Self-publishing can seem overwhelming at times. Use these 10 tips to get started on the right foot!
Create a website and network to create contacts BEFORE your project is published to build interest. Think about your target consumer and your ideal channels for marketing your books.
If you’re printing a physical copy of your book and not using a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace, keep in mind that different print shops have different turnaround times. Factor this in when choosing a printer for your publication.
3. High Quality Images
If you have hand-painted artwork, you may have trouble finding a cost-effective way to make this digital. You’ll find that traditional scanners don’t always pick up the color of your artwork the way you intended. Some businesses may quote you over $100 a page to get these scanned in properly! Instead, try to find a local photo shop who may be willing to take a high-quality photograph your artwork.
4. Graphic Design
If you’re doing your own graphic design work and have a graphic-heavy project, use professional software. You can’t go wrong with Adobe Creative Suite and specifically, Adobe InDesign for formatting your files. Be sure to use CMYK images whenever formatting a file for print on paper and a resolution of 300 DPI.
5. ISBN’s & UPC’s
You need an ISBN for your book, but you MAY also need a UPC code. Many larger, non-bookstore retailers prefer UPC’s and/or are unable to scan ISBN’s.
6. Shop Around
Again, if you’re looking to print your books outside of a print-on-demand service, investigate different print shops and their respective pricing. Request samples of their previous books well in advance. See how their books hold up over time.
We once requested samples of a hardcover book from a printer and within a month, the entire book had warped under completely normal circumstances sitting on a bookshelf!
7. Meet Your Team
While it’s not always possible to meet your printing or fulfillment company face-to-face, we’ve found personal relationships go a long way. Seeing the facility where your books will be produced and/or stored gives you a feel for the company’s values and the team who will help make your project a reality! You’ve worked hard on your book — you deserve a team who values your work as much as you do!
Some print shops will offer the option of an electronic proof. I suggest getting a hard copy and requesting samples of the exact paper on which your project will be printed.
9. Paper Quality
Double check this! Paper “weights” can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer from our experience. Also, keep in mind that gloss finish on a paper of the same weight as a matte finish will likely have a lighter feel due to the finishing process.
10. Inspect Your Order
We’ve had a number of experiences along the way that have taught us that printing quality isn’t always as up to par as promised. While we hope your printing experience is as seamless as possible, take extra time to inspect your order. If you have a larger order, take time to inspect boxes further down on the pallet if it’s possible. At the end of the day, it’s your name on the book and your reputation at stake.
If you’d like more in-depth guidance, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We love helping new authors transform their ideas into realities!