The Best Online Options for Self-Publishing a Book

The publishing world has changed dramatically over the last two decades. The internet has made it possible for writers to self-publish and sell their books to customers around the world. Fewer traditional book publishers mean getting a traditional book deal is an even longer shot than it used to be. The good news is, it is easier than ever to publish your book yourself online. There are lots of options now for publishing, and it pays to be careful, as not all are able to do what they claim they can do. However, there are several good companies for self-publishing a book, and it is easier than ever to go through the process. Some of these self-publishing companies offer other services such as book covers, editing services, and some level of marketing as well as publishing. Blurb, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source are the best three options. Ask the following questions when pursuing the best online options for self-publishing a book.

What is the difference between online publishing and traditional publishing?

The one big advantage of a traditional publisher is they take care of marketing. There are some online options that can help with that too, but for the most part, you will have to do your own promotion. The traditional publisher pays all the costs and does all the work and you get a percentage. With an e-book you retain total control.

Why is online self-publishing a good idea?

Traditional publishers are often only willing to take a risk on established authors or someone with a big public platform. For everyone else, the easier way is to self-publish.

What is the advantage of online publishing over vanity press?

A vanity press produces your book, and you get a lot of books. You could end up with a garage full of books. With online and on-demand publishing, you can order as few or as many copies as you need, which will save a lot of money.

Should I look for the best price?

Not necessarily. Look at what is actually offered. Some companies offer low prices but don't offer any extras, so they make money off you by charging for editing, cover design, ISBN numbers, and such things. It is more important to look for transparency, so you know exactly what you will be getting.

Why is Blurb a good option?

Blurb creates very visual types of projects, so it is great if your book has a lot of pictures. It also makes great picture books. It is easy to use with a lot of online tools to help. You may also produce printed versions or a print-only version with Blurb. You may also create your own and upload it as a PDF.

What is the appeal of CreateSpace?

This is Amazon's online book publisher, so you can easily get it on Amazon this way. It offers all the tools you need, or you can upload a completed PDF easily. The only downside is Amazon takes a hefty cut out of every book sold, but on the good side, you do not have to pay for anything. They also have a print on demand feature that can help you sell paper books. 

What makes Lightning Source a good choice?

Lightning Source is an older company with a sound reputation. It produces printed books, but the actual publishing is done online. You can use their software to determine what your costs will be, and you can choose from a lot of options when it comes to the final product. 

What are some good reasons to self-publish an online book?

If you are an expert on something, you can use your book to get more information to your readers. It is filling a niche that would not likely be of interest to a wider audience. It is a great way to reach a small audience. You may want to preserve family memories or family stories. This is a great option if you have a small project for a well defined small audience.

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