There’s a lot of information and options online for self-publishing a book. With countless options for self-publishing companies, how do you know you’re getting the very best deal? Publishing isn’t something to take lightly; whatever you’ve been working on, be it memoir, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, it should be published with the utmost care and professionalism.
At DiggyPOD (Print on Demand) especially, we aim to be more than just a publishing service. We want to help the writer every step of the way. With comprehensive how-tos, easy-to-understand formatting templates, and eagerly helpful employees, DiggyPOD is the self-published author’s one-stop shop for all things self-publishing and writing. That being said, being so dedicated to assisting authors, whether this is their first book or their fifth, DiggyPOD’s blog seeks to be a sort of publishing guide – to answer any and all questions about the writing process and book publishing.
DiggyPOD, Inc. was founded in 2001, and we pride ourself on the bookstore quality books we print. We print 100,000 books a month, and customer service is at the center of it all.
What is self-publishing?
Self-publishing is the ingenious solution for the publishing industry. In book publishing, or, rather, in traditional publishing, lots of voices aren’t heard. It’s seemingly impossible to get a book published traditionally nowadays. The process is long – writing the book, finding an agent, convincing the agent to represent their work, approaching publishing houses, trying to get those houses to publish their book… the process can go on and on and on. If, by chance, an author finally lands a publishing contract at a publishing house, they’ll only receive royalties (percentage of book sales) for their work.
In comes self-publishing. Self-publishing is, quite literally, for anybody. Anyone who feels they have a story, or stories, inside them to tell can publish a book. As the name implies, the author is the publisher. They decide what the book is about, how it’s written, what the book cover design looks like, and how many copies will be printed (unless it’s an ebook, of course). The writer is in complete and total control over the entire process. There’s no waiting, no second guessing, and no rejection. Acceptance into the publishing world is a key component of the self-publishing industry.
Differences between self-publishing and vanity publishing
Also known as a vanity publisher or subsidy publisher (they are very much the same thing, so don’t be fooled if they claim otherwise), vanity presses are publishing services that authors pay to have their book published, whether this is in the form of paying for the final product or “packages.” They may give the appearance of being selective of who they publish, but the vetting process is usually pretty minimal, because their profits come from author fees. Formal editing and formatting are offered, but for an additional price. Most offer packages beyond just the standard publication and will pressure you into buying them. Fees from a vanity press, after all is said and done, can get as high as the five figure range. This is how they make money, despite making claims that they can successfully sell what they publish.
Some of these presses will try to say they aren’t vanity presses, due to the negative stigma surrounding the term. The term “subsidy” press may be used, but, as previously stated, the terms mean the same thing: trouble for the author.
On the other hand, a true self-publishing company will act as more of a printer than a publisher. There will be no outrageous, extra, or hidden fees – just the printing cost. Self-publishing is actually very cost effective. There will never be a contract, and the author will always remain in total control. From editing and proofreading to cover design to book marketing, the writer/publisher makes all the decisions, which means what the writer ends up paying is entirely their call.
The DiggyPOD printing process
Once the book is written and edited, the author can get a price estimate by using our instant book printing price calculator. This way they know, upfront, what they’ll invest.
In order to begin the process, the Word document will need to be converted to PDF. In order for everything to be printed properly, the author will need to make sure:
- they create one PDF file of the book cover and a separate PDF file for the interior of the book (the writing)
- all fonts are embedded in both files (cover and interior)
- any and all graphics are in high resolution
- and their PDF page size matches the trim size they’ve ordered.
For a detailed description of how to do this, please visit How to Publish a Book. The author can also use our free Word to PDF Conversion Tool for a fast and efficient way to convert their files to print-ready PDFs. We even offer a PDF Checker to ensure that everything the author is submitting is formatted as it should be – making self-publishing a book as smooth and easy as possible.
After the files are converted, the manuscript will be sent to the prepress department. The prepress department will look everything over, ensuring that everything is formatted correctly and the book will print properly. This extensive quality check takes between 45 to 60 minutes, and DiggyPOD will reach out to the author if anything needs fixed. If not, the staff uploads proofs of the manuscript for author approval. It’s integral that the author is involved every step of the way and approves of every move.
Only once the author approves the proof does it go into book production: printing, binding, trimming, and packaging. Then, the book order is on their doorstep and theirs to distribute however they’d like!
If you’re interested in self-publishing and getting into the book industry, DiggyPOD is the way to go. Don’t fall into the trap of vanity presses, and don’t waste years trying to get your book published. Do your research and pick the very best.