With the advent of Kindle and other digital books, there were many predicting the end of print books. As creating digital books (ebooks) became easier many authors opted out of print books to publish quickly and inexpensively. As it turns out the popularity of print books has rebounded; and it’s a mistake to ignore that market.
As an independent publisher of both print and digital books, I work with authors every day. It’s been surprising how many still believe that the ebook is the only way to go without making a large financial investment. The truth is that, if you do the work yourself, the initial investment for either a print book or an ebook is quite similar.
For either print or ebook you must start with a good book that is well edited and has a great, attention-grabbing cover. Either books or ebooks require concise formatting for uploading to the printer or distributor. Admittedly, the formatting for print books and the cover creation are much more complex requiring a much longer learning curve and specialized software, but the steps involved are similar.
Often the main concern to authors of print books is the cost of books for order fulfillment. They sometimes envision a large financial investment and a garage full of books. Print-on-demand (POD) eliminates all that. When someone purchases a book, the printer processes the order, prints the book, and ships it to the customer while maintaining an accounting for the publisher.
The author does need to buy copies of their book for readings, signings and bookstore consignment if he or she chooses to do that.
Promotion of books or ebooks can be costly and time-consuming, but the cost is the same for either one. With print books, you do have the cost of sending copies to reviewers, but sending them an ebook version is an option.
I always advise authors to create both versions. Have questions about print or ebooks, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like to determine the best possible title for the book as soon as possible. Often the author already has a title in mind. We need to spend time discussing the title to make certain that it peaks the interest of potential readers enough so they open the book or just look inside online.
The length of the title and font size are critical. Too long a title with a small font will be unreadable as an Amazon thumbnail. Even on the small size online the title should be clear and large enough to read and understand.
A good title can sell books so it’s important to take time to develop the best title for the book.
As an independent publisher my first step when publishing a book for any other author is to conduct a consultation to learn about the book and the author. I especially want to know the author’s expectations for the book. If you are going to publish your book, the same step applies. It won’t be in the form of a consultation but you definitely want to set your expectations. Most of the time the desire may be to have a best selling book, but not always. Sometimes an author just wishes to share memories, skills, or experiences with family and friends and perhaps anyone else who may be interested.
The more you know about your book and your expectations the more likely you are to succeed with your book.
If your goal is just to share, then numbers may not be as important but you still need to identify your readers. If your goal is to sell as many books as possible, you must know your readers if you are to reach them with a message about your book so they can become buyers. This is a critical and time consuming process that is essential to the financial success of any book. There are many good books on the subject of book promotion, marketing, and sales and many methods. Most of them have merit but there are no guarantees. You may have to explore many possibilities before finding one that works for your book.
In the previous post I explained printing. In this post I will outline all the steps involved in publishing a print book and the future posts will explain each step in detail.
Step One – This involves consultation with the author to determine his or her goals for the book and the readiness of the manuscript.
Step Two – Determine the best possible title for the book if the author hasn’t already completed that step.
Step Three – Preparing the design of the book including the size, fonts, and many other things.
Step Four – Deciding if the book will be just a print book or also a digital version.
Step Five – Assigning an ISBN to the book.
Step Six – Format and layout the book in preparation for printing
Step Seven – Decide on the cover design, both front and back.
Step Eight – Create files to upload to the printer.
Step Nine – Upload all the completed files to the printer for review.
Step Ten – Review the online proof and then order a proof copy to check it out in print form.
Step Eleven – Make any corrections and resubmit for a second proof.
Step Twelve – Publish your book for worldwide distribution.
As you can see, printing is just one small part of the publishing process. And, this list doesn’t include one of the most important aspects of publishing a book for sale and that is promotion and marketing. This is a subject on to itself and is critical to the financial success of any book. These posts will only touch on this topic since not everyone publishes for profit.
Check back for more posts covering each step in complete detail.
After having a long conversation with someone interested in “publishing” a print book I realized that many individuals don’t know or understand the difference between publishing a book and printing a book. I spent time explaining to this individual what’s involved in publishing a print book and I decided to write about it to help others understand what I do when I publish a print book.
Basically, printing a book is what happens when you prepare a manuscript using some kind of word processing software and then take it to a printer and they print it exactly as you’ve prepare it. If you have created a cover design, it will appear either as the first page or on an actual cover page.
Once the book is ready you pick up the copies and do whatever you planned to do with it. Perhaps you will give it to friends and family. Perhaps you will try to sell it.
Printing is an important step in the publishing process but it’s only one step and much preparation and works involved in publishing.
Publishing is the complete process and I will detail all the steps I take in publishing print books for myself and others instead of just printed in my next post.
In addition to promoting my books and ebooks I promote my publishing services for independent authors. To do that it’s important for authors to recognize my expertise. To help show that I’ve written a book on how to publish an ebook on Kindle, Smashwords, etc. and I’m making it available free to anyone. Information on this ebook is listed below.
My new ebook “How To Publish Your Ebook: Succeeding on Kindle, Smashwords, Clickbank, and Your Own Ebook Store” is available now absolutely FREE. No obligation, no email registration, just download it to any device. I would love to hear comments once you read it. Get more details and your FREE copy now at http://ebook.publishingsimplified.com .
My next post will have more information about free ebooks. There are various to handle ebooks intended to share content and I’ll explain some and the method I use and why I prefer it. Check it out.
It is important to have a web site for your book but it’s not enough. If all you have is a site telling folks about your book and about you prospects may leave before you’ve convinced them to buy your book. My expertise has been with nonfiction and to interest reader in your nonfiction you need valuable content that is free. The purpose of the content is to establish your expertise in your topic. In addition to the sale site for every book I also have blogs and I post as often as possible and sometimes with extensive information.
In all honesty, I don’t post nearly as often as I would like but I definitely work at it. This blog, Publishing Simplified, is intended to provide valuable content to anyone interested in self publishing. I sometimes mention one of my books but the goal is to establish that I am an experienced publisher and can be of help.
Another form of free content is creating free ebooks for your various topics. For example, I have a free ebook about publishing ebooks and it available at http://selfpublishingworkbook.com/freespebook.html . The important thing with content is that it must be of real value not just another “buy my book” ad.
Fiction seems more difficult. I have to work on that also even though I don’t write fiction because I’m promoting books that my company Positive Imaging, LLC has published. One of those includes my wife’s novel Like I Used to dance. You can check the blog for her book at http://likeiusedtodance.com . I’m always working to improve that one.
In the next post I’ll share more things that I’m doing to promote my books. I would also appreciate hearing from anyone wishing to share what they are doing to promote their books. Thanks.
As an author who wishes to sell books, I have to take steps everyday to promote my books. As a publisher for other authors I have to help them promote their books. In these efforts I’ve noticed that the words promotion and marketing are often used. In the past I’ve mostly used “marketing” for my efforts to sell my books but I’m sure that I’m promoting my books also.
Just out of curiosity I decided to check the dictionary for the definitions of promotion and marketing and I listed both below:
Promotion – something devised to publicize or advertise a product, cause, institution, etc., as a brochure, free sample, poster, television or radio commercial, or personal appearance.
Marketing – the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
In carefully reading both my feeling is that promotion is better suited to selling books but marketing would work just as well. So, whether you promote your books or market them, the important thing is to sell as many books as possible. If your promotion or marketing efforts are working well then your books are selling. If they aren’t working, well you know.
It’s possible there are authors who don’t care whether their books sell but I’m not one of those and almost all of the authors I know would like to sell many copies of their book. Because of that I’ve decided to share some of things I’m doing to help sell my books and I hope that some of you will share what you are doing. Check back often for more posts on this topic. Thanks.
Once you have that great idea for a book, it’s time to develop a plan. This is an important step and varies depending on your reasons for writing a book. If your objective when writing a book is to make a profit, then the first step in the plan should be to decide who will want to read your book. It’s called knowing your market. The only way to make certain your book will be purchased is to know who is going to purchase it before you write the first sentence.
Once you know who will buy the book you will know the information they want and need and then you are ready to beginning planning the actual writing of the book. The first step in this process is compiling all the information you have on the topic. I prefer to compile all my data in a word processor because once I am ready to organize it the task will be much easier. Don’t worry about organizing all the information initially because it will cause you to overlook important things. Just compile every piece of information that could potentially contribute to your book.
Once you have the information compiled begin organizing using an outline. I begin by creating the outline at the beginning of all my compiled information. I list the headings and cut and paste the information that fits in that heading. I don’t attempt to put it in order at this point but just organize the data under the appropriate headings. Usually during this process I come up with headings that I had not considered because of all the loose information I have gathered.
Once I have all the headings I copy and paste them to form a well organized outline of everything that I want to write. During this process I add even more information to each heading and I wind up with a well organized outline for my book and I can begin writing. In my next post I will cover how I use this outline to write my book.
Are there less costly ways to self publish a print book than through Createspace? I know they exist and I have checked out some of them. I stick with Createspace because they consistently do a good job and give me excellent customer service if a problem does arise.
My goal in self publishing is to make a profit and keep things as simple as possible. Createspace keeps my upfront cost low but more importantly, once you learn how to prepare your interior and cover files, they take care of everything. You can market your book around the world and they handle all aspects of the fulfillment.
Certainly I could make more on each book if I purchased a quantity and fulfilled the orders myself but that would also take a lot of my time away from writing and publishing other books and that is where I prefer to spend my time. Once I have published a book I never have to do anything else other than marketing using my web site and other methods.
Createspace creates an eStore for my books in addition to placing it on Amazon. They also make it available worldwide. When an order comes in, the credit card sale is processed, the book is printed in the appropriate country, and the book is shipped to the customer promptly. At the end of the month my share of the sale is deposited in my bank account.
For me this makes business easy so I can continue writing which is what I love to do. Createspace has worked for me since 2007 and after 18 books I don’t have a single complaint about the way they do business.