18 February 2008

Self-published books

I've taken a look at a number of self-published books lately. As always they vary in quality hugely. There is often a good reason why a book has not been taken up by a publisher and before going ahead with the expense and agony entailed in trying to get your book out there yourself there should be as much consulting and consideration of feedback before going ahead. I'd never say 'don't do it' because there have been some great successes in self-publishing, people who have gone on to have successful publishing businesses, but you've got to do your homework and make it the best it can possibly be.
Apart from the quality of the writing/illustration/production there are also some basics of publishing that seem to be missed along the way by DIY publishers.
Like the picture book I received yesterday that certainly had its good points. It looked inviting, it was quite simply written (though not a story line I cared for myself - I won't make a judgement about if others would enjoy it). However the most basic information was missing - no copyright page at all - no information about who had published it, when, where, or how one could contact them if you did want to get more copies. The ambitious placement of pricing for NZ, US and UK is quite redundant if no one can trace where to obtain it from. A self-published novel I read on the same day had a copyright page but again no information about the publisher, or any contact details.
So if you're going down the track of publishing your own book you have to get the basics right, apart from whether your book is actually worth publishing or not. If you want to sell then you have to make it possible for people to contact you. Maybe your book really is great and a major publisher would like to pick it up... or a bookseller would like to stock it... but you're out of luck because they don't know how to find you. Let's get professional!

1 comment:

Annie said...

Have you seen this on Read Roger?
http://www.hbook.com/blog/2008/02/you-can-buy-printer-but-can-you-buy.html