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Tips on Self-Publishing a Book

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Self–publishing an e-book or even a print book is very easy. You can type and edit text in Word, create unique chapters and table of contents, choose a size of your book, add a cover, and turn your Word document into PDF. You have several options for digital formats or you can choose print-on-demand to have your book printed.

As a new author, you have nothing to lose by self-publishing. The costs are low, especially for creating and publishing e-books. If you can get hundreds or thousands of followers on social media, you already have people ready to buy your book.

As a self-publisher, you have many options. You can sell your book through your blog, on a dedicated website, through an affiliate system, or sell it through sites such as Amazon, Smashwords, and others. You no longer have to depend on major publishers. If your book becomes successful, you can reap all the benefits.

Should you publish a print book, e-book, or both?


Here are a few benefits of e-book publishing:

  • Low cost and quick to produce. All you need is a computer and word processing software such as Microsoft Word to create professional looking digital book.
  • Expand publishing opportunities. You can convert your Word document to PDF which your customers can easily download and even print it. PDF formats are great for recipe books, home-study courses, and how-to books. You can even convert your document to other digital formats for electronic book readers.
  • Worldwide audience. Digital books can be made available worldwide.

Print Books

Print books are still popular and demands higher prices than digital books. Selling hard copies of books require sales taxes, shipping costs, and printing costs. In addition, print books require storage; however, you can use print on demand technologies to eliminate storing the books.

Another issue with print books is foreign sales. You will be dealing with taxation and shipping problems when selling direct to international customers. For sales tax issue, contact a CPA to learn requirements for international sales.

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Book Printing Option

You basically have 3 options if you plan to print your books:

1. Offset printing. Most books are produced through offset printing. You will need to commit to 500-1000 copies. You have to invest $1,500-$3,000 or more for printing and shipping costs. You’ll also need storage for your books. There’s substantial risk involved if the books don’t sell.

2. Print on demand (POD). It allows for books to be printed one at a time. You’ll have little or no upfront costs. You don’t have to commit to warehousing and inventory costs. Your book can be available for sale as a print edition in all online retail outlets, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and so on.

The unit cost for POD is much higher than going through offset printing services. Bookstores generally don’t accept titles from self-publishing or POD companies unless you go through distributors with adequate stock of books. Your book is not going to be distributed or sitting on store shelves. The quality of POD is almost the same as offset printed book.

There are many POD services available. To start, you may want to check out AuthorHouse, Lulu, iUniverse, Xlibris, and BookLocker.

3. Print it yourself. If your book is a home-study course, recipe book, or how-to manual, you can print it yourself on an 8 ½ x 11 inches format on your personal printer, or use a local printer, then use a 3-hole punch and place it in a binder with plastic cover to insert your book cover. This type of binding demands a much higher price than regular paperback books, and due to its higher weight will require higher shipping charges.

Which Format to Use for Book Publishing?

It will depend on your book promotion. To be safe, use digital first before moving to hard copies. It is easier to edit, update, change cover design, catch and correct any mistakes. Once your book starts to sell, use POD. If you begin to sell enough print books, then you may want to go with offset printer service.

By Paul Ziglar – 2019 – Update 2020
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For additional articles written by Paul Ziglar, see
Paul Ziglar is the author of Ultimate Guide to Successful Self-Publishing.

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