Sunday, December 16, 2007

Publisher Services Offers a Road Map for Independent Self-Publishers

With the advancement of desktop publishing software and printing technologies, authors are now empowered to make their book publishing dreams a reality. However, many are unaware of all production and marketing challenges which arise once the actual writing process has been completed. Despite the dramatic increase in the number of small independent publishers, very few titles actually get picked up by a national retailer and an even smaller percent of independent publishers ever turn a profit. Publisher Services, a division of Bar Code Graphics, now provides packages which make the publishing process more understandable and affordable for independent publishers.

Included with an ISBN assignment, Publisher Services provides a road map of the required publishing components, ranging from copyright registration to book marketing. In order for self-publishers to establish realistic expectations for their publishing endeavor, it is imperative that they understand all elements involved in book publishing. Once a publisher defines the scope of their project, Publisher Service offers various programs enabling direct to consumer sales or traditional book distribution models.

The vast majority of today's self-publishers can expect to make a profit only through direct to consumer sales, due to the relatively high percentage (45-55%) which would traditionally go towards a book distributor or reseller. Consider the basic math of the situation for a new self-publisher who has decided to utilize distribution channels to access the major chains; for 100 printed copies of a 100 page (b/w) book, production cost is about $5.00 a piece, so unless a publisher sets the price at $15 or more, there is minimal profit in sight. In the end a self-publisher is going to have to heavily promote and market a book on their own, but lose half their cost just to distribution.

Print on demand publishing is an accessible and tempting tactic in this new style of bookselling, but is still an expensive option. Although many online solutions dangle large distribution channels to prospects, the unit cost per single book production is simply too high to make any tangible profit. The self-publisher's alternative is to print a realistic amount of copies and reach out directly to all viable markets.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Well put Brian

At, we start with the assumption "your book is your business card" and assume that the vast majority of authors will not get rich from selling books alone.

Everyday, I talk to authors who are investigating self publishing and other alternatives, wondering where the profit lies, while they should be focused on how to leverage their status of author and expert.

I'll point my readers at here for this well written explanation


Warren Whitlock
Book Marketing Strategist