Congratulations! You’ve finished your final round of edits. You’ve had multiple beta readers take a look and tell you how much they’ve loved your book. You’ve got an awesome cover all planned out and you’ve been advertising for quite some time about your next big work. Now you just have to get it out there into the world. I know what you’re thinking: now what? Isn’t that it? Don’t I just get it printed and go?
And that’s the question, isn’t it? Do you just get it printed? What are your plans on how to get it out there? How a distributor markets your book, the ins and outs of their partners, etc. can make or break your book and your budget. Getting your book out there is an exercise on its own, and if you’re self-publishing or partnership publishing, there are a lot of things to consider.
First off, your budget. Consider what you have to spend and how to recoup your losses. There are plenty of cheap and plenty of expensive distributors out there. You truly get what you pay for. But you have to consider that there’s still social media and advertising to think about. If you’re interested in selling your book directly through person-to-person interaction, then paying for a cheaper distributor or printer may be the way for you. If you are heavily relying on a wide network of distributors from different people, then you may want to spend a little money. Most respected distributors or printers will have a list of the places they’ve partnered with. Our advice: make sure you know which partners your distributor works with before you spend the money on them. It’s also very important to research their partners, and see some statistics on each of their audiences and subscriber size.
Secondly, consider carefully whether you’re going for a printed run or an electronic run. (Or, if you’re smart… both.) A print run can be a costly thing. There are plenty of printers who can print a case of a hundred books for a certain price. Consider your needs, and make sure you think also about the kind of selling you’ll be doing. Will you be working and selling online through your social media? Will you be making the festival circuit and setting up signings? Depending on your needs, different printers offer different options, and many distribution companies even offer e-book services as well. Many printing companies also offer a smaller print-on-demand service so authors don’t have to sit on countless copies of their books. This is a nifty service that can potentially save you tons of warehouse storage fees from traditional publishers, and counter-space at your house.
Consider the benefits of your printer very carefully. Some printers (like Amazon Kindle, or Amazon Createspace) are great, entry-level printing options. (Createspace, in particular, is good at saving you some time and money by providing their own ISBN numbers, an easy interface, etc.) Your needs, the level of service you require, and the kind of binding you want are all factors that will influence which print or distributor you choose.
Winterwolf Pro Tips: Make sure you budget everything out before you commit. Double and triple-check every option as far as pricing, services offered, etc. Setting up a quick, free Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet can help you keep tabs on which offers the best service for your budget.