MAKE MORE MONEY BY SELF-PUBLISHING ONLINE
I was listening to the radio when my ears perked up by some extra-pertinent information: how the business of publishing is changing – and how authors are making more money than ever using the internet.
There have traditionally been two ways to get your book in front of a mass audience: you either get signed by a publishing company, or you make the leap and publish the book yourself, fronting the bill for printing out of your own pocket.
Enter the internet. Now the longstanding pastime of reading has gone digital, primarily with the success of Amazon.com’s Kindle, the PDA that allows people to download books, magazines, and newspapers and carry an entire virtual library in their briefcases. It was the Kindle that proved that people are willing to pay for a downloaded book, which is where the self-publisher comes in. The only problem is that Amazon controls what can be downloaded – usually best-sellers and national periodicals.
But now there are online-only self-publishing sites. This means that authors who are interested in self-publishing – scholars, artists, up-and-comers, you and me – can self-publish on the web and keep more of the sales profits. Why? No buying paper, ink, no marketing budget … the savings goes on and on. Most importantly, it’s the most democratic way to publish: anyone can publish their important work, regardless of what big publishers think, and regardless of how much money you have.
Photo by nicholas macgowanThere are a couple of self-publishing sites out there that are quickly growing in popularity among self-publishers and reading-enthusiasts alike: www.Scribd.com and www.Lulu.com.
Scribd is the newest internet sensation that’s really shaking up self-publishing. Authors can upload their latest work for sale, set a point price for each download, and – the best part – keep 80% of the sale price. That’s $8 in your pocket for every $10 download you sell, an unheard of profit in the publishing business.
Lulu.com offers a variety of self-publishing services for books, e-books, CDs and DVDS, calendars, etc. They’re more of a jack-of-all-trades in the self-publishing business. They can help you design and market a hardcover version of your book, or help you format and upload your e-book. Poke around their website – there’s a cost calculator and many different publishing packages that can help you decide which publishing option is the best one for you.
Want a little more reading? See the original NPR transcript about Scribd.com, and take a look at Tomorrow Museum’s recent blog, The New Self-Publishing.