Now that you have completed or are close to completing your manuscript, you’re going to need to start thinking about having it printed into a book. If you’re going to be self publishing, there are some common mistakes that you will want to avoid. Below are 5 helpful tips that most self publishers do not do that you should:
1. Create a Budget
Most self publishers do not set a budget to have their book printed. Because of this, they are constantly trying to cut costs at every turn which ultimately undermines the quality of the finished book.
You’ve spent your time, heart and soul into writing this book, so you want your finished product to reflect the quality of time that you’ve spent on it.
Setting a realistic budget first will help you plan and save to get a great finished product. As you get quotes to create your budget, judge the quotes based on the quality of work being done, not just on price.
Too many times, self publishers choose vendors strictly on price and you know what they say about getting what you pay for? So think about value not just how much it cost.
2. Professionally Edited
It is very important to find a professional editor and not just a glorified proofreader. A good editor will have a significant amount of experience writing and editing books so they will have good recommendations on format, layout, tone of voice, readability, etc. that is appropriate for your genre.
This is not an area you will want to cut corners on. Having a quality edited book will reap huge benefits and a better product in the end.
3. Professionally Designed Cover
They say to never judge a book by it’s cover but we still do that anyway. So finding a graphic designer that has experience in designing book covers is essential. We’ve worked with many designers and not all of them are skilled to create book covers even if they can design other types of marketing collateral.
Remember your book cover is a key piece of marketing when your book is on the shelf among other books or sitting on a display table. So having a cover and title that stands out and grabs a reader’s attention is important.
4. First Run
Now that you have your manuscript written, edited and cover designed, it is now time to have it printed.
You should think of the printing to be done in two stages. First run and Second run.
On the first run, plan to have a quantity of 50-100 books printed. The reason is based on the following:
- Think of this first run as a soft launch. Give away or discount this first run to friends or family as a promotional tool and to solicit feedback.
- This feedback will guide you to make some revisions that will create a better finished product.
- Catch mistakes. Even though you hired a professional editor, mistakes still happen. So you can use the feedback from the first run to have others pick up mistakes that you and the editor may have missed.
- This first run is basically used as a test run that allows you to test out the book content, get valuable feedback and catch mistakes before making a larger investment into the second run
5. Second Run
After doing the first run and making your final revisions, you are now ready to officially launch your book. Purchase as many books as possible on this run to reduce your per book cost thereby increasing your profit margin.
The rule of thumb is that the more books you purchase the lower the per book cost. You’d be surprised how a significant increase in the books printed will not significantly increase your total cost and drastically reduce your per book cost.
For example, a 1,000 perfect bound books, 150 black and white pages with a color gloss cover would cost about $2,750 or $2.75/book (not an exact quote). Yet, if you were to double the quantity to 2,000 books it would only increase your total cost by 50% but reduce your per book cost to $2.08. That’s a 25% reduction in cost/book by going with the higher quantity.
If you follow these simple tips, not only will you have a finished product that you will be proud to market but it can potentially save you money in the long run. Many times when we’ve seen self publishers cut corners in any one of the mentioned areas, mistakes happen that they have to fix. This becomes an additional cost that could have been avoided. So spending a little bit more money in the beginning will help you avoid spending more money later.
In our next article we’ll explore some simple cost effective ways to market your book.