Can You Be Proud of Your Book?

It’s easier than ever publish your own book. All you need is a word processing program, a few graphics for the cover, and an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), right? Well, that’s right if you aren’t particularly interested in publishing a book you’ll be proud of in five years.

Books are in print a long time. I recently saw a book that was obviously a do-it-yourself-without-much-research job. The book was hard cover, had a catchy title, and intrigued me enough to open it up. GASP! Only the pages facing right were printed. The left-facing pages were all blank.

I began to read to see if it was a printer error. It was not! The text flowed without any missing words.

I looked at the publisher’s name and yep! it was a do-it-yourself book. I looked at the details (I know most people wouldn’t, but, hey, I’m a publisher) and it lacked conventions the professionally published books have. I began to  wonder how proud this author was of this book after a few years. I have no doubt the author was excited at first, but I wonder how long it took before the major flaws became embarrassing, if not humiliating. (Kind of reminded me of actors who made those “B” movies before becoming stars.)

But, back to the topic. Notice I said major flaws in the book. At Expert Publishing, we strive to create as perfect a book as possible, yet, in spite of all the proofreading by us and the author, there have been typos in some of our books. We missed them, the author missed them, and the author’s family/friends missed them.

I tell our authors we hope the “baby” doesn’t have any birthmarks, but sometimes there are some just because everyone involved is human.

I’ve also seen typos, missing words, etc. in books published by the major publishers, and most people don’t expect that.

Astute authors know what they don’t know and they do research to fill in the holes. I encourage you to look at various publishers and examine and compare what they offer before deciding which publishing option is best for you. You may want to see my post on Coming to Terms with Publishers.

The time to ask yourself, “Will I be proud of my book in five years?” is before you decide which way to publish your book–self-publish, royalty publish, subsidy publish, or equity publish. The cliche about a little knowledge being dangerous rings true when entering the book publishing world, so do your research and make a good choice for you.

Happy writing!

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