“We can connect your book to the world,” said Jane Karker, president and owner of Maine Authors Publishing and Cooperative, headquartered on Main Street in Rockland.

“In the past, self-publishing has not had the greatest reputation,” said marketing analyst and editor Paula Blanchard. “We’re changing that.”

Maine Authors is a subsidiary of Custom Museum Publishing, both owned by Karker. Custom Museum Publishing started in 2005 in Rockland, creating books for galleries, artists, museums and historical societies.

What the business owner found was that there was a great deal of demand for self-publishing services. She also found that some self-published books were quite successful, while others were not.

Karker wanted more data, so she surveyed bookstores and authors all over the state of Maine to find out what was working and what wasn’t, what authors needed and what bookstores needed to be able to sell self-published books.

“We act as a liaison for book authors and sellers,” she said.

Maine Authors Publishing edits manuscripts, designs the books, and also makes sure the books have the codes and invoices needed to be sold online and in major bookstores. It handles printing and shipping, comes up with marketing plans, and makes the books available through Amazon.com and downloadable to e-book readers such as the Kindle. It also offers a catalog of its books.

The company makes its money through the upfront fees and allows the authors to keep 100 percent of the royalties from their books.

Karker also stressed the importance of the design. David Allen, the company’s in-house graphic designer, has served as an adjunct professor at Thomas College in multimedia and graphic design. He has also taught for the Maine Media Workshop in Rockport.

He can provide cover art and book design. Authors can also dictate the design of their books or do the design work themselves.

Different authors have different goals. Blanchard said self-publishing can work out very well for authors who do lectures or run workshops. They can sell their own books at the back table during the meetings and keep the profits. Some authors are reaching a niche audience and will make more money selling their own books than working with a traditional publisher.

Technology has driven the boom in self-publishing, according to Karker. “We can print 400 books rather than 4,000 now,” she said.

In addition, companies can print books on demand, producing one copy of a book for each order as the order comes in.

Maine Authors Publishing started in 2009 and has four employees working at 479 Main St. in Rockland.

Karker worked for JS McCarthy Printers in Augusta for eight years. She has lived in the Rockland area for about 25 years.

For more information, visit MaineAuthorsPublishing.com.