In an earlier post on this site, I wrote about the differences in self-publishing via traditional print and Print On Demand (POD).
My latest book, Time Zones, Containers and Three Square Meals a Day, was published via POD, which was a new experience for me.
Print On Demand is a digital way of getting your book published and POD printers use PDF-files to print copies of books.
On the internet, there are literally hundreds of websites that offer POD services. Some as simple as they can be with hardly any costs involved, others who offer packages to help the less computer-savvy on their way.
Falling in the latter category myself, I did a lot of research on the net to find a self-publishing agency that could help me with the more technical side of being published.
I ended up with the UK-based Authors OnLine.
What was important to me as an author was that:
- They offered a wide range of packages from just uploading a pdf for an ebook, to creating pdf’s for publishing as ebook, POD or both;
- The copyrights of the manuscript stayed with me as author;
- I was allowed to sell the book myself;
- Although there is a contract, I can break it without any extra costs, if I decide to go somewhere else to publish the book, or if I want to take it off the market.
Authors OnLine created the PDFs, while I designed the front & back cover myself, thereby reducing the costs.
After okaying the first POD copy of my book, sales started.
While the people from Authors OnLine were working on my PDFs, I set up a website on which to sell the book. I also started to think about marketing it. This is still an ongoing project, which takes a lot of time and dedication.
Over all I am very happy with using a self-publishing agency and with the help they offered me, for without that I am sure my book wouldn’t have been published so soon. Obviously, people who are more confident with creating PDFs can save money by doing that part of the process themselves.
It needs to be said however, that POD in general is an expensive way of printing. The print costs are calculated per page, to which is added a set price for the cover. In my experience, this works out much higher than the print costs when using traditional printing.
You then have the choice of making the sales price for the book higher, to generate more profit, or keeping it low (and therefore probably sell more) for less profit.
I think that if I had had enough money saved up to pay for a large print-run using traditional print, I would have chosen traditional print over POD, simply because my book would have been less expensive, making more profit. Nevertheless, that was not an option for me this time.
I would love to hear what other peoples experiences are with self-publishing. Do you have a satisfactory profit margin and what marketing strategies work for you?
Do you have experience with self-publishing? Share your experience!