How to Self-publish a Paper Book So, you have your eBook out on every site you can think of: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore… and people are starting to ask for the real thing. I mean a real paper book. If you are doing this just for family and friends, printing it via an internet print on demand (POD) company is the way to go. It’s a bit more expensive and you have less options for book size, cover art, paper choices (weight, color)… but you also can print as many or as few books as you like.
But if your book is really taking off as an eBook, and you think people might like to have a real book in their hands –there are many people who still like to handle a real book – then publishing a paper book through a commercial printer might be the way to go. That’s what I did, and I haven’t regretted it one bit. (See my books at www.ckbookspublishing.com). Note: with a commercial printer, the smallest print run I’ve seen is 100. Some printers will do 250 minimum, others 500. Just ask; they’ll be happy to give you a quote. And keep in mind, the more you print, the lower the cost. With POD, the book price is the same no matter how many you print. And with POD you might want to ask if you have total rights to the book they print in case you decide later that you want a commercial printer to take over the printing and distribution of your book. (Some printers will house and mail out your book orders for you – for a cost, of course!) So, here are the basic steps to self-publishing a paper book.
Basic Steps of Self-publishing a Paper Book 1. How to Edit Your Manuscript (this is number one because it is very important!) Your options are: A. Have a friend or two do this, or B. Pay a professional. Believe me, you cannot do this yourself. If you want to sell the book commercially, you will want to consider using a professional. Editors can edit for style, plot, spelling, typos, punctuality, formatting… You need to decide what you want done before you pay someone to do this for you. It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth it. You also want to pay someone to “proof” the book just before you send it to the printer. Believe it or not, they will find mistakes. It will be hard for someone to read your second book if your first one was full of mistakes. 2. How to Create Your Cover Art and Internal Book Design Your options are:
A. Do it yourself (I used the program called CS5 by adobe and a little help from a graphic designer friend to do my typesetting), or B. Hire a professional. This includes the artwork and the graphic design (lettering) both of the inside and cover jacket of your book. A good cover is important. Go to the local bookstore in your area and check out other books in your genre then choose wisely! If you create this yourself, a printer will usually want a pdf document of whatever you create. 3. How to Catalogue Your Book for Publication You don’t have to do this, but if you want to have libraries across the country carry your book this would be needed. It also helps bookseller process your book. A local library cannot catalog your book without this. Go to www.loc.gov to get a PCN (Pre-assigned Control Number) from the Library of Congress. Once you have this, make sure to have it printed on the copyright page of your book. Before you can get it cataloged you need to get an ISBN number. 4. How to Get an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) An ISBN is a way to identify your book (book title) from a specific publisher and is used for marketing and selling your book. It is important to have for a paper book. An ISBN can be obtained from a publisher (which could be you), or e-publisher, or audio producer…. Go to www.isbn.org to get some of your questions answered. It cost me $245 for 10 numbers plus a $30 registration fee in 2010. Ten is the smallest number they will give you and allows you to publish multiple editions of your book. For example, I used two of my ISBN’s of the same book for the paper edition and an audio book I had done. You get the actual # at www.bowkerlink.com. They will try and sell you your barcode as well, but I would suggest using a different company. (see below) 5. How to Get a Bar Code for Your Book If you want to sell your book commercially, you’ll need a barcode. You obtain a barcode by going to http://www.barcode-us.com. You will need to decide if the price of your book will be the same in the US and Canada and you will need your ISBN number to get a bar code.(They don’t have to be different.) 6. Copyright or Not to Copyright, That is the Question Anything you write is automatically copyrighted under the Berne Convention, (your lifetime plus 70 years), but if you want to register your copyright, you can do this at www.loc.gov or www.copyright.gov .
If you want to do this, it is cheaper to do before you publish it. You can send in a disc of your manuscript, an electronic copy, or a paper version, but once it is in book form, it costs more to copyright. Cost is $35-$65. A registered copyright gives you the right to sue for infringement. You can finish reading this article on our website about How to Self-publish a Paper Book.