Where can I go to self-publish a book?
March 23, 2008 6:53 PM   Subscribe

What are some places online where I can go to self-publish a book. I'm aware of lulu.com, but I'm wondering if there are some alternatives out there.
posted by Proginoskes to Work & Money (14 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Blurb.com is like Lulu, except they don't offer editorial services.
I have seen books made from both services, and they are pretty comparable, but Blurb offers better covers for hardbacks.

I think there is another service like blurb and lulu, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, sorry.
posted by gemmy at 7:27 PM on March 23, 2008

Check out Instant Publisher. The other big ones are iUniverse and Xlibris.
posted by mattbucher at 7:33 PM on March 23, 2008

I just want to say, because it's in your interest, that many self-publishing operations offer little in support of the writer after publication. I know several writers, mainly in mystery and romance novel categories, who were thinking of self-publishing and decided to just "for the sake of novelty" send their manuscripts to editors. One of them ended up getting a four-book deal with Harlequin. While that may not wet a lot of people's whistles, I think it's admirable that she tried. There are thousands of publishers in this country and, if you did your homework you might find one or several that would be interested in your book. I knew a quirky guy in college that I wish I were still in contact with that I read about years later had been shortlisted for a major poetry award; when we were in college and I worked in the mailroom, I was constantly putting letters from vanity presses in his mailbox. I am happy to see people reach out with courage, rather than money.
posted by parmanparman at 7:43 PM on March 23, 2008

Amazon.com has BookSurge and CreateSpace. I've used BookSurge and am trying to use CreateSpace, but I'm having the devil of a time getting the PDFs uploaded (and I'm convinced it isn't my fault). The product is a good one when completed.
posted by bryon at 7:59 PM on March 23, 2008

Also, do read this previous Ask MeFi for some more places.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:10 PM on March 23, 2008

I haven't used it (or really explored the website in depth), but I've had Wordclay ('DIY self-publishing for authors') bookmarked for months. I can't recommend it, but you might be interested in seeing if it's the sort of thing you're looking for.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:12 PM on March 23, 2008

...and Blurb has a "Set Your Price" that is open to authors outside of the US, just as they promised for Q1. The program to allow authors to share in the profits of sales of their books is in place as of early March 2008.
posted by seawallrunner at 8:12 PM on March 23, 2008

Here's a list of the major print-on-demand publishers (not endorsing all of these)

Author House
Book Locker (developed by the people at Writer's Weekly to be especially author-friendly)

I have seen books made from both services, and they are pretty comparable,

All of these places use the same printer (Lightning Source).
posted by winston at 8:23 PM on March 23, 2008

Friend of mine just used Xulon (I think they are mostly for Christian books tho.)
posted by konolia at 8:35 PM on March 23, 2008

www.bookcrossing.com have an authorcrossing feature now.

If you join up, please mention that LyzzyBee sent you there!

Good luck.
posted by LyzzyBee at 2:41 AM on March 24, 2008

posted by TheRaven at 5:29 AM on March 24, 2008

I used iUniverse for my book (self-linky). I considered going the standard publisher route, but I wrote the book in high school and wanted to get it out by the time I graduated, which gave me all of six months. Self-publishing through a digital press was the only way to go in that respect, and since it didn't require a big outlay of cash at the outset, cost wasn't really an issue.

It's true that you're really not going to get any support from a self-publisher; you're one your own. I'd suggest shopping your book around to agents and publishers a little bit first, but if you really want to see your name in print, or if you know that your book is going to have a really small audience (a family history, perhaps), the digital press self-publishers aren't a bad way to go. I ended up selling my book on consignment and taking orders for it, and probably ended up moving 800-1000 copies. Not enough to retire on, by any means, but not a bad income source for a high school senior.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:35 AM on March 24, 2008

(note that BookCrossing's AuthorCrossing feature is actually WordClay)
posted by winston at 6:34 PM on March 24, 2008

Amazon's BookSurge, and also check out Aiming at Amazon, since it's probably easier to market a self-published book online than to get brick-and-mortar chains to stock it.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:51 PM on March 25, 2008

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