Lately it seems like every time you turn around another book company has added Print-on-Demand (POD) as one of their services. For example, Borders and Barnes and Noble have dipped their toes in the POD pool as self publishing has become more popular than ever. But the most well-known sites for POD services are Lulu and CreateSpace. Personally, I prefer CreateSpace because they have a higher quality paper stock than Lulu, the costs to print your books are lower, and you are automatically listed on Amazon.com. But regardless of which site you choose, it now easy to self published your book without taking out a loan or even opening up your wallet.
What’s great about Lulu and CreateSpace is that they both offer free ISBN numbers for your book. Lulu or CreateSpace will be listed as the publisher but if you plan to only sell your book online this won’t be a problem for you. If you do plan to have your book in book stores and you decide to use one of the free ISBN numbers; you still can get your book on the distribution list. Having your book listed with a distributor is the key to getting your book in stores like Barnes and Noble. However, since you are not listed as the publisher you have to go through Lulu or CreateSpace. They offer free distribution services to their customers, but you won’t be able to contact the distributor directly since you are not the official publisher.
Another ways to cut your self-publishing cost to zilch is by typesetting your book yourself. This process alone can save you hundreds of dollars. There are many templates available for you to download for free. To find the right template for you, do a Google search for free typeset template and include your book size in the search. For example, if your book trim size is “6×9”, do a Google search for “6×9 typeset template.” Once you find a layout template, save it to a Word document and then copy and paste your manuscript into the document. Your manuscript margins will automatically change to the correct layout format. Afterwards look over your document thoroughly for any format corrections needed.
Both Lulu and CreateSpace offer a free book cover design wizard that walks through the steps of creating a book cover. Please note, that the book cover templates are not going to win any awards but with a little creativity and a great stock photo you can customize the available template to fit your needs. Aim for a book cover design that allows the most customization including one that allows you to include a picture. By adding a picture to your cover you make your book a more sellable product library genesis.
Once you have your book cover and inside layout design completed, you can submit your book to CreateSpace or Lulu. The process is simple, free and both website take you through the process step-by-step. Once the process is completed, add the link your website and your ready to sell your book online.
Although this tutorial is about ways you can publish your book for free, the one place you shouldn’t cut cost is the editing process. You should definitely have a professional editor look over your book for content and grammatical errors. Having a book riddled with errors can be very embarrassing for authors. Editors typically charge between 2 to 4 dollars per page. Ask one of your author-friends for referrals and you might even get a discounted price. You can also try elance.com, guru.com, and odesk.com, where you can negotiate a great price for book editing services.
However, if you decided to not have your book professionally edited, ask friends, an English professor at your local community college, or someone from your writing group to look over your book before submitting your file to a POD company.
By doing your own layout for your book, creating your own book cover, and using one of the free ISBN numbers from CreateSpace or Lulu, you can quickly self-published your book without even opening your wallet.