher is Your Premier Book Printing Services Provider

If you have any questions at all, please give us a call at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

5 Differences Between Traditional and Book Self-Publishing Services

The publishing world is constantly changing and with the availability of millions of books at every reader’s fingertips, it is important to know the differences between a “traditional” publisher and book self-publishing services once your book is ready for publication.

What is Traditional Publishing?

Traditional publishing is the name used for anyone who follows the “traditional” process of finding a publisher who produces the type of content you write, finding a literary agent who represents your kind of book, and submitting a book proposal (or synopsis and outline for fiction) to that agent. If that agent agrees to represent you, the agent then submits your book proposal around to the various publishers that publish that kind of book. If the agent makes a sale, they represent you for all of your literary business, negotiating publication rights, advances, and royalty rates. Agents earn 10 to 20% of your total royalties for the duration of the contract.

Book being printed by self-publishing service

With the book now in the hands of a publisher, they will ask you to make revisions to the manuscript and will engage their internal marketing group to handle promotion for the book, cover design, manuscript layout, and much more. Except in extremely rare situations, you will not have any influence on the changes, cover design, look, and feel of the book. You won’t even have control over whether you produce a hardcover or paperback book. These are all decisions made by the publisher.

Once the book has been completed, it is put on a release calendar and distributed to major bookstores, and online booksellers, and (in the case of most first-time authors) completely forgotten. This process typically takes at least a year, but more often than not several years before you see your book on the shelf of your local bookstore. This brings us to the 1st major difference between traditional and self-publishers.

1 – Self-Publishing is Faster

Once you have your book finished you don’t need to go through the tedious process of finding an agent and hoping that you will be taken on as a client, or waiting to be put on a release calendar several years down the road. You can get your book in the hands of your readers far faster than following the traditional route.

2 – You Keep Control of the Look and Feel of Your Book

In self-publishing you have complete creative control over aspects such as the book cover design, the book manuscript format, and length of the book. You can do the design yourself, or hire an expert to create a custom book cover and layout of the book.

3 – You Choose the Publishing Format of Your Book

Traditional publishers are often limited by what their accounting departments determine is an acceptable risk when selecting a format for the publication of your book. They may require a hardcover version of the book (even if your audience probably can’t afford it), or require you to publish only in the form of a mass-market paperback for your first book–in order to minimize the risk on their end. They may decide not to create an audiobook version of your book, an eBook, or publish the book in other languages. With self-publishing, you make every choice for yourself. Want your book to be produced with a leather-bound book binding? Done. Need your workshop’s notebook to have spiral-bound book binding? No problem. You can print your book in as many (or as few) versions as you wish.

4 – You Handle the Distribution of Your Book

Traditionally, this is one of the strengths of traditional publishers. They have connections to major book distributors and chain bookstores that most self-publishers don’t have. But as a self-published book author, you can sell your book however you see fit.

5 – You Handle the Marketing of Your Book

Most first-time authors get no marketing budget from traditional publishers. High visibility book tour and promotion budgets typically only apply to bestselling authors who traditional publishers see as a “sure thing.” As a self-published author, you set your own budget for marketing your book. You can have your own nationwide book tour, or simply promote your book sitting behind your desk, sending out newsletters, and doing podcast interviews about your book. The ways of promoting self-published books are almost limitless.

So, Are You Ready to be InstantPublisher’s Next Author?

Of course, you are. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t interested in taking complete control of your writing career and literary efforts. And InstantPublisher is always standing by to help you reach your publishing goals. Give us a call at 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com to get the process started today.