How to Publish a Book

So you want to know how to publish a book. Well there are several methods you can utilize to get your grand idea into the hands of hungry readers. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Traditional publishing: This involves having a literary agent that shops your manuscript around to the Big Six publishers and hopefully gets you a contract. Some of the pluses here are that your name will be associated with one of the remaining large international publishing houses. The minus for that is, you will have to locate the literary agent and shop your book to them. You will also have to have your own marketing plan created and ready to implement in order for the large publishing houses to even look at you. You see they want you to still do all the leg work and generate the sales from your books and they’ll end up with your “fans” and you’ll just get the associated name. If you’re into that, hey there are worse ways to make a living – but remember they rarely accept “untested” writers so if you’re new; prepare for a long arduous journey to stardom.

Independent publishing: This is also called self-publishing. This method is the fastest and also becoming the most utilized method for getting books published. Basically, you write the book, you hire an editor (or do it yourself) to proofread your book for grammatical, and thematic errors. Then you select a self-publishing company (aka DIY publishing). You pick the “package” you can afford and voila! You are a published author. The plus here is that you have total control over your product. The minuses are still that you have to have a marketing plan and you still do the leg work for selling your book. The difference is that while you won’t have the “association” you will keep more of your profits.

eBook publishing: This is still a relatively new method of creating books however, it will eventually become the norm as technology continues to move forward. eBooks are created to be read either online using your computer or using specific text readers like Kindle, Nook etc. The books are created using specific software programs and are marketed in the “stores” for the specific readers where the books can be read. The pluses fall under the “virgin territory” realm as this is still emerging technology. The minuses fall into the “cost-effectiveness” category as you must find ways to distribute your eBooks. There are companies that will automatically convert your publications into eBook formats for extra cost as well as companies that only create eBooks for all formats. Again you must research these companies for the best publishing price.

Membership publishing: Again this is a relatively new form of publishing but the concept is an old one. Basically you create a membership site and you publish your books in a sort of blog format. You can sell your memberships to either be “all inclusive” meaning they pay for the whole book and can download it from the site or read it there after logging in; or you can sell them a chapter at a time for a minimal price, say $.99. Which may seem strange to you; but if you think about it – most books contain at least 10 chapters in them which means you made $9.90 for your book. Imagine how much that changes if you have a book with 12 or 15 chapters in it. Think about the regular cost of buying a book in the store. You may not be able to get away with pricing your book for $19.99 if it’s a paperback right off the bat; but if you have 24 chapters and your members are paying $.99 a chapter to read it as it unfold like a soap opera; you made $23.76 on that same book that you would have normally priced at $9.99 or $12.99.

These are just some of the ways you can get your books published and turn a profit. Always keep in mind though that whether you go with a large publisher, a small publisher or do it yourself you must have a marketing plan in order to find the people looking for your book.

The Perfect Partnership – You and Your Publisher

In the last post I told you about writing a proposal in order to accomplish two things. The first being, “whether you had a book worth writing” and the second thing was getting paid to write the book. Now let’s talk about the reason you really need your proposal and how it affects your relationship with your new business partner – your publisher.

When you work with a publisher, remember, the publisher’s business is selling books. The company acquires books which it hopes will sell, and sell well. Your publisher is putting up the money to publish your book, so you need to approach the project from his point of view as well as your own.

Publishers sell books on consignment. Publishers’ ship books to bookshops, and if a book isn’t sold within a certain time period, it’s destroyed. The bookseller strips the cover from the book and sends the cover to the publisher for a full credit. This is the “return“. If a title doesn’t sell, the publisher takes a beating. As you can imagine, publishers are no keener to lose money than you or I.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is that you must keep this “return” thing in the back of your mind when you create your book proposal. Why you may ask? The answer is simple; it means that your proposal needs to emphasize the ways in which you, as the writer, will take responsibility for the book’s success.

You will try to ensure the success of your book by gauging the marketplace. You will work out who the likely buyers of your book might be, and the reasons they will have for paying good money for your book. You’ll assess the competition for your book. You’ll work out ways in which you can promote your book, so that people hear about it. You’re in partnership with your publisher, and if you’re prepared to take responsibility for that role, the publisher will be much more likely to buy your proposal.

Until next time,

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Create Your Own Market For Independent Books

There’s an estimated 3 million Independent authors worldwide. If these writers join forces the potential impact is staggering.

As of right now, the print-on-demand companies estimate that over 90% of their authors sell less than 30 books per year. The question is: how do you expand the position and exposure in the bookselling market and offer Independent authors an opportunity to sell more books?

The traditional brick and mortar marketplace has an established base of approximately 10,000 retail locations large enough to warrant the attention of major New York publishers. Unit sales of individual titles are in decline and some experts suggest readers are tired of the same old thing – the market lacks new authors and new titles.

Total book sales in all markets (excluding schools and textbooks) is estimated at around $20 billion dollars. One percent equals $200 million dollars. All that is required for Independent titles to capture this one percent in sales is to form an online market, a central location, totally independent from any established publishing entity. That new creation would allow the Independently published book to be shopped by readers from around the world. The potential increase in sales is dramatic. The key is the development of this community, a destination for readers interested in purchasing the finest Independently written and published books from around the world: A place where the potential for Independent writers would open up to the world.

The concept is to open the market for Independently written books and offer readers the opportunity to shop for new titles, never before seen by the public at large. One community, bringing voices never heard and stories never told to the world.

The biggest problem with selling more Independent books is that an individual cannot imitate what the bigger publishers do in a market they control. The best opportunity to sell more Independently published books is to create your own market. Big publishing houses don’t use the Internet to sell their books. Exploit their weaknesses, and help establish your own online destination for selling book(s).

It is not economically feasible to establish a brick and mortar presence for Independently published books. The hurdles to even the smallest market share is cost prohibitive. The best strategy is through the use of technology, the Internet, to create a combined web presence, a community, where writers can market themselves and their book(s).

The strength of the Independent writer and author is the combined size of the group. When we create the community and develop a following, the old adage “build it and they will come,” will ring true. Major New York publishers relish in the fact the market for Independent books is fragmented and floundering. The last thing they want to see is a joining of forces into one location where readers can shop for books. The creation of a single community of Independent authors would send shock waves throughout the business! Let’s create our own market and stop trying to break into theirs.

It’s free, and the first step toward total independence in the marketplace for bookselling.

Happy Holidays

Dr. Ande,
Host of Writers’ Radio & Writerstopia Presents IVA Writes Now eRadio
Associate editor of Writerstopia Magazine for Self-Published Authors & Independent Publishers
Contributing writer for CENTRE Digest the Publication for Consultants & Entrepreneurs
Owner of Dr. Ande Online Ltd.
Producer of Dr. Ande Radio