So You Want to Publish Your Book- Author John Perry Provides Helpful Industry Advice for First-Time Authors
It has never been easier to self-publish a book, but it took a revolution in the industry to make it possible. When John Perry first started writing books in the 1990s, self-publishing was an uphill battle. Authors who couldn’t get a contract with a mainstream publisher were often viewed as second-class, since publicity, distribution, and order fulfillment were next to impossible for an outsider. While there were a few unlikely successes, most self-published authors ended up with stacks of paperbacks that they couldn’t give away. As a professional writer, John Perry from Nashville, Tennessee is here to outline how the publishing in industry has changed, how to self-publish, and things to keep in mind when you do.
The transformation of the self-publishing industry has made it possible for authors to produce titles that are expertly designed and manufactured, well-supported by advertisers, and are relatively easy to distribute. John Perry explains that the big game changer is the internet — Amazon Kindle in particular. The introduction of Kindle in 2007 made it possible for authors to connect with readers without any third party publishers. In addition, the internet offered marketing and sales tools that have been democratized, are cost effective, and accessible to diverse audiences. With over 4.66 billion active internet users as of October 2020, your current potential market is massive.
Today, there are hundreds of self-publishing collaborators — also known as subsidy publishers, hybrid publishers, or publishing partners. Partnering with these institutions can take over some or all of the work involved in getting a manuscript to market. If you self-publish, John Perry explains that you will be responsible for overseeing all the steps a traditional publisher would typically handle: editing, fact-checking, typesetting, page design, jacket design, advertising, distribution, and order fulfillment. If it’s a printed book there’s also paper selection, printing, binding, warehousing, and shipping. While this is a lot of work, it can ensure that your book has a real chance. John Perry’s best advice is to use a reputable publishing partner to handle these steps if you can afford it. Otherwise, be willing to invest the time to carefully manage every detail yourself.
The best publishing partners will produce a book that looks like something from a top New York publishing house. However, he explains that it is all on your dime; fortunately, you get to call the shots and don’t have to split the profits with anybody as you do with a traditional publisher. However, buyer beware of the many self-publishing businesses that are just out to make a quick buck without any creative contribution to your project. The most common problems are cutting too many corners, resulting in the cheap-looking product you want to avoid, and trying to force your idea into one of their existing design and marketing templates.
Do Your Research
Before you get serious with a publishing partner, author John Perry suggests taking a critical look at books they’ve published in the past. Make sure that they are produced at a high standard, that includes binding, finish, and overall quality. Also, get to know potential collaborators and be sure you understand exactly what you’re paying for — you can even ask for references and follow up with them. Author John Perry explains that he learned this lesson the hard way: “My first experience with a self-publisher was terrible. When they promised me something, and it was clear they were delivering something else, I complained until I got my money back and canceled the contract. Fortunately, there are some excellent partners out there. You have to be cautious and take your time.”