Author Blog Series: Choosing A Publishing Platform

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We’re in the final week of my three-part New Author Blog Series, and so far I’ve shared the importance of Learning From The Best When Starting Your Career, and my Amazon Selling Challenges as a new author. Continuing with the series, I wanted to share some of my insights into Choosing A Publishing Platform. 

Please take a moment to watch my brief video blog on this topic!

When you’re interested in self-publishing, choosing a publishing platform can be a daunting task. In the last five years, so many more options have popped up leaving an author struggling to figure out which platform might be right for them!

The best way to determine a publishing platform is to first decide what’s important to you and your goals for publishing.

8 Things To Consider When Choosing A Publishing Platform:

  • Do you want to do it yourself or have some help?
  • Do you want a hardback or softback book?
  • Are you going to have a lot of illustrations?
  • Will those illustrations be color?
  • Do you want to have an ebook?
  • Do you want to print on demand or have inventory?
  • How many books do you hope to sell?
  • What price point are you planning to sell?

Using myself as an example, I knew I wanted to self-publish a children’s picture book. I didn’t want to use a service like AuthorHouse. I wanted a hardback given the age of the kids reading the book. I knew a softback would be destroyed. In addition, I just think hardbacks are nicer. 🙂

The illustrations would be in color on every page and I would have multiple colors. I was not interested in an ebook. And I wanted to sell enough books to put myself on the map as a children’s book author.

As you probably noticed, I didn’t refer to print on demand/inventory or price point. Honestly, I didn’t want to have inventory. I wanted to print on demand, but the cost of doing that for a children’s book was quite high.

Two options I looked into were CreateSpace and IngramSpark. CreateSpace wouldn’t allow me to print hardbacks on demand, while IngramSpark would allow me to print hardbacks on demand, but the price per book was nearly double.

During my research, I realized it was important to me to print my book in the USA. I had concerns about quality and safety compliance.

So, for me, the only option was to find a printer in the U.S. and have inventory. It wasn’t ideal, but the price per book was what I was looking for and it allowed me to sell my book at a reasonable price point. As an emerging author, I knew my value would be low. I couldn’t expect someone to take a risk on me if my price was too high. Some may think I’ve underpriced it and maybe I have, but I’m currently comfortable with the price.

Most printers wanted you to print 1,000+ books. That was scary to me. The printer I chose allowed me the option to print only 500 books at a time, but the cost per book nearly doubled. So, I chose to get 1,000 and work like crazy to get them sold!

Here is an in-depth illustration more closely comparing the different publishing platform options – from using a traditional publishing house, a fully assisted self-publishing option, a DIY option and more!

I hope you have found the information I have shared in my blog series helpful. As I say in my video, I am by no means an expert at self-publishing yet, but I’m happy to share my experiences so far to help up and coming authors who may need a little direction. Please feel free to leave comments below sharing some of your experience with choosing a publishing platform, what worked well for you, or what struggles you have had? I’d love to learn what’s working well for other people, or pitfalls to avoid! Thanks so much for reading!