When you want to self-publish a book, you have a lot of decisions to make. One of the most important ones is which self-publishing company you want to work with. If you’re new to the self-publishing game, you may have no idea how to go about this task. Izzard Ink, with almost a decade in the self-publishing industry, has some tips for new (and experienced) authors wondering how to choose a self-publishing company.
Before the internet (if you can remember this time), self-publishing had to be done in person or by telephone and mail. While it is still beneficial to meet in person with the staff at self-publishing houses you are thinking of working with in order to get a feel for the company and the people who work there, it isn’t strictly necessary. Especially today, considering COVID-19, you may opt to skip in-person meetings in favor of teleconferencing.
However, if you live in a big city in which you have access to a number of self-publishing companies, you may want to take the opportunity to visit one or two. If you’re in a remote location, don’t worry — you can still self-publish your book.
Unfortunately, the world of self-publishing has always included a somewhat shady side to it. Like with car salesmen, lawyers and cable companies, the public’s fear is that they’re getting tricked or swindled, despite the fact that the vast majority of those in these professions are honest and trustworthy.
Thus, one of the first things you want to look at when considering a self-publishing house is its reputation. Does it have good reviews or lots of complaints? If there are complaints (and there are always some), read them to see if you agree with the complainer or if you think they are being unreasonable. Narrow down your choices by eliminating self-publishing houses that have more unsatisfied than satisfied customers.
From the remaining options on your list, take a look at the About Us page for each to see if their mission lines up with your goals and what you have in mind.
Some self-publishing houses are simply 100% vanity presses. This is not inherently bad; these types of self-publishing houses cater to authors who want their books published as is, without changes. However, they can sometimes prey on new authors by overcharging for their services. So if you are looking for a vanity press, get prices from several and make sure you fully understand what you will be getting for your money.
Cost varies widely for self-publishing services, and the uninitiated are vulnerable to scam artists, especially if they are dealing with the company remotely. If you can walk into a building and look someone in the eye, a company is less likely to try to swindle you. It’s more distressing to have an irate customer in front of you than to simply receive an email that can be quickly deleted.
Even if you are shopping for only vanity press services, prices will vary. You will have to decide if you want soft cover or hard cover — of course hard cover will cost more. But the weight of the paper is important too. One self-publishing house might quote you a price that is well below the others, but the paper they use may be extremely thin. Or the ink or the binding process may be low quality. Once you’ve picked up your 500 copies, there won’t be much you can do about your disappointment. Ask for a sample of a book or a page to be sent to you so you can evaluate the quality and make an informed decision.
The Izzard Ink Difference
We provide printing services to authors who want strictly that, but at Izzard Ink, we offer much more. We are not simply printers; we are also writers, editors, artists and marketers. We run our business that way because we want authors to succeed, and we know their chances are much higher when they avail themselves of our professional services. We offer:
- Manuscript assessment: If you have completed your manuscript and would like feedback, you can get it from Izzard Ink. Two editors will read your manuscript and make notes of their opinions, advice and ideas. This service also includes a 30-minute meeting between the author and the editors to give and get live feedback.
- Editing: We offer three types of editing services to best target your needs — copy editing, developmental editing and proofreading. Each provides a different depth of service depending on how much assistance you may require.
- Illustration: If your book will require illustrations, we can provide you with a professional illustrator. Each artist has their own style — you may look through the work of each and decide which illustrator is best for your book.
- Cover design: As with our illustrators, our graphic designers are available to create an eye-catching book cover for you. We will give you several drafts to choose from.
- Marketing: Skilled marketing services are hugely important to the success of a book. You could have written the greatest book of all time, but if no one has heard of it, no one will read it. Our marketing team will ensure the public knows about your book.
- Distribution: Our distribution team works to get your book onto e-commerce sites and retail bookstore shelves across the country. Who knows, maybe you will end up on Oprah!
If you want a self-publishing company that will act as your mentor and partner in your self-publishing journey, choose Izzard Ink.
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