BooknByte: Blog BooknByte: Blog https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/ Copyright by BooknByte en BooknByte Tue, 29 Sep 2020 06:10:34 -0400 Making Sense of Self-Publishing Terms

Most authors dream of being published by a traditional publisher-one who pays to print the author's book and then pays the author royalties. However, after months or years of mailing out manuscripts to publishers and literary agents, and piles of rejection letters later-if even lucky enough to get a response-many authors ultimately turn to self-publishing.

When self-publishing is first considered, the author finds that homework is required to understand the self-publishing industry. Various blogs and Internet forums about self-publishing will offer advice or commentary about staying away from POD publishers or subsidy publishers, or about the stigmas or pitfalls of self-publishing. These terms are used widely and interchangeably and can be confusing to new authors. Here are a few basic definitions to help authors understand just what these terms mean and a breakdown of what is really required to self-publish a book.

Traditional Publishing: As stated above, a traditional publisher will handle all the publishing and printing costs of the book. Authors will receive royalties for their book's sales. Throughout the twentieth century, traditional publishing was viewed as the ideal situation for authors because traditional publishers have been viewed as the gatekeepers or judges of whether a book is worthy of publication. Also, traditional publishers would market the books and authors had no risk involved in the publishing costs.

Changes in the marketplace, however, have made it more difficult for traditional publishers to compete, and by extension, it is more difficult for authors to be selected for publication. While traditional publishing still provides a certain sense of legitimacy, self-publishing is a more viable option for most authors, and in many cases, it can also be more lucrative.

Self-Publishing: Self-publishing means, in a general way, that the author publishes the book himself, and he absorbs the cost of publishing the book. The advantage is that the author receives all the profit, but the disadvantage is that self-publishing has a stigma, largely because many authors have self-published poor quality books that could not compete with traditionally published books for a number of reasons from cheap paper and low quality printing to multiple typos.

Self-publishing itself has its degrees of what many consider legitimate self-publishing. A true self-published book, in many people's opinions, is a book where the author oversaw the entire production from layout to printing and where the author owns the ISBN number, printing the book under his or his own publishing company's name. While "vanity," "subsidy," and "POD" are terms often used in relation to self-publishing, they are more like half-sisters of self-publishing because another publisher besides the author is involved even though the author fronts the costs.

It should be noted, that traditional publishing has only been the dominant form of publishing in the twentieth century, and it is becoming increasingly less dominant in the twenty-first century. In the nineteenth century, most traditional publishers were smaller, some simply being linked to bookstores. Many authors, such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson self-published their books.

Vanity Press: A vanity press is a publisher whom the author pays to publish his book. In the late twentieth century, horror stories were often told about authors who lost their life-savings by paying a vanity press $50,000 or some other outlandish amount to publish a book, only to have the book sell only a few copies. Deciding to self-publish by paying a vanity press was a serious risk because of the cost of publishing and a primary reason why most authors sought traditional publishers. Furthermore, the name suggests that the author was vain-believing his work was deserving of publication-even when the traditional publishers rejected his book. The term is rarely used any longer, largely because other terms have come into usage that better reflect the changes in publishing technology, which have resulted in self-publishing costs decreasing significantly.

Subsidy Press: A vanity press and subsidy press may be interchangeable terms. The difference is that the term subsidy is more commonly used now because it has less stigma. The author still pays the press to publish his book, but in the twenty-first century, the cost of publishing a book has dropped significantly due to digital or POD printing.

POD (Print-On-Demand): The self-publishing world frequently refers to POD publishers or companies, and it uses the term to mean "self-publishing companies" but POD actually means "print-on-demand." Due to new printing technology-digital printing-it is faster and more cost-effective to print a book. Until recently, books were laid out with moveable type and the process was laborious, time-consuming, and expensive, and consequently, only large print runs were made because it would have been ridiculous to spend the hours or days required to prepare the moveable type to print only one book. Modern computers in the digital age, however, now allow for "print-on-demand" which basically means if someone wants one book, it can be printed almost instantaneously. The result is that printing is faster and cheaper. Many of the smaller traditional publishers use POD.

POD Publishers or Companies: Most references to POD Publishers, besides meaning that these companies use Print-On-Demand or digital printing technology, mean that these are larger self-publishing companies that an author can pay to handle all aspects of book production. These companies are relatively cost-effective. Packages to publish a book can run under $1,000, which includes all aspects of design and layout and usually a small number of printed copies such as 10-50. The author then purchases copies of his books from the POD company, and the more copies he orders, the less he pays. The difference is that these POD companies still mark up the cost of printing the books to make a profit. They make their money selling books to authors, not in selling the author's books to the public. They still often function somewhat like traditional publishers, however, because they will sell copies directly to bookstores or book distributors, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or Ingram's; these book sales result in royalty checks to the author. POD companies will also provide their own ISBN numbers and publish the book under their name rather than the author's own publishing company's name. Such companies, as stated above, are like half-sisters to both traditional publishing and self-publishing because they mix a little of both worlds.

Co-Publishing Companies: Because of the high costs of publishing, some smaller traditional publishers offer co-publishing. As usual, the traditional publisher will handle all the publishing and printing costs of the book and authors will receive royalties for their book's sales. However, the author is asked to purchase, for e.g., 500 copies of the book.

True Self-Publishing: Finally, for those splitting hairs about true self-publishing, the author who truly self-publishes will individually contract with (hopefully) an editor, someone to do layout, interior and cover design, and a separate printer. In this case, the author publishes the book with his own publishing company name he has created for himself, and he separately pays each individual entity-printer, cover design person, interior designer, editor. The author also purchases his own ISBN number and therefore has the book registered as being published by his own company. While this form of self-publishing is a bit more work, and it will probably cost an author more money upfront than using a POD company, the author will be able to print a larger number of books for less per unit (individual book), and the author will also be able to have more control over the ultimate look of the book rather than relying on a POD company, which may use more of a basic template approach to how the book looks.

Which to Choose?

Ultimately, each author must choose which type of self-publishing is best for him or her. To go the easy route, a POD Company might be good to get your feet wet, and then as you become more knowledgeable, you can experiment with true self-publishing by overseeing all aspects of the publication. A POD Company may be ideal for a small print run such as 100 copies for a book you don't plan to sell or don't think will sell well, such as publishing Grandpa's memoirs or a family genealogy that only a small group of people will want, or a book for a specific company or organization. For a novel or non-fiction book with a wider audience, a true self-publishing process might be a better choice. Authors simply must weigh the advantages of both types of self-publishing to determine which is best for his or her special book.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/making-sense-of-self-publishing-terms/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/making-sense-of-self-publishing-terms/ Editor Fri, 10 Jan 2020 04:44:30 -0500
The Advantages of Self-Publishing

A few decades ago, self-publishing was considered a big "No No." The cost to self-publish was high and vanity presses often took advantage of authors. However, several well-known authors from Walt Whitman and Mark Twain to James Redfield have self-published books that have become classics and bestsellers, and with the advances in technology, self-publishing is highly affordable. As long as the author makes producing a quality book a top priority, self-publishing can be not only a feasible choice, but it may even be the better choice over traditional publishing.

Advantages for self-publishing:

Control of Production

Self-publishing your book gives you complete control of the production. Rather than sell your rights to a publisher who will then edit your book the way it sees fit and decide itself when to publish your book-often two years down the road-and decide whether to continue to sell your book or take it off the shelves, the self-publisher has complete control over timing and production. Your publisher may want your book to be a coffee table, expensive hard back book while you want an inexpensive paperback so you can sell more copies. If you self-publish, then you can produce it the way you want. You also can guarantee that your book never goes out of print by reprinting it as often as you like or the market demands. By contrast, publishers often cease printing books that are not bestsellers, and then authors have to wait years for their contracts to expire to buy back the rights of their own books. Having complete control over the entire publishing process and the lifespan of your book is perhaps the greatest benefit of self-publishing.

Print Runs

I've heard authors argue that traditional publishers will produce larger print runs than self-publishers. This is true. Even the smallest traditional publishers will often do a print run in the low thousands, while a self-published author who has to pay for the entire production himself might find it difficult to print more than 500 or 1,000 copies. Of course, you want your book to reach as many people as possible, but if your publisher prints 3,000 books and only 1,000 sell, what is the advantage over you printing 1,000 and keeping all the profit for yourself? A large print run is the weakest argument for staying with traditional publishing, since if the book sells well, the money from the profit from the first small print run can be used to pay for the second and third and larger ones.

Marketing

Traditional publishers are doing less and expecting authors to do more marketing for their books. Unless a book is considered a potential bestseller, and few are, little money will be spent on marketing. An author willing to go out and promote himself can be as successful at marketing a book as a publisher and might even get a publisher's attention down the road. While traditional publishers do have more resources and outlets for promoting books, guerrilla marketing by an author can equal those efforts if the author educates himself on marketing and is willing to spend the time and energy. Authors can also find assistance from publicity companies, many of which are very affordable today.

Profit

Any author who thinks he or she is going to get rich off of publishing a book is in the wrong business, but that said, savvy self-published authors can succeeded in making a livable income or at least a hefty supplement to their income by self-publishing their books and promoting them properly. As far as profit goes, if an author has to help the publisher to market the book and is receiving 10 percent royalties, it makes more sense for the author to publish his own book and receive far greater profit. Consider these numbers:

Profit from Traditional Publisher

No printing costs for author
Print run of 3,000 books at retail of $19.95
Royalty to author at 10 percent if all books sell: $5,985.00

Profit for Self-Published Author

Printing costs of $8.00 per book.
1,000 copies print run (printing costs decrease if print runs are higher) = $8,000.00
Sales at $19.95 per copy of 1,000 books = $19,950.00
Profit: $11,950.00

In short, self-publishing can equal double the profit if the author is able to sell just a third as many copies as the traditional publisher. Even if you sold half of your copies in bookstores and gift shops at 40 percent consignment, your profit would still be greater than 10 percent royalties on 3,000 books.

But how do you sell all those copies? Self-publishing success requires effort, and while the profit above looks good, it probably won't be that high when you take into account additional production costs such as editing, building a website, etc., but you can still come out significantly ahead.

TIPS to Self-Publishing Success

Despite all your efforts, you will still find some people who will be dismissive of your book if it is self-published. The best way to overcome these objections and sell more copies is to produce a quality book. Here are some final tips and "musts" to make your book competitive.

  • Have Your Book Professionally Edited: A good editor will do more than fix typos and punctuation and grammar. She will enhance your words to their best potential while retaining your voice and meaning. She will make sure you sound professional, don't repeat yourself, and you appeal to the wider reading public.
  • Remember What Your Readers Want: Readers want to know "What's in it for me?" They don't care about your personal story unless it has something in it that will help them. You can enjoy writing, but if you write for you, and not for others, you aren't going to sell books.
  • Ensure Quality Production: Don't print pages off your printer and have them bound. Avoid comb bindings. Go to a professional printer that has experience printing books and knows all the ins and outs of what kind of paper to use and all the other details. Be sure also to hire a professional to do the layout of your book and to design your cover. Even if you are determined to do it yourself by using a publisher like CreateSpace, find someone else who has done it before and can guide you along so your book looks completely professional and as good as anything produced by Random House or HarperCollins.
  • Learn from Marketing Experts: Books don't sell themselves, and books on bookstore shelves don't sell if people don't know they are there. You don't have to hire a full-time publicity agent, but join a publishing organization, attend publishing conferences, read publications in the industry, find out what works for others, get book reviews, and hire reputable marketing services that will help you spread the word. Your book won't sell unless you are out there selling it, and marketing experts can teach you how to sell it so it interests people.

If you're still not sure whether to self-publish or traditionally publish, I suggest you spend a year or two trying to find a traditional publisher. If that works out, great, but if it doesn't, give self-publishing a try. Save up your money while you look for the traditional publisher so you are ready to proceed with your back-up plan. Even if you do find a traditional publisher, after you become more familiar with the publishing industry, you can always choose to self-publish your second book. No right or wrong way exists to publish a book; you just need to decide on what way is better for you and your book.

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/the-advantages-of-self-publishing/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/the-advantages-of-self-publishing/ Editor Fri, 12 Jul 2019 04:41:47 -0400
5 Things To Look For When Self-Publishing A Book

Today with all of the amazing technology, self publishing a book has become a more attractive option. Gone are the days of someone's dreams and visions being placed on hold or forced to wait because they are in search of a publisher to accept their book. I remember hearing so many stories of how many attempts, how many companies, and how many rejections it would take before an author could get published. I don't know about you but I always had this image in my mind of traditional publishers sitting on a throne deciding the fate of the literary world. To me it was like a secret society that allowed a select few to enter and those that did had very little control.

Today that image has changed for me. When I set out to publish my first book, going the traditional route was not a consideration. "Why?" you might ask. As I alluded to earlier technology has revolutionized the publishing world. The internet along with the social media platforms have empowered and given a voice to so many talented authors; many of whom would never have received even a rejection letter from a traditional publisher. Traditional publishers, like so many industries because of technology, have been forced to develop new business models. Major publishers are faced with downsizing and cut backs making it even more difficult for a new kid on the block. Most of the traditional publishers today want authors who have a celebrity size following or a distribution list that equates to immediate ROI.

There are a lot of opportunities in self publishing a book. You can do it completely yourself. When you publish your work yourself you are responsible for the editing, formatting, securing distribution, communicating with the printer, and copyrighting it to name a few. The other option is selecting a publisher that will handle all the previously mentioned items, but allows you to remain in control. If you are a writer and perhaps run another business, the latter option would more than likely be the most beneficial for you. Here are top 5 things you should consider when looking for a self-publishing publisher:

1. Is it a good fit?

Believe it or not personality means everything. Your book is your baby. It's a project and not a drive-thru menu experience. Ask yourself, "Are you comfortable with their style of communication?" I know its cliché, but communication is the key to everything. Does the publisher make you feel like you are valued and not just a number? Is there a real interest in your project? What's your publisher's background? Many times I have seen authors when self publishing their book forfeit the importance of literary and business experience of their publisher. Make sure when selecting a publisher they have literary experience and business acumen.

2. Make sure you maintain all your rights.

In the traditional world of publishing you generally give up a large portion, if not all of the rights to your book. This means all of the control on editing, characters, book cover design, etc, are determined by the publisher. This is primarily because you have received an advance for your book. When you are self publishing a book there are publishers who cater to authors who desire to self publish. In this case if you are not receiving an advance you should maintain all the rights to your book. All of the decisions from editing to the book cover design as mentioned before should be your final say. You should also have the option of taking your book with you if you decided to leave that publisher.

3. Royalties

When self publishing a book it is my opinion that you as the author should receive the higher percentage of royalties. In the traditional world it can be viewed slightly different because they have a larger distribution, they have provided you with an advance, and there is more at stake. There are some self publishers who will do a 90/10, 75/25, or 60/40 split, with you receiving the lower percentage. In this case I would make sure you get the higher, because there is no upfront investment in you from the self publishing publisher.

4. What type of services do they offer?

Do they offer various editing services from rewrite to copywriting? Editing is extremely important when self publishing a book. Be mindful of a company that will publish your book that doesn't offer or require editing. In most cases if they don't offer editing, your publisher should have a list of editors they can refer. It is true today with technology and a fast paced society the standard grammar has become more relaxed. However, you still want a quality product that will stand the test of time. Other services you should look for are marketing that includes social media, graphic and website design.

When self publishing a book often authors assume the publisher is automatically going to promote your book. This is not the case. You as the author should have an option of acquiring those additional services.

5. Time

Yes, I know everything is done at the speed of light today. We no longer have to wait on the 6 o'clock news to find out what's happening around the world. We can email a document that used to have to travel by what we now have labeled "snail mail". Although this has made our lives easier, when self publishing a book, we still want to value the time it takes to create a quality product. Again, self publishing should not mean you should compromise and produce an inferior product. That's what the big guys and critics expect and/or automatically assume. I have seen companies that promote one to two week turn-rounds. That might be the case. However, please allow yourself the time for editing, correct formatting, the right cover design, to receive a proof (an actual copy of your book), etc. A reasonable amount of time should be 60 to 90 days, but this is determined by so many variables. How long it takes you to submit your work, and to sign off. You may realize that an entire chapter needs to be deleted. Allow for creativity which is often something that shouldn't be rushed. Remember experts say today a book is the new business card. What do you want yours to say?

Deborah Hardnett is the Founder and CEO of Wealthy Sistas® Publishing House. Wealthy Sistas® Publishing House focus is to help authors self publish their books. If you are considering self publishing a book, visit Wealthy Sistas® Publishing House website today and get more details on how you can achieve this without the exorbitant fees and retain all your rights to your intellectual property. Deborah and her staff are strong advocates of the self-publishing industry and offer an extensive variety self publishing book services.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/5-things-to-look-for-when-self-publishing-a-book/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/5-things-to-look-for-when-self-publishing-a-book/ Editor Sat, 25 May 2019 04:40:26 -0400
The Truth About Vanity Publishing

Many authors are choosing to publish their masterpieces on their own terms using vanity or subsidy publishers, otherwise known as "paid-for publishing", "self-publishers" and "self-publishing companies". While these establishments do have their uses, for example for specialty, limited-release books, or private books including poetry and memoirs, there are quite a few drawbacks to their use. Here's the bare-boned truth:

Truth #1: Sacrificial Quality

Most of these "self-publishing companies" do not require editing or professional design for your book. Often they will tell you to use a template because it's cheap, but beware: your book will look like it belongs in a series written by someone else. These companies have a reputation of "ripping off" authors (though most of the time the author just hasn't done their proper research) and several are undergoing lawsuits for a myriad of reasons. If you have a company name on your book that doesn't belong to you, you are at the mercy of that company's reputation. So research very carefully before giving your money to any vanity/subsidy publisher.

Truth #2: Royalties and Up Front Payments

Like it or not, subsidy or vanity publishers are not in business to publish your best seller. They are here to make a profit, pure and simple. Luckily for them, their simple business model has worked quite well. Unlike the average author, which makes a profit by selling books, these "self-publishing" houses make a profit by convincing authors to use their services, pay fees and often give up a hefty percentage of the profits for the services provided. However, they are kind enough to give the author "royalties", thus graying the terminology between a vanity/subsidy publisher and a traditional house.

These publishers will convince authors to use their services by claiming to be easier to use, offering more autonomy than traditional publishers and a ease-of-use that seems to be second to none under first inspection. However, if someone were to look a little bit closer, the great deal offered often looks a little less great the more it is studied. For example, in most cases:

* The author is responsible for format: typesetting, graphics and book cover design, either by themselves or by hiring someone to do it. If the vanity/subsidy publisher is asked to help with the task, there is an upfront fee, sometimes in the thousands of dollars for a fully custom format.
* The author is responsible for all edits, or for having someone edit their manuscript. Again, if the vanity/subsidy publishing house is brought on board, there is an upfront fee, in addition to the cost already cited for publication and distribution.
* Even if the author chooses to complete the formatting, editing and marketing all on their own, they are still required to give somewhere between 60% to 90% of their profits to the vanity/subsidy publisher, and resort to making a meager "royalty".

Like it or not, these vanity/subsidy publishing houses will make money off of your hard work To be fair though, there are some subsidy publishers who have much better and fairer terms of contract. Unfortunately they can be very hard to find.

Truth #3: Who Really Owns the Rights?

Believe it or not, one of the biggest and most damaging mistakes that authors make when dealing with vanity/subsidy publishers is not knowing what they're getting into, and not carefully reading the terms of contract. Most authors believe at the end of the process, they will own the copyright, distribution rights and everything related to the printing of their book. Sadly, though, most subsidy publishing agreements will provide the copyright to the author, but give exclusive distribution rights to the publisher. That means that without careful consideration and negotiation on the part of the author, they are limited in how, when and where the book is distributed. Depending on the various agreements of the vanity/subsidy publisher with their distributors, the exposure of your book could be very limited. This also closes the door to a vanity/subsidy book being picked up by a major traditional publisher. According to a few editors I met at the Blue Ridge Writer's Conference in June, traditional publishers hate fighting vanity/subsidy companies for distribution rights to a book, so more often than not they will simply not accept that book for mainstream publication, even if they want it.

Truth #4: Bookstore Sales Won't Happen

Unless a vanity/subsidy publisher sets a book up properly, you can say goodbye to brick and mortar sales. Many of these publishers won't even promise these sales to you anymore, because they know their name is "red flagged" by major bookstore chains. In order for a book to be accepted by a brick and mortar store for stocking and to have the author in for a book signing, three criteria must be met:

* Wholesale discount-A discount of a minimum of 45% must be given to the distributor. Most vanity/subsidy publishers offer 25% - 35%.
* Price point-The book must fit within consumer guidelines for pricing. Vanity/subsidy publishers make money off the back end, especially "free" publishers. They mark the price of the book up (first they tell you that you set the price, then they say "within our guidelines") to make a profit on the print cost, then in order to meet the wholesale discount it must be marked up again so they don't lose money on the back-end. Example: I priced out my 120-page book, Financial Survival with a popular "free" vanity publisher and my minimum recommended price point was $16.95, a price no one except maybe my mother would pay.
* Returnability-Here's where most vanity/subsidy publishers really fall short. In order to meet bookstore guidelines, the book must be labeled as returnable. One popular vanity publisher actually charges $800/year for this privilege and then destroys the books as they are returned instead of sending them on to you, the author, to resell.

There are a couple vanity/subsidy publishers that meet the above criteria without additional fees. But once again, they are hard to find.

Where's the Hope?

So what is an author to do? There are a few options open to those who wish to publish their books, and one of them is to go straight through traditional publishing channels. There is a reason why this has been the standard for so many years. With patience, a killer proposal and a large author platform, it is entirely possible to be traditionally published. However, if you feel that self-publishing is your best route to becoming an author, or you don't want to wait 3-5 years to see that book in print, it is possible to truly self-publish. Many printing houses will provide the use of their printing services for a fee, and most are extremely reasonable. You can even open a publishing company of your own. Then, it is a matter of getting an ISBN for the book for $125.00 (or $250 for 10 of them), contracting a quality editor and designer and using the services of a print house to print and bind the books.

By publishing on your own (independently), you broaden your potential for distribution and keep many marketing doors open that would otherwise slam shut. Many indie-published authors will use a combination of online sales, marketing to brick and mortar booksellers, "back of the room" sales and distribution through friends and family to move the majority of their books. Plus, if a publishing house takes an interest in your book, the current book or next edition just might be published through their company, giving you the power to negotiate a bigger advance and better contract.

Please don't misunderstand-true self-publishing ("indie") is not for everyone. However, if you know that your book is worth publishing, it is definitely worth a look into publishing it completely under your own terms!

Kristen helps you get the book out of your head and into print. Visit [http://www.kristeneckstein.com] for free author resources, training, and more!

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/the-truth-about-vanity-publishing/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/the-truth-about-vanity-publishing/ Editor Sun, 10 Mar 2019 04:39:13 -0400
Traditional and Self-Publisher Websites and Options

Many first-time authors want to find a traditional publisher for their books. While books like Writer's Market and Literary Marketplace annually come out with new editions that list publishers, more and more authors are going to the Internet and publisher websites to find a publisher.

A huge difference exists between self-publishing companies and traditional publisher companies, and for a new author, that difference can be confusing. Here are a few things to look for to determine the difference and to find a publisher who is right for you.

First off, a traditional publisher will never ask you to pay the publishing costs. Traditional publishers will cover all of the publishing costs, which is one main advantage of being traditionally published; another is that the publisher hopefully will have wider marketing capabilities than you as the individual author.

Many self-publishing, subsidy, vanity, and P.O.D. websites (those terms are largely interchangeable and yet there are differences in them which would require an article in itself) will expect the author to pay the publishing costs. Then authors will purchase copies of their books from these publishers. The publishers may also sell the books themselves from their website and to distributors. These sales the publisher makes result in the author receiving royalties. Books the authors buy themselves from the publishers do not. By comparison, while traditional publishers will also sell you copies of your books to resell, again, they will not expect you to pay anything up front for publishing the book.

In visiting publisher websites, a key way to tell the difference between traditional and self-publishing publishers is each one's website layout. Many of the self-publishing companies will have a lot of information on their sites about how to get published and the benefits of being published by them. I've often seen these sites' home pages have half-a-dozen or more pages regarding publishing, publishing packages, author login pages, etc. but only one, often almost unnoticeable page for their store where they actually sell their authors' books. If the website, as in this case, looks like it is more interested in convincing an author to use the company to publish his or her book, rather than appealing to a reader to buy books, then it's probably not a traditional publisher.

Another differentiator may be an advance for the book. Self-publishing companies will not pay the author an advance for the rights to publish his or her book-in fact, as stated above, these companies will ask the authors to pay them to publish it. If a publisher offers an advance, then you have found a traditional publisher. However, just because a publisher does not offer an advance does not mean it is not a traditional publisher-due to the current economy, many traditional publishers have quit offering or only offer minimal advances. If you do begin to negotiate with a traditional publisher, you can always ask for a larger percentage of sales for your royalty in exchange for not taking an advance-you may not get it, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Self-publishing companies will also sell authors their books at a discount. For example, if you buy up to 25 copies of your book, you'll get 25% off the retail price, 100 copies might earn you 50% off the retail price etc. You then will determine the individual print run of copies you want. These publishers, because they use digital or print-on-demand (POD) technology, also will print just one or two copies if a book distributor wants to buy a small number. The advantage here is you can print as many copies as you want and can afford.

A traditional publisher, by comparison, will pay for the printing of the books, but it will determine how many copies to print. The print run will probably be larger than what you could afford. With a self-publisher, you might only have the budget to print 100 or 500 copies to buy from the self-publisher, while a traditional publisher might print 3,000 copies. But when those 3,000 copies are sold out, the traditional publisher may decide not to reprint the book because it doesn't believe a market exists for another 1,000 or so copies. Whereas, if you pay the self-publishing company to print your book, and you are good at marketing it yourself, you can keep ordering and selling as many copies as you want. If you do go with a traditional publisher, in this case you will want your contract to state precisely how many copies will be printed, and you will want to negotiate terms for additional print runs (which the traditional publisher will agree to if the book sells well), or the rights to buy back your rights to the book to reprint it yourself if the traditional publisher chooses not to reprint it.

In the end, your decision of which type of publisher to use should come down to money. Don't let your dream of being published emotionally interfere with your financial concerns. Use the publisher that will be most economical for you, but also in the long run provide you the greatest financial benefit. Having a traditional publisher print your book for free, and then pay you royalties of $1 per copy for 3,000 copies may be great if that's the most copies the book is likely to sell; however, using a self-publishing company and being able to resell the copies you buy from the self-publisher at a $5 per copy profit, and being able to print endless copies, might be a greater, because more profitable, advantage-especially if you are good at marketing your book. In this scenario you would only have to sell 600 copies to earn what you would have from the traditional publisher, and your book may never go out-of-print and far exceed the traditional publisher's print run in sales.

Advantages and disadvantages exist between using a traditional or a self-publishing company, and only you can decide which is right for you. Do your research, weigh the pros and cons, make sure you actually talk to someone at each company and get all your questions answered satisfactorily before you make your final decision. Do your homework, ask other authors what worked for them, and rationally make your decision. And remember, even if you make a mistake, it's fixable. You will have gotten your book published, and you will be better educated about the process for your next book or the revised edition of the first one. Good luck!

Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/traditional-and-self-publisher-websites-and-options/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/traditional-and-self-publisher-websites-and-options/ Editor Tue, 08 Jan 2019 04:37:31 -0500
Four Ways For Authors to Publish Their Books You've sweated over your manuscript, you're finished with your re-writes, and it's time to leave the dark of the writer's solitude for the bright wide open world of readers just waiting for your book. But how will you get your book into print? How will you publish?

Not so long ago, "getting published" meant one thing and one thing only. You would somehow find a way to get a contract from a publishing house-probably located in New York City-and then wait for them to create a book from your manuscript.

This was never an easy task and, with the consolidation in the book publishing industry, continues to become more difficult with each passing year.

But now there are more options than ever. Before you take the first step down the road to publication, perhaps you should look at the map, and see exactly where that road divides, and where the path you've decided to follow will lead you. To help you choose your path, here are the four basic (very simplified, to be sure) options you have to get "published."

1. Traditional Publishing

Most books produced by traditional publishing houses are brought to them by literary agents, and many acquisition editors prefer to deal with agents on all acquisition matters. For the prospective author, then, the chief task becomes acquiring an agent who understands the book, has had experience with the market for which the book is intended, maintains contacts with the relevant editors who publish for that market, who has integrity when dealing with authors, and who will arrange a sale to a publisher that benefits the author.

Unfortunately, there are far fewer agents than there are publishing houses, or acquisitions editors. This means that it can be an arduous task to find an agent to represent you and your book. By far the best way to meet an agent who might be a good fit for you is to be referred by one of their successful authors. This is not as rare as you might think, and if you have good contacts within your field, it pays to pursue this avenue.

Traditional publishers will offer a contract and perhaps an advance against the eventual royalties your book will earn. Depending on how the contract is worded-and many are different in these regards-you will receive somewhere between 8% and 12% of either the retail price or the wholesale price.

You will have to give up the reproduction rights to the book, and you may be required to release the electronic, first subsidiary, foreign translation, and other rights to the publisher. You may or may not have any control over the development of the manuscript and the final look of the finished book. The publisher will decide how to market the book, and will rely on you, your contacts, and your own marketing efforts as an intrinsic part of the marketing plan for your book.

They will attempt to distribute the book as widely as feasible, and may be able to place your book-if appropriate-into thousands of bookstores around the country, and create public relations opportunities with major media. The publisher will decide when your book no longer warrants any efforts to market it, and may put it out of print within one to two years of initial publication, depending on the sales your book has achieved.

Recommendation: If you believe your book can be a large-scale blockbuster, that Hollywood directors will line up to option your book, or you have already been on Oprah, this is the path for you.

2. Cooperative Publishing

Although not as well known as other avenues to getting into print, the cooperative publishing model has a lot to recommend it for the right book. Although many publishers who produce books cooperatively don't advertise that fact, it is advantageous for the right book and the right publisher.

In this model, a publisher who is already issuing books in your market, and who knows how to sell to that market, may offer you a contract different from the normal publishing contract. They will be interested in books that complement their existing line, and will have pretty high standards in both content and writing style for the kinds of books they will consider.

You will be asked to pay a publication fee, to cover some of the publisher's upfront expenses and, when the books are printed, you will be asked to pay the printer's invoice. In exchange for this investment-and these fees and printing costs can typically run to $5,000 or more-the publisher will take over all the functions that a traditional publisher provides.

In addition, rather than receive a royalty, you become the equity partner with the publisher in the profits generated by your book. So instead of 8% or 10% of the retail price, you will earn, for example, 50% of the profit. This arrangement removes the financial risk for the publisher, since all costs are substantially covered by the author, and it gives you the cachet and the editorial, production, and marketing capacities of the publishing house.

As an author you will still be responsible for helping to market your book but, with your equity participation, this is much more like a business venture for you and can justify your spending more time and expense to sell your book.

Recommendation: If you are a non-fiction author in a specific niche, and you can identify smaller publishers who aggressively service your field, you may find a great fit with one of those publishers, allowing you to concentrate on writing and selling your book, leaving everything else up to your publishing partner.

3. Subsidized or "Vanity" Publishing

In this publishing model, you pay to have your book published. Although you might pay a fee to a Cooperative Publisher, you and the publisher become partners in the success of the book. With subsidized publishing, you pay for a service only, since the company you will deal with has no need to actually sell any books. Their profits are derived only from authors, and this is why they have traditionally been known as "vanity" publishers.

You will contract with a company that may appear to be a traditional publisher, or with one of the ever-sprouting "Self-Publishing" websites. These companies follow two basic models; either you will pay a fee for the design, typesetting and production of your book, or you will pay a high price for any copies of the book you purchase.

In addition, you will be offered numerous "packages" of services including manuscript editing, marketing, premium interior or cover design, press release mailings, listings in industry directories, illustration, and so on. Each extra service will accrue an additional fee, and these fees can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

When your book is printed, you will receive somewhere between 1 and 25 copies of the book, although the publisher may claim to print more that they are "holding" against future demand.

Most of the website-centered publishing services companies that offer these services also claim to distribute your book with the aim of furnishing copies to eventual buyers through "print on demand" technology. However, this distribution usually amounts to a listing in a database and nothing more (unless, of course, you purchase an additional "package").

Since these companies derive all their profit from authors, there are no barriers to "acceptance." The actual work of these companies is much easier to understand if you think of them more as manufacturers than publishers, and yourself more as a customer than as an author.

Books produced through this option may be well written, or they may be trash. It makes no difference to the "publisher" since they are actually just manufacturing products, not publishing per se.

Recommendation: If you would like to print up copies of a cookbook for gifts or fund-raising, or print a book solely for distribution within your company and you have the staff to do it well, this can be a viable option. As with all manufacturing, ignore the hype and compare on price.

4. Self-Publishing

Simply put, this path to publication is when the author decides to also become the publisher of his book.

As such, the author will form a publishing company of his own. He will obtain his own ISBN range, so book databases will recognize his company as the publisher of the book. The author now becomes responsible for all the functions usually provided by the publisher.

The author will need to provide-or contract for-editorial, interior and cover design, proofreading, illustration, indexing, proofing and manufacturing, warehousing if books are produced by offset printing, order fulfillment and shipping, accounting, marketing, publicity and sales. The author has gone from a lone worker in front of a screen, to a replacement for a multi-function, complex business designed to acquire, create, produce, and sell a product.

To address this daunting challenge the self-published author will need to educate herself about all the areas mentioned above, and will need to become familiar with the practices of the publishing industry and the bookselling trade. She will need to learn where to place her advertising dollars, how best to launch a new book into the headwind of the nonstop news cycle, and every other function that bears on the publishing of her book.

The self-publisher who is serious about making the transition to profitability will usually use free-lance contractors to accomplish these myriad goals. She will hire a professional editor, a book designer, and a public relations or marketing professional. She will contract for the proofing and printing of her book, and will run her own book review campaign and author tour. She will recreate the infrastructure of a publishing company, but devote it all to one book.

Recommendation: For niche non-fiction authors, authors with a strong existing "platform" from which to sell books directly to buyers, and for those who are energized by the prospect of marketing themselves and their ideas 24/7, self-publishing can be a rewarding path.

So, Who Are You?

I think it should be obvious by now that these paths diverge widely, although each will lead to "publication" of a kind. What's really critical here is your own self-examination. Why did you write your book? Who did you hope would read it? How central to your life is this book likely to be? What would you define as success with your book?

It's only by answering these questions, either alone or in consultation with a book publishing professional, that you can come to a rational decision about which path is right for you.

To learn more about self-publishing, book and cover design, and the intricacies of the publishing process, please visit Joel Friedlander's blog at http://www.theBookDesigner.com for new articles five days a week. An experienced publisher, book designer and self-published author, Joel guides authors new to the publishing process with care and integrity.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/four-ways-for-authors-to-publish-their-books/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/four-ways-for-authors-to-publish-their-books/ Editor Sat, 10 Nov 2018 04:29:03 -0500
Two Roads Diverged - Understanding Traditional and Self-Publishing Differences

The publishing world has experienced change over the past several decades as all industries have, but the next 10 years will be a cocoon altering it into a different species altogether. Many major print publishing houses have either merged, or acquired smaller houses, and the net result is that there are fewer traditional channels for getting your book published. However, this only means that the nature of the challenge of getting a book published has changed. It does not mean that the challenge has become insurmountable.

The traditional publishing path of the past has been described similarly by many sources. Write a book, send query letter and/or book proposal to agents, get picked up by an agent, get sold by agent to a small-to-medium-size publisher, pray that your book takes off and garners attention from a big publisher who pays you a six-figure advance in return for the rights to your book.

Nathan Bransford, a literary agent with Curtis Brown, discusses going from small presses to big publishers. I agree with many of his points on the difficulties of being recognized by a big publisher. His advice is very similar to my premise, if your book is really good, well edited, designed, printed, distributed, and promoted, it will succeed.

Today, the traditional publishing path is in upheaval and turmoil. The economic downturn has caused many small publishers to shut their doors or, at best, significantly decrease their new release budgets. The emergence of the Kindle, Nook, and other eBook readers has stirred things up. Publishers of all sizes are more carefully scrutinizing new authors, primarily seeking to invest in less-risky authors with established platforms. Gone are the days of a publisher investing marketing dollars to help an author develop their platform.

The new traditional publishing path is emerging as more of a partnership between author and publisher with the responsibility for marketing and publicity resting on the shoulders of authors. If you bring a viable manuscript to the table with a sound marketing plan and/or platform, the publisher will invest in editing, design, printing, and distribution, the rest is up to you.

The exciting game-changer for the unknown author is the advent of affordable self-publishing options. Self-Publishing should not be confused with the deplorable practice of Vanity Publishing where an author is charged seriously inflated prices for editing, design, printing, and/or marketing services while giving up 80% or more of profit and/or rights to their material. True self-publishing is where the author handles editing, design, printing, distribution, and marketing for their book or hires professionals to assist with the process while experiencing control, speed to market, ownership of rights, and max profitability.

The self-publishing path has existed since the dawn of time. Dan Poynter lists 155 best-selling books that started out being self-published. In the past, the editing, design, and printing of a book could easily run $15,000 or more because of minimum print runs of 5000 being required. With the advent of print-on-demand merged with distribution channels, the cost of the entry toll on the path of self-publishing has diminished significantly. And publishing a Kindle version of your book doesn't require an investment of money whatsoever.

I'm not preaching against the traditional publishing model. I cut my teeth in traditional publishing. My family was in the traditional publishing business for nearly 25 years. I started at the bottom in the warehouse of a traditional publisher picking and packing orders. I eventually worked my way up to running a subsidiary of this same publisher. Throughout my career, I kept seeing countless numbers of authors turned down because we simply didn't have the budget to add them to our production schedule. When I was asked to take over the helm at Yorkshire Publishing, I studied the self-publishing industry in great detail. I became passionate about being a part of an author-empowering movement to publish and promote quality books that otherwise may have been unrecognized without modern advances in the self-publishing industry.

The old-school mindset that says to avoid the stigma of self-publishing is quickly becoming a whisper in the wind. More unknown authors are starting out self-published for the first time in history. I believe self-publishing is the democratization of the publishing industry. Any unknown author now has a chance.

In my seminars and workshops, I tell authors to treat their book like a business. If you want a real chance, you must treat your book like a big publisher would. When naysayers point to the statistics that say self-published books average less than 200 units sold, I can rebut with a missing link in the formula and Poytner's list. Remember, if your book is really good, well edited, designed, printed, distributed, and promoted, it will succeed, regardless of the road taken in the yellow wood of publishing.

Todd Rutherford is the Vice-President of Yorkshire Publishing, a firm that provides services to self-publishing authors. If you need a writing coach, ghostwriter, editor, designer, printer, distributor, publicist, or marketer for your book, contact Yorkshire Publishing for a free consultation - 918-394-2665.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/two-roads-diverged-understanding-traditional-and-self-publishing-differences/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/two-roads-diverged-understanding-traditional-and-self-publishing-differences/ Editor Mon, 10 Sep 2018 04:36:05 -0400
An Artist Guide to Landing a Publisher

So why do you the artist need a publisher? The most important answer to this question is, you are the talent, let someone else sell that talent! With the acquisition of an publisher all the leg work and time consumed trying to sell your art is now the responsibility of the publisher. Your primary concern as a professional artist is to produce quality artwork, not to try and flog your wares to the market place. So now that you have decided that you need a publisher how do you get one? What is a publisher looking for? What does a publisher expect from you? How do I know that the publisher is giving me a good deal? The following is designed to give you answers to these burning questions and help give you direction in the pursuit of a publisher.

Publishers are an active member in the art world. They are always on the move looking for new talent and the next "big thing" in the industry. I can not think of being at any art show, large or small and not being approached by several publishers and agents. By you becoming active in the art world and participating in art shows you will drastically increase your exposure to publishers. If a publisher starts to see you at several shows they now see a commitment by you to your profession and your work. A publisher is investing in you as much as they are in your work. Always present yourself in the highest quality that you possible can, never show up to a show in your painting smock with bed head and bad breath. Being eccentric once you are a world renowned artist is an asset, being unkempt and unprofessional while undiscovered is the kiss of death. Think like a publisher.

Would you invest your funds in someone who does not present themselves to the public in a professional and interesting manner? Of course you wold not, so why would you expect a publisher to. There are several different shows and venues that you can participant in that are sure to have publishers roaming at them. Every city has a art festival yearly. Some are at the local city hall and others are at librarys and civic centers. For example in my local area is the Toronto Outdoor Art show and the One of a Kind show. Both of these shows are full of local and international publisher scouting them. Other shows to consider are licensing shows and conferences. These are not only good for attracting publishers, but they are also great for picking up commercial licensing that will put your artwork out on mass and maybe attract a publisher. One of the best shows for licensing and coincidentally the show that I met my publisher is the Licensing 2010 show in New York, NY.

Be prepared for a publishers interest in you. Always have a CD of your current work and an up to date biography on hand that can be easily handed to a publisher. Once again having a package ready on the spot will show the publisher that you come prepared and are willing to go that extra mile. Be sure to engage in the conversation with the publisher and do not let them carry the conversation. One again, publishers want to see that you are able to interact with the public and present yourself in a favorable light. Be prepared to sell yourself and not just your work, remember you and your work are a package deal.

Another direct avenue to a publisher is through national portfolios such as Ducks Unlimited, Federal Duck Stamps and State or Provincial stamp competitions. Publishers are always paying close attention to the winners of these contests and judged art competitions. Winning the federal duck stamp is a sure fire way to draw the attention of a publisher. The national exposure that these contest provide should be looked at as free advertising for you and your work. You want a publisher to see your work in a winning light giving your name worth. Winning a major competition gives the publisher instant value to your name and he or she will be more apt to invest in you as part of their stable.

Finally the most direct way is to send your work to the publisher directly. Before you do make sure you have a strong introduction letter written. Introduce yourself in a confident manner without being cocky. Show confidence without arrogance. Start with your background, what you have accomplished in the past and what you are working towards in the future. Make it know to the publisher that you are a team player and looking to become part of the company "stable" of artist's. Publishers are not interested in glory hounds so make sure the structure of your letter of introduction is humble and modest. Always include a bibliography of all the publications you are printed in and a time line of credentials and awards you have won or placed highly in. Also include your work in both paper and digital form.

Have a few of your strongest works on a well designed sell sheet that should be placed on the top of your package so it is the first thing the publisher will see. On a CD include several (10-15) of your images in a high resolution JPEG format for the publisher to review. By having your strongest images on the front sheet you will peek the interest of the publisher and they will want to see more. A well designed sell sheet will encourage the publisher to read on and view your work on the CD. DO NOT HAVE WEAK IMAGES ON THIS CD JUST TO FILL SPACE. If you do not have 10-15 strong images I suggest that you spend more time building your body of work before you approach a publisher. A publisher wants several printable, marketable images available before they will even consider publishing you. It is better to spend some time and be prepared, you only get one shot at a first impression! Remember what I said earlier, you and your work are a package deal.

Once you do attract a publisher be prepared and know what to expect as compensation for the right to publish your work. A legitimate publisher will offer you anywhere from 15-20% of the whole sale of the limited edition. They will also offer the Artist's Proofs from the limited edition, this usually being 10% of the run. So, if you print a limited edition of 500, 50 Artist's Proofs will be yours free and clear, this is standard and you should be expecting this. Any other licensing is usually split as 35-50% in your favor. Beware of the small time publisher that is only looking to take your work and flog it to the lowest bidder. A legitimate publisher will want a written contract for every print published that will clearly spell out the terms of the production run. Make sure you have this signed contract in hand before your allow reproduction of your work.

Derek C Wicks is an internationally acclaimed wildlife artist who's work has been use to endorse many conservation efforts and charity's. Derek's credits include 2007 Ducks Unlimited National Artist of the Year and he is named as one of the 60 Masters Of Wildlife Art by Portfolio Press, New York, NY. Derek's Full biography can be viewed on his wildlife art website. Derek's how to paint in acrylics art instruction video's are available through Power To Paint Production. Derek is published by Wild Wings LLC, Lake City, MN.

]]>
Uncategorized https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/an-artist-guide-to-landing-a-publisher/ https://www.booknbyte.com/blog/an-artist-guide-to-landing-a-publisher/ Editor Tue, 10 Jul 2018 04:35:28 -0400