The final rewrite of my first novel is underway, the proofreader is lined up, and I’m all set to start my research into the best way to self-publish my novel. Well, I say start – I’ve actually been reading around this topic for over a year now, but the best route forward is still by no means clear.

The way I see it, at the time of writing (in the UK – the US market is slightly different), there are three main routes available to me:

  • Publish as an ebook only. And probably on Kindle, as this seems to be emerging as the market leader, and you can always make your formatted book available for other e-readers if it is selling well on Kindle.
  • Publish as an ebook and as a trade paperback via print on demand (POD). There are lots of POD printers out there, and the cheapest I can find is FeedARead, which also has the best royalty payments as far as I can tell. (This is the route I am leaning towards at the moment.)
  • Publish as an ebook and as a trade paperback with a traditional publishing model, paying upfront for printing (and also for storage), but with the unit cost a lot cheaper than POD. Again, there are loads of self-publishing printers around, ranging from rip-off right up to almost as selective as a mainstream publisher.

You know what? I’m none the wiser, and I’m looking for advice. Are there any authors out there currently self-publishing via any of the above routes? Is there anything you wish you’d known when you were just starting out? And readers – does the fact that a book is self-published put you off? Are you even aware of which books are ‘indie’ and which are mainstream?

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