Updated June 26, 2020 – self-publishing tips for absolute beginners

All the links now work, and a few tips have been taken out. They relate to Lulu specific info. that I can no longer check. Apologies for that but better no info. than out-of-date info.

  1. Print-On-Demand [POD for short] is new tech that allows books to be printed one at a time instead of in the hundreds.
  2. Print-On-Demand [POD] means authors don’t have to BUY 100’s of their own print books.
  3. The 3 biggest Print-On-Demand printers are Lulu, IngramSpark, and Amazon KDP.
  4. Lulu & IngramSpark have print facilities in Australia. Both are more expensive than KDP but Aussie authors save a lot in postage [and time].
  5. Aussie authors wanting to print with IngramSpark must have an ABN and pay a $53 setup fee for each book [$49USD]. IngramSpark periodically has ‘free setup’ promotions.
  6. Aussie authors wanting to get an ABN should read this how-to first: https://acflory.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/how-to-apply-for-an-abn-the-basics/
  7. Print-On-Demand works with standard trim sizes only. For a table of trim sizes see : https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834180
  8. Trim size = physical size of book after pages glued inside cover & trimmed.
  9. Page size templates for all trim sizes can be found on the KDP website: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834230
  10. Convert Word A4 pages to trim size pages via the Word Page Setup dialog box.
  11. ISBN = 13 digit no. that identifies your book worldwide. Buy your own ISBN or accept the free one offered by KDP.
  12. The downside of a free ISBN is that it can only be used with the company that issued it.
  13. Aussie authors can buy ISBNs from Thorpe-Bowker: https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/
  14. As a rule of thumb, print, ebook & audiobooks all need their own ISBN.
  15. Books printed via KDP are listed on Amazon automatically.
  16. To publish Kindle ebooks go to: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
  17. Amazon supplies ebooks with ASIN identifiers so ISBN not strictly necessary.
  18. If you want to ‘go wide’ & sell with other retailers as well as Amazon, your own ISBN is a must.
  19. Most POD printers prefer PDF files but will accept Word files.
  20. Before converting from Word to PDF, ensure all Word fonts are embedded in the document. See:  https://acflory.wordpress.com/2020/02/10/exporting-your-document-to-pdf/
  21. File/Export completed Word doc. to PDF [see 20 above]. Then upload that PDF to the POD printer of your choice.
  22. With KDP print, royalty = List Price – Print costs.
  23. With KDP, Print costs= Sales Channel % + Fixed Charges + Per Page Charge.
  24. With KDP, Standard sales channel % = 40% of List Price, Expanded sales channel % = 60%.
  25. Spine of [paperback] cover = trim size & no. of pages.
  26. KDP cover template from:  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/cover-templates  Select trim size from drop down list, enter page count & paper colour, then download template.
  27. IngramSpark cover template from: https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/Portal/Tools/CoverTemplateGenerator
  28. Barcodes for KDP – included at no cost.
  29. Barcodes for IngramSpark – included at no cost.
  30. When converting covers to PDF for KDP paperback, “Press Quality” and “PDF/X-1a” both work.
  31. Total page no. of book = pages AFTER conversion to chosen trim size [not A4 Word pages].
  32. Amazon deducts 30% withholding tax from each sale. Aussies can claim exemption to reduce tax to 5%.
  33. Withholding tax exemption: US TIN = Australian Tax File No.
  34. Aussie authors must deposit 1 copy of each published book with the National Library of Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit
  35. Aussie authors must also deposit 1 copy of each published book with their state library: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit/australia-wide
  36. Aussie authors – for Legal Deposit FAQ see:https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit-faq

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

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