Do you have the dream of becoming a published author? Are you thinking of writing a book to promote you, your services or your company? Prior to launching into a major project, do your homework. It can save you time, money and frustration.
Almost daily I receive an inquiry from someone who has spent a small fortune getting their book published by a company that promises them the moon when it comes to the success of their book. Unfortunately, in 99% of the cases I hear about, the results don’t at all meet the promises. Often the author approaches me after much heartache, disillusionment and wasted expense.
My most recent inquiry came from a man who had a 56 page document published as a book by what appears to be a subsidiary publisher. The publishing company has a retail price of $19.95 on the book.
Needless to say, the author has had a difficult time selling the book to people who see it and those who buy it sight unseen are disappointed with the minimal number of pages.
Many people dream of becoming a published author yet lack enough information to make the best choice for their particular publishing needs. Although there are numerous reputable publishing companies, there are also just as many companies that take advantage of an aspiring author’s dream and lack of knowledge. The best thing an aspiring author can do is to learn as much as possible about their publishing options before “signing on the dotted line.”
For the purpose of clarification, here are some simple publishing definitions from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:
Self-publishing is the publishing of books and other media by the author(s) of those work, rather than by established, third party publishers.
A vanity press or vanity publisher is a book printer which, while claiming to be a publisher charges writers a fee in return for publishing their books or otherwise makes most of its money from the author rather than from the public.
Print on Demand (POD)
Print on demand or publish on demand (POD) is a printing technology in which a copy is not created until after an order is received.
Regardless of how a book is published, the author will have to proactively market the book in order to sell copies.
Many people are under the impression or led to believe the publisher will do the marketing for them. If a publisher provides such a service it is usually minimal at best. Perhaps a press release or two, a listing on Amazon, a posting on a website, a simple website, etc. If a company does provide an effective marketing and promotions campaign, there is usually a hefty fee that is attached to it.
Many vanity presses make a big deal out of getting the author a listing on Amazon.com and offering a website as part of the publishing deal. The fact is that just a listing on Amazon.com and having a website will do little good. The author will still need to find a way to drive traffic to those locations.
It’s like anything you buy. No matter how good something is, if people don’t know about it, they can’t buy it. No matter how good a book is, how great the title, how big the market, without a very proactive approach to marketing, books do not sell. Marketing and promotion is an ongoing process and is absolutely essential to the success of a book.
I am an advocate of self-publishing in the truest sense of the word. It means I oversee everything. This doesn’t mean I do all the actual work myself; rather, I hire it out.
Areas that you could hire out would be:
• Cover design
• Copy editing
• Book layout
• Marketing (some or all)
You can even hire out some or all of the writing. I personally do all my own writing, but the other areas such as design, layout, and editing I contract to others.
The world of book selling has become incredibly competitive. In my experience, the best way to sell a book is to have a very proactive online approach as well as selling through speaking engagements.
I highly recommend obtaining books on publishing, marketing books and self-publishing by these great authors: Dan Poynter, John Kremer and Tom and Marilyn Ross.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your book published. But without the correct information your dream can quickly become a nightmare. Before making any decisions do your research. You will be glad you did.