Your publishing company and who every you choose to be your book cover maker will be critical on your path to publishing your work. Remember, self-publishing companies are in this to make money. There is nothing wrong with that. All companies are in business to make money, but keep your wits about you. You will likely be pressured or urged to upgrade your package to something that includes a lot of things you don’t need at all. Before you spend money on extras like business cards and book cover art, make sure it will come back to you and you’ll get a return on your investment. The best strategy is to choose only the packages recommended on this website. Most upgrades are overpriced and will not actually get you extra sales at all, making it a bad investment. It’s usually best to avoid the more expensive options and stick with the best value choice available.
There are several well-priced companies out there that have had their fair share of successful books, which only proves you don’t need to spend your life saving to get published. Below is a bullet pointed list of the only things that really matter when you’re making a decision. The list is longer than I’d like, but you really can’t afford to ignore anything on it. We’re talking about your book here, so we know there’s a lot at stake and your due diligence is worth every minute.
- The sales of their other published books
- What do they offer in the way of formatting
- What are the cover design options
- What is the quality of the binding
- Where will the book be available for sale?
- Are book stores offered discounts? How much?
- What do you make in royalties
- Don’t be confused by publisher website sales—you won’t ever have any.
- How long is it going to take for your book to be for sale?
- How is the price of the book set? Is it reasonable?
- Can you buy copies yourself? How much are they?
A Quick Word on Book Covers
Before I get started, I want to let everyone know of a new website I came across for those of you who need still need to create a book cover. CoverDesignStudio let’s you choose a book cover template and customize it offline. I’m very excited about these kinds of companies and I hope we see more and better providers of a decent book template in the future.
Can Your Book Perform?
Writers of fiction, as well as non-fiction books, have been able to be successful with self-publishing companies and there’s no reason for academic work to be any different. Many self-published authors these days have multiple books that are selling consistently in the top 10-15% on Amazon, with a select few making the best seller list! Those that have been fortunate enough to become best sellers, as well as those that are mid-range successes, are all earning far higher royalties than they would have with a traditional publisher. Far higher.
The advantage of academic publishing is the defined audience. So many writers publish a book having no real idea who will read the book, later to find that it’s impossible to target an audience that’s too broad. As an academic writer, you know exactly who will be interested in what you’ve published, making it much easier to find those folks and target them as customers.
As you start to research your possible competition, don’t expect to come across information that will tip you off about the number of copies that have been sold or the commissioned that have been paid out. That information is never published. Watch this video to learn more about Amazon rankings:
The reality of today’s world is that self-published authors can succeed in big way and get very satisfying results. Their self-published books easily compete with conventional titles–especially in specific niches. In many cases, these books actually outsell those conventionally published titles.
The majority of respected scholarly journals as well as academic books rely on peer review status for their validity. Working as a sort of “editorial referee”, peer reviewed journals are viewed as more scientifically sound and the works they publish are taken more seriously as scientific fact. Though the quality of the actual peer review can vary quite a bit depending on the journal or the field of study, peer review journal are considered more trustworthy by scientists and laymen, alike.
Name the academic discipline and you can usually find numerous journals that publish academic works in the category. Some stick specifically to a topic, say Rheumatology, for example. While others cover a wide variety of disciplines in one journal, even a single issue. When a new field of study emerges, a journal may include it as part of a subcategory. Once that area expands to be large enough, lo and behold a new journal is born.
All the forms of book publishing and Kindle publishing have seen huge changes over the course of the previous ten years. Could your parents have imaged that you would publish your dissertation to an electronic reading device in the form of something called a Kindle book? These changes have leaked into academic publishing as access to book cover designers and layout providers has become easy. Additionally, article publishing can now be read on an electronic device including the Kindle.
For those looking to profit from published works, print books can easily be published on Amazon.com as well as Kindle books. For those looking for the widest distribution, without any barriers to entry for the reader, it’s easy to publish a book online and allow people to read it for free.