Publishing has always acted like a titan to be slain by aspiring authors. It used to be an industry that required herculean effort to break into if you didn’t have the right connections. After all, there is a level of standard to maintain, and the competition was steep, with only a lucky few getting chosen by agents who would send their manuscripts to publishing houses.
Fortunately, a guiding light known as self-publishing has emerged in recent times. Writers who wish to see their writing become books no longer have to go through numerous obstacles to make it happen.
That said, self-publishing is still a lengthy process. This is why Omnibook Co. has put together this guide to assist first-time self-publishers in how self-publishing print-on-demand books in the USA works.
Publishing In the Modern World
Self-publishing may have risen in prominence, but the traditional route is still taken today. This endeavor usually requires an agent to help you pitch your work to different publishing houses. After a series of meetings, you may finally find a company that wants to publish your book.
It’s worth noting that rejections are part and parcel of this journey. An author will rarely walk into a publishing house and have their work accepted on the spot. However, many writers find the toil and trouble worth it because publishing companies often shoulder the costs of printing and distributing the books. Some publishers even provide estimated royalties ahead of time.
On the other hand, self-publishing promises no heartbreaks. No gatekeepers will prevent you from printing and sharing your work with potential readers. Moreover, you have complete creative control over the final product, including the paper, binding, and ink used as well as the cover and layout design.
In addition, self-publishing print-on-demand books in the USA means you receive 100% of the profit. Authors working with traditional publishing companies only receive a portion of their royalties, typically around 30%, after enough copies have been sold to cover the advance given by the publishing house.
Each route offers unique experiences catered to different writers. Traditional publishing often works out better for renowned individuals, such as authors with extensive followings on social media, or those who have already had their work published in magazines or other prestigious publications. Self-publishing is a more viable option for new authors or those who want to retain creative control over their writing.
Print-on-demand is a term dating back to the 1990s, referring to book publication with a specific number decided upon. Companies offering print-on-demand services don’t publish books constantly. Instead, the author’s preference dictates when a print run will happen and how many copies will be made.
This printing model benefits self-publishers because it doesn’t require much money upfront. Writers can also prevent excess copies from ending up in storage, which can happen with traditional publishing methods that often result in ordering large print runs even if the demand is minimal.
Now, many sites are dedicated to print-on-demand services, making it possible for writers all over the globe to pursue self-publishing. Every platform has distinctive offerings, so it’s essential to do your research and find one that suits your budget and needs. Before that, you must first familiarize yourself with the process before working with a print-on-demand business.
Expectations Writers Should Have for Print-on-Demand Books
By now, you already know the key differences between traditional and self-publishing. If you have decided to start this journey, it’s best to level your expectations, given that the process isn’t as easy as one-two-three.
For one, you are your own boss. There is no editor or CEO to tell you what to do, which is excellent for creative control. However, this freedom entails great responsibility since it means you must take charge of every step toward publishing your book. You have the choice of shouldering every responsibility or outsourcing talent to guarantee quality outputs.
Professionals such as book cover designers and layout artists can help turn your manuscript into an eye-catching book. One is in charge of the exterior, while the other focuses on the interior. While it’s possible to do both on your own, know that the results may not match up to what a professional could deliver. In addition, inexperience on your part may result in longer production times.
Another consideration is that self-publishing is not an overnight process. It would help if you had the patience to see your book through from start to finish, which could take weeks or even months.
The Process of Self-Publishing Print-on-Demand Books in the USA
It may seem obvious, but the first step of self-publishing print-on-demand books in the USA is to write your manuscript. This component is the foundation of your work, so ensuring its quality is a must. Many self-publishers choose to edit their manuscript to save money, but doing so risks mistakes getting included in the final copy.
Working with a professional editor, on the other hand, gives you a new set of eyes to catch errors and improve the quality of your book. If you choose this route, be sure to work with an editor with experience with your genre since the rates and editing process vary.
Once your manuscript is ready, the next step is to find a reputable print-on-demand business that offers services as minimal as single-book printing. Platforms like Omnibook Co. offer packages to lessen the burden on the writer. For instance, some offerings include copy editing, cover and layout design, and even copyright applications.
These packages may be pricier than options for printing alone. Still, you can save time and money in the long run, considering that you don’t need to look for providers of editing and design manually, and you don’t need to worry about the quality of their work.
After finding print-on-demand services that fit your needs and budget, you need to decide on the logistics of your book. For one, you should have an estimate of how many copies you want to be made since it will significantly impact the final cost. Single-book printing is less expensive than multiple prints, after all.
Other than that, it would help if you have ideas regarding the materials used for publishing. Paper color and density are two crucial considerations, especially for works with illustrations and photos. Binding is also a factor that could affect the look and feel of your book.
Don’t hesitate to ask any question you need to be answered since print-on-demand sites have different specifications. Getting a clear picture of the services you are paying for is essential to avoid problems in the future.
Once you have decided upon a print-on-demand company, the next step is to send them your manuscript. If you signed a contract that includes more than printing, you could expect the process to be lengthy since the team working with you wants your book to be in its best form.
Editing on its own can last for a few weeks, depending on the book genre and length. Other processes, such as cover design, can be done in a shorter time frame, but you can expect the time to add up. Open communications with your chosen print-on-demand business can help ease your anxiety during the waiting period.
The printing process is one of the last stages of self-publishing. If every step before this was accomplished as you wanted, you can rest easy knowing that you will see a printed book of your masterpiece.
Now, every self-publisher should note that the most reliable print-on-demand sites provide book distribution, too. Of course, you can organize a book event and sell copies on your own, but getting your work in online and offline retailers is a significant feat that can help you reach a wider audience. Omnibook Co. even offers authors the opportunity to ship their books internationally, giving you a chance to tap into global markets.
The whole point of print-on-demand is that it makes the self-publishing process more straightforward, so take advantage of that fact. Self-publishing can be challenging, but it’s doable as long as you know what to expect and where to get reliable help.
Working With Reliable Print-On-Demand Companies
No two print-on-demand sites are the same. As such, it would be best to take the time and study each of the ones that catch your attention before entrusting your manuscript to a final company.
If you don’t know where to start, Google is always a safe place. Searching terms like “self-publishing print-on-demand books in the USA” will garner a long list of results. You can also ask fellow writers for recommendations.
Once you have a tentative list, you can begin checking on their offerings, which are typically featured on the company’s website. Consider the different services available and see if they fit your book well.
Most importantly, take the time to assess the print-on-demand company’s reputation. Look for reviews from past clients, and see how they rate the experience of working with the team.
Self-publishing print-on-demand books in the USA has made dreams of authorship more accessible to writers. Before committing to this endeavor, though, writers should dutifully equip themselves with knowledge about the process to avoid losing time and money. This includes researching print-on-demand companies and signing with the best fit.
Omnibook Co. has a long-standing reputation in the self-publishing field. Our complete suite of print-on-demand services covers almost every step of the publishing process, so you can focus more on your writing while we handle logistics. Contact us today and let’s discuss your publishing options!