Vacation is over. You spent a month relaxing in a secluded Minnesota cabin, sipping margaritas on the beach in Miami, or straining your eyes to catch a glimpse of a moose at Yellowstone National Park. Every morning and every night you hunkered down in your rented room and churned out page after page of what would become a fantastic book, be it a fiction novel or a how-to gardening guide. Now that you’ve written a book that you believe in and love, what type of publishing options do you have?
Truth be told: getting a book deal is rather hard. Not everyone can be Stephanie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, or that teenager who wrote the Eragon trilogy. Getting published is not always an overnight success story. Luckily there are many platforms available to you as an independent, unsigned author. Many entrepreneurial authors these days are skipping right past the major book companies and choosing to self-publish their work. Thanks to the ever-growing industry (and, of course, the internet), publishing, marketing, distributing, and selling your book has never been easier. Here are some websites that help you take publishing matters into your own hands.
48hrbooks.com – Though not a retailer, 48hrbooks will design and print your books in any size order. Turnaround time is speedy: a printed proof copy can be ready in just two business days. If you like the proof, 48hrbooks will begin printing your entire order. 48hrbooks seems like an easy way to get physical copies of your work in a very short amount of time. However, this may be for the most independently-minded (or most well-connected) authors, as they do not offer marketing or distribution.
Lulu.com – Very detailed, professional self-publishing site. Lulu offers various packages as well as ISBN assignment. One of the biggest perks at Lulu is the wide range of distribution options. Books become searchable online and offline through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and universities and libraries worldwide. Editing and formatting is included in some of Lulu’s package options.
Booksurge.com – A print-on-demand self-publishing site, Booksurge is part of the Amazon.com company and offers a highly-detailed design and marketing program. The biggest selling point is the lack of bulk purchase: books are only printed when a customer requests a copy, thus saving you money on package prices. Booksurge makes your book available to retailers within 1-2 weeks after printing.
Createspace.com – Also a good option for musicians and filmmakers, Createspace is geared towards the more visionary author. They offer an online cover creator for those of you with a specific image in mind. Confusingly, Createspace is also owned by Amazon, but differs slightly from Booksurge as it is more geared towards online distribution. Createspace is a print-on-demand service and will set up a personalized author eStore for your website.
Wingspanpress.com – Wingspan offers various publishing packages for the self-made author. Distribution occurs through Ingram Book Group, the world’s largest book wholesaler. Your title will be listed at all major booksellers both online and offline. Wingspan Press also offers full design and editorial services with some of their package deals.