Authors Self-Publishing Best Practices

book image, print on demand printersOnline marketing, print-on-demand printers, and print-on-demand publishers give authors viable options to sell their books successfully. With these available services, the question for authors now is…

What is the best/right option to publish my book?

There are three main areas of the book development process can help you answer the above question.

Print-On-Demand Printer or Print-On-Demand Publisher, (POD)

In addition to the traditional process of submitting your work to a well-known publisher, you can also choose print-on-demand services. Print-on-demand printing services such as Lightning Source, Inc. and Create Space will print the book for you. If you choose a print-on-demand printer, it is best to have a team working with you. A team composed of:

  • e-book/book cover designer
  • proofreader
  • someone to help you with implementing your marketing strategy

Lightning Source, Inc. and Create Space are the most popular POD options among veteran self-publishing authors because they have the above people on their team to help them prepare their books for printing. These POD companies are the preferred choices because of their pricing, and the author retains control of their intellectual property.

Lightning Source is the choice for self-publishing authors that are hopeful to be picked up by a well-known publishing company. This print-on-demand printing company has a reputation of other publishing companies and is known for publishing quality content. A team will be beneficial working when choosing Lightning Source Inc. because they will not offer assistance in the areas listed above.

However, the advantages of Lightning Source are:

  • No minimum print quantity
  • Discounts for bulk orders
  • Author retains control of their intellectual property

Create Space POD is a service provided by Amazon.

This POD source is excellent when you want to

  • print e-books for marketing materials
  • Print other documents that you offer at a nominal fee
  • Mainly offer your books in electronic form

This is not the general option to select if your aim is to transition into a traditional publishing company. Amazon lists all their authors together, and some publishing companies believe Amazon does not require authors to produce quality content. For this reason, some publishing companies reject an author whose material was printed on Create Space first.

Book Cover/Graphics/Illustrations

Authors now can generate a successful income printing only eBook versions of their material. Remember Amanda Hocking? She became a millionaire selling e-books through Amazon. Although this is a viable option, if your book has illustrations, photos, and various graphics, the electronic version may not be the right choice for you. Alternatively, you may consider removing all of the images from the electronic copy.

Formatting your book for e-readers does not often support images and graphics such as lines. If your book’s content needs to be conveyed through the images Create Space, may not be the right print-on-demand option.

There is also the consideration of your book cover. Create Space does have book cover templates but sometimes the covers needs formatting. For this aspect of the publishing process, it might be better to select a professional book/e-book cover designer.

Another reminder here: The book covers helps sell the book, so you want your artwork to draw the audience into the book. Getting a custom design for your book cover is worth the investment.


After your manuscript is written, it is necessary to get an editor to review your book. This person will proof your work and make sure everything is correct. As the author, you know what you intended to write which makes it easy to overlook misspelled words and other sentence structure issues. The editor is a core person to work with you in preparing your book for printing.

You will also need help with marketing services. All authors are responsible for their marketing. However, if you are not familiar with online marketing strategies, it is time efficient to invest in a person who can create a marketing strategy then implement the plan for you.

Another questions that comes up reading all of these team job descriptions is what do I do when I need help with all these main areas?

Print-on-demand publishers may be the right option if you do not have a team. When considering the print-on-demand publishers review the terms to make sure:

  • You will retain control of your work
  • What is/if there is a printing quantity
  • Price they charge for printing
  • Will you receive discounts for bulk orders

As a self-publishing author, it is important to review your print-on-demand options carefully according to your goals and objectives. As you become clear about the purpose of your books, you can use this information to make an informed decision. Having a desire to become an author is not as difficult as it was once. In this high tech age, authors have self-publishing best practices that you can follow to realize your goals so you can hold your printed words in your hand.

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