“Self-Publishing” vs. “Printing” a Book

13 08 2014

Re-post from:  The Cadence Group

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a blog titled “The true costs of self-publishing.” It got a lot of comments and activity – in particular in several LinkedIn Groups. Some people agreed with our assessment, some didn’t. We don’t expect people to always agree with us but were thrilled to see so much discussion.
However, there was a running theme in the comments that I think is vital to address. And it breaks down to “self-publishing” vs. “printing” a book.
Several authors/publishers mentioned that they “published” their book for free or for only the POD set up costs.  My hat is off to them and I do wish them all the best in their publishing endeavors. I hope that they are very successful. We’ve seen great books brought to market very inexpensively.
But I also think it’s also very important to really look at
“Printing” vs. “Publishing” a book.


Self-Publishing vs. Printing a Book

Just uploading your Word document through an eBook or POD provider such as CreateSpace is not publishing your book. It’s printing your book. And it’s the very practice that is giving self-publishing a bad name.  I’m guessing that statement won’t win me many friends, but it’s a fact.
The very nature of POD actually makes it easier than ever before to truly publish a book. And between CreateSpace and IngramSpark, there are wonderful avenues available to authors. But it still takes more than a simple manuscript upload. It means that an author must take off their “author” hat and put on their publisher hat.
Publishing or Self-Publishing a book means actively taking ownership of the book publishing process. It means developing, editing, creating and publishing a product that is top quality and that will engage readers – whether it’s fiction or nonfiction.
Publishing a book means making sure you DO have a professionally designed cover. It doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. We have seen great books go nowhere because their cover designs just don’t work. The cover MUST stand up in your category and be designed and marketed to your reader. A good designer knows how to do that. There are companies that specialize in book cover design. There are also some great designers on different job bid sites that do great work for very little money.
Publishing a book means having it edited. No book, ever, should see the light of day without a thorough edit. This includes both a copyedit and a proofread. Publishing a book that has typos and grammatical errors is unprofessional. Editing your own book is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Authors are intimate with their work and that makes it extra challenging to address errors, omissions and editorial changes.
Publishing a book means having it designed. One of the challenges that many self-published authors have is that by simply uploading a Word document, they have sacrificed design. Readers notice things like weird fonts, bad spacing, unprofessional margins, missing page numbers and so much more. There are some great programs that allow authors to design their own interiors. There are professional designers that do it as a full-time job. However it is done, the end book layout should look professional.
Publishing a book means having a long-term plan. It doesn’t mean uploading your Word document to a POD site and calling yourself “published”. It means knowing your market, identifying your sales and marketing plan, and ensuring that your finished book is the best that it can be.
Publishing a book means making strategic, and sometimes difficult, decisions around format (hardcover vs. paperback), Price (NEVER price a book to recoup your investment, price it to sell), trim size, title and subtitle.
There are a growing number of authors out there who will absolutely disagree with this assessment of publishing a book. They believe that uploading their Word document through the (very easy) POD process is publishing. I believe that’s printing.
Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can print something – whether it’s on a home printer, at the library, at a Staples or Kinko’s or at an offset or digital printer. There’s no quality control check or process or plan. You hit print on your files and it’s done. That’s also what many authors are doing through eBook and POD companies and calling it publishing.
We love POD. We think it’s is a great option (and often the right option) for a lot of authors. The printing, trim sizes, paper, and cover stock have come a really long way. You can absolutely publish a professional and marketable book via POD. It’s just very important that all of the pieces are in place.
Publishing can, and should, be approached like any other activity. Play to your strengths. No single person is good at everything. That includes writers. Chances are that a great writer is not also a great designer and a great editor. There’s nothing wrong with that. And, in fact, it’s how we are all built.
Publishing a book doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. There are a number of ways to build your publishing team inexpensively – from design bid sites to freelancers to trading skills/experience.
Book publishing is a great avenue for sharing really fantastic content with readers. It’s a way to engage readers, introduce children to the written word, provide advice or entertainment and remind people that reading (and books) is important.  Because of that, authors and publishers have an extra responsibility to be true stewards of the written word and to publish strong books with great content and top quality.



7 07 2014



9 09 2013

Repost from Dan Poynter’s enewsletter Sept. 2013

In April, total net book sales fell 3.1%, to $828.4 million, compared to April 2012,
representing sales of 1,193 publishers and distributed clients as reported to the
Association of American Publishers.
Ebook results were all over the lot. The biggest gainers overall were university and
religious ebooks categories at 75% and 42.3%, respectively. At the same time, the
category with the biggest drop was children’s/YA ebooks, down 64.8%. The largest
ebook category in sales–adult ebooks–rose 7.1%, down from its triple-digit gains of a year or two ago.


6 08 2013

Oh boy, here we go………



10 07 2013



11 05 2013

So happy to see more articles coming out about this scam.  Kudos for Emily Suess for sticking with it!  Thanks for this terrific article David……….a must read


eBook User Base 24.5% of Adults

23 08 2012

STAMFORD, CT– Simba Information, the market research firm specializing in publishing and media, has published an addendum to its recently released “Trade E-Book Publishing 2012” report. In addition to showing an updated list of e-book hardware trends, the data indicates that about 24.5% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be e-book users, up from about 17.2% the year before; the sudden rise may be due to consumers buying the runaway bestselling series 50 Shades of Gray.

“Even though the base of e-book users expanded over the past year there are still lingering questions as to what extent consumers are engaged with digital book content,” said Michael Norris , senior analyst of Simba Information’s Trade Books Group, in commenting on the findings. “We also found that over a quarter of e-book users haven’t purchased a single digital book in the past year, and that is about the same as we discovered last summer. Additionally, there remains a very large group of iPad owners who are not e-book users at all.”

From:  Publishing Business Today


30 07 2012

Independent Book Publishers Assoc. – http://www.ibpa-online.org

Bay Area Independent Publishers Assoc. – http://www.baipa.org

Book Publishers Northwest – http://www.bpnw.org

Midwest Independent Publishers Assoc. – http://www.mipa.org

Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable – http://www.publishersroundtable.org

New Mexico Book Assoc. –  bpnwnews@aol.com

Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc. – http://www.cipabooks.com

Connecticut Authors & Publishers Assoc. – http://www.aboutcapa.com

Florida Publishers Assoc., Inc. – http://www.FloridaPublishersAssociation.com

Great Lakes Independent Publishers Assoc. – glipa@tm.net

Northern California Publishers & Authors – http://www.norcalpa.org

Northwest Assoc. of Book Publishers – http://www.nabponline.org/

Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario – http://www.ontariobooks.ca

Publishers & Writers of San Diego – http://www.PublishersWriters.org

Hawaii Book Publishers Assoc. – http://www.hawaiibooks.org

Independent Publishers of New England – http://www.ipne.org

Michigan Black Independent Publishers Assoc. – info@tanyabates.com

Midatlantic Book Publishers Assoc. – http://www.midatlanticbookpublishers.com

Publishers Assoc. of Los Angeles – http://www.pa-la.org

Publishers Assoc. of the West – PubWest.org

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network – http://www.spawn.org

St. Louis Publishers Assoc. – http://www.stlouispublishers.org

Upper Penninsula Publishers & Authors Assoc. – http://www.uppaa.org


28 06 2012

Book Numbers and Trends as Reported by Bowker:
2011 Estimates Show 4,198 New Book Titles and Editions Per Day!

Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information, released its annual report on U. S. print book publishing for 2011, compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that traditional print book output grew six percent in 2011, from 328,259 titles in 2010 to a projected 347,178 in 2011, driven almost exclusively by a strong self-publishing market. This is the most significant expansion in more than four years for America’s traditional publishing sector, but removing self-publishing from the equation would show that the market is relatively flat from 2010.

They also reported that 2011 projected New Book Titles and Editions for non traditional books (defined largely as reprints, often public domain, and other titles printed on-demand) totaled 1,185,445! Combined with the 347,178 for traditionally printed books, the estimated total of New Book Titles and Editions for 2011 is 1,532,623. That is an average of 4,198 per day for the U.S. alone!

“Transformation of our industry has brought on a time of rich innovation in the publishing models we now have today. What was once relegated to the outskirts of our industry—and even took on demeaning names like ‘vanity press’ is now not only a viable alternative but what is driving the title growth of our industry today,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice-President, Bowker Market Research. “From that standpoint, self-publishing is a true legitimate power to be reckoned with. Coupled with the explosive growth of e-books and digital content – these two forces are moving the industry in dramatic ways.”

Genres that contributed to the robust growth in the Traditional sector include:

Education, 20%

Music 14%

Philosophy & Psychology 14%

Religion 12%

Juveniles 11%

Biography 11%

Business 11%

Fiction–the largest genre–turned around a multi-year decline with a notable 13% increase

Bowker is the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information and management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. Creators of products and services that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, the company also generates research and resources for publishers, helping them understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker, an affiliated business of ProQuest and the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories, is headquartered in New Providence, New Jersey with additional operations in England and Australia.


21 03 2012


(I am currently in the process of helping a customer trying to obtain her release from iUniverse, so far it is ridiculous, they are charging her for the release of her files and they will only give her her original Word files back, she paid them to do the layout of the text, so if she paid for the work, shouldn’t it belong to her?  To date, they are still giving her the run around)

–Rick Frishman – Publisher- Morgan James Publishing
Subsidy or Pay–to–Publish Publishers
Also known as pay-to-publish, there are several companies that take upfront
money to publish your book. Subsidy publishers throw into the
package, interior and cover design (don’t expect miracles—most will use
their formula templates). The author then gets to buy the book at a preset
cost for resale. Most subsidy type of publishing uses a POD format—
print-on-demand—for book ordering. You can buy one copy for resale or
hundreds. The entry fee is usually less than $1,000 to enter into a
contract … but, and it’s a big but, the cost can be quite extensive per book unit;
author/publisher discounting deals are pro-publisher, always; and getting out of a
contract if things are not going well, can be difficult, if not impossible.