Self publishing: pros and cons
ISBN APPLICATION: As in the case of traditional publishing, the author does not have to be concerned with the process.
PUBLISHING TECHNOLOGY: The author does not have to worry about this either.
COPYRIGHT: The author retains copyright for the work only.
SUBSIDIARY RIGHTS: The authors keeps all subsidiary rights.
LISTING: The book would be listed on major online sites like Amazon.com and the Apple iBook store, but this means little in reality. Don't expect huge sales no matter what they tell you.It's good for your vanity, not the wallet.Cons
UPFRONT COSTS: The author has to pay all publishing costs as determined by the company, and this can be very high.They will also do the hard sell to encourage you to buy the more expensive options.They know how flattery works.
CIP REGISTRATION: Surprisingly, internet self-publishing companies do not seem to provide this service. CIP is important because, apart from the possibility of library sales, it is an indirect (and recorded) assertion of the author’s copyright.
MARKETING: All marketing is controlled by the company and #15a1e0paid for by the author (even when the company ‘offers’ local bookstore placements).
DUBIOUS DEALINGS: Buyer beware. Please research the company before jumping in. Read both the positive and negative reviews. The have some really smooth talkers!
QUALITY: The final product may not be of the quality you expect. Often it's downright poor. (Please research. Google reviews before giving them all your money).
HARASSMENT: Expect relentless harassment by telephone and/or email.
SELLING PRICE (RRP): This is determined by the company and can be much too high for the local market.
PRINT ON DEMAND (POD): These companies don’t stock books, but depend on outsourced (POD) services. The books are printed when there is a buyer. This is another reason for the books being so expensive.
AUTHOR COPIES: Authors will normally receive 5 ‘free’ copies, but can buy more at a discount of between 30 to 60%, but this can be more than the selling price of most books in the market.
FACE TIME: In most cases, don't expect a face-to-face meeting with any professional from the company.
ROYALTY: Don't assume that you will receive high royalties. It can be as low as 10% for books sold on Amazon. Read the fine print. Ask questions.
DIRECT SELLING: The author has little chance of direct selling books due to high costs.
CURRENCY: Most of these companies charge in USD, SGD or AUD. Watch for the high exchange rates.
Photo: Egyptian design with workers (not ancient). (Image from Pixabay.)