The ranks of some of the most well-known authors, including Deepak Chopra, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Anais Nin. In fact, you probably have several self-published titles in your own library. What Color is Your Parachute by a course in miracles author and Irma Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking are two examples.
When you self-publish, there are two viable possibilities. One is to do all the work yourself. This is possible, but the learning curve can be steep. The other possibility is to work with a company that will provide you with a number of services that will facilitate the task of getting your book out into the world. The learning curve here is minimal.
If you’ve decided to work with a book-packager, there are certain things you should expect from the publishing process. A book-packager should allow you to retain full control of the text, the design and the illustrations, and keep 100% of the cover price for every sale. Think of the book-packager as a hired freelancer. You order a service, contract a fee, and when your book is produced, their job, and your obligation, are finished. Although lines are sometimes blurred these days with book-packagers taking on the role of agent as well, a reputable service will have clear outlines for each of their services available.
Sometimes, clients ask if book packaging is something a printer can provide. The answer is no. Printers work on the very technical and specific portion of your book’s production–turning electronic files into a printed book. They do not specialize in design, or the finer points of book marketing (often dealt with in the book design stage), which should dictate certain choices make about the look of your book. Ultimately, the book-packager’s job is to be the expert in the middle who makes sure you have considered all the options and decided on each element before the project goes to press. Your choices need to be translated into the language the printer needs to produce the book you dream of.