10 practical applications of self-publishing platforms you probably didn’t know about
In the past, you could only publish your book through a publisher. Nowadays you can easily publish it yourself. It’s easy, it’s cheap and anyone can do it. There are many examples of books that were rejected by a publisher that ended up being a huge success. The self-publishing platforms such as kdp.amazon.com offer many opportunities and ensure that you can simply offer your book on Amazon.com and at other (online) bookstores. In this blog, some useful tips & tricks and functions of these self-publishing platforms that you probably didn’t know about.
- Printing one book is easy and usually costs no more than a few dollars. You upload your PDF, add a cover (homemade if necessary) and a few days later the first copy of your book is on your doormat!
- Self-publishing platforms work with Printing On Demand (POD), which means that you can print each book individually. That is slightly more expensive per book compared to traditional printing, but you do not need a large investment, plus you save on storage and transport costs, plus it is much more flexible. There are a number of other benefits that are less well known, which I will explain below.
- Print the first copy of your book long before it is actually finished, if necessary with many blank pages. Use that sample copy as a PR moment: the first photo of you with your book.
- I consider this first paper version of my book as a great way to make my last edits. Everything looks different on paper and you discover mistakes that you had overlooked on the screen.
- Make a ‘notebook’ for yourself with only the titles of your chapters/sections and lots of white space in between. Print this book and use it to take notes on what you want in which chapter. This way your brainstorm does not have to take place behind the computer, but you can do it at a time and place where your creativity works best.
- Because it is printed via POD, each printed book can be different or better than the previous one. Correct mistakes in between, and add things such as ‘frequently asked questions’, reader reactions and reviews.
- You can also use this option as a sales tool. If an organization buys a larger number of books from you, say more than 50, you can add a special page for them in your book. For example, a foreword written by their director, or your tips for this organization, or you can print the company logo on the cover or in the book. You just need to fit this edit into the PDF and upload this new version to the self-publishing platform you’re working with.
- You can easily design a workbook yourself, for example in Canva, and upload it to the self-publishing platform for a nice addition to an existing book.
- You can easily calculate the cost price and margin of your book online in advance, while you are uploading your book to KDP. For an impression of these numbers check here.
- Tip: Preferably choose from the available standard sizes for your book, which is more convenient and cheaper, because optimal use is made of paper and all distribution systems (boxes, pallets, envelopes, etc.) are geared to this.
Even if you do try to find a publisher, I would advise you to start this self-publishing process in advance. It’s helpful during the writing and editing process, you learn a lot from it, it’s super fun to do and you have a Plan B in case you don’t find a publisher (which really is very likely).
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