How to Overspend Thousands of Dollars on Self-Publishing [interview]

When Brandon Clements decided to self-publish his book, Every Bush is Burning, he did hundreds of hours of research, researching hybrid publishing options like Archway Publishing (Simon & Schuster’s self-publishing arm) and Westbow Press (Thomas Nelson’s self-publishing arm). He also read up on print-on-demand publishers like Lulu, CreateSpace, and Lightning Source.

He found out some options were incredibly overpriced while others were a bargain. If you want to save thousands of dollars to self-publish your book, you’ll definitely want to listen to this interview.

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About the Interview

Brandon Clements is the author of Every Bush Is Burning, a blogger at brandonclements.com, and a pastor. He’s also one of the most knowledgeable people about self-publishing I know. In this interview, Brandon and I go through the step-by-step process of self-publishing your book, giving you tips about how to save time and money at every stage of the process.

  • Why you should avoid hybrid publishing options like Archway Press and Westbow Press if you value your bank account balance
  • The important difference between CreateSpace vs. Lightning Source for self-publishers
  • The step-by-step process to design, typeset, print, and distribute your book
  • How to save money on designers, typesetters, and self-publishing
  • BernardT

    Useful comparison of Lightning Source and CreateSpace. Any thoughts on how Lulu fits in?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      I haven’t used Lulu, but from what I understand, they’re the worst of both worlds. They’re not owned by Amazon, so they don’t fit as seamlessly into Amazon. They’re more expensive than CreateSpace. And their quality is basic POD (which means, not great). Feel free to experiment and get back to us about them though!

  • Lisa Peers

    Joe, I’d appreciate your opinion for a couple of things:

    For a first novel (which is standalone, not a series) is it wise to offer it in print and as an e-book?

    I was wondering if the typesetting and format are the same for both print and ebook and if CreateSpace or Lightning Source can publish both at the same time?
    Thanks – great interview!

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Hi Lisa,

      GREAT question. I’m kicking myself for not talking about this on the course. Oh well. That’s what revisions are for.

      Here’s the deal: Typesetting, cover design, and other costs increase substantially when you go the print route.

      So here’s my rule. Start with an eBook. Get a REALLY good cover (which you can get for cheaper as an ebook since they don’t have to design the back or spine), and pay someone $50 to format it for Kindle and Smashwords. Then, launch it as well as you can. If it makes money after six months, do a print version with whatever you make. Then you can have an excuse to RElaunch it all over again. :)