Thursday, February 9, 2012

Creation | Book Publishing for Self-Publishers

The creation of a book comes from so many different avenues. My first book "My Animal Alphabet" was inspired by a poster that my niece Stephanie Creekmur created. It was so adorable that one day I decided it needed a poem to go along with the animals. Once the poem had been written we (my niece and I) decided that we should make it a book. We began to contact different book publishers and found that without an agent you really couldn't get to the publishers but you could self-publish. We had a very promising phone call from the self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson. They were VERY interested in the book and even felt that it was worthy to be mentioned to the publishers at Thomas Nelson. However, once I started "reading" the fine print, I felt that we would be giving most of our profits to them. So we decided to test the book. We created a sample book through Shutterfly. It was a beautifully colorful and creative book. So much so I decided to find a reasonable printer to just print the book and I would take care of the distribution and marketing of the book.

Lots of decisions must be made when you decide to do this on your own. Do you want it listed with online book vendors? Do you want it available in the retail market? Are you planning on distributing from your home or do you want it available directly from the printer to the wholesaler?

If you decide that you want it available through retailers online and in stores you must:

1) Copyright.
Copyrighting your work will insure when you wrote it and will save you any legal battles down the road. While looking into registering for your copyright I found out that with literary work you actually have a implied copyright simply because of your work. However this can be disputed and lead to a lengthy legal battle if anyone ever decides to challenge your work. So registering is the way to go and only costs $35. Well worth it for any unforeseen headaches down the road.  See the U.S. Copyright Office for instructions on how to copyright.

2) Acquire an ISBN.
If you decide that you want to sell your book through AmazonBarnes and Noble, or any bookstore online or in-store or you want it to be available in the library, you must have an ISBN, International Standard Book Number. You will need an ISBN for each format of your book. Paperback, Hardback, Audio, etc. You can find all the information you need about ISBN here.

3) Apply for LCCN.
By including your book with the Library of Congress you are insuring that your book will always be available to future generations. Libraries and even some retailers require that you have a Library of Congress Control Number.

Once you have acquired all of these numbers you are ready to submit to a printer and/or self-publisher. Some self-publishers will acquire all these numbers for you. I chose to do it on my own. Seemed less costly. This is the process I am at right now. I will be printing a minimum of 100 books to start. I decided to go with Lightning Source. They are a part of the Ingram Content Group. I will make my book available through Stephanie Creekmur's shopAmazonBarnes and Noble and any other online bookstore I can find. I will also have a press release that will help me in marketing my book. My next step will be marketing it to all my local vendors and contacting bigger retailers and getting it into their store. Because my book is a children's book I will be concentrating more on speciality stores.

So stay tuned for more news in my exciting journey. I will keep you informed on my progress and hope that you too will be able to get your book out there.