Self-publishing providers in comparison

Self-publishing providers in comparison - Find the service provider you trust

Your book is finished and ready for publication - but how? You've already decided against a publisher and in favor of a self-publishing service provider, but the number of providers is large and their services vary. Which one suits you and your book and offers the services you need? We show you what criteria you should look for when comparing self-publishing providers.

What a self-publishing service provider should offer 

Don't be swayed by cheap terms alone. There are many criteria you should consider when choosing a self-publishing service provider. These depend on your own needs and desires. Do you want to finally have your book in your hands or do you want to establish a foothold as an author? How important is it for you to have personal contact with your self-publishing provider and what do you need support with? Get an overview of the services offered and contact the service providers for more specific questions. It is highly recommended that you compare self-publishing providers in detail so that you are satisfied with the way your publication is handled later on.

What types of self-publishing providers are there?

There are providers who produce and distribute both printed books and e-books for authors or those who deal exclusively with e-books - so-called e-book distributors. Before e-books established themselves in the book market, self-publishing providers were often called Print on demand-service provider. Printing to order" is the preferred production method in self-publishing: a book is only printed as soon as a customer orders it from a retailer. E-books currently only have a market share of about six percent in the German book market, so you should also publish a print version.

Large self-publishing service providers in German-speaking countries that distribute both printed books and e-books include tredition, Books on Demand (BoD), epubli, and Amazon Create Space. Pure e-book distributors include Amazon Kindle, Google Books, Apple iBooks and Tolino.

What should you look for when choosing a self-publishing provider?

The services of self-publishing service providers vary. When you compare self-publishing providers, you should check which service provider fits your needs and requirements. Do you need support in layout or marketing? Is personal contact important to you? And which distribution channels does the respective self-publishing provider use? The following is about the different services a service provider can offer and how tredition implements them.

How do self-publishing providers assist with layout?

Typesetting, layout and cover design - that's what you have to do if you want to self-publish. Not every service provider offers assistance, and if they do, you should clarify in advance whether there are any costs involved. Therefore, find out whether your book will even be looked at by the provider and the Typesetting and whether you get proofreading advice. Also, some self-publishing providers have software that will help you with typesetting, layout and Cover design facilitate.

tredition supports you, for example, with a personal and free quality check. Your author advisor checks the manuscript for spelling, typesetting and design errors and gives you suggestions for corrections. There is (almost) always something to correct. Software tools such as automated book typesetting, where you simply select the format and style of the interior section and upload your unformatted Word manuscript, also help. There's also a cover designer with over 100 free premium designs to help with your cover design.

Do self-publishing providers offer personal support?

Self-publishing doesn't always mean that you have to manage all the steps in the publishing process on your own. However, the type and intensity of personal support differs from provider to provider. Therefore, find out whether you can call the respective service provider (free of charge), when the employees are available and whether you have changing or a constant contact person. Is contact only possible by e-mail? And what waiting times do you have to be prepared for?

At tredition, a personal project partner is available to every author before, during and after publication. Whether by phone or by email - your contact person is available from 9 am to 6 pm. A permanent contact person is well informed about your project and can therefore help you quickly and specifically with any questions.

In addition, you can book an editing or proofreading service. Here, tredition works with a team of editors who can check the content of your manuscript. This is not possible with all self-publishing services; in some cases you are responsible for finding an editor yourself.

How do self-publishing vendors assist with marketing?

Whether you sign with a publisher or self-publish your book, you should actively market it. A book can be as good as it is, without sufficient Marketing it gets lost in the mass of publications. Some self-publishing service providers offer support here. When you compare self-publishing service providers, check whether they offer marketing services at all, and if so, which ones. Are these included in the publication price?

tredition offers a range of marketing measures such as free review copies and social media marketing. On average, every book published via tredition is reviewed once in a press medium.

As an author at tredition, you can also create your own author page and present your books. There you can draw attention to events and publish reviews or book trailers.

In addition, you can build an author homepage. In the meantime, there are many providers who offer modular systems.

How do self-publishing vendors assist with distribution?

You can only sell your book successfully if booksellers and readers find out about it. That's why you should check which shops and distribution channels offer your book, whether it has an ISBN, and whether it is suitable for the Booksellers is available for order. If the self-publishing provider lists your book in the directories of the Book Wholesale and is it also available internationally?

Self-publishing providers often have a hard time getting their books into bricks-and-mortar stores. Unlike traditional publishers, most service providers do not have their own sales force. tredition does, however, have a sales force that actively presents the programme to booksellers. This is because the approximately 6,000 book retailers in German-speaking countries know nothing about the new book releases without a sales force and press releases. tredition is also represented internationally in more than 60 countries.

From publishers, booksellers are a Right of return used to. Unsold copies can be returned and refunded. If this right is not given, they are understandably hesitant to include a book in their range. tredition also offers a full right of return and is therefore an exception among all self-publishing providers. In this way, booksellers do not take any risks and are more likely to dare to test the works of a still unknown self-publishing author. Free sample copies can also be viewed so that retailers can decide whether the book should be included in their range. The right of return also applies to readings at which so-called "book tables" are set up.

What are the prices and commissions for self-publishing?

The price of a book publication is a decisive criterion that many authors pay particular attention to when making comparisons. The desire to keep your own costs in check is understandable. But don't forget to check what services are included with self-publishing providers when comparing. For example, if your book is not available for order in bookstores and thus has little chance of selling, a low publishing price won't do you much good. High commissions sound tempting, but they don't help much if the title barely sells. Marketing and sales efforts are crucial to sales.

A publication with tredition costs 149.90 euros. This includes book typesetting, cover designer, a personal project partner as well as marketing and distribution services.

What legal conditions apply to self-publishing providers?

When comparing different self-publishing service providers, check the contract terms, especially the contract duration. With most providers, this is one year and if you miss the cancellation deadline, the contract is automatically extended by another 12 months. A contract with tredition also has a term of one year, but you can cancel monthly thereafter. As with all other contracts, pay attention to the small print and clarify questions before you enter into them.

Bottom line: which is the best self-publishing platform for you?

When comparing self-publishing service providers, you should not only check the commissions, but also the services of the providers. Do you get support with layout or marketing and through which distribution channels does the service provider offer your book? With tredition, you not only have a direct contact person, you also receive a lot of help with typesetting, cover design, marketing and sales, including field sales. Especially for additional services such as marketing or press work, many providers charge high surcharges, so that the total costs are higher in the end. By the way, the comparison portal Trustpilot rates tredition with 4.8 out of 5 points, making tredition the leading self-publishing service provider on Trustpilot. It's up to you to weigh up what you value in your publication.

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