An acquaintance used a vanity press to publish and print his book. (I describe “vanity press” as paying to have your book published and using that company’s imprint/press name.) His book is for sale on Amazon. He sent an email mentioning how the list price is $15.95 (it’s even printed above the bar code on the back cover) and Amazon is selling it for more than $24! This is a new one. The author was advising people to purchase his book from a local bookstore instead of purchasing it from Amazon.
For years, Amazon has sold books below the list price. When I inquired about that, Amazon told me it is done to drive traffic to the book and the author is paid based on the list price so it’s a win-win.
What’s up with this new strategy remains to be seen.
Book design tips
My specialty is book design (interior pages and covers). I’m frequently asked what makes a good book design so here is the start of an ongoing column:
- The designer should follow The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers in order to give you the most polished look possible. This will enable your book to compete with traditionally-published books. For instance, I originally designed a cookbook that was picked up by a traditional publishing house. My client was told, “Self-published books don’t usually look this professional!”
- Stick to two—three at the most—typefaces (a typeface is a font family). Too many typefaces scream self-published.
- Blank pages should be blank, no page numbers.
I’ve added new resources including Five Rainbows Cataloging Services, proofreader Janet Basset, and permissions specialist Melissa Flamson. Please see my Resources page for their contact information.
Help for Independent Presses
Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.