Publishing your own book is easier and more affordable than ever. You no longer have to try to sell your work to the big publishers, a process that can sometimes lead to rejection.

These days, the hardest decision really comes down to which online publishing platforms are the best when it comes to little writers. There are a large number to choose from and they often offer different services so choosing the right one is key.

Platforms like Createspace, Xlibris, Lulu, and Kindle are just a few of those you’ll find online.

For beginners, here are some essential things to know to get started.

What is a desktop publishing platform?

A desktop publishing platform, also known as an online publishing platform, refers to a second-party service that could provide authors:

Different tools, templates and even assistance when it comes to helping authors format their books in preparation for publication, whether in electronic or print format.

· Conversion of written manuscripts to electronic book format.

· Correction and editing services.

Design help when it comes to the cover and interior design of the book.

Provide an ISBN number. This refers to the “International Standard Book Number,” which is basically a 13-digit number that helps identify published books intended for libraries, schools, marketers, and book distributors.

Provide a distribution channel for the author to sell their work to different media such as bookstores, online book sites, and libraries.

· Services when marketing the book.

However, these services are not free, and in most cases, these companies make money by charging authors for all the aforementioned services or by cutting a portion of their book sales.

Benefits of Online Publishing:

· Ease of publication and cost reduction. Here’s the thing, it’s rare that different retailers and distributors get in touch with freelance writers. In most cases, the person would have to reach out to these people, which is something that not many people can easily do. For these people, online publishing platforms give them a bigger channel and market to distribute their work and also benefit from it. This also eliminates many of the technicalities associated with publishing books and keeps production costs low.

· Provides access to a broader community of readers.. So, you have managed to put your book together in e-book format and now it is ready to distribute. Doing this independently can be very difficult. However, with the help of online publishing platforms, your book would be exposed to an international community of readers who might be interested in the content of your book. That said, the most popular platforms raise the level of competition, so you need to make sure that your book is attractive and that the content you provide is unique.

· Professional Marketing Services. Most of the time, these platforms are also capable of providing marketing services in the form of: social media presence, press releases, and launch promotions. The only thing is that you will have to pay it and the price varies depending on the publisher with which you have decided to work. However, for a freelance author, these are certainly beneficial.

There you have it, just a few of the essentials to familiarize yourself with before you start using online publishing platforms to get your work to market. Good luck!

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