Book publishing is a tough topic. Where do you begin if you want to publish a book? I certainly had no clue. Publishing a book sounds like a great idea but after the stellar idea- then what? I asked around but did not get very far. Some people said hire an agent, while other people just wished me good luck! My next avenue of research took me to the Internet. There was plenty of information there, but as you can guess there was way too much and nothing to indicate whether the information was useful or not. I spent many hours digging through this information trying to determine what was going to be the best avenue for Kari and me. The first hurdle is to determine whether to go down the traditional publishing route or the self-publishing avenue. My gut reaction was that self-publishing was going to be too difficult, but after a lot of research, self-publishing seemed like a great choice for us. Self-publishing can be an overwhelming task for one person but having a partner makes it a very manageable option.
For those people who are not familiar with self-publishing, there are really two options: first, completely creating the book yourself through one of the various e-book options or engaging a company that handles the production for you. In both cases, all the marketing is completely up to you. You can of course take advantage of the extra marketing services offered by some of these companies. So the next hurdle, we faced was to find a self-publishing company as our book was not going to be an e-version. Searching through the sea of publishers on the Internet was like searching for a needle in a haystack. How do you know who is good, reliable, trustworthy, or legitimate? I started reading reviews of multiple companies. This was tough because most people only write a review when they have had a horrible experience. There weren’t many positive reviews of anyone. So I started to weed through these negative reviews and try to decipher exactly what the issues were. Was it the reviewer who was at fault or was it the publishing company? Following this approach and by reviewing each company’s actual website, I was able to narrow the scope down to 4 possibilities. I followed this up with phone calls to each company. As you can imagine, some companies never got back to me or failed to send the requested information. This actually made the process so much easier. I narrowed down our options by engaging the company that actually answered their phone, answered all my questions, sent additional information and followed up to ensure that all my questions were answered. I know what you are thinking, sounds like customer service 101 but many companies fail miserably at this! The company had a variety of options to choose from depending on what you wanted to do and their prices were reasonable (People, it actually costs you to self-publish!)
We are happy to report that we have been extremely happy with our final choice, DogEar Publishing and would recommend the company to other authors. My final thought – do your homework, there are many companies out there that promise you the moon and fail to deliver. Publishing a book is not for the faint of heart, it is a ton of work but oh so rewarding when you get it right!