Frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to the Self PublishingUS, llc. FAQ section. We have tried to make this popular section as easy to use and understand and as interactive as possible. Questions are divided into categories to make navigating them easy. If you do not see the answer to a question you have about the publishing process, let us know. Questions submitted through the site will be promptly answered and posted in this section for all authors to share. Remember…
What are some good reasons for self-publishing?
Approximately 1% of book proposals sent to a publisher are accepted.
Less stress and you pick your publishing team.
You maintain your rights.
How difficult is it to publish my own book?
There’s quite a bit involved in getting a book published. After writing your manuscript you need to get a designer to format your book, then you need things like ISBNs and you need to find the right print shop. It’s no easy thing to do. We can help with all aspects of the process.
What makes self-publishing an attractive option?
Should I start my own publishing company?
Unless you have years of experience in publishing and the money necessary, I’d advise you to leave the publishing to the experts here at Self Publishing US.
Are there ways to be sure I make money on my book?
If there was a sure way to make money on a book everyone would be doing it. As in everything, it requires marketing and time and getting the right team of pros to help you. There’s no easy way. We at Self Publishing US can at least make the process easier and help.
When my book sells out, does a reprint cost less than the first printing?
Usually the cost is less because there is less setup involved but the savings ultimately depends on how the job was originally done. If your book was printed using a conventional printing press then the printer should at least have the imposed file archived. If it was done On-Demand, that is, using a high end copying machine, then the cost difference would most likely be small.
What is a POD Publisher?
POD refers to “print on demand” which refers to a printing process that uses high end copying machines instead of large printing presses to output books. These machines are geared to doing small numbers of books which would not be cost effective on larger printing presses.
What is a POD Printer?
A POD printer is a printer that has the equipment that can do such work.
What about a Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN)?
An LCCN, or Library of Congress Control Number, is a number that the Library of Congress assigns to titles it’s likely to acquire.
I know that paperback binding is less expensive. Why shouldn't I use it for my children's picture book?
Just think of the type of book this is, a children’s book. It will be handled over and over by the child and a paperback cover will simply not last.
I want my book to be full-color, but it is not a children's book- is that OK?
Normally fiction books are printed in black and white. You can, however, have color in your book but the cost for color will increase the cost of your book. If you are doing a relatively small quantity of books then you can go to an On Demand printer who has a color machine and the cost may not be prohibitive. It depends on what your budget is. An e-book version of your book can have as much color as you want provided the file sent to the publisher is in color.
What is four-color process?
A printing press can only print one color at a time. To create the illusion of color, the printer prints four colors one on top of another. These colors are Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black. The combination of these colors will produce a color image. Cyan and Magenta together will create purples while Magenta and Yellow will create oranges and Cyan and Yellow will create greens. If you look closely at a printed color page you will see it is comprised of a series of dots of varying sizes. These are called “halftone” dots. The smaller the dot, the lighter shade of a color it will create. Combining the four colors I mentioned in varying dot sizes can create a myriad of colors.
What are BISAC codes and where do I get them?
The BISAC Subject Headings List, also known as the BISAC Subject Codes List, is a standard used by many companies throughout the supply chain to categorize books based on topical content. ... The complete BISAC Subject Headings List is available online at no cost for one-to-one look-up.
What is the difference between a cover, a jacket and a casewrap?
A cover is the outer portion of a book which has the pages of a book inside. The cover is usually printed with a thicker material. Some covers are called “hardcover” or “casebound” and are comprised of thicker cardboard that is wrapped in cloth or other material. This is the casewrap. A jacket is a printed piece that is placed over the cover of a book and folded over the front and back cover.
Should I be looking outside the USA. to print my black-and-white book?
How do I get my work copyrighted?
Complete an application. If you want to register your copyright, you must complete an application online or by mail with the United States Copyright Office. ...
Make the required payment. ...
Send in the work you are registering. ...
Wait for your application to be processed.
What about bar codes?
Your printed book should come with a barcode if you plan on selling it through bookstores. If you plan on selling online or privately then they are not necessary. Barcodes, also called Universal Product Code (UPC) can be used for numerous things when scanned such as pricing and inventory control.
What is "text"?
Text refers to the words and letters that appear on a page.
What costs are not included in the Self Publishing estimate?
How do I find the copyright symbol on my computer?
You can type the Copyright © symbol on a PC keyboard you can try one of these methods: Hold down the ALT key and type 0169 on the numeric keypad. To type it on a laptop you may need to Hold down ALT+Fn and type the number 0169 while holding down AL
Why can't I just go to a local printer?
How many books should I print?
What are the different ways I can have my book printed?
There are primarily two methods of printing that you should be concerned with, you can print conventionally using a printing press or digitally using an On Demand printer. For the most part, unless you plan on printing a large quantity of books, your best bet is to print On Demand.
Domestic Printing vs. Printing Overseas: Is there a difference?
What is the difference between a vanity press, a subsidy press, and a packager?
What is a cooperative publisher?
What is on-demand book printing?
Think of your home printer on steroids and you have a large machine that can print and bind books right from a digital file. These machines are capable of outputting short runs at a fraction of the cost that you would pay using an actual printing press. So the setup on these machines is quick and cost effective. Hence the term “On Demand”
What is e-publishing?
E-publishing is the process of creating an e book from your manuscript. Your manuscript, usually a Word document, is selected and “flowed” into a page layout program where it is formatted and then exported to an electronic file. The result is an e book sometimes referred to as an ePub. This file can be view on a number of different devices such as tablets, smart phones and computers.
Are you really a Self Publisher?
Should I get my work copyrighted?
It is a good idea to get your book copyrighted. See earlier in this FAQ for how it is done
ISBN- Where does an ISBN get placed on a book?
The ISBN usually is placed on the copyright page at the beginning of a book along with other pertinent information.
ISBN- What is an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)?
This is a unique number identifier that is assigned to each edition of a book. The ISBN is not only confined to printed material, but is assigned to each version of publication of a book that exists. The same book as an e-book, paperback, hardcover and other edition types would each have a different ISBN.
ISBN- Do I really need my own ISBN?
We need them to identify each book that is published, and each edition of the same book. ISBN also identifies the publisher of the book. It is the standard ID number used to identify books by booksellers, libraries, book wholesalers and distributors.
ISBN- Can't I have someone assign me one of their ISBN's?
ISBN- Where do I buy an ISBN from if I do not live in the United States?
Bowker is the only company in the US authorized to assign ISBN numbers.http://www.bowker.com/products/ISBN-US.html
ISBN- What is the difference between a bar code and an ISBN?
ISBN is used to catalogue a specific book whereas a barcode is used for purposes like pricing and inventory.
ISBN- Do ISBNs have to be assigned to books that are not being sold?
If you plan not selling your book online or privately you don’t need an ISBN.
ISBN- Are different ISBNs used if a book appears in different languages?
Yes. Remember, the ISBN is used to catalogue your book and each language would be a separate version.
ISBN- If the price of the book changes, does the ISBN?
No as long as the text inside hasn’t changed you can use the same ISBN
ISBN- If changing the cover of a book, does a new ISBN have to be assigned?
If the text remains the same there is no need for another ISBN
ISBN- If typos are being corrected, is a new ISBN necessary?
Yes since the new book would be a different edition.
ISBN- Can an ISBN be reused?
An ISBN can only be used for the book it was originally assigned to.
What's the difference between a reprint and a new edition?
A reprint is just that, an exact print of a previous book. A new edition means that there have been substantial changes.
ISBN- If a second edition has the same title as the first, does it keep the same ISBN?
If there are changes in the text, the ISBN must be changed.
ISBN- How are ISBNs assigned to multi-volume works?
There doesn’t have to be a specific sequence between books and other volumes. If you bought a series of ISBNs then you can assign them according to each volume if you so choose.
ISBN- How are ISBNs assigned to books in a seri
There is no correlation between ISBN numbers and any series of books.
ISBN- If an ISBN is assigned in another country, does a US ISBN have to be gotten to sell the book in the US?
No, ISBN is an international standard.
ISBN- I got my ISBN from my printer and now I want to make sure it's in my name, how do I transfer the ISBN?
ISBN- If a spouse or family member passes away, can a relative or surviving spouse use the remaining ISBNs?
ISBN- If an author gets the publishing rights back, does the original publisher's ISBN remain?
ISBN- Do I use the same ISBN on the print book and on the e-book since the content is the same?
Both the print version and the ebook version of your book are totally different things hence, you should get a different ISBN for each.
ISBN- I've heard that the International ISBN Agency, BIC and BISG recommend that every separate eBook format, and every library platform should have its own unique ISBN. Can't a publisher use one ISBN to cover all eBook formats?
No, each version needs its own ISBN.
Why does my eBook (ePub) look different than my book?
Actually, there are two types of ebooks. Reflowable and Fixed Layout. The reflowable ebook will look different than your printed book because the person reading your ebook can adjust the size of the font. So as the font gets bigger, the text shifts to accomodate the larger size and “flows” to the next line or page. Since the position of text varies, there are no contents page, headers, footers or page numbers in this type of ebook. On the other hand, a fixed layout ebook will look exactly like the printed book but it will size to fit the area of the display on the device being used.
What happened to my fonts in my eBook (ePub)?
See the previous question for an explanation.
What is an eBook (or ePub)?
An ebook is an electronic version of your book that can be read on a digital device called an E-Reader. Some devices are dedicated e-readers although most digital devices and computers can use apps that will allow you to read eBooks.
Why do you need an InDesign file to create my eBook? What's wrong with a PDF?
We use InDesign as the program to create ebooks. We take your document and “flow” the text into an Indesign document and make adjustments to format it to your liking and then export it to the ebook format. Where a text document such as Word allows us to modify the fonts and formatting of a document, a PDF is pretty much written in stone and, although there are programs that can modify PDFs, they are limited in what they can do. We can use PDFs to create ebooks it’s just that we are limited to creating “fixed layout” ebooks with them.
How much do you charge for your website design services?
What is a CPSIA line on copyright page for children's books?
This refers to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which specifically targets children’s products.
What is a bleed?
When a sheet of paper goes through a printing press, the sheets can shift slightly from one to the other. In most cases where there is just text, that’s not an issue since any shift will not be noticeable. That’s not the case when you have an image that goes right to the edge of the page. If there’s any amount of shift in the paper going through the press this will be noticeable as a white lin. To compensate for that, printers extend the image slightly beyond the trim size of the book. that way any shift is not visible. This extended image is the “bleed”.
What is a page?
Is white considered a color in printing?
Actually, white can be a color in printing. Paper used for printing paperback books actually is not white and you can actually print white ink in certain cases. In most cases what people are referring to is the non image area of a printed piece.
Should I opt to have a jacket on my children's book or is a casewrap enough?
That depends on how your book is printed. A jacket can be used on a soft cover book whereas a casewrap would be for a hard bound book also called a casebound book.
What trim size should I use?
There are many standard trim sizes available many of which are common for certain types of books. The number of books you plan on printing will come into play when determining trim size. If you plan on printing large quantities of books then you would most likely consider a smaller trim size to cut costs. Check with us to find out what is most cost effective.
How do I pay you? Is it secure?
What type of files will I receive when I order eBook conversion?
When your book is converted to an Ebook you will be supplied with an Epub file which is the industry standard for Ebooks. Amazon uses a different format for their Ebooks but that is not an issue since they will automatically
convert any supplied Epub file to their format.
What is trim size?
Trim size is the final size that a book is cut to.