This continues from where we left off in Part One.
What’s Your Goal?
The first question you need to ask before you think about self-publishing a book is why you’re doing it? Are you doing this on a one-time basis? Are you producing a coffee table book? Are you publishing a book for a niche market or otherwise limited distribution?
Questions like these will help you decide whether to pursue ebook publishing as opposed to print publishing. Clearly, a coffee table book full of art photography wouldn’t provide the same reader/viewer experience as an ebook full of photos. An ebook just isn’t the best way to display National Geographic-quality photos, even though such photos could be digitized and made into an ebook. Especially if you go direct with Apple, a company with multimedia baked into its mission. Choosing a format depends on several factors, including the following:
- Is the book primarily visual? (High-quality photography books and illustrations with captions would seem better suited to the print medium. Especially if your intention is to create a “coffee table book” or any book intended to display more high-resolution photography than text.)
- Does the book have illustrations or photos that accompany substantial amounts of text? (At this stage, comic books are being released in ebook format.)
- What market do you want to reach? (Print books are anything but dead. Many readers, young and old, prefer them to ebooks.)
- Do you want to do book signings? (Call me out-fashioned, but if there’s a way to sign an ebook, it’s still not as special as actually signing/inscribing a print book.)
- Are you releasing the print book as an extra special edition or in large print for those who prefer that format?
- Do you have plans to release an audio version of the book?
- Has it occurred to you to adapt your book into a scripted podcast?
These are just a few factors to consider when deciding on the formats in which to release your book. That last suggestion about scripted podcasting is relatively new and likely hasn’t occurred to many authors. Yet. But I think it’s coming, because it’s relatively easy to set up a podcast or a YouTube channel or other means of storytelling other than the standard issuance of an ebook through Amazon with a great big launch plan to make sure you rank high (for at least a few weeks or days, maybe?) in their ranking system. In many cases, the appropriate format will depend upon the nature of your book’s content.
Another question to ask yourself is how much time, effort and money you’re willing to put into marketing and promoting your book. This is a critical question, because if you’re not careful, you’ll either do no marketing and sell nothing or spend too much on things that may or may not work. The answer will determine how much time and effort you’re willing to expend on actively promoting and marketing your work, as opposed to simply producing a book and making it available for sale on Amazon or any other distribution platform.
As a self-published author, the chances of your book being carried in bookstores is quite slim without your personal intervention, so the less labor-intensive way to make book sales is online. As a new indie author, making print sales is more difficult than making ebook sales because ebooks can be more easily and cheaply distributed and bought. Therefore, ebooks are the most logical format in which new authors can self-publish (unless the above-mentioned factors make print the better option). However, before discussing ebook publishing, I’ll review the basics of print self-publishing in the next section.
PS: Regarding this, I agree that Amazon is no better a thug amongst platforms. But I must take issue with the thought that I’m anywhere near good enough to sing opera. 🙂
BTW, have you read some of the crap “traditional” publishers release?
Oh, well, at least he didn’t compare them to Hitler, huh? 🙂