The tides are turning in the publishing industry. With e-books outselling paper books and self-publishing gaining momentum, there is no better time than now to consider self-publishing. No longer are we confined and defined by the parameters that traditional publishing wishes to define authors.
Whether your family history will make a great novel or you wish to write a genealogy self-help book there are companies out there that are making it possible to think outside of the box and achieve your book publishing dreams. You don’t need any special skills to do it yourself; however, with these two companies in your corner you can promote your book to over 80% of the market.
Let’s start with CreateSpace.
CreateSpace is a print and distribution provider owned by Amazon. It is here that you can create your book for the Amazon market. This is where I suggest you start. CreateSpace will walk you through every step of the process. CreateSpace will not only get your book into the online market of Amazon.com but it will provide you with what I like to call a handholding experience. Great for the newbie book author.
CreateSpace will help you print and distribute your print on demand book as well as prepare an e-book for Kindle. There are free tools, like Cover Creator to help you design your book cover. If you’re not a DIY kind of person there are professional services that you can choose from based on what talents you are looking for, such as design, editing and marketing. CreateSpace provides you with free ISBN numbers and an e-store where you can sell your book on your website as well as on the Amazon.com site.
Want to learn more about CreateSpace check out How to Self-Publish Your Book the CreateSpace Way.
However, CreateSpace will only provide you with your book for the Amazon market.
Now let’s take your book at step further.
You want to bring your book to the likes of Barnes and Noble and you want them in brick and mortar stores, then you must include Lightening Source as part of your self-publishing journey.
Ingram Book Company is the parent company for Lightening Source. Barnes and Nobles and Borders buys through Ingram Books. It is the leading distribution book company. Ingram has connections to over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries. With that kind of advantage, your book will gain the maximum exposure in today’s market. Their print on demand services allows them to print your book and have it ready for shipment within 12 hours or less.
If anybody orders your book through his or her local bookstore then Lightening Source will be able to provide it. With that being said, it will continue to remain very difficult to get your book into bookstores without a lot of self-promotion.
When you deal with Lightening Source, you have a direct line to Amazon; anything listed with Lightening Source is put on Amazon by default. However, if you go with Createspace and then want to expand your reach with Lightening Source, Amazon will snatch up another 20% off your profits for that luxury.
If you plan on only 1 book that will be purchased mostly by family and friends, go with Createspace. However, if you are planning to write more than one book or have a backlist of books then it is worth it for you to consider Lightening Source. Where Createspace is free, Lightening Source will cost you about $100.00 in initial fees. As well, you have the expenses of design and edit editing costs if you choose to outsource these tasks but of course these are not free at CreateSpace merely and option available to you. Of course keep these costs can be reduced by doing it yourself.
Lightening Source has printing plants in both the U.S. and U.K, so your book can be distributed in both the U.S. and Europe.
However, Lightening Source only deals with publishers. No worries, that’s you!!...by simply creating a small publishing company.
Ok take a deep breath it’s not that complicated. Simply choose a name for your publishing company, perhaps set up a website but not necessary, and purchase some ISBN numbers. By the way, in Canada ISBNs are free. You can buy them in groups and since you will need one for each type of ebook format and print book you produce, this would be the wisest move. When you have all your ducks in a row set up your account at Lightening Source.
Lightening Source will not help you design your cover, or edit your book etc.etc. There are plenty of author’s services that will help you with that process if you’re not up for the challenge.
Lightening Source collects the wholesale price, deducts the print cost and then pays the publisher (that’s you) the balance. The price for this service is $12.00 a year per title, just one dollar a month. Lightening Source looks after all the paperwork, no messy invoicing on your part. This is a solid company you don’t have to worry about it closing up shop anytime soon. In addition, your agreement with them is nonexclusive, meaning that if you get a better offer, you are free to take your book and run.
By working with both CreateSpace and Lightening Source, not only will you promote your book to the largest market available to a self-publisher you will align yourself with the best chance of success.