Book are Here to Stay
Getting published is easy. Sure, with just a press of the button, you can now publish your content in a blog, a tweet, a Facebook profile update. That’s publishing. Yep! The world can now read your deep thoughts.
But when most people think of publishing they think of BOOKS!
Books are here to stay, people, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Okay, they may disappear one day. But more books are being published today than ever before (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2009/JianXunZheng.shtml). Book have existed as special and sacred objects since at least the 800’s (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-first-printed-book.)
Why do you think we associate books with credibility and expertise? Because deep in our subconscious books are sacred.
Books aren’t disappearing any time soon, though their form and how they are created is changing.
What does this have to do with you — the aspiring author?
It’s my job to make sure my authors know their options, so they can find the best fit for their aptitude, career goals and budget.
How do you choose the best publishing option for you? Use these three factors: Control, Time, and Budget. Note: This article is primarily for nonfiction authors. Fiction authors have additional factors like genre that this article doesn’t cover.
Control: do you want lots of control on content, art, timing, distribution, look and feel of your book, marketing, etc.? Or can you let others take control of these elements?
Time: Does your book need to get to market now, or sometime in the future? How important is timing to your book and your goals for it?
Budget: How much money are you willing to invest in your book and its marketing? (Note: No matter your publishing method, marketing is now primarily on your shoulders.)
Let’s look at a few options available to aspiring authors today:
E-books: Available in many formats (PDF, Kindle, Sony e-reader, Nook, and more coming soon!), you can write your book and convert it digitally to any or all of the e-book formats quickly, with a low budget, and totally under your control.
Example: My e-book, Overcome Writer’s Block, is a PDF file. Adapted from a collection of articles I wrote, I edited and posted the e-book in a few weeks. My only costs were to pay a cover designer, reserve a domain name, and my time to promote the e-book via my email list and social networking.
Print-on-demand: You can pay a book designer to design your book, editors to edit your book, and a book producer to handle all these moving parts, or do the book production yourself, and volia! You can have a printed book at the press of a few buttons delivered to you for resale, or directly to your customers. Control can be all yours, quick timing is possible, and your budget is relatively low, so you can hold your book in hand in about six to twelve weeks.
Example: I compiled material from my workshops and e-courses, had audio files transcribed, and I edited my content into a book. I paid a cover artist and a book designer, paid my fees to the print-on-demand company. In six weeks I held my book, The Writer’s Adventure Guide, in my hands.
Traditional Publishing: You pitch an agent who pitches an editor. Or you pitch an editor directly. After an unknown period of time (usually months or years), you are offered a contract, and your book will appear in a year or two. In this option, you have little control over the look and feel of your book. No, you don’t get final say on the cover. The sales and marketing departments are in charge of that detail. You won’t however have to spend any money on getting published. Most of the book marketing, as always, will remain your job and expense.
Example: One of my clients, Karen Lodrick, wrote with my help her manuscript and book proposal on how she caught her own identity thief. (http://karenlodrick.com/) She wanted a wide audience and the ability to sell the movie rights to her book. A year after working with her and getting her material ready to send out to literary agents, she has finally landed an agent. (Congrats Karen!) She will now work in partnership with her agent to prepare her book to pitch to editors. She has low but some control on the final product, and the timing for publishing her book is unknown, but Karen isn’t spending any money to get published. At least not directly. Her agent will take a percentage of her contract, typically 15-20%.
While getting published is as easy as you choose it to be, know what you want in terms of control, time, and expenses can help you pick the best option for you.
Good luck! And if you’re curious to learn more about your publishing options, download this free report, “The Self-Publishing vs. Mainstream Publishing Report.” (Or paste this link: http://bethbarany.com/getpublishednow.htm)
c. 2009 Beth Barany
**Who Beth Barany works with are aspiring authors. She helps them get their books written and out to market.
**Previous TNNW articles on the Writer’s Fun Zone.
This article was originally published in The National Networker Newsletter (http://www.TheNationalNetworker.com) , and is reprinted with permission. This article may not be reproduced in whole or part without including the name of this author and an acknowledgment of the fact the article was originally published in The National Networker Newsletter (http://www.TheNationalNetworker.com). Any other use of this material is unauthorized and is a violation of law.