Self publishing research

Working notes…

Gareth Brookes: The Power of Small Press – WATCH THIS

A beginners guide to the world of self-publishing

Each format requires an ISBN – e.g. print version, ebook

Advice about distribution

Distribution channels

Advice about PUBLISHING

Indie publishing

Indie publishing

Half of the publishing industry are made of of independent publishers. Look for independent publishers that services your niche. The

London Indie publishers here: . Need to select those that deal with a suitable genre.

Authors/creators get 50% royalties but more involvement needed in terms of marketing.

Dead Star Publishing – UK indie publisher, accepting submissions

Marcosia – UK indie publisher, books need to be at least 40 pages, we will print short form comics digitally, but our focus is on collected editions and long form comics or graphic novels.

List of US indie comic publishers

Question: Is there value going for an indie i.e. what value are they giving above self-publishing?

Digital distribution

Comixology – Was a digital comic platform owned by Amazon, but this appears to have been been demised. The replacement, Amazons Kindle Cloud Reader seems to have issues. One to watch.


As the author/creator, you get to set the retail price.

Stick to a standard format. Keep it simple.

Why self-publish?

The self publishing world is built on recommendations. Readers need to be interested enough to give a book a go.

You need to work out who your audience is.

Printing technology has radically changed. Print on demand means there’s no longer a need to pay for a minimum print run. No more large investments up front. If someone orders a copy inline, they print and ship just the one copy.

Distribution, retail sale codes, no bar code, no ISBN number – none of the codes needed to get into the retail sales channels.

Print on demand and aggregators.

Print on demand – It gives you flexibility and control. You upload the finished artwork in the right format and that gets held by the supplier until they receive an order. There is no minimum print run. No cash flow problems. (US company that ships and prints globally)- A one-stop-shop. Their website is packed full of advice and free resources about not only print of demand but also distribution and direct sales. They get you onto various platforms including Amazon. (UK) – Similar services. Ingram is one of the largest book distributors in in the world, so signing up with them will get the title into the Ingram catalogue and from there into an international database of books in print. This them appears in bookshop databases.

Apple Books for authors – information on the Apple website about how to publish and sell an ebook on Apple Books.

Kindle direct publishing – Self-publish eBooks and paperbacks for free and reach millions of readers on Amazon. There is a section targeted at comics and graphic novels. KDP also offers a print on demand service.

Traditional publishing

A traditional publishing deal – Submit your work with cover note explaining this is what it’s about, send sample. Typically the work needs to be finished. Before the books are out they’re marketing the book to retail and libraries.

The author hands copyright to the publisher.

Typically, the best sellers account for 90% all sales. The remaining 10% makes up 90% of the catalogue and typically books in this category sell about 200 copies per year.

What this means in practice is that traditional publishers don’t have any incentive to market or push books within the 10% of sales range.

What is interesting is that the average number of sales for self-published books that don’t have the marketing might of traditional publishers behind them is also 200.

Once you sign a contract with a publisher, they manage all of the print and marketing process.

List of largest book publishers in the UK

To get a deal with one of the traditional publishers you need an agent. They own the relationships and broker the deal. The approach to an agent is the same. You need to find an agent that represents your type/genre of work.

UK literary agents – a complete list – this article explains how to engage with literary agents and lists the top 50 in the UK.

Typical royalties for ‘average’ author – 10% to 12% per per book for traditional publishing deal verses 40% – 60% for self-publishing (but you need to cover the costs of production)


Three keys to success:

  1. Good content
  2. Good distribution
  3. Good marketing

You have to define what you do.

Where’s your audience? Identify a niche and publish for and to it. Impact points. Catch the attention of Apple or Amazon. Get 20 reviews on Amazon and they’ll pay attention. How do you get them to pay their huge marketing machines on.

What is you distribution – how to you reach your audience?

Where do you get the most value and how do you measure success?

Electronic books allow you to update –

Surround yourself with good people – be brave enough to listen and act. Use the network

Write an article/blog for free

Indie Planet

Most sales through print.

Diamond comic wholesalers



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