Follow These Simple Steps to Book Publishing Success
The Reality Of Publishing Your Book
Writing a book and then finding a publisher can be hard work. Even if you manage it, your publisher may take most of the profits. Thanks to the introduction of Amazon Kindle, and many other tools and resources now available, the concept of Self-Publishing is now a profitable reality.
According to a recent survey, more than eighty percent of Americans want to write a book. This shocking statistic is somewhat puzzling because the National Endowment for the Arts estimates that only fifty-seven percent of Americans have read one book in the last twelve months!
What is it that makes people — even non-readers — want to put pen to paper?
Perhaps it’s the desire for fame and fortune. Maybe it’s the need to earn respect from others. Or maybe it’s the hopeful wish to leave some mark on the future, a permanent record of a life lived.
Whatever the reason, for those who actually complete a manuscript, the odds of seeing it published by a reputable book publisher are slim to none.
For the estimated two million manuscripts that authors complete, there are only 64,000 publishers of record, and only a fraction of those publishers actively seek new manuscripts.
So what are the millions of hopeful authors to do?
The first step would be to ensure their manuscripts are the best they can be.
This is usually accomplished by re-writing, editing, and proofreading by an outside firm or by a well-read and literate colleague.
Even then, most of those two million books stand no chance of being accepted by a traditional publisher. Authors who do make the cut are not necessarily the best writers, but rather they are writers who can sell themselves and their stories most convincingly.
Some authors, after rejections from the trade, will find themselves victims of vanity publishers, who take advantage of the hopes and aspirations of writers to extract an exorbitant fee to publish their book. Writers are better off publishing through firms like iUniverse and Lulu.
Although their books will likely never see wide distribution, at least their losses will be minimal.
Finally, there are the select few who decide to become publishers themselves, even if it is only to self-publish their own book. These self-publishers will find great obstacles, and a great deal of work in this route. The challenge and reward of having one’s success or failure entirely in one’s own hands is a powerful feeling.
Whether they choose to publish electronically, or use short run printing service like Lightning Source, or even to go full boar with a print run of 1,000 or more, their success depends on how well they sell themselves and their story to others.
There’s an age-old debate about which method is better; using a publishing company or self publishing your own book. You know your situation and you know what will work best for you. You’ll want to consider how much time or money you have to invest in the project.
That should give you an idea as to which route to take. Using a publisher takes less time on your part, but you’ll forfeit some of the royalties by using this method. If you self publish, you’ll have to pay “up front” and do the initial work to get the ball rolling on sales of your book.
If you are about to embark on a new manuscript, educate yourself thoroughly about the industry, its scams, and potential pitfalls. More importantly, learn to market yourself well, for this, more than any other skill, is the determining factor in your success or failure.
Book Publishing Scams: What Are They and How to Avoid Them
Are you an author who would like to get a book published?
If you are, and if you are currently an unpublished author, you may do just about anything to see your book in print. As good as it is to have goals and dreams, it is also important to have knowledge on your side. If you do not proceed with caution, you may find yourself falling victim to some common book publishing scams.
Unless you decide to self-publish a book, you should never have to pay a publisher to put your book in print. In fact, it should be the other way around. Yes, most publishers will take a percentage of the money that you make, but that percentage isn’t even always talked about. Most well-known publishers will either offer you a flat fee or an advance payment. If royalty payments are decided on, a specific percentage will be agreed upon.
Individuals or companies who claim that you must pay to have your book published are likely just trying to scam you. They are either after two things, your material or your money.
Chances are, your book may never even be published, but if you sign a contract, the individual or company in question may then own the words that you wrote. For that reason, never, under any circumstances, should you pay a publisher to publish your book for you.
In addition to book publishing companies, it is also important to proceed with caution where literary agents and editors are concerned. Editors are recommended, as they are likely to find grammar mistakes that you may have missed. What you will want to do, however, is be cautious of who you do hire.
Never pay someone to read your book that you haven’t heard of before.
Since you may not know many editors or any for that matter, the proper amount of research should be done. Look for editor reviews online or ask other published writers for recommendations.
In terms of literary agents, the same amount of research should be done.
Did you know that many publishing companies avoid working with certain literary agents?
Those who do not properly screen their books or those that misrepresent their books, develop a bad name for themselves. The last thing that you want is your name and book attached to a literary agent with a bad reputation.
As for the scams that are associated with literary agents, it is important to be cautious with pay. A literary agent or agency that asks you to pay a fee upfront is a good sign of a scam. This fee is often called a reading fee.
What you need to know though is that many literary agents take a percentage of the amount of money that you make when you sign a contract with a publisher. In a way, this can serve as a guarantee that you will be receiving quality, guaranteed results.
Publishers who accept upfront fees may later choose to not accept you as a client or they may just take your money and run.
When looking to get a book published, the above mentioned scams are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind. If an offer, a literary agent, or an editor sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.
Even if your best friend owns a top publishing company, giving you an immediate “in,” this does not guarantee publishing success.
First, you have to write a quality book that has a clear target audience. And your book must answer a common problem or need that audience shares.
Then you have to develop a marketing plan, and stick to it for at least two years.
Follow These Simple Steps to Book Publishing Success
Let’s begin with the process that should commence before you write your first word.
Begin by reading A LOT. Read both books you passionately love and books you can’t seem to make it past page five. Then figure out what the author did in the book you loved, and what was wrong with in the book you couldn’t finish.
Write down these points so they are crystal clear to you. Read other people’s books for inspiration and to discover what you should avoid as a writer.
The next step is to plan out your book. Narrow down your subject, and then divide it into chapters. Each chapter should address a specific aspect of the problem your book is going to solve. In each chapter, break the specific aspect down into several parts. This will help your readers take in your information a bit at a time instead of overwhelming them with every bit of information clogging up the pages until they feel like they’re about to go blind. It’s not quite spoon-feeding the information to your readers, but it’s close.
The next two steps are obvious. Write your book and then revise it. And then revise it again. And perhaps again. Of course, writing is extremely hard, and writing a book can seem like an impossible task. There are many books out there that give you guidelines to help you become familiar – and even love – the process of writing and revision. Find a number of books about writing. Better yet, find a number of books about writing the specific type of book you aspire to write. These can serve as roadmaps on your writing journey.
Once you’ve written your book and revised it at least twice, show it to someone else whose opinion you respect. If you’re lucky enough to know a good editor, see if you have something to barter for him or her to go through your manuscript. Or join a writing group and let the other members critique your work.
Then take all these ideas from other people, and revise your manuscript one last time. And then stop! Put down that pen! Get your hands off the keyboard!
One of the most important steps to actually producing a book is to know when to stop writing and tinkering with it.
You’ve finally written your book! Pop open the bubbly! Give yourself a night out on the town!
Okay, now that this necessary celebration is out of your system, what do you do next?
How to turn your book into Profits
Ebooks are a revolutionary way to publish your book without incurring the costs of print production. All you need is a relevant and targeted subject and some inexpensive software, and you can transform your manuscript into a book.
The problem, in terms of actually seeing any profits from your ebook, is that the market is overwhelmed with ebooks, and many of them are not worth the time it takes to download them. Just because the ability exists to easily produce an ebook, doesn’t make it good writing.
Make sure your book does not simply rehash old material. You will injure your credibility as an author by claiming to offer valuable new insights and disappointing your audience with material they’ve read a zillion times before.
So spend enough time writing and revising your book to make sure it’s of the highest quality and presents the most current information. A good book will eventually sell itself; false claims about your book will make it extremely difficult to sell any future books you may write.
Assuming you have determined that you do indeed have a quality product that answers some question or need of your target audience with NEW information, how do you know how much to charge for it?
Rule number 1: Set a price for your book equal to its value. An under-priced book will only give the impression that your book isn’t worth very much.
To figure out a fair price, estimate how much time you put into creating it and how difficult it was to transform the necessary information into understandable and engaging writing.
Figure out how much your time and effort is worth, and then price it accordingly. The goal is for you to be adequately compensated for your talent, your time, and your effort.
Once you’ve figured out a price that is high enough to convey the value of the book, but not so high as to be out of the reach of your target audience’s mean budget, then it’s time to offer it for sale on your website.
To attract sales, you will need to develop a promotional campaign, particularly if you are an unknown author.
There are multitudes of books about self-promotion that will guide you in your efforts. Choose a plan that is both creative and professional. Learn how to write a catchy yet informative press release, and send copies of your ebook to sites that specialize in ebook reviews.
Learn how to write powerful sales copy, or hire someone to write it for you.
This is an essential. You absolutely need excellent sales copy to sell your book. Make sure the copy includes all the reasons your target audience needs your book, and the benefits they will derive from buying it.
Use graphics in your promotional materials. Beautiful graphics have the power to instantly convey the quality and value of your ebook. Graphics can also convey the amount of valuable information the book contains, and your careful attention to detail.
Professional graphics sell professional books. They reassure the customer that the product is what it claims to be.
Consider excerpting chapters for articles. You can offer these titbits for free on your website as a sort of demo of your book. Include an order form for your ebook at the end of the excerpted articles.
Finally, when you set-up your download link, make sure to simplify the process. It’s a good idea to offer a few bonuses that make your book even more enticing to purchase, but make sure the bonuses are valuable and high quality.
Too many bonuses that are basically a load of useless stuff will compromise the impression your audience has of your ebook. The goal is to convey to your audience that they are getting a quality product for a good deal. That means applying restraint, especially when it comes to adding bonus items.
Too much free stuff offered diminishes your credibility.
Make sure your book is a quality product. Make sure it is relevant and current. Develop an effective marketing plan that includes excellent sales copy and excerpted articles. Then offer your book for sale, and wait for your audience to discover you!
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