Savvy Solutions: When It’s A Good Idea to Self-Publish

Great resources for aspiring book authors

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EditorQ&AI’ve been trying to print a children’s book. I don’t want to do the traditional method of going through a publishing company. I’m looking for companies that can print books in small quantities.

–K. B.

Self-publishing is a good idea. Contact the Small Publishers Association of North America, a nonprofit trade association supporting authors and independent publishers. Writers Write is devoted to offering resources and industry links not only in self-publishing but also in e-publishing, which allows customers to download a book to a computer. Read Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Para Publishing; $19.95) and How to Succeed in the Publishing Game (Triple Crown Publications; $20) by Vickie M. Stringer and Mia McPherson. Also check out our February 2007 feature “The Write Way to Grow” on Lastly, don’t forget to maintain a network in the children’s literature field. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators offers a variety of services to members who write, illustrate, or share a vital interest in the genre.

This article originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

  • I have known several people who have self-published their books with success. They key is to utiize marketing and public relations to the best of your ability to get people to identify with your and your book.

  • I’ve self-published several books. (My newest was a book deal). There are a lot of companies who will make you think you’re self-publishing, but they actually own your book and pay royalties (the info in the article BE referenced has misinformation if it’s the one I remember. The name on the back of the book as the publisher is the owner. Here is a link to an excellent blog that will prevent rip-offs

    The book I recommend is by Marilyn Ross, The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing. She leaves nothing out. Dan’s book has good info but he spends a lot of time selling his consulting services and that turned me off.

    For print on demand, I use The quality is excellent and I can print one, two, hundreds, whatever I want. It costs about $75.00 to get your book uploaded to their system. Ingram Book Company (the largest book wholesale distributor in the world) owns them so that makes it easy for bookstores to order your book when someone comes in wanting it…including when Amazon wants it.

    Best advice: hire an editor/proofreader, get professional cover design, don’t print more than 100 without an order, don’t ship without being paid first, create a killer marketing plan. Marketing your book is way harder than getting it done.

  • I would have to agree with Torrey. I have known several successful self-published authors. Also, most authors who have contracts with very large publishers would confirm that you will still be responsible for most of the marketing and publicity associated with your book….unless of course, you are already a well-known, best-selling author! 😉 All the best to you and your endeavors.

  • Jonathan Paris

    I have to agree with Torrey as well. Thanks for sharing your valuable information. I went through a long process when I published my first book. But now I publish eBooks and it doesn’t cost me that much and I reach millions of people on the Internet. I didn’t understand the concept of eBook until I bought a step-by-step training course at It has been really helpful and I saved a lot of time!

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