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Michael, Librarian
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Experience:  20+ years as information professional
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I want to publish a book. I have written it already and want

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I want to publish a book. I have written it already and want to know the cheapest route to take to publish the book. I am going to donate it to prisons... I have been looking at Amazon. What are the pros and cons of Amazon and are there any other ones? I don't need it edited I just need an ISBN number... and a means to print it or read it online using a kindle or ipad... Also can you point me to any good resources (websites, books)... thank you!

Coach Jen K. :

I would suggest going the self-publishing route. There are many self publishing houses to choose from and i am including a link to the list here. They all offer different packages to get your book published and depending upon your needs you can often choose the option that suits your budget. They will get you the ISBN and also get you on many online stores such as amazon, barnes and noble, books a million, etc. They can also help with marketing if you choose them to do so. Take a look at the list I provided and do some research to see which one fits your needs and budget. Best of luck with the book.

Dawn, Not sure why you would offer a rating of poor service. I have provided you with an exhaustive list of self publishing options which is what you need to get your book done. These are also the most low cost options which you clearly desire and fit into your needs for the book; ISBN, amazon and many other online retailers.

So, once again I wish you good luck with your book.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wanted someone with experience who could recommend something, not just pull a list that was already on Wiki. Maybe tell me their experience, something personal that I could not already find on the internet myself. I already found comparisons for some of these companies but they were years old. You wrote: "Take a look at the list I provided and do some research to see which one fits your needs and budget." I was researching and asking for tips from experts, I did not want a regurgitated list from wiki. Sorry we couldn't do business. I wish you good luck too.

As a published author of two books, a Licensed Master Social Worker, a Certified professional Coach, I have done exhaustive research on the companies that I provided to you. I have worked with many who through my tutelage have gone on to publish their books quite successfully. They all understood that there is not a one size fits all for everyone and personal research will help guide as only you know what your needs are. All of the companies on the list I provided will get you the basics...ISBN and on amazon, kindle, etc. More than that, you will have to spend more.

All manuscripts need editing and any good company from the list I provided will do that. I would not suggest that you publish any book without the use of an editor.

While you may feel I provided a regurgitated list, I will remind you that you asked to be directed toward things and that list is quite comprehensive. I wish I was given such a comprehensive list when I started out man years ago in my business.
Hello, thank you for using this service. I wish to introduce myself. I am Michael, a Research Librarian with 20+ years of experience.

Since it sounds as though you are looking to decide on various platforms for which to publish, I thought I would send to you information from the people at CNET. I have often recommended their understanding of technology to library patrons who request information on technical matters. The steps listed here in detail can give you some understanding of what is necessary to get your book published:

I have also linked to information on how to get the ISBN for your book once it is published:

I can also recommend a book that can be helpful in self-publishing. Just updated this year, it is published by the Alliance of Independent Authors:

You may also wish to visit your local public library to see if this book is available as well as others to review. The database to check the collection at your local public library can be found here:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The book is exactly what I was looking for. I think I will buy my own ISBN. There are so many shady companies out there.


A couple more questions. I want black and white drawings in front of each chapter. It would be a small pencil drawing on one page and the next page would start the chapter. Would this cost more to print or since it is still black and white does it cost the same as a book with just text?


Is there a size of book you recommend?


thank you

The self-publishing book should be helpful and not much to purchase. You may though wish to check your local public library just to see if they have a copy in their collection. Can save you some money and will let you review the copy to see if you wish to purchase. Also agree with purchasing your own ISBN. Follow the instructions I sent above in the link I provided.

As for the drawings you wish to have in your book, producing a cost effective self published book uses only one color text in the book printing. Books that have higher margins of cost usually have more than two colors. Shop around for the cost in terms of adding pictures but sometimes using digital printing can make the pictures of lower quality. Since your pictures are small, it should not matter in terms of publish costs as they will be the same color as the text.

In terms of a book size, know that the larger the quantity published the lower the unit cost. You do not want the books to sit in your garage and not out in the hands of the people you wish to read it. In terms of copy size, stick with 5-1/2 x 8-1/2, 6 x 9, and 8-1/2 x 11. These sizes will allow you to start small in terms of publish prices and you can then negotiate for better pricing when your book does better in terms of getting the word out to those that will want to read it.

Michael, Librarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3050
Experience: 20+ years as information professional
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