Here are some tips that have helped us.

Tip #1: You are not alone. If you want to make a commercial product and have dreams of your own publishing company, join the Independent Book Publishers Association and learn everything you can about the publishing business. IBPA has made great strides toward helping the independent and self-publishers break through the many barriers they face. They’ve also brought the standards for self-published books up to a level where many compete favorably with the big guys. Attending  IBPA’s Publishing University, usually held in May in conjunction with the huge Book Expo, has saved us thousands of dollars. Many states or regions also have an affiliated independent book publishers association as well.

Tip #2: Whoever owns the ISBN is considered the publisher. Some POD houses insist on owning the ISBN. Check on this.

Tip #3: Use a professional cover designer who knows how to produce an eye-catching cover that sells. Be sure to include endorsements, quotes from reviewers, brief author bio, and bar codes on the back cover. Make sure the spine is also eye-catching and readable since most likely, your book will be shelved spine out among many others. Also include your book’s category in the upper left on the back cover so the bookstore clerk will put your book on the appropriate shelves. You don’t want your book entitled Fisherman’s Bible to be placed in the Religious section!

Tip #4: Bookstores and libraries generally will not accept spiral-bound books.

Tip #5: alwlays check the website,, for their recommendations on everything related to publishing including agents, awards, publishers, and a long list of other professionals and organizations that provide services for writers. This sea is full of sharks.