Written by Micah Juntunen
Do you want to be an author? There is more to reaching your goal than simply uploading a manuscript to Amazon. Clarity is needed to fully understand the meaning of publishing among writers, but the confusion is no fault of their own. As self-publishing grew, the term publishing started being used for two vastly different groups of services.
Historically, publishing meant all services involved with creating an excellent book and placing it on the market. The system is still in place today as traditional publishers buy the rights to the author’s work. The process continues with many rounds of editing, a custom designed interior and exterior, and placement on the market through book distributors and resellers. An upfront investment was made by the publisher so they could have a great product with the planned outcome of making their money back.
But with self-publishing, where you can load your manuscript into a template design and push it to market, publishing has become more synonymous with distribution – one small aspect of publishing.
Distribution is one of the lower-cost items of the publishing process. The more significant parts of the publishing investment are editing and design. This is why self-publishers who promote publishing as a basic upload of your book directly into distribution through a site like Amazon/ KDP, are much less expensive.
As professional authors, this should make us leery. Anyone can upload a product at any time to Amazon, but that does not make it good. The first rule in a successful product launch is having a good product.
Here are 3 things to consider when self-publishing your book to ensure you are publishing a great book and not just distributing a book to the market.
1. Making the product the best it can be: Many books sell by word of mouth. Think about the last time you wanted to tell your friend about the book you just read. I can guarantee that book was professionally edited, most likely with multiple rounds.
Great books are professionally edited books! Be sure to ask if your publisher is looking to help you make your product the best it can be.
2. Making the product eye- and heart-catching: Books really are judged by their cover, even online. Think about the buying process online or in a bookstore. First, your eye is drawn to the cover, then you flip over the book to read the compelling back cover copy. If the book speaks to you, you buy it.
Great covers, both the front and the back, sell books! You should ask if your publisher is helping you make your book eye-catching on the front and heart-catching on the back.
3. Making the product widely available: Now we get to talk about distribution. Book buyers are all different. Some will only shop in bookstores and some will want to support book resellers other than Amazon, predominantly Christian organizations like CBD.com. And yes, many will buy from Amazon and on their Kindle. But do you only want part of the pie? When you self-publish through KDP, you only get distribution to Amazon.
You want your book available to all kinds of buyers. Ask if the publisher is a wholesale distributor to a vast number of resellers or a direct distributor only to their reseller channel.
In short, publishing encompasses all the services you need to bring an excellent book to market, helping you become a successful author. So check to ensure your publisher of choice has all the services you need to publish your book, not just distribute it.
Our team of qualified and talented professionals are ready to review your manuscript. Submit your manuscript for a FREE review today. Your message is our mission.