Whether you book publish your own book, try book publishing on demand, or try traditional publishing, you should look into the details of the deal before you leap.
What's the Best Path to Publish Your Book?
Your print or ebook is soon to be finished. You wonder if you should try to get an agent to represent you to the publisher. Maybe you've already sent out your query letter to some agents. You dream "how great it would be to be taken under a publisher's wings."
What's wrong with this picture? Even if an agent has given you the go and asks for a book proposal that has specific marketing information in (it takes three-seven months to write), you still have to face reality.
FACT: Like Oprah, publishers and agents choose only 1-2% of proposals submitted.
Let's say for now, you are chosen. The point is, are you fortunate to be chosen?
Are you willing to wait on the traditional publishing process 2 years? Are you willing to accept around 2-5% of the profits? Do you realize that after a few months of one initial book tour (of which you must pay all costs from your book sales), you are on your own? And, if you don't put a lot of time into promotion, your book will fade away within 2 months from the brick and mortar book store shelves. All unsold and coffee-stained books left will be returned, and the cost is deducted from the author's royalties. Unless you are a favored celebrity or famous author, publishers put little time or money into your book's promotion. Without that benefit, why go this way?
Get the Right Help the Right Way
Who says you can't publish your own book? It will certainly cost you less than you imagine, under $1000 for a print version and close to nothing for your eBook. Self-publishing will bring you all the profits. It will put you in charge to make suitable and favorable writing, publishing, and promotion decisions.
With a little help from professionals! These entrepreneurial experts such as book coaches, book designers, and eBook specialists can guide you through publishing success. These people may give teleseminars, small group coaching experiences, and other inexpensive ways to learn the ropes. These pros will shorten your learning curve too, so you get the right help right away to write the right book right away.
When you think you still have to promote your books, even with a publisher, why not keep most of the profits and do some of the work yourself? Learn from your bookcoach's experiences, "Do What You Do Best -and Hire the Rest!" (That doesn't mean you can't barter for services). Check out the methods below and see which one suits you best, is more rewarding, and far more profitable.
You can self-publish your print or eBook.
In self-publishing, you are the boss. You get to choose the cover, the style, the layout, the message, even the format (eBook or Print Book). Since you are the one enthused about it, you will be able to capitalize and can promote far better than many publishers.
In self-publishing, who do you think can sell your book the best? You, the passionate author in love with his or her book, or the rookie publisher's employee in charge of publicizing your book?
On Demand Book Printing (POD)
1. Hire the Publisher/Printer yourself to just print your book from your word file. POD companies like Deharts.com do short runs from 1 - 2500 books. They will put your files into Portable Document Format (PDF) to sell on your web site or another site you choose to sell your books. A complete explanation of these opportunities are included in the How to Write your eBook or Other Short Book--Fast!
Referred to as POD, many companies who say they are POD Publishers are really printers. With a company like Deharts, you keep all of your book's rights. This method helps you make much more profit from your effort and you will get your book out to the buyers so much faster, making faster profits. The turnaround is around 6-8 weeks ( instead of the traditional publisher's two years) so it pays to plan ahead. A $15 book may cost $4-$5 to print for a small run of around $100 . Your book coach recommends you print only what you can sell in three-four months. These you can sell at the back of the room or on your own web site and make $11 each book. When you order 500 books, the price drastically drops and your profit rises.
2. Hire Full-Service Print on Demand Publisher/Printers who each charge you an up front fee to set up. They too take your word files and put into Portable Document Format.
The upside of this choice? Some will list you with Ingraham, one of the largest book distributors in the U.S., linked to most bookstores. For a fee from $750-$1000, these companies will give you an ISBN number if you plan to sell your book on someone else's web site. They will offer your book at their site among the other 25,000 titles. They may list you in BooksinPrint.com, and some will format your book.
The downside? Check to see if you need these services. You don't need an ISBN # if you sell from your own web site. You probably won't sell your book in a brick and mortar book store. (because it's not where your audience goes for you book's topic-They go online to buy) Think about your book and where your best market is. Opinions from Dan Poynter, John Kremer, and myself say, "Bookstores are a lousy place to sell books." Walk ins are not looking for an unknown author's book.
Be aware these sites list books, but don't promote or market them. They give you a 100 words description. That's usually not enough to show you the reasons to buy this book. Your coach recommends you write a sales letter for your site, and a shorter one for email promotion. If copy on their site doesn't sell your book, you could have taken that money to be listed there to make your own one-page book web site you can get designed by a pro for around $500. Then, you can get targeted free traffic to your web site with advanced article marketing and use social media like Facebook and twitter to partner with.
The biggest down of these printers/publishers is you don't have any control over your book. Here, you must buy back each book from the printer/publisher at a wholesale price--almost half of what you will sell it for. So, your profits are limited.
I'm reticent to even send you to POD Publishers, because when your investigate, you find that the author loses and the publisher wins. Ask around of other authors who have gone this route. What kind of money are they making on their book? Has it branded their business to make them known as the savvy expert?
Here's a few. Check the deals to see if you win.
Before you buy any marketing packages from these POD businesses, know that they won't promote your book at all.
Consult a book and book marketing coach and learn how you can put together a simple plan and action steps that are mostly free. They brought your coach over $3000 book sales a month for her first year's efforts. After that, in the next many years, much more.
For instance, if you sell online, you'll have hundreds of thousands of eager book buyers ready to buy when you apply the number one, free way to promote your book--submitting articles to high-traffic article directories and blogs like HubPages.com.
Book Publishing Information - On eBooks
If you sell your book as an eBook on your web site or link it to other publishing web sites, you will make 100% of the profit.
FACT: In traditional publishing for print books, you must get a distributor, and a wholesaler to get brick and mortar bookstores to carry your book. The bookstore gets a percentage too. Maybe these costs will add up to 85%! What's left for the author, the one who wants to make a difference in people's lives? The one who put his/her blood, sweat, and tears into the book?
I recommend writing an eBook to test your audience an get the kinks out before a print version.
Is there a drawback to self-publishing?
If you print it, you must pay for the printing yourself, but remember that could be as low as $300 for 50 plus books. Print on Demand short runs from one to 500. Depending on how many that could run from $4-$7or a book you can sell for $20 up.
When you write a book your audience already wants, you can charge a lot more. You'll only have to make a small investment, you won't have a huge inventory, and you can apply your extra cash to book promotion, the most important part of the book's journey.
If you write an eBook, here are some of the benefits...
You make all the money, can make ongoing, passive profits for life, spend much less time writing and promoting, retain total control, share your unique, important message with 1000's daily, brand your business and build your client base and credibility, reach your target audience easily and distribute yourself, spend less money and have more cash flow, finish your book within 30 days, make ongoing, passive profits for life, can update your book when it needs it, become the savvy expert in your field, gain trust, credibility and friends. Did I mention profits? You'll make more than you dreamed of.
Note: Create good will by updating your eBooks each 2 years and give them to customers free.
More benefits: you don't have printing or inventory costs, can use word in 8 ½ by 11 format and PDF, don't have to travel, don't have to tell or sell, don't have to package and mail books. When you distribute and sell online from email or a Web site you'll have no packaging and no mailing. For the reluctant marketer, you won't have to dress for success, give book talks, and give them to audiences who are not pre-sold that your book is just right for them.
What this means is that online promotion is reasonable, fast, and easy.
Promotion is always at least as important, if not more important, than your book. Without marketing, your book will not sell. You won't be known as the "go to" person in your niche. Drawbacks are starting to look like profits and a low cost investment for you. With certain POD printers, you can keep control and distribute the books as you print them. Now, you won't have hundreds or thousands of unsold books in your garage gathering dust. And eBooks? Even simpler.
Many people feel it's a drawback to have to market and promote their books. Yet, you can learn skills such as the sixty second "tell and sell," the promotional article or power press release, and the sales letter for your Web site from an already successful author-coach. Some publicists charge a lot of money and tend to overdo the media kit, (media editors and reporters usually throw everything away except the news release).
You need to learn how to talk about your book in a few sentences, a few paragraphs, and a longer sales letter. You need someone who has authored and sold many books, one with long-term copy writing experience. But even if you spend $700 for coaching, editing and printing, you'll still be able to realize a larger profit than the traditional route.
You the author need to decide what publishing path is best for you. Be sure to make it the most profitable!
Judy Cullins is a full-service, veteran book coach who is an advocate for her business clients.To get her popular free eBook "20 High-Octane Tips for Writing and Marketing your Book"