Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Best P.R.: Self-Publishing

Nothing establishes credibility and provides you with a better launchpad for self-promotion (and extra revenue!) than publishing your own book.

You don't have to be the greatest writer in the world - you can always hire a ghost-writer, co-author, or editor - as long as you possess specific expertise and/or knowledge that others may find valuable enough to want to read about.

With the advent of Print on Demand (POD) technology, it's also relatively simple and easy to create books that look as professional as any you'd find on the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

How It Works
You send your text (or "copy") to an online POD company; they design the book and print as many copies as you want, as often as you want. The cost for design and getting your copy printer-ready can be as low as $199, with each copy costing another $5 to $12. For more, you can publish a full-color picture book or comic book, photo album or art portfolio. ( offers complete packages that start at $999.)

Buyer Beware
Less-reputable firms may skimp on paper quality and production values, so request a sample before you sign the contract. And be wary of add-ons: Most companies try to sell you extra services, such as proofreading and marketing, that may not be very effective...they're printers, not editorial or marketing firms, after all.

Seller Beware
To sell your books online, select a POD company with e-commerce capabilities that will list you on and Barnes & Noble's website; and invest in a book or course on Internet marketing. A few writers have sold as many as 5,000 copies this way, but they tend to be the exception. To become a best-selling or prize-winning author, you'll probably need a traditional agent and publisher.


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