Differences Between Traditional Book Publishing and Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing isn’t new. The Bronte sisters Emily, Charlotte, and Anne self-published their first book, a collection of poetry, in 1846.

Advances in technology and the internet have made self-publishing faster, easier, and cheaper than ever before. Many new authors are choosing self-publishing instead of traditional publishing.

Self-published books printed by book publishing company

Traditional versus self-publishing can be a divisive topic in author groups but neither answer is right for every author. Sometimes one author may choose to traditionally publish one book while self-publishing the next.

What is Traditional Publishing?

In traditional publishing, an author submits their work to a publishing house. If their work is accepted, and only a small percentage are, the author signs a contract giving the publishing house permission to print, distribute, and sell their books. In return, the author gets a small percentage of profits from the book sales.

Authors typically have no say in the number of books printed, cover art, book size, and other important decisions about their book. In essence, the author hands over their book and entrusts the publishing house to do what they do best.

What is Self-publishing?

In self-publishing, the author takes the reigns in book production. They choose every aspect of how their book will be printed including size, binding, and cover art. The author makes choices about distribution, pricing, and print size. The author finances the production of the book and earns all the profits from book sales.

Which Should I Choose?

Choosing whether or not to self-publish is a choice that depends on the author and the book. Often, publishers will only choose to publish books they believe have wide commercial appeal.
Publishers are in business to make money. An author might have an amazing book that publishers don’t pick up because they don’t believe it will have the sales numbers they require. They may base this decision on the subject matter, author name recognition, and market research about genre popularity cycles.

If your book doesn’t look to publishers like the next big thing, they might choose to pass it up. Publishers can only publish a limited number of books so they choose those they believe will sell best.

Even if your book has commercial appeal, that doesn’t mean traditional publishing is the right choice for you. Many authors like having control over all the aspects of their book. No publisher will ever be as invested in the outcomes of a book as the author is.

Additionally, some authors choose to self-publish because the money is better. They don’t have to share profits from sales with the publishing company and agents.

Every author should weigh the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing for each book and in each circumstance to decide what the best choice is for their needs.

Ready to Self-Publish?

Instant Publisher can help you self-publish your book. Contact us today for more information. You can reach us by phone at 1-800-259-2592.

How to Organize Your Writing Project

The idea of starting a writing project can be daunting. Many people plan to write and print their own book a book but never do it because the task before them seemed too great. Organizing a writing project significantly increases the odds that the project will be finished.

When most people think of organizing a writing project, they think of creating an outline. Outlines are valuable tools but they aren’t the only thing to consider as you organize your project.

Writing in a notebook to plan a writing project for publication

Understand Your End Goal

The first step to organizing a writing project is to understand what the end goal of that project is. Is the project a genealogical history meant to be passed on within the family? Is the project an informational brochure sharing knowledge on an important topic? Is it a fictional story meant to entertain? Is it a parable meant to entice others to change their opinions or actions? Each of these writing projects will have different processes so understanding the end goal is vital.

Once you know your end goal, you can decide what needs to be included in the writing project and how that project will be used. A fictional novel will need different things than a nonfiction brochure. Everything from the writing tone to the binding of the projects will be vastly different depending on your end goal.

Outline Your Manuscript

Whether the writing is fiction or nonfiction, an outline is useful for organizing any writing project.

A fictional outline should consist of characters, setting, and plot. It should indicate important points about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

A nonfiction outline should include the main topic of the project, important points, research needed, and, where applicable, the expected conclusion that the reader is supposed to reach after their reading is complete.

Plan for Publishing

Once the actual writing is finished, what is the plan to take the written work from a file on the computer to something that can be shared? Planning for publishing should be done while you are still organizing your project because it will influence how the project is written. Your publishing plan may change your word count. Your publishing plan may influence whether you add illustrations or use detailed text to explain a concept instead. Understanding the medium you plan to publish in will help you make decisions about your project. For instance, a project where the word count runs into millions will be difficult to put into a physical book. On the other hand, a nonfiction book where worksheets are included may be easier for readers to use within the physical form. Choices about the publishing medium can change choices about the writing of the project.

Is the goal to sell digital books or to engage an on-demand publishing service for easy self-publishing? The latter is an excellent choice for books that will be sold at events or for projects, such as brochures and pamphlets, that aren’t meant for sale but to be handed out as complimentary copies.

Will pictures or drawings be needed for the book? Will you buy or create the cover? What bookbinding is best for your project? Should you enlist the services of a ghostwriter to present your ideas in the most organized and professional way?

Once you have organized your writing project, you can sit down and put your plan in motion. Write chapter one, hire a ghostwriter, or contact self-publishing book company publisher such as InstantPublisher.

Contact InstantPublisher Today

InstantPublisher offers a wide range of services from low volume book printing to full-color book printing. We can help you get a book made today. Email us today at questions@instantpublisher.com, or call 1-800-259-2592, for more information.

What is Short Run Book Printing?

Short-run book printing, also called low volume book printing, is when you print under one thousand copies of a book at a time. There are many reasons one might wish to print fewer copies of a book, including the investment costs of a large print run and the storage requirements for the final products.

Is Short-Run Book Printing New?

While short-run printing isn’t exactly new, it has never been cheaper and easier to do than right now with today’s available technology.

Historically, printing was done using metal plates that were covered in ink and pressed to paper. This process is still used by some in the publishing industry today.

A man using a press for short-run book printing.

The large amount of time involved in setting up those plates meant that, once they were ready, printers often created large quantities of pages at a time. If another printing was needed, the plates would be set up again. To save took time and money, publishers try to print just the right number of books though estimating demand is difficult even today.

When companies save book templates digitally instead of using metal plates, they can access the templates quickly and easily. This allows the printing of smaller numbers of books without the added costs.

Saves Storage Space

The size and thickness of books vary but storing large quantities of them is something few people have space for.

In traditional print runs, the books would be sent off to a warehouse to await distribution to different stores which would each hold only a few copies apiece.

If the person ordering books is storing them in a garage or spare bedroom, instead of a warehouse, space can quickly become an issue.

Short-run book printing allows the individual the option to only order the books they can easily store and then to reorder a manageable number when their stock dwindles.

Smaller Initial Investment

Predicting book sales is tricky. Even companies that have been in the book industry for years can’t always accurately predict how well or poorly a book will sell.

Printing too many books may result in an inability to turn a profit because the initial print order, and its associated costs, is larger than the demand for printed books.

Short-run book printing allows for production in alignment with demand. More books can be printed cheaply and easily as needed without the risk of unsold copies tying up funds and taking up space.

Short-run book printing has become the solution for many smaller presses and independent authors. It makes short-run book printing more affordable and allows printing in line with demand for the book.

Get Help with Your Short-Run Book Printing Needs

InstantPublisher is available to help you with your short-run printing needs. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

5 Non-Printing Related Self- Publishing Costs You Should Know About

When most people imagine self-publishing costs, they are focused on things such as paper, ink, and binding. While those things are part of the self-publishing book printing process, they are not all that is needed for a successful book. Here are five non-printing costs related to self-publishing.

Custom Book Covers

Compelling custom book covers can be the difference between success and failure. You need a book cover that makes a promise to the reader. A cover should hint at the contents inside and compel the potential reader to hungrily pick up the book.

A professional and appealing cover isn’t something you can do for yourself unless you already have training as a graphic designer.

Illustrations

Your book may require illustrations within the pages depending on what type of book you are printing.

Children’s picture books need images to keep a child’s attention. Middle-grade books benefit from occasional illustrations as the readers make the transition from picture books to chapter books.

Fan illustrations from a vanity publisher book

Nonfiction books can benefit from visual aids or illustrations that help clarify the concepts discussed.

Illustrations must look professional as well as fit properly on the pages of your book.

Editing

Even the most careful and meticulous author sometimes makes mistakes. There are subtle nuances in punctuation and grammar that most laymen miss. That is why it is important to have your manuscript looked over by a professional before you offer up the book to the self-publishing company for printing. Failure to do so could create a book riddled with errors. This may lead to the need for a reprint.

Save yourself time and money by being sure your book has had a solid polish by an editor before printing your own book.

ISBN

Most published books need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). These indicate the edition of the book and are used as a unique identifier.

Bookstores and libraries won’t carry books that lack an ISBN. This means that, if you are looking to sell your books anywhere other than your personal website or shop, an ISBN is a necessity.

InstantPublisher can help you get an ISBN number for your book and create a matching barcode.

Book Manuscript Formatting

Assuring that a book is pleasing to look at ensures customer satisfaction. This is largely handled through the book manuscript formatting part of the self-publishing process. A book with margins too large or small, seemingly random blank pages, and other inconsistent formatting can interfere with reader enjoyment as well as make your book look unprofessional.

As you can clearly see from this article, paper, ink, and binding isn’t all that is involved in printing a book.

InstantPublisher is available to help you with all the production steps necessary to bring your dream of a published book to fruition. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

8 (More) Reasons to Write and Print Your Own Book Right Now

In a previous blog post we offered 6 Reasons Why You Should Write and Print Your Own Book Right Now. Just in case those six reasons weren’t enough to get you in front of your keyboard, here are eight more.

1. Increase Your Credibility

If you want to be considered an expert in your field, writing a book is a great way to promote yourself and prove to the world how much you know.

Woman reading a book from a vanity publisher

2. Increase Visibility of Your Company

If you own a business, having a book can be an excellent tool for promoting your business. People love stories and if you can offer them a story about your product it will endear them to your company.

3. Make Money

Whether you are using your book to promote a product–or the book is your product–there is money to be made in books. You can earn money from book and product sales as well as through increased business opportunities. You’ve proven you are an expert. That makes you a valuable commodity where HR and potential clients are concerned.

4. Selling Books is Easier than Ever

Great authors of the past have sold books from the trunks of their cars but now, the internet allows you to sell books globally with a click of the mouse.

5. There are More Available Tools Than Ever Before

Online course and videos can teach you writing craft. Online forums allow you to reach out to other authors in the community who offer feedback and help in ways that weren’t possible before the rise of the internet.

If you are struggling to bring your stories to life, there are ghostwriters available to assist you in organizing your thoughts on the page and seeing your vision fulfilled.

6. Life is Short

Unfortunately, science hasn’t found a way to allow humans to live forever. This means your time on this earth is limited. You don’t know how long you might have left. Start Writing Today.

7. Your Book is a Gift to Your Heirs

Although copyright law varies from place to place, many countries have copyright laws that extend past the death of the author. That means that your children, and perhaps even your grandchildren, will own the rights to your books. They can continue to earn money from your legacy as well as finding new ways to market your book in the exciting, unimaginable opportunities of the future. Your book is a gift to those you leave behind after you are gone. Not only in the intellectual property rights but your voice, insights, and very soul.

8. Printing a Book is Cost-Effective and Simple

It has never been easier to print your book. Our experts can help!

InstantPublisher can help you write and print your own book today. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

9 Ways Publishing a Calendar Promotes Your Business

When you think of promotion, printing calendars may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but maybe it should be. Calendars are versatile tools that can be used for marketing, promotion, and creating goodwill. Below are nine ways ordering calendars from a calendar publisher can benefit you and your business. Open calendar from calendar publishers

1. Daily Reminder of Who You Are

Most people glance at their calendars at least once per day. That means the customer will get a daily reminder of who you are. What better way to keep your company fresh in their mind?

2. It Keeps Your Phone Number and Website Information Easily Accessible.

Every business knows that each additional step it takes a customer to reach them is one more step where they can lose a potential sale. With a promotional calendar, not only will your customers remember who you are, but when they are in need of your product or service, your number is already there hanging on their wall. No need to open a phone book or do an internet search. And, because your information is so accessible, the chances of them taking the time to look up a competitor instead is very low. You’ve made your company the easy choice, and people like easy.

3. Newsletter Sign Up Incentive

Imagine a world where you could ask a customer to add themselves to your email list in exchange for a giant copy of your business card to hang on their wall. That is the potential of calendars. You can offer them as an incentive to sign up to your email list and then, in exchange, send the customer a calendar with your logo, phone number, and website to proudly display on their refrigerator or office wall.

4. Event Reminder

A promotional calendar is an excellent place to note sales you are planning for the year. You can write in a reminder such as half off on Black Friday or a Labor Day sale right on the calendar itself. Customers will already have it marked on their calendar, so there is no way they will forget.

5. Show Off Your Product

Calendars are a great place to showcase your products. Each turn of the calendar page is another chance to entice customers with captivating pictures of your products or services in action.

6. Note Important Events

Calendars are a great place to mark events your customers may want to attend. Not only will they appreciate the notice, but they will be sure to look for your vendor’s table.

7. Announce a New Product

Calendars are a perfect place to remind customers about the release date for new products. Don’t forget to include pictures that will make your customers hungry for your wares.

8. Useful Gift

Calendars are a useful tool. Even in the digital age, many people can still use a physical calendar. They also have a twelve month lifespan, which is more use than customers are likely to get out of other promotional trinkets or baubles.

9. Say Thanks

Calendars are a great way to say “thank you” to customers, especially during the holiday season. Including a lovely calendar free with their purchases makes customers feel appreciated.

To add a calendar to your promotional toolbox, give us a call at 901-853-7070 or toll-free at 1-800-259-2592, email us at questions@InstantPublisher.com, or complete our simple online contact form.