Friday, 27 November 2009

Self-publishing - Part I

I've just received the finished artwork for the second of my two tarot books, THE YES / NO TAROT ORACLE, and I am extremely happy with it. Jo Spaul is a very accomplished illustrator, you can look at examples of her work on her website, here.

And I thought some of you might be interested in my experiences so far while trying to get published.

Basically, I've written two books on the Tarot* and have been unable to secure a publisher for either of them, so in the end I decided to do it myself.

Initially I was going to use LULU, but after some quick research decided against it (the new owners had increased postage rates to non-competetive levels, and some authors claimed they were having trouble getting their work taken off the site when they wanted to go elsewhere [I haven't checked them out since. So whether this is still the case, I don't know.]) - and in amongst the complaints thread someone recommended another self-publishing company, Authors OnLine. To cut a long story short, I decided to go with them.

Their fees are reasonable, with a low annual fee for remaining in publication, and the books are Print On Demand - so someone places an order, the book gets printed and shipped out. Quick, easy, no need to store quantities of books. Also a PDF version of each book will be available for those who prefer electronic media.
Best yet, the books they sell are available to all the usual book retailers - so whether you prefer to buy via Amazon, or via your local bookshop, or direct from them, you can!
As the author it is up to you to advertise your book. Just because it's published, doesn't mean it will necessarily sell any copies.

So far I have found the process pain-free, which is always good. Although they tell me that it does generally take about 2 months to get into publication from the date you sign the contracts.
The Christmas rush (which starts in August!) combined with a flu outbreak has delayed things slightly, but I am expecting both books to be available from January 2010.

I am using the delay to do a final edit on THE YES / NO TAROT ORACLE, while I await confirmation of the ISBNs.

I'm providing the text PDF files, they are doing the covers (under my direction) - Which makes my 'Control Freak Self' very happy.

They do various different packages to suit your needs, and they are very friendly, very helpful, and very busy (at the moment).

If everything continues according to plan I expect to be a very happy customer.

... Should you plan to use them, they are quite happy to vanity publish for you (for example, if you want that green crayon text, unspell-checked book of "My Favourite Moles in Dresses" that you wrote when you were six, published to show your friends), but if you are looking for a more professional publication that will be available in the shops, they do require a basic level of competence from their authors.

So far, so good. If things change, I'll let you know.


Read Self-publishing - Part II here

No comments: