Congratulations, author! You have an amazing, incredible, unique, captivating book! You spent months or years inventing characters, crafting the story, building the world, proofreading, and editing until you reached the final product. Now what? When it comes to self-publishing a book, you might be wondering, “Where can I sell my book?”
Unless you have a publisher waiting in the wings to push your book out to the public, you should consider self-publishing.
What Is Self-Publishing?
In essence? Self-publishing means control. You, the author, decide on the distribution process. You might decide to sell your book as an eBook through Amazon’s Kindle or Audible services or even on your own website. Instead, you could sell your book as a physical paperback or hardbound book with print-on-demand services.
Selling your book via self-publishing means you don’t relinquish the process to an outside publisher who will take huge percentages and maintain their grip on your creative work.
However, self-publishing can also be scary because it places a huge responsibility on your shoulders that would otherwise fall to someone else.
How Does Self-Publishing Work?
The path for a self-published book usually follows along the lines similar to this:
- Write it
- Edit it (and edit it again)
- Have a professional edit it
- Design the cover (or have a graphic designer do this for you)
- Decide on physical book publishing or publishing as an eBook
- Create a platform, like a website to connect with your fans and to point them to places where they can get the book
Last, but not least, it’s time to promote the book — get the word out and advertise!
Pros & Cons of Self-Publishing a Book
Self-publishing a book isn’t for everyone. If you have a book that’s ready for the public, you have to decide what level of work you’re willing to put in to get copies into the hands of your audience and how you’ll accomplish that goal.
Pros of Self-Publishing
Here are a few of the advantages that you can expect when you self-publish a book:
- Control: You’re in charge! Even if you choose to upload an eBook for Amazon’s Kindle, there aren’t really any barriers you have to go through. No editors, no proofreaders, and no focus groups.
- Profit: Depending on which platform you choose, you can sidestep many of the costs that traditional publishing carries with it. How much does an author make per book? If you sell eBooks on Amazon, the effort is low and you make 70% of the sale for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99.
- Connection: You get to connect with your audience far more directly through your website and social media presence.
- Expandability: Want to include an audiobook? A podcast? A video series? Bundle your book with other products and services? You can! The sky’s the limit!
- Time: You have no publishers breathing down your neck asking when a book will be finished. You can take your sweet time. If you’ve built up the right audience, they’ll wait.
Cons of Self-Publishing
Unfortunately, self-publishing can also have some drawbacks, which include:
- Costs: You will have to pay for things like web hosting, graphic design, editing, and printing (if applicable).
- Responsibility: You’ll largely be on your own. It’s up to you to research the avenues for selling your book. You won’t have an IT staff or a marketing team behind you unless you go hire them.
- Time (Again): You have no publishers breathing down your neck asking when a book will be finished. For a procrastinator or someone who does their best work under pressure, this can be deadly when you need to get a finished product into the hands of customers.
7 Tips for Selling Your Book
If you’ve made it this far and have decided that, yes, you want the control, the profits, and the connection that self-publishing offers you, then here is some solid advice to help you make your venture successful.
1. Decide on Publishing eBooks vs. Printed Books
Printed books take a bit more effort, but many readers prefer to have physical, tangible books in their hands. However, you may have to deal with returns.
eBooks are easier to publish. However, you’ll have to compete in a crowded space to get readers to notice your work.
2. Work with Print-on-Demand Services
With print-on-demand services, you don’t have to keep a warehouse of books ready to take to the post office. A customer can order your book from your digital storefront, and your printing partner takes care of the rest.
Choosing a solid 3PL service (third-party logistics) provider means you leave the dirty work of production, storage, and shipping to someone who has more experience and resources in the space.
3. Promote Your Book
Getting the word out is vital to building your personal brand. To do this, you’ll need a website, a social media presence, the hustle to get your book into the hands of influential people, a way to invite readers to leave reviews on your storefront, and an email list from your website to stay in contact with your customers.
4. Opt In for Selling Your Book on Your Author Website
While selling on Amazon is easy — if your book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 you’ll make 70% of the profits — generating an audience on Amazon is tough due to the 6 million other books already on the platform vying for attention.
Also, if your book costs $10 or more, you only make 35% of the profits. Oh, and you won’t get to connect with your customers in any way because you won’t have access to their data.
5. Work Out Your Book Distribution and Fulfillment
Selling physical books means printing, storing, and shipping those books, which is something you won’t want to do yourself.
Going with a print-on-demand partner makes this process easy because you don’t have to worry about inventory or returns. Your printing partner will take care of that.
If you’re selling a reasonable volume of books and want to get them shipped quickly, a print-on-demand partner can help you do just that. If you sell a huge volume of books and it makes sense to have stock on hand, your printing partner should be capable of scaling up with demand, too.
6. Create an Experience with Your Books
Think of the great unboxing experiences you’ve had with products like wine or gift baskets. Using a 3PL partner that has experience in kitting and assembly or custom boxes gives you options to create a real WOW factor when your book arrives in the hands of the customer.
Perhaps you want to recreate a large pop-up book experience when they open the box or maybe you want to have special artwork to tie into the book’s theme. Creativity in this area makes for shareable pictures!
7. Participate in Events and Expos
Taking part in events and expos can help you to gain good PR. You get to meet your fans in person and generate that oh-so-valuable word-of-mouth advertising! You might even make industry connections that are valuable, including people that can help you branch into new areas, like audiobook recording or podcasts.
Self-Publishing with Print Bind Ship Puts You in Control
Keep the profits, connect with your customers, and maintain creative control when you partner with Print Bind Ship. As a full-service 3PL and print-on-demand partner, Print Bind Ship makes self-publishing simple!
If you’re ready to share the next great novel with rabid readers everywhere, contact Print Bind Ship to get your books into your customers’ hands!
Q: Where Can I Sell My Book?
You can sell eBooks on platforms such as Amazon and Audible for use on eReaders. You can sell physical books with the help of print-on-demand services and a storefront on shops like Etsy, Shopify, or your own website.
Q: How Much Does an Author Make per Book?
Selling books on digital storefronts like Amazon will get you 35% to 70% of the profits. Selling physical books allows you to keep all of the profits (minus expenditures for your print-on-demand services).