Aguest post for Writers Write

As an author, self-publishing gives you the independence to make your book your way. This doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone, though. You’re likely not a trained editor, proof-reader, book designer, or book production specialist. You shouldn’t attempt to both write and publish your book using your skills alone.

As a layman, a self-published book may appear acceptable to you. If it is your own book, flawless even. But professionals can spot signs of amateur work that may not be obvious to you. We know that a lack of know-how can have disastrous results. Bad editing, poor design, and terrible covers are a few examples of how things can go wrong.

Avoid these pitfalls by doing your research first. Find out exactly what it involves. Shop around. Compare the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of various avenues.

Here are five ways to identify whether a self-publishing service provider is any good:

1. Expertise

The self-publishing team working on your book will have years of industry experience behind them. Each member brings their knowledge and skills to the table.

They will be able to show you a portfolio of their previous work. They’ll have testimonials from their clients. That’s how you will know if they are experts.

2. Guidance

They will provide you with advice along the way. Being able to access this sort of insider information is a huge advantage. Otherwise, you’re isolated from self-publishing industry norms and trends.

3. Services

A one-stop self-publishing shop will offer you all the services you need to publish your book. Specialists provide these services, which ensures a high standard of work. Your book is project-managed through a quality control process.

A standard publication will usually include:

  1. text editing
  2. cover design
  3. design and layout of the contents
  4. proofreading
  5. print management
  6. e-book conversion services

4. Links

They will be able to offer or contract all necessary services for you. They will have a list of professionals who have done previous jobs for them, who are tried-and-tested.

They’ll also have relationships with book printers. Having preferred suppliers allows them to negotiate all sorts of things that you may not be able to in the self-publishing business. They’ll know which printers are best for certain types of books.

5. Quality

Many people hold the opinion that self-published books are always inferior. Not so if you have the right help. Expertise, knowledge of the market and quality control processes ensure that your book will be indistinguishable from one published the traditional way. If your book stands out, it will be for the right reasons!