I have just received a quote from the publishing company for copy editing, preparing for printing as a paperback, proof reading, cover design, formatting as an e-book, distribution and marketing. The total cost is about £4000.
I would have five hundred copies of the paperback, which is the minimum number for having access to the distribution network the publishers use. I know there are cheaper ways of getting the book published-this is the de-luxe version, but they do a lot of the work and hopefully prevent the mistakes that mainstream publishers point to when they criticise self publishing. The question for me is how much faith do I have in my book to spend so much money on launching it? Still not sure, but it’s still cheaper than the mythical horse- the one I don’t have, can’t ride, don’t pay livery charges for etc. Anyway I’m off to see another company who offer the same sort of service at the end of the week.
That is the question? I have spent the last week researching the various companies who offer self-publishing. Some of them are the offspring of mainstream publishers, which is an interesting development. One has been trying a very hard sell, constant telephone calls to try and persuade me to take up a package with them. Others are more laid back, and simply give the details of the services they offer and then leave you to make your own mind up.
Of course like any writer I would love to have some publisher say they wanted to buy my book, but if I self publish does that mean my book is not worth any space on someone’s bookshelf or Kindle. There is a lot of snobbery about self publishing, that only books published by the big publishing houses are properly edited and marketed and therefore are ‘proper’ books. When I look at the diet of books in the bookshops I do wonder if that is correct, there is a mixture of chefs and celebrities everywhere. Some very good books get little or no marketing when they are published. I can think of two books I have read recently that I had trouble finding in a large branch of Waterstones.
It seems to me that one of the advantages of publishing ones own book is the time factor. Even of you get an agent it may take time for them to sell the book to a publisher and then the publisher will take some months to actually put your book into the shops.
Then there is question of the amount you can expect to earn from selling the book. I don’t know what writers earn, but not everyone is going to be a best seller and earn millions. Only three years ago we were told that the average earning for a writer were £6000. So stick to the day job seemed to be the message.
The problem is the cost of self publishing to the same standard as the publishing houses, my research reveals it could be around £5000, which I is rather a lot. That would include editing, copy editing, cover design, printing usually a limited number of copies, preparing an e-book and marketing. Still most people can’t afford that amount.
The first stage of self publishing is getting the book professionally edited and I have taken that course today. The first step on what I hope will lead to me having a copy of the book, Crucial Evidence, in my hands in due course.