Oh there’s a storm brewing out there, yes the traditional fields of unsolicited manuscripts; barren wastelands where great prose went to die, are well and truly being replaced by lush fields full of flora and fauna, and more importantly (for anyone enamoured of the written word) the traditional publishing model has been turned on its head by the advent of our beloved Internet. Where writers once feared to tread (the self indulgent caves of self publishing) now talented, and often more established authors are lining up in their droves – why? Because time is money and money is time, and those words could be out there in minutes earning some good old-fashioned cash, and pushing you up the Kindle rankings faster than you can say ‘JK Rowling is a publishing phenomenon’ – so what are you waiting for? In light of this it’s time to scour the web for the very best sites to facilitate that dream. Go on people, the time is now.
Lulu is perhaps one of the best known sites to facilitate self publishing, and for good reason; attention to detail is the name of the game here, and with over 1000 new titles every day – it’s no wonder these guys know how to format, package and push your book out there to maximum effect. The sheer variety of services make this a one stop shop if you’re not only considering publishing but marketing, proof reading, editorial, or quite frankly anything your book desires!
BOOK SURGE/CREATE SPACE
Book Surge, soon to be called Create Space, is an offshoot of Amazon, and being under the bastion of book selling’s umbrella can be no bad thing, if you want to see your tome downloaded by the masses. Unique attributes include the ability to get feedback on your work via the preview tool and publish in multiple formats, such as MP3, DVD’s and CD’s. Last but certainly not least networking is the name of the game, with the legions of writers ready and willing to connect in the Create Space community.
Is another worthy addition to the list. The clean, clear, sharp interface can’t help but inspire confidence in their marketing and design skills for one, whilst the sheer variety of what’s on offer beggars belief. Leaflets? Check. Blog books, planners, magazines? Check. Yes there’s a whole lot more on offer than just your traditional print/e-book. Should you be the proud owner of a website with decent levels of traffic, then you can even make use of their affiliate program, and earn some commission every time a fellow writer publishes another book. Now that’s some business acumen.
Consider yourself an ‘indie author’? Then this is the site for you. Yes Smash Words does exactly what it sets out to do; smashes the traditional publishing model with – you guessed it – ‘words!’ Non-conformity is the ethos at this quirky, well designed site, but don’t be fooled – there’s some serious business acumen at work too, not to mention well thought out strategy. Smash Words will distribute your e-book via the most beneficial channels, and most importantly support you along the way. We have to say, one of the most succinct, moving and accurate appraisals of the challenges facing authors comes in the form of CEO Mike Coker’s manifesto for the site. If you’re looking for a site willing to take risks – this is your destination domain.
‘Ready, set, publish’ – is the phrase that greets you, as you log onto the Book Baby site, and to all intents and purposes it really is that easy. If you’re looking for value for money, then this is one self publishing portal that has your name on it. With packages starting from as low as $99, there’s a lot to be said for becoming a ‘book baby.’ Even better the site take 0% of commission from sales, which is quite a contrast to traditional publishing deals – not that you need to be reminded.
KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING
No list of this nature would be complete without a nod to the daddy of self publishing, Kindle. The company waded into the game well before the tide turned, putting endless authors struggling for visibility slap bang on the top of the Kindle charts without so much as a ‘how’s your father?’ Again under the umbrella of Amazon, there’s scarcely anything worth knowing about self publishing that these guys won’t be able to advise you on. The global reach, the ability to change and update your book (even once online) and the multiple languages facility, make KDP a global leader and for good reason.
Author House is another worthy addition to the self publishing list. The UK based company present a slick coherent manifesto for letting them sprinkle their particular brand of star dust on your worthy tome. Claiming to have helped more authors self publish than any other company (over 40,000 to date) the site has a well established infrastructure that can’t fail to put you at ease through the speedy process of getting your book online. Packages start from £299.
Get your skates on! Because at iUniverse, there’s a fantastic 20% off publishing deals till the end of January, adding emphasis to the phrase ‘the time is now!’ Perhaps our favourite feature of this exemplary site is the live chat facility, allaying all fears about making the leap into becoming a self-published author. Further the author interviews are a useful bonus in deciding if this is the right publisher for you. The packages may be slightly pricier than others on the list, but believe us when we say you get a whole lot of added value.
‘Write your own success’ is the name of the game at XLibris and empowering writers is evidently close to their hearts. The slick, elegant interface can’t help but inspire confidence, whilst the reams of advice, testimonials, and the author awards and events are a nice added bonus to a site where professionalism and attention to detail are clearly core values.