Do you have recent experience with self-publishing a book? I published a genealogy in 1999, but I did it via a bricks and mortar publisher who contracted with a printer. The landscape has changed greatly since then. I am looking to publish a 15 year Supplement to it and I have been doing research into self-publishing. My concern is that there seems to be a wide disparity in the services offered and the quality of the end product.
Have you recently (say, the last couple of years) self-published a book of any kind? Can you offer me tips on who you used, what went well, what didn’t go well, and/or what you wish you had known before you started?
I’ve looked at CreateSpace.com, which is a subsidiary of Amazon. The benefits are that they can literally print a single book on demand, which is perfect for the very small market there will be for this genealogy supplement. People could also order direct from Amazon instead of from me, which also means I would not need to buy a bunch of copies I might never sell. The downside is that I’ve seen a number of posts on CreateSpace’s boards from people saying that the print and binding quality of the books was sometimes substandard. That’s not good for a genealogy reference book that is supposed to last long enough to be handed down to the next generation.
I’ve also looked at InstantPublisher.com. They require a minimum print run of 25 copies (still far better than the 250 I had to buy in 1999). They do offer more than just paperback bindings, though. I like the idea of better bindings, but don’t relish being where I was in 1999 with having to buy the inventory up front and then hope to sell it. Also, Instant Publisher has no message boards so I do not know if there have been any questions with the quality of their product. They do have a bunch of glowing testimonials, of course, but these usually do not tell the whole story.
Have you tried either of these companies? If not, have you had an experience that would make you either recommend I try someone else, or caution me to avoid someone else?
Thanks in advance for any tips you can offer.