The answer to this question largely depends on an author’s reason for self-publishing. Authors we work with have many good motives for choosing a self-published route. Some may be looking to help secure a publishing deal by offering a professional example to publishers of how their book could look and read. Others are wishing to become career authors and remain in control of their titles or simply to supplement an existing income with ongoing royalties. Then there are authors on an adventure to complete a personal goal of simply writing and publishing a book or to compile a family history as an heirloom or gift.
The reasons for self-publishing are as diverse as authors themselves.
Whatever the reason for choosing to publish independently, once you have made the decision to do so, you will be presented with a bewildering diversity of options, offers, packages and deals. Confusing times for all but the most experienced and, even then, the number of choices is growing. Choice is a good thing, if you really know what is on offer.
Recent events in the self-publishing industry have painfully highlighted the situation that many authors have found themselves in after becoming ‘self-published’. Authors who are contractually bound, intellectually and logistically, to self-publishing companies are increasingly realising that they are not necessarily self-publishing at all, but signing away their work for little return.
Rather than point fingers, we would rather seek to outline what we feel self-publishing should involve and, importantly, what true self-published authors should have the right to:
- Full intellectual copyright over titles
- No middleman taking a cut of their book sales revenues
- Top-level design that helps sell books
- Someone to talk to about their project whenever they fancy
- Advice about how to set up their own independent publishing name
- Assistance to apply for their own, unique, ISBNs
- Access to ‘big publisher’ services
- Full control over digital storage of their book manuscripts and artwork
It’s easier than you think to set up your own publishing name, apply for ISBNs and represent yourself.
“I have no hesitation in recommending Spiffing Covers”John Brassey, author of Give Me Your Tomorrow
Self-publishing should be about giving your books the best possible chance of success by ensuring that they are professionally worked on by people with experience. Yet still retaining control of things such as intellectual property rights, royalties, sales accounts etc., etc.
Of course, Spiffing Covers offers the above approach; we have services to match it and we are proponents of pure self-publishing that is ‘author-centric’ and not a confusing mix of vanity and traditional publishing that seems so often to be the model presented to authors seeking advice.