The world of “Big Publishing” is shrinking! For some, this is horrible news. I was recently talking to someone who had a book contract for her non-fiction book, and she was on cloud nine…rubbing shoulders with other authors and would-be authors at cocktail parties, etc. Then the economic slump hit and she got the bad news that the publisher was no longer going to publish her book.
What to do?
The book was essentially written, but it still needed editing, cover design, typesetting, printing and ultimately publishing and distribution. This seems like a great deal of work for anyone, but especially to a writer who has just “birthed” a book and now has to face all these questions.
Fortunately the loss of some of the big name publishing companies is paving the road for smaller presses, and a concept called Print on Demand (POD) Self-Publishing. There is still a little bit of a bias against self-publishing, but it is quickly diminishing.
People are finding that there are folks out there who want and need the information that they are providing. What was once called “vanity press” is now being viewed as “independent publishing” or “indie publishing”.
Caution: If you plan to just get a book published, you can do so, without an editor, without a graphics designer, and without setting up a publishing business. The question you should ask yourself, however, is whether or not this is the best way to represent yourself and your work.
Any future author wants a book that they can be proud of. This means you should look at your book as a piece of marketing material. You wouldn’t send out a brochure without having it proofread, edited, and professionally typeset, would you? Most of you will answer, “No,” because you understand how important it is to put your best foot forward. What if this is the only thing a potential client will ever see? You want it to be your best.
Let’s face it; everything we do is a business in some form or another. To put out a good book, you have to set aside some money for the production of the best work you can possibly publish. The people you hire are in business to provide editing and proofreading services, typesetting services, graphics design services, and printing services. All of them are in business to make money.
Beware the “free” or “low cost to you” printing and marketing offers. You really do get what you pay for. Most of those companies lure you in, making you believe that they are just like the “big guys”, but in truth, they’ll take your money, charge you a pretty high fee for a few copies of your book, and then leave you high and dry. You’ll discover that they never intended to prepare any type of marketing or distribution program for you. You may even discover to your horror that you have signed away your rights to publish your book anywhere else.
Self-Publishing is an excellent way to get your book published. Just make sure that you are smart about how you proceed. Working with a business that specializes in printing, editing, graphics design, publishing, and hopefully marketing, fulfillment, and storage in addition to merely publishing your book.
It’s not enough to get it published. It needs to get into the hands of your readers. Search out a full-service solution that is financially reasonable for you, but provides the benefit of printing and distributing your book without requiring that you store 20,000 copies in your garage.
Kathleen Birmingham is a ghostwriter of hundreds of articles, lesson plans, newsletters, and books. Currently she is creating a book coaching writing system to help business owners and other people get their ideas out of their heads and down on paper. For more insight into her philosophies on the business of writing, visit her at:
Copyright – Kathleen A. Birmingham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.