Publishers online may seem like they have all the advantages. After all, if you are self-publishing, none of them are actively seeking to sell your new book. In fact, your questions and concerns may actually be an inconvenience to the three most familiar publishers online: Createspace.com (Amazon), Nookpress.com (Barnes & Noble), and Lulu.com.
Every newly self-published author has their horror stories about these publishers online. And you can probably believe most of them. But what can you do to prevent the same things from happening to you? Here are three tips to help you avoid the pitfalls of not knowing which publishers online to trust.
1. Legitimate publishers online will never ask you to pay for anything.
They may ask you to pay for copies of your book, and they may offer paid services if you have no experience to layout your own book on their software. But real online publishers will allow you to go through the whole process of self-publishing (including the listing of your book) for free. Your sweat equity is learning the process of self-publishing. These companies will, however, take a substantial percentage from your profits. Comparison shop before you choose an online publisher.
2. Legitimate publishers online will limit where you can sell your books.
Now that you have used their free self-publishing services, you may not be able to sell your books anywhere you please. You will have to sign a contract with any free publishers online that you will only be able to sell your books through them or their outlets. If your first book is precious to you, you will want to be wary of the distribution contracts you sign.
3. Legitimate publishers online do not guarantee sales or where your book is listed.
There are no sales guarantees, obviously. But your book has no guarantee of being found anywhere on an online publisher’s website either. So don’t be surprised if you can’t find your book listing on a large online publisher’s website. And if you can’t find it, neither can anyone else. And they will not give your book any special consideration. Because a real publishing house does not represent you. You can pay for advertising, but that starts to defeat the purpose of self-publishing.
My advice: If you have a book that is very dear to you, do not make it your first book to sell with the online publishers. Instead, set it aside for the time being and write another book. A book that is very short, to the point, and will sell easily. Make it an ebook. Take this book and use it as an exercise to learn which of these online publishers you can trust.
You'll be glad you did.
See also: https://brenthollister.blogspot.com/