For authors who are self-publishing, it is important to keep up with the changes in the industry so that you can make the best decisions for publishing and promoting your book. The best way to succeed as an author is to be informed about what options you have and how different publishing avenues offer the most value to reaching your publishing goals. Here are the four most recent changes in the self-publishing world this summer that could affect how and where is the best place to publish your book.
KDP PRINT PRICING
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) through Amazon has always been one of the least expensive publishers for ordering author copies because of their reasonable print costs. To keep up with inflation, KDP rolled out new print pricing as of June 20.
For most titles, this means a price increase, although there are a select few trim sizes and print types that will slightly decrease in cost. The increases are minimal for the most part, but the largest increases are for books with premium color printing and oversized trim sizes (anything larger than 6×9).
This change in print pricing has many authors scrambling to make changes in trim size or switching from premium color to standard, both of which require a new ISBN, unpublishing the old version of the book and republishing a second edition. Be sure to check any current books you have listed with KDP to ensure the royalty is not too adversely affected, and keep these changes in mind when planning the size and color options for printing your next project.
KDP BOOK CATEGORIES
In the past KDP has allowed two slots for choosing book categories when uploading a title in their system. But then there was a lovely little workaround in which authors could request up to ten categories per title after publication. As of June, KDP is no longer offering the extended ten categories as an option to authors. However, they have increased the number of available categories in the upload process to three instead of the original two.
If you had ten categories previously, check to see which three categories your book has landed in and make any changes necessary to ensure that your book ranks well in the most applicable categories for your topic. If you only had two book categories previously, log into your KDP account and take advantage of adding a third category!
IngramSpark Title Upload Fees
Another large player in the self-publishing world is IngramSpark, well known for their amazing distribution and terrible customer service. In the past, IngramSpark charged an upload fee of $49 for every new title as well as a $25 charge for any revisions to the interior or cover files after publication.
IngramSpark was struggling to compete with the free services offered by KDP, but their wide distribution into brick and mortar had self-publishers willing to open their wallets. As of May IngramSpark is no longer charging a title upload fee at all, which is great for any author wanting to use their services. All new titles upload for free and revisions are also free within 60 days of publication.
The downside is that they no longer offer free phone support for any issues. You can schedule a 30 or 60 minute support call, which has a fee attached. So, this is exciting news, as long as you don’t have any problems!
IngramSpark Preorder Sales
One of the reasons self-publishing authors like to use IngramSpark is that they can fulfill paperback pre-orders even through Amazon, which KDP does not offer. In the past, authors needed to submit the final interior and cover files ten business days before the book release day to ensure that the correct version of the book is printed for launch.
Many authors would upload placeholder files for the interior and cover to set up pre-orders. Readers could purchase the upcoming book up to six months before the release day and many times while the book was still being written. IngramSpark has announced that as of this summer, pre-ordered books will be printed when they are ordered, not right before the release day.
This means authors can no longer use placeholder files while finishing a book for pre-order without risking shipping out books with incomplete files. From now on, when setting up a preorder, make sure to submit the final files the first time!
I hope these tips help you make the best choices for your book when it comes to printing, categorizing, uploading, and shipping your next book. Self-publishing is a wonderful world of options, but you can only take advantage of them if you stay informed!
Erin Greneaux is an award-winning author of five books and mom to three girls who make every day an adventure. She loves working in the garden, and finds her best inspiration while digging in the dirt. Erin has worked in children’s ministry, missions, education in at-risk communities, and curriculum development. Erin is passionate about exploring the practical application of faith in everyday life. She uses writing to take Biblical ideas and present them in a way that is clear, creative, and captivating. Her published works include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and even a game!
Read her weekly devotion series, Sunday God Meets Monday Mom, at https://eringreneaux.substack.com/
Find her books and projects at https://www.greneauxgardens.com