What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing, as the name suggests, is the publication of a book by its author. It does not involve an established publisher. The author controls and is responsible for all the activities involved in publishing the work – editing, design, formats, price, distribution, sales and marketing, and promotion.
Why should an author self-publish?
You write because you want to share your thoughts and opinions with a large number of people. The traditional publishing process is a long one and often manuscripts are evaluated with certain set parameters. It also may take a long time for commissioning editors to evaluate your manuscript. You would need to submit your manuscript to various publishing houses. You may also find that editors and publishers do not share your perspective, vision and enthusiasm. This calls for you to take control. Take the initiative and use the resources available to self-publish, is the new mantra.
Technology and resources like print-on-demand, e-commerce and eBooks have now made it possible for individuals to tell their stories the way they want to tell them, without any interference from publishing professionals who have their own rules. Simply put – self-publishing puts the power in your hands, authors!
Does the author have to bear all expenses in self-publishing?
Yes. One of the reasons the author retains control in the self-publishing scenario is that he/she becomes the publisher of his/her own work, which entails incurring all the associated expenses.
Should one expect to spend a large amount of money on self-publishing a book?
Not necessarily. New technologies like print-on-demand and the eBook have actually reduced expenses. You no longer have to invest in printing a large number of copies. You can focus your energy and budget on improving the quality of your work and then promoting it.
What is the role of AuthorsUpFront?
AuthorsUpFront (AUF) enables you to publish and sell your creative works in book and eBook form. Our aim is to simplify your self-publishing process, making it a pleasant experience that you would consider repeating. AUF provides a range of services such as editing, design, production, eBook creation, marketing, distribution and even crowdfunding. You can choose your preferences and be assured that AUF will be by your side as you go through the steps of becoming a published author.
Does the author really have creative control over a book with AuthorsUpFront?
We at AUF believe that authors tell their stories best, and need only a little help from outside agents. Our objective is to facilitate the process of becoming an author. We provide a range of services to simplify a writer’s work. We do offer our suggestions and opinions when asked for, but we do not interfere in the author’s creative process.
Who owns the copyright when I publish with AuthorsUpFront?
You are the publisher when you publish with us. We are just facilitators. The copyright belongs to the author/s when they publish using AUF services.
Do I need to register the copyright?
Copyright is automatic ,as you are the creator of the work. However, it is always recommended that you register the copyright. It makes it easier for you to take legal action and seek damages in case of infringement. AUF can help you register your copyright.
Is copyright protection different from copyright registration?
As explained above, copyright is automatically assigned to the creator of the work. Copyright registration is a process through which you further secure and validate your rights over the manuscript. It makes it easier for you to take legal action and seek damages in case of infringement.
How do I obtain permission to use photographs, illustrations, quotes or references?
All photos, illustrations, quotes, text, information or anything not created by you is copyright protected and you need to obtain permission from the author, photographer, publisher or copyright holder to use it in your book. You must assume that anything that you have not created is copyright protected – just as your work is. AUF will help you identify and connect with the copyright holder. AUF will also provide necessary guidance and direction in seeking permission for use.
Can AuthorsUpFront help me with legal advice?
AUF does not directly provide legal advice, but we can connect authors with experts on legal matters. These experts will provide the necessary advice.
Do I have to use AUF’s editorial services?
Yes. If you are signed up with AUF, you must use AUF’s experienced and dynamic editorial services.
Do I have the option to accept/reject editorial suggestions?
Yes. Our editorial suggestions are exactly those – suggestions. It is up to you as a self-publishing author to accept them or not.
Why is copyediting needed?
When you write, you are too close to your work, and while it makes the work more personal, powerful and engaged, it can also make it difficult for you to spot problem areas in the structure, narrative flow, language and presentation. That is where our experienced copyeditors come in – they have enough distance from your work to look at it with objectivity and a keen eye to fine-tune it to perfection.
Should the author do the final proofreading before the book goes into print?
Absolutely. The author must always read the entire proof at least once before it goes into print to make sure that it is as desired in the final copy.
Do you review the book and provide an assessment?
Yes. We do provide this service, especially for first-time authors who might want a second opinion on their manuscript.
Why do I need an ISBN?
Every published book has a unique identification number – an International Standard Book Number, or ISBN. Once it is generated by the publisher/self-publishing author, circulated in the book market worldwide and fed into various retail systems, the book can be identified, ordered and purchased anywhere in the world. In the age of eBooks, the ISBN – which allows for quick and definite identification of a book – has become even more important.
Why does the eBook have a different ISBN from the print version?
Technically, every new edition of a book has to have a different ISBN. The eBook is another edition of the same title, and since it will be ordered and purchased online – i.e., through very different channels from the print book – it must carry a different ISBN.
What is print-on-demand?
Print-on-demand or POD, as it is commonly known, is game-changing technology that allows us to print only when there is demand, and to print the exact number of copies ordered/needed to meet that demand, be it for 1 copy or 100. As a result, we need not maintain an inventory, and stocks do not run the risk of being stored in a warehouse where they could get damaged.
Why is POD important for self-publishing authors?
For self-publishing authors who have to fund the publishing process of their book themselves, POD is a big help. With POD you no longer have to print a huge stock, which is cost-intensive, and then need to store copies until they are sold, if ever. You can use the money you save to market your book better. In other words, POD puts the controls back in your hands.
Is there any situation in which offset printing would be preferred over digital printing/POD?
The cost per copy with digital printing would still be higher than what you will get by printing 1000 copies with offset. But when it comes to short run printing or one-off printing, digital printing wins in terms of the total investment involved. In other words, if you want to choose a print run higher than 300 copies, we would advise you to opt for offset printing.
Also, if yours is a 4-colour photo book, digital printing costs would be very high, and we would advise you to opt for offset printing.
What are EPUB and mobi?
Most e-retailers – like Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble – sell eBooks in a file format known as EPUB. Your books will be converted into EPUB format from PDF files to make them sales ready for e-retailers. Amazon uses a different file format called .mobi or .azw for its Kindle devices.
What do I need to give you to make an eBook?
You need to provide us with a high resolution PDF file of the inside pages of the book. You also need to provide us with the high resolution PDF file of the cover.
How are eBooks priced? So I have a say in setting the cost?
You have full freedom in deciding the eBook price. Our team will recommend a certain pricing range based on their experience and understanding of the market. The final decision rests with the author.
eBook piracy worries me and people may share my book illegally…
All the major retailers have sophisticated technology that does not allow sharing of books. Some e-retailers allow lending of eBooks, but that is optional. eBooks on sophisticated devices and applications cannot be shared. AUF takes all precautions to ensure that eBooks are sold only from platforms that offer piracy and sharing protection.