So, you’ve decided to write a book? It’s a dream that a lot of people share with you, but few will know what is truly involved in making that dream become a reality. BP MediaWorks is happy to announce that we have added a new service to our business which will walk you through this process step by step. Read on below for a basic overview of what is involved in self-publishing your own book. If you are interested in having us guide you through this process and provide our design expertise for your book layout we are only an email or phone call away. Get in touch with us for your free quote.
The following steps are based on Self-Publishing through Ingram Spark. Ingram Spark is a division of Ingram which is one of the largest book distributors in the world. They distribute to all major retailers including Amazon, Indigo-Chapters, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and more. We can also provide setup services and guidance for other self-publishing services like Amazon’s Create Space.
Write your book! This may seem like an obvious step, but before you worry about anything else just get your vision onto the computer. Have friends or family members read it and provide feedback. Refine the text until you get what you think will be the final revision. The completed product becomes your “manuscript” which you will need to provide in the steps below.
Copyright your manuscript and book title. This can be completed through the Government of Canada Website. As of the time of this writing the cost is $50 CAD for one copyright. If you live outside Canada you will need to research the copyright authority for your place of residence.
Pick what kind of book you are going to publish. This means hardcover, paperback, eBook, or maybe all three. Select a size for your book. Have a look at similar books and get a feel for what style you want. Note the dimensions of the book (8”x8” for example). The size and type of book will dictate your book layout and how large any illustrations need to be. Ingram Spark provides specifications that your illustrator and book layout provider will need. Once you know what size book you’d like we can get together the information that your illustrator will require for bleed dimensions, color format etc.
Assign ISBN numbers for each version of your book. This means one ISBN number for hardcover, one for paperback, and one for eBook etc. An ISBN number is the barcode and numbers you’re probably familiar with seeing on the back of any book in a bookstore. An ISBN tracks everything about your book including the title, author, publishing date, category, and more. The Canadian Government issues ISBN’s for free. You simply need to register on their website and enter information about your book. This can be done through the Library and Archives Canada Website. We can also walk you through this process and assign the numbers for each version of your book.
Story board your book. This is only applicable to illustrated books but it is an important step in those cases. You don’t have to be an artist to do this. If you can draw a stick figure that is more than sufficient. Take some paper and draw out each page of your book. Draw roughly what you’d like on each page to give your illustrator some ideas to go off of. If you want to give the illustrator full artistic license you can do this also but a story board will help ensure your vision really comes to life. When you’re done scan these in so you can share them with your illustrator later. We can assist with providing a story board as well under your guidance.
Illustrate your book. Not every book has illustrations, but if you’re publishing a children’s book this could be the focal point for your entire story. Choosing an illustrator is a big step in the process. There are many companies that will provide illustration services or you can find a freelance artist to work with. If you do decide to work with a free-lance artist I recommend that you establish payment terms up front. Don’t pay for everything on day one. Try to give the artist a deposit and ask for progress updates. Final payment is given before you receive the final full resolution images. Ask the artist to provide the original Photoshop or Illustrator files (depending on what they work with). Finding a freelance illustrator can be done a variety of ways. We personally have used an online art community called Deviant Art. On the Deviant Art forum you can sign up and post in the “Job Offers” section. Outline your project and what you’re looking for. You will most likely end up with many replies from different artists. Pick someone whose art speaks to you. Establish communication with them and ask to view any previous work they’ve completed.
It’s book layout time! This is where we will take the illustrations, your manuscript, your book size specifications, and marry them all together on the computer. A separate layout must be produced for each iteration of your book (different styles or sizes). We will work with you to select a font style for your book and provide layout samples for approval.
Registering on Ingram Spark. This step can be completed much earlier in the process if you want. Once our book layout is complete we will login to your account and upload everything for verification by Ingram. Their experts will review the layout and ensure it will print correctly. You will need to pick pricing and distribution options. Ingram Spark will show you exactly what your commission will be on each book sale. Depending on how much you mark up your book this will likely be around $2 a book to keep you competitive with similar books. You will need to enter in financial information with Ingram Spark so they can deposit your payments. We can walk you through this setup process also.
Once your book is approved by Ingram Spark you simply need to enable it for distribution and sit back and wait. Your book will usually be live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble within a few days. The other stores like Indigo-Chapters will follow suit shortly after. From here we can assist with providing a website and social media package to promote your book. Promotion is very important for self-published books because you don’t have a marketing team working for you. This is where BP MediaWorks can step in. We can provide separate quotes for web design and social media promotions. It is important to submit your book to as many review services as possible. This will help further promote your book. We have a long list of book review and publishing blogs to submit to.
To complete the above book layout and setup services the cost is $500 for a 20-25 page book. $600 for a 26-50 page book. Books greater than 50 pages with illustrations are $750. We can provide custom quotes for special projects that don’t fit one of these categories. If you’re not sure please just ask.