Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Australia
If you’re a self-published author in Australia, it doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on some of the biggest book markets in the world!
Self-publishing in Australia is increasingly becoming a popular option for many authors and writers. Self-publishing allows you to retain full control of your book or manuscript. However, when you self-publish, it means that you’re also responsible for every aspect of your book from creation, publishing, and marketing.
Companies such as Ingram Spark and Amazon have opened up book markets throughout the world and made self-publishing more accessible than ever before if there is one thing that any self-published author should do its plan out the entire process.
Start by researching your market
If you haven’t started writing your book yet, start by doing some research. Have a look at what sort of similar books are already out there, and if there is already a lot that is similar to yours, then think how will mine be different?
There aren’t many books like yours? Great! But why isn’t there? Have you discovered a niche market, or is there simply no demand for the topic? Even the best prepared and written books can sit on shelves gathering dust with no sales.
If you think you have identified a market for your book and you understand the market, then you’re ready to move on to the next stage of the process. Writing the book.
Polish your manuscript
If you have written your manuscript, it’s time to move on to the next stage of the process. Having someone evaluate or edit your manuscript. There are a variety of different editing steps that you can choose from, and we discussed them in more detail on our professional editing services page.
Some authors prefer to have beta-readers or trusted friends and family read their manuscripts before heading to the editing stage. This stage is entirely up to you. There are a variety of different editorial services, and each of them will have their level of costs.
Self-publish, hybrid publishing, or traditional publishing?
Now is where you’re going to need to make some serious choices. If you choose to self-publish, you’re responsible for organising and financing every aspect of your book. If you have the time and ability, there are several parts of this process you can complete yourself. It’s not easy to self-publish, but it can be extremely rewarding and also means that you retain the rights to your book along with any royalties it makes.
The next option many people consider is hybrid publishers or vanity publishers. These companies take care of everything for you, but this service comes at a price, and you need to pay for it. Not only do you have to pay an upfront payment (anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000) per book, but you also lose the rights to your book for a certain period and a percentage of your royalties.
Some hybrid or vanity publishers are great. They’ll go above and beyond to see their authors succeed, but others will simply publish the book, and that’s it. It’s very important that you consider all your options and do a lot of research before handing over any money to a hybrid or vanity publisher.
The final option is through a traditional publisher. You need to follow their submittal guidelines and submit your manuscript. If they’re interested, they’ll get back to you with an offer. With limited amounts of spaces, it can be a very long and hard road trying to find a traditional publisher.
If you choose the self-publishing route, what’s next?
If you are planning on self-publishing, you’ll need to focus on:
- Planning and Budgets
- Production and Printing
- Marketing and Promotion
- International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)
Planning and Budget
Start by planning out what you’re going to spend on each stage of the process. This will depend a lot on what sort of book you’re planning on writing. Children’s books require illustrations but are a lot shorter. It’ll cost more for illustrations, but editing and proofreading will be cheaper. Longer fiction books don’t require illustrations, but they will cost a lot more for editing and formatting.
There are a lot of things you can do yourself, but it’s important to consider that your book is an investment. If you invest in it and do the hard work, it’ll pay a dividend in sales. Things like a professional cover, professional book formatting and layout, and professional proofreading and editing are an investment in a premium finished product.
Where are you planning on selling your book? Will it be Print On Demand (POD) through sites such as Amazon or Ingram Spark, or through bookstores? Are you going to sell eBooks as well as print books? POD takes care of shipping and printing. They’ll take out there costs first, and anything left over is your royalty. You can choose to price higher or lower.
The other option is to take your finished file to a printer and do print runs of your book and manage your distribution yourself. The more books you order, the cheaper the overall price per book will be.
Production and Printing
There are several different stages in the production area, which include:
- Editing and Proofreading – It’s one of the biggest areas that self-published authors fail to recognize. Professional editing will leave you with a polished and perfected end product that readers will appreciate. Remember, you get what you pay for with editing.
- Cover Design – The old saying ‘don’t judge a book by the cover’ may be true, but a lot of people will pick up a book or click on a book entirely based on the cover. There are a variety of different professional cover design companies available, ranging from $100 – $1,000 per cover.
- Formatting/Layout/Typesetting – Whatever you know it as formatting your interior files is a very important part of self-publishing. Professional formatting is an easy way to set your book apart from other authors. Your printer may prefer a certain file type, and many online distributors have their preferences.
- Marketing and Promotion – This is another area where things can get expensive, depending on what you’re looking for. You can take your completed book to a marketing agency and let them take care of everything for you or you can do it yourself. Otherwise, you can create your social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, and many more. You can also build your websites and sell your books directly to clients.
International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)
Every book or publisher (which is you if you’re self-published) is required to obtain an ISBN and also to lodge their books with the National Library of Australia, and in Victoria, with the State Library of Victoria. Once you register a title to an ISBN, it can’t be changed. If you want to find out more about ISBNs, then visit the Thorpe-Bowker Australia website.
If you want to find out more about self-publishing in Australia, or you are looking for formatting services, editing services, or writing services in Australia, then don’t hesitate to contact us directly at Author Services Australia. We have years of experience helping self-published authors successfully publish their books.