When it comes to your publishing project, is “shoestring budget” an understatement? Well, there are actually a number of ways to publish for free. I don’t mean blogging or creating an e-book, either.
You can end up with a nicely bound book offered for sale on the web, with no money for setup, on websites like lulu.com. You set the selling price, taking into account their cut for printing, and you don’t pay until you order yourself a copy of your book. It can stay as simple as that, or you can buy additional marketing services. My favorite feature is that you can order yourself an ISBN number through lulu and skip the step of becoming a “publisher” yourself, which involves registering a business name and buying a batch of ISBN numbers.
Another way to publish for free is through a company like PublishAmerica. Their motto is, “We treat our authors the old fashioned way – we pay them.” This is a traditional publisher that doesn’t charge a publishing fee, pays royalties, and will even pay an advance. They make their money by selling books. Unlike many traditional publishers, they are marketing to the self-publishing audience, actively seeking submissions. You don’t need an agent to submit. One nice feature I notice about them is that they are happy for the author to include their own illustrations. PublishAmerica does the layout and cover design. The process can take a few weeks to several months.
With so many publishing options, it really pays off to take the time to shop around, read the fine print, and find the publishing company that is uniquely tailored to your situation and goals. Happy publishing!