Aspiring authors have much to consider. Whether you’re new to the game or you have been previously published, as a writer, you have choices. These choices include who you will allow to publish your book and what that will entail. If you choose self-publishing, you may want to set a budget. Authors — especially new authors — often wonder how much self-publishing costs or if it’s worth it. Izzard Ink is here to give you our perspective on the worth of self-publishing.
Types of Self-Publishing Companies
The term “self-publishing” can mean a lot of different things. Today, when you search for a self-publishing company, you are likely to be offered the services of a number of vanity presses. Many vanity presses have sketchy reputations, and not without reason.
They’re called “vanity presses” because they refer to an author’s desire to see their book in print exactly as is, without interference from editors, publishers or publicists. These are not unlike services in which singers and musicians pay to get a record made. Presumably, authors and artists would not engage the services of such companies if they were able to get book or record contracts — or fair book or record contracts.
Any business in which you must sign a contract that limits your rights to your own work can be unnerving without the protection of a trusted agent or manager, and this is another reason some authors turn to self-publishing.
While vanity presses are not well-known for stealing authors’ work, they are known for charging high prices to hopeful, but naïve, new authors.
The reason top publishing houses exist is because they have spent many years developing techniques to improve authors’ work and make them more marketable to the public. Not having access to this knowledge and experience puts new authors at a disadvantage. By working with a vanity press, these authors pay for printing services, and then they are responsible for selling the books on their own.
This is a formidable task. It’s nearly impossible for authors to make the money back that they spent on printing. They may list their books on popular e-commerce sites in hopes of making some extra sales, but even if this worked, these sites take a sizable share of each sale.
Izzard Ink Is Not a Vanity Press
We mentioned that large publishing houses have power, clout and experience, which are all valuable in helping authors become best-sellers. But like movie studios, the downside is that big publishing houses want each project they take on to be a sure thing. No one wants to spend time and money on a failure, or even a moderately successful project. They want a blockbuster — every time.
And because of this, they push authors to change their storyline and their style to fit the successful model du jour. Remember when everything had to be about vampires? If you were writing about werewolves back then, no one would talk to you.
Izzard Ink’s foundation is the perfect middle ground. We are a small self-publishing company with an impressive list of successes. In our seven-plus years in the business, we have learned how to select the most promising projects and bring them to fruition. We do this with a host of services such as editing, illustrating, marketing and more.
We don’t just print books; we help authors self-publish them. With Izzard Ink, authors have the option of calling their own shots and deciding which of our services to use. This means authors are in control not only of the creative process, but also of the cost of the project.
How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost?
Self-publishing has many costs associated with it. You may or may not want to invest in all of them.
- Printing — Authors can find printers online for a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars. Options that can affect the price include the type of paper you choose, the size and length of the book, whether you want hardcover or softcover, whether you need color or just black and white, and other factors.
- Editing — Generally speaking, there are three types of editing available to authors. Proofreading is reading through the book looking for errors such as typos and missing words. Copy editing is more involved and includes suggesting changes to sections of the book based on grammar, flow, style, etc. Developmental editors assist with an author’s storyline and may make suggestions about character development, plot, etc.
- Design — Designers include graphic designers and illustrators who can help with cover art for the front and back of the book and pictures inside the book as well as giving advice about typography.
- Marketing — Getting the word out about your book so people notice it and buy it is a big job and can entail many services. You may retain the services of a marketer for a year, a month or a week. The more time your marketing team spends publicizing your book, the better your chances of success.
- Distribution — Today, distribution means more than getting your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores. It means getting it onto all the right e-commerce sites so that when people hear about your book, they know where to find it.
Each of these services can cost hundreds of dollars or even thousands, depending on which self-publishing company you use and whether it offers publishing packages. At Izzard Ink, we have enough experience to be able to save our clients money by recommending to them the services they need most. If their manuscript is clean and compelling, they may only need copy editing or proofreading. If they already work with a graphic artist who does amazing work, they may not need our design services.
If we believe your manuscript needs lots of work, we’ll tell you, because we want you to be successful. But ultimately, the choices lie with our authors, and that’s why the cost of self-publishing varies with every project.
For a free consultation about self-publishing your book, schedule a meeting online today.