3 Reasons to Self-Publish With a Vanity Press

There are many choices when it comes to self-publishing a book. Using a vanity press allows the most author control. Here are three reasons authors should consider self-publishing a book with a vanity press.

Warehouse of self-published books from a vanity press

1. Control of Distribution

A vanity press prints and binds a book for an author and sends copies of the book to the author. Some vanity presses offer direct mailing services to clients where copies of their book can be mailed to a list the author provides, often called direct mailing.

This means the author has complete control of where their books are sold. This is especially useful if the author creates the book as an exclusive item to sell with other services such as a workbook at a conference.

Limited distribution is also essential if the author intends their book for a small and specific audience, such as a family history book, classroom anthology, or a collection of sermons specifically made for parishioners of a specific church.

An author might also do a short-run book printing of exclusive books intended for collectors.

There are many reasons an author might want complete control over the distribution of their book and for that, a vanity press is the best self-publishing choice.

2. Content

Traditional publishers are highly selective about the books they publish. Many self-publishing services restrict content, particularly if they have direct contracts with distributors.

Vanity presses don’t control the content of the books they print. In fact, most vanity presses have software and automation in place that limits what employees can see of the book’s contents.

This is ideal for people printing sensitive content such as employee handbooks that include trade secrets.

Additionally, writers can print books expressing political or religious opinions that fall outside mainstream viewpoints.

3. Anonymity

Vanity presses have measures in place to protect an author’s identity. In addition, self-publishing services tied into distribution companies often require social security numbers and other sensitive information for tax purposes.

A vanity press sells a print version of a book to an author. They don’t keep sensitive personal information about the writers who self-publish using their services.

InstantPublisher is a vanity press that offers a variety of self-publishing services to clients. These services include interior book design, custom book covers, hardcover book printing, and digital printing services.

For more information visit our website or call customer service at 1-800-259-2592.

5 Tips for Creating a Sermon Collection

Scholars frequently read the musings and teachings of the founders of the early church as they tried to answer their parishioners’ questions according to biblical principles.

Paul’s letters are printed correspondence helping the followers of the newly organized church understand the teachings of Jesus.

Just as those letters helped early Christians understand the faith, sermon collections take the words of modern pastors and compile them in an easy-to-read format to help scholars and parishioners deepen their understanding of the Christian faith.

And now, Christian self-publishing is easier than ever before.

A pastor delivering a sermon with self-published sermons from a vanity press

Here are 5 tips for creating a sermon collection:

1. Determine the Audience

Will the sermon collection be given to parishioners, or will it be a tool used to draw new members into the church? When compiling a sermon collection, it is vital to know who the audience is so the best sermons for that audience can be printed.

Should the book feature sermons by multiple pastors or just one? Is it intended for reading by one church, the churches within a particular denomination, or all followers of Christ?

If the audience is parishioners, the pastor should feel free to include sermons where they have shared personal stories without a preamble. Sermons that heavily reference one pastor’s life experiences may need some warm-up if they are placed in a book for those outside the pastor’s home church. For example, someone who is not a parishioner might not be aware of a pastor’s ill child or widowed sister. Similarly, if ideas or traditions mentioned in the sermons are specific to a few denominations more explanation may be needed if the intended audience includes many or all Christian denominations.

If the book is for parishioners only, then a short run book printing should be enough copies for distribution. However, if the collection is intended to bring new members to the church and more sheep to the Shepherd, then a wider distribution network, such as a digital version, should be considered.

2. Decide What Sermons to Include

Once the audience is determined, decide on a theme for the collection. This can be a topic, speaker, timeframe, or anything else that connects the collected sermons, and all the sermons included should relate to the theme, even if only loosely. Ideally, sermons should be of similar length though an occasional short sermon or longer one won’t bother readers.

Use caution when including sermons with extremely diverse tones. If the majority of the sermons are hopeful and inspiring, a deep and potentially saddening sermon may not be a good choice to include in the collection. A variety of tones is acceptable, but if one sermon is significantly different in tone than the rest, it may be better to include that sermon in a more tonally appropriate compilation.

3. Edit the Sermons

The sermons may need minor tweaks to make them easier for readers to understand. A professional editor can do this but it can also be done by parishioners with experience in editing, such as teachers. Readability is the most important element of a sermon collection.

It is best for sermons with complex topics to be given in the most straightforward language possible. If the original sermon has words that are not commonly used or strings of complex sentences, consider simplifying it for the readers.

4. Decide How the Book is Divided

A sermon collection should be organized and include an index that informs the reader of that organization. Organizing a sermon collection by topic is an easy default for readers. Other divisions can be done as long as it is logical for the reader to navigate.

An organized collection accounts for readers skipping around within the pages and assures that sermons that build on other sermons have appropriate links, such as a footnote indicating the page of another mentioned sermon.

5. Get Assistance

Christian self-publishing can feel like an overwhelming task the first time one does it Many elements can be involved such as interior book design, custom book covers, and perhaps custom illustrations. Decisions will need to be made about the page size, color, and binding options.

InstantPublisher can help with all aspects of self-publishing a book. Call us today at 1-800-259-2592 for personalized assistance.

Custom Book Covers Vs Premade Book Cover Designs

It is an unfortunate fact that readers do judge a book by its cover. Having the right cover will catch the eye of potential buyers and make them check out what your book is about. Equally, having the wrong cover on a book can lose potential sales. There are a variety of choices in book covers for self-published authors and making the right choice can be the difference between success or failure.

A custom book cover design created for a self-publishing author.

What is a Premade Book Cover?

A premade book cover is a generic book cover sold by graphic designers to which the title and author name will be added. Typically, a designer will have a gallery of covers to select from. There will be tabs on the gallery page with pricing, customization offers, rights, and delivery information.

Pros:

  • The author can see the cover before they buy it.
  • The cover can be purchased immediately and is usually received within 48 hours.
  • Cheaper than a custom book cover.
  • Good at displaying the genre of the book.

Cons: 

  • Not personalized for a specific book.
  • The cover may not be a perfect fit for the book contents.
  • Alterations to the cover can be costly.
  • Premade covers may or may not be sold exclusively to one author. This means there is a risk of another book having an almost identical cover on the market depending on the terms of sale.

What is a Custom Book Cover?

A custom book cover is a cover that is ordered from a graphic designer personalized to the book. Typically, an author seeks out a graphic designer and explains what they are looking for. Designers can be found on freelance sites as well as online art platforms.

The designer gives the author a quote and draws up a contract that explains the fees, rights, revisions, and timeframe for delivery.

Pros:

  • They are customized to individual book.
  • Alterations are usually part of the purchase package.
  • Authors are able to provide input about the cover at every step of the process.

Cons:

  • Custom book covers often cost more.
  • The author’s vision for the cover may not represent the genre of the book as well as a generic premade cover.
  • Authors have to manage a relationship with the designer over the course of the project.
  • Finding the right graphic designer can be tricky.
  • It can take a long time for the cover to be made.
  • The cover may not turn out how the author envisioned and, depending on the contract, the author may still owe the designer for their time.

Image Rights

The creator of an image owns the rights to its use so authors must be sure to get clarification on whether the cover can be used for promotional material and who holds the rights to the images. If the designer created the cover from scratch, such as an illustration, they typically own the rights to the image and may or may not be willing to sell the author those rights. If they do not sell the rights, they can use the image for other covers and the author’s usage of the image may have a limited scope.

Some designers buy the rights to use an image from a stock image company. The rights they buy may affect the author’s use of the image and may specify the number of physical copies of a book that can be printed or otherwise limit the way those images can be used.

Need a Cover?

InstantPublisher offers a variety of inexpensive premade book covers for self-publishing authors who use their print service. InstantPublisher can also work with the author to make a custom book cover to suit the needs of any book genre.

If you would like more information on InstantPublisher’s personalized book printing services call 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form,  or email questions@instantpublisher.com.

5 Services That Every Self-Publishing Book Company Should Offer

If you need to use a self-publishing book company whether, for a personal or corporate project, you may not be sure what to expect. You may wonder what services such companies offer. While every company is different there are five services that should be on offer no matter what book printing company you use.

1. Ghostwriting or Editing

All self-publishing book companies should offer a service that helps you put your words on the page in the best and most readable way possible. This can be through a ghostwriter who is hired to put your ideas into words or an editing team to polish your prose. While both of these services are available at a number of freelance sites, it can be difficult to be sure you are working with a professional. Going through the self-publishing company’s staff assures quality and experience.

2. Art

Book printing services should offer book covers for self-published authors as well as book illustrations when applicable. Like editing and ghostwriting, there are many freelancers that offer these services but their quality may vary. Working with a book printing company’s illustrator guarantees quality as well as assuring that the images will be formatted properly for printing. Ordering covers and art elsewhere risks paying for a product that is improperly sized or formatted for your printing needs.

An artist sketching a custom book cover for a self-published author.

3. Digital Printing Services

The world has moved into the digital age and many readers prefer to hold thousands of books on their e-readers as opposed to having shelves of paper books cluttering their home. Self-publishing book printing companies should offer options to convert your physical book into an ebook as well. This adds additional options for consumption and distribution.

4. Print Run Options

Every self-publishing book company should offer a variety of print run options. You should be able to order as many or as few copies of your book as you need at a time. They should be able to accommodate large or short-run book printing orders.

5. Binding Options

A self-publishing book company should offer you a variety of bookbinding options. You should be able to print hardcover and paperback books. If you want leather-bound bookbinding it should be on offer.  Self-publishers may have evolving needs as their careers change. Most self-publishers will have a wide consumer base and may need different bindings to meet different needs. The more binding options the book printing company has, the more options the author will be able to offer their reader base.

Ready to Connect with a Book Printing Company?

InstantPublisher offers a wide variety of options and services to meet the printing needs of individuals and companies. For more information on how you can get your book printed, contact InstantPublisher today by calling 1800 259 2592 or filling out this online contact form.

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.

Sewn perfect bound book binding.

InstantPublisher prides itself in offering the most customizable self publishing and book printing service around. I am going to start randomly posting about some of the different book printing options we offer, as many of our customers do not know that we offer so many different configurations in our book printing line and that  many do not know what the terms even mean.  This week I am going to talk about sewn perfect binding.

Sewn perfect binding looks similar to a regular perfect bound (paperback)  book but the book block is actually sewn together before gluing the cover to the book block.   The reason we offer this binding style is that perfect binding by itself is not suitable for long term usage because the glue hardens by alternating cold and hot weather and will eventually break and the pages will fall out. When some people read a book they will tend to try to make the book lay flat by folding the book back onto the spine.  This also tends to break the glue where the book is folded and will cause the pages to fall out.

Sewn Perfect binding is recommended for books that need to last for a very long time or books with a coated stock like our gloss coated papers.  Gloss coated papers do not let the glue penetrate as well as regular text stock so, with gloss coated books with more than 80 pages, we recommend that you take the sewn option.  Sewn books are first glued together, sewn with thread, then they are perfect bound to hide the threads.  The threads can still be seen when the book is opened wide but they are barely noticeable.  The outside of the book will have a slight bulge as well where the thread is but it is not very noticeable.   This is the same binding style that we use in our hardcover book binding to be sure the books last a very long time. See more on this binding style here.

Notice the threads inside the spine of the sewn perfect bound book
The sewn perfect bound book appears just like a regular glued perfect bound book

Family History Books

Did you know that InstantPublisher prints family history books? We’ve helped many customers self publish their family histories, genealogies and memiors over the years.

Whether your family history is humorous, sober or serious, we can print it. This is your opportunity to professionally publish family traditions, ancestors’ stories and memories you have of family members. Many customers choose to have their family history printed in a color hardback cover, but the options are endless.

Here are just a few family history books we’ve printed:

If you’re interested in publishing your family history, you can order our free self publishing guide by visiting our website or giving us a call at 800-259-2592. Our customer service reps are ready to help you every step of the way!

Self Publishing is to your advantage

An author who decides to self-publish basically becomes the publisher. (The author does everything.) The author must proofread the final text and provide the funds required to publish the book, as well as the camera-ready artwork. The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running advertising campaigns. In the past, the author had to decide on the number of copies to print, sometimes resulting in stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the garage! Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by some self-publishing companies means that authors can have fewer copies printed.

Fundamental differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing:

Time-

With traditional publishing, a manuscript can take years to become a book. First, an author may have to pitch the manuscript to several publishing houses before it is picked up. Considering that the bigger houses can take up to six months to work through, to get to your manuscript and that you will likely have to try several publishing houses before you get one to show interest. That’s a lot of waiting. Then, if a large book publisher does decide to take your book, the actual process of producing the book takes at least another year. Admittedly, this process applies mainly to fiction. Nonfiction books that are topical and relevant to current world events might be pushed through more quickly.

With self-publishing, depending on the company, an author can literally have a finished book—hardcover or paperback or both—in his or her hands within a few months. And, with the advent of e-books, this can be reduced to weeks, or even days. Of course, authors have to pay for this service, which raises the issue of money.

Money-

In contrast, with traditional publishing, you are paid an advance, ranging from small sums to seven-digit figures. In traditional publishing, the publishing house, with its huge resources, experience, knowledge, and contacts, vigorously promotes your book. When you self-publish, you pay for everything—design, editing, printing, advertising, distribution—to get your book into stores and ultimately into people’s hands. You’re all by yourself; self-publishing works best for people who are good at self-marketing. The major payoff for all of your payout, though, is control.

Control-

Often an author’s joy at selling a manuscript turns into despair when an over-zealous editor at a publishing house rips that manuscript into unrecognizable shreds. Publishers might refuse to publish a book because it is too controversial, doesn’t fit the house’s list, or simply because [they think] it won’t sell. With self-publishing, the author has much greater control over the contents, design, and appearance, as well as where the book is marketed and distributed.

It’s all up to you…

Having looked at traditional publishing versus self-publishing, ask yourself some tough questions about what is best for you, your intentions, and your manuscript. Are you willing to play the waiting game in order to earn a large advance from a traditional publisher? Or is control of your manuscript and a quick turnaround more important?

The good news is that the available tools—POD, the internet, and online booksellers—are leveling the playing field between traditionally published and self-published books. Authors now have more options.

Remember, a document that’s free of spelling and grammatical errors is far more likely to catch the attention of a publishing house editor—or satisfy the customers for your self-published book. Submit your draft to one of our book editors today to ensure that your document is error free. Proof it until it’s right and error free, before you print.

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Edit Your Novel before Self-Publishing

Always let someone else proof your novel before you publish, and make sure your editor isn’t such a good friend that he/she won’t tell you about the problems he/she finds. Along with errant commas and missing words, your editor should look for plot holes, weak writing and unresolved situations.

{ A good editor will suggest changes that tighten up your novel and elevate it from good to great. }

Your copy editor (could be a friend who currently works at a big publishing house or a friend who’s a writer). These editors can suggest people who would be excellent editors. You may choose an experienced editor with 10+ years of experience or a newbie with 2-3 years experience. It’s also good to get 2-3 people to edit your book before self-publishing.

Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Time to fix those errors and polish your masterpiece.

Reread your novel, and as you finish each chapter, summarize the most important events that occur. Remember to focus on what happens in the novel including the character motivation and emotion that propels action and lends a human touch to the storyline.

Imagine that you’re telling your story to a group of friends. You won’t have their attention for five hours, but you will for a few minutes. So convey the essential storyline complete with tension, pacing and character emotion.

Make your synopsis complete and yet a quick read that stands on its own. The most effective synopsis provides the feeling of having read the entire book.

Of course, it’s impossible to tell from a single chapter or even the first few chapters whether an unknown writer can orchestrate the important elements of fiction — character, plot, dialogue, pacing, setting, and point of view. For this reason, editors find that fiction submissions of a plot synopsis or sample chapters aren’t enough to demonstrate, that the writer can carry through on what they promise. That’s why it’s important to write and rewrite your entire novel before submitting it for publication.

Printing your book is STEP #1 in your Self-Publishing Success Story

The mistake new authors make is in assuming that a physical copy of their book is the end goal. They don’t understand that creating a print copy is simply a step in the process. This is step #1. Then marketing comes. Authors must spread the word.

{ Printing your book is STEP #1 in Self-Publishing. }

The real problems begin when it comes time to market that print copy. Merely having a website on the internet or a placement on Amazon.com isn’t enough. You MUST have a way to drive traffic to your book.

Without major buzz, it is unlikely that people will flock to those sites in search of your book. More importantly, when you self-publish, you do not have access to the vehicles through which most new releases find homes: Libraries and large retail outlets like Barnes & Noble or Wal-Mart.

Some bookstores, under financial stress, are selling slots on their shelves to self-published writers, meaning that now the “author” not only has to pay for the printing of the book, he or she is also paying for space in a bookstore.

Self-publishing can be a viable alternative for non-fiction writers who are a part of a specific niche. Because they are connected to a well-defined segment of the market that is already interested in the subject matter, non-fiction writers have a potential leg up on sales. {It does help when you write a novel about a popular subject matter. This helps sell your novel.}

Although the fiction market is divided into genres, it’s tougher to harness that power because the market is so large and diffuse with many, many websites and social networking opportunities.

However, it does help you to have a professional website to sell your book. Also, you must have a blog. Blogs are very popular, and people can leave comments. Others will review these comments and the snowball effect starts. By word of mouth your book will start to get good reviews.

Yes, create a business Facebook page. This will help spread the word. Post comments about your new book 3-4 times per week on Facebook. *Note, make sure you post a link back to your website, about your book.

In summation, step #1 is to get your book printed. Self Publishing is a winner. To have success, you must network, network, network. Tell everyone you know about your book. *Yes, Amazon, and iTunes will help sell your book, but you must market your book by telling everyone that you have a new book.

*[Share your success story from self-publishing your book with InstantPublisher.]

Self-Publishing >>