6 things to consider when choosing the right self-publishing company
Self-publishing companies are great for beginner authors. For choosing the right one, check out their track record, commission, royalty system, and reviews.
There are two ways you can publish your books—through self-publication or through a publishing company. If you self-publish a book, you have full authority over the book. However, you have to bear some expenses such as the cover design, professional editing, and other related expenses.
On the other hand, if you publish through a publishing company, they will bear all expenses, but they will have authority over your book and may change some aspects of it.
But through a self-publication company, they bear the expenses of publishing your book and you keep full authority over your book. This way authors have more freedom even though they are publishing the book through a company.
But even so, you need to be careful when you choose a self-publishing company. Here are a few things you must consider when choosing a self-publishing company.
1. The price they set for your book
A good book publishing company will know the worth of your book and assign the right price tag. If your books are too expensive, it will drive away potential customers..
If the price is too low, then you will not be getting enough money from selling your books and ultimately take a loss. So have a good look at the price the self-publishing company puts on your books. If the price is around the average mark, then that is the mark of a good self-publishing company.
2. The author’s price
Oftentimes you need to buy your own books to give them to book reviewers. Since you are the author, there will be a discounted price for you called the author price.
The lower the author’s price, the better. So, stick to a self-publishing company that has a big discount on the author’s price.
3. The royalty
For each book sold, the self-publishing company will take a cut but leave you the rest. This is called royalty.
It should be obvious that the higher your royalty, the better it is for you financially. However, there are different ways to estimate this royalty. If the book is sold on an online platform, then those platforms will pay based on their royalty payment calculator. Amazon pays about 60% whereas eBay pays about 40-60%.
Then there are other factors to consider such as whether the book will be sold by a wholesale distributor and other marginal costs.
4. Right to change contents of the book
If the self-publishing company mentions having the right to change the contents of the book, then that is a red flag. Self-publishing companies are not the same as traditional publishing companies. They only provide their service and should not have the right to change the book in any way.
5. Process of contract termination
Sometimes things might not go in your favor. If you are not comfortable working with the self-publishing company, you have the right to terminate the contract under certain circumstances. The company should also accept this and help you throughout the process.
Yes, there are timelines and agreements in the contract but after completing the agreed-upon terms, you should be free to leave the company in a formal manner. If the company stops you from leaving or uses any sort of force, then that is not right.
If authors face this kind of issue, they usually write about it on social media or give reviews about that company. So, be sure to research your company online.
6. The reviews of the company
The last thing you can do is to talk with other authors who worked with a self-publishing company and ask for their reviews. This is a very good way to judge a company.
The higher the reputation and positive reviews, the better success you will have working with that company. But make sure you hear opinions from multiple authors and do not just depend on the words of a single individual. Research their track record, their commission rates, and other special benefits.
Things to avoid when choosing a self-publishing company
Authors make some silly mistakes when selecting a self-publishing company, even sometimes mistaking them for conventional publishers. However, there are key differences between a traditional publishing company and a self-publishing company, so you must be careful.
Here are some other common mistakes authors make when choosing a self-publishing company.
Do not get fooled by the term “bestseller”. If you see a self-publishing company keep using the term “Bestseller” for their books, then take the time to cross-reference the book.
If you see it was titled “Bestseller” by official websites such as “The New York Times Best Sellers List”, then you can confirm that the company is authentic. But if it is a “Best Seller” on Amazon, then that title has no value.
If you see a company rushing you in signing contracts and calling you often, then that is an immediate red flag. Only companies that are not good with their service but want some quick money do such activities. Take your time to do your research and look for another company.
Another thing you should avoid is selling a large number of books to a self-publishing company. Many authors think that they can make big bucks simply by selling large numbers of books. But that is far from the truth because there are a lot of different costs. We previously mentioned publishing costs, commissions, and royalties. If these costs are not in your favor, they can quickly drain your profit.
And there is also the worst-case scenario where your self-publishing company may turn out to be a fraud. So experiment with the company first and then go for mass distribution.
Self-publishing companies are gaining more and more popularity over the last few years. Chances are, they will at some point overtake traditional publishing companies and reign as the perfect method of book publication. However, you still need to be careful. Choosing the wrong company could be a huge loss for your career and your reputation as an author.