Saturday, 6 December 2014

Self Publishing Books Versus Mainstream Publishing

The creation of a mainstream published book will differ to a self published book because input from several people is involved as opposed to just one.

Creating a Self Published Book

Book Production Costs of Self Publishing
More often than not, only one person is involved with the production of a self published book. The writer will write, edit, proofread, design the book cover and conceive the synopsis all alone. The writer has no deadlines to stick to (only a personal one). Book creation is unique to each self published writer. For this reason, the cost of the ebook can be kept low as all the royalties go to the indie writer. I shall explain how this differs in the paperback example in a moment.

Literary Agents, Publishers and Designers

Production of a mainstream published book is a different matter. Several individuals are involved with the book process. The book will be written to a deadline or per contract, an editor and proofreader will then go through it with a fine-tooth comb and make recommendations and edits which may be agreed with the author.

But input doesn’t end there. Book cover design, blurb writing and marketing also will also affect the feel of the book and the time of release. The literary agent who sells the book to the publisher will require a percentage of the net profits of the book, and so this will affect the price of the book, whether published on Kindle or on paperback. This means the price of the ebook tends to be higher than the price of a self published book.

Paperback Costs of Novels

Whether the book has been mainstream published or self published, digital books attracts no paper or postage costs, only the cost of upload. But generally speaking, household names and bestsellers will attract a higher price than self published, unknown authors.

To make a mainstream Kindle book worthwhile, the price has to fall within a particular price bracket. A price too high may result in fewer uploads; a price too low wouldn’t make the book worthwhile to sell. A price of around £4 -£7 seems to be the norm for such ebooks, but I have seen high profile ebooks offered for free for a few days.

The self published writer can publish the book on the Kindle for as little as of £1.50, but will keep all the royalties.

Paper Back Production of Novels

Production of the paperback novel is different. A self published writer has little choice but to use a print on demand company. Print on demand (POD) means the book is printed only when it is ordered. This eradicates the problem of surplus books cluttering up a garage or warehouse. Amazon offers Createspace. Lulu is another example. Yes, there will never be a surplus of books and it will never be out of print, but the production costs can be high compared with the high street bulk print of brand authors.

Mass Produced Books

A mass-printed paperback of the mainstream published world will cost little per unit but if the book does not sell the result will a warehouse full of books and a dented profit. On the plus side, an author published by the likes of Random House or Harper Collins is more likely to see his/her book in Waterstones, WH Smiths or Tescos. The self published writer’s visibility will mostly remain with the online store.

So as can be seen, the production process of self published books and mainstream books differ. The price and royalties earned will also differ, as will the market place and the look and feel of the book.

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