E-book authors might be happy with their sales on Amazon, Apple, Kobo or B&N. You might have even turned it into an audio book. But the questions for a “real” book, paper back or hard-cover copy from conservative friends or elderly family members are nagging… And wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a Chapters or Baker & Taylor or one of the rare independent book shops and see your book in the shelf?
You will not earn a fortune, not even a living, but for a couple of months it is a nice pocket change. Only months… yes, because longer than this, barely any book will stay in the book store, unless it really is a bestseller and gets re-printed.
If you go the indie route and choose for sample the POD services and worldwide distribution through Lightning Source, (provided you have at least 3 books to be considered a small publisher) your book is printed on demand and will never get discarded (good: no-return-policy in POD worldwide distribution). See my blog from last month How to Distribute Your Book Worldwide.
All you need is the spine / back of your cover designed and professionally formatted (graphic designer, book designer, lay-outer). To work with Lightning Source you need to have at least three books to be considered a publisher and you will not receive technical help. Using CreateSpace as a POD service is the better choice if you are not a computer geek and you have less than three books.
Due to the high print-on-demand printing costs, you need to sell a 180-page fiction book for more than $10 to make any profit at all. Still you don’t make real money with your paper book, unless you are a marketing pro, very entrepreneurial and able to organize a small publisher business and invest in your written work and in letterpress print.
Role models are enough out there and they will tell you exactly how to do start as a reall publisher with their books and blogs – from Dan Poynter, Aaron Shephard to John Kremer, Joanna Penn and Joel Friedman. Author David Gaughran wrote in one of his blogs, Making Money from Paperbacks: “I was really slow to see the potential in print, and it was probably the biggest mistake I made over the last year.”
But then again: Why on earth should you go with a paper edition of your e-book?
- The majority of book buyers still chooses printed books at the moment (that will change)
- You can give out review copies to newspaper/magazine or book blog reviewers
- To be hosted at local media / TV interviewers who want to show a copy of your book
- To sell your book easier to libraries
- To participate in a Goodreads giveaway
- To sell your book to those who really don’t want an e-Reader or just love paper books
- If you write non-fiction it is almost a must to offer it in paper as well
- You have an ISBN number and can get listed with Bowker at worldwide bookstores
- Physical books are just nicer to give on Christmas – unless you put an e-book on a new e-Reader and wrap it
- To sell more e-books! Yes – because they seem to cost so much less in comparison…
And last but not least: Think hurricanes or other reasons for power outage. I know e-Readers have batteries. But guess what: just yesterday my Kindle went dead and needed to be re-charged! With heavy thunderstorms around the house due to hurricane “Sandy”, I did not want to plug it in – and instead I read a paper book surrounded by lots of solar lamps and candles.
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What is Involved in Self-Publishing?
“Have you ever noticed that a person who becomes successful tends to continue to be successful, and on the other hand, a person who is a failure, tends to continue to fail? It is because of goals. Some of us have them, some don’t.” Earl Nightingale in “Strangest Secret”
Publishing a book is like opening a business. What is an entrepreneur supposed to do in order to start his business, become a successful owner and sell lots of … well, beautiful handbags or lamps for sample or get lots of orders to design gardens or build houses? She or he would have to set up a business plan and do plenty of research in their particular industry. The same research you will have to do:
Writing an ebook or a book for that matter, is not a Get -Rich-Quick exercise – even if some publications try to make you to believe this (“Write & Publish in 7 days”, “How I became Millionaire in three months”…). It takes at least several months until you have a following in social media or until search engines notice your webpage or blog and until you receive responses (and customers). This is the reason why it is so very important for you to start your marketing before you even start writing your book. Yes, that is right, pre-publishing promotion begins long before the book is ready and it is the key to your books success.
Unless you are solely writing for creative expression, as a hobby and not for sale or god-forbid, to make a living – your book has to pay its own way, contributing to greater opportunities and profits. If you’re not prepared to professionally self-publish, professionally promote and professionally market your book, then don’t go the self-publishing route!
Professional means hiring professionals: editors, graphic designers, book layout professionals and marketing staff – unless you are good in designing and marketing – but never do your own editing!
If you’re waiting until the book is finished to start marketing, you are already behind the curve. Finding, reaching and building your audience will take a lot of time. Don’t wait until you are sitting with a warehouse or garage full of books. Build the audience first and then deliver the product.
With self-publishing your success will double: Writing a great book & market it professionally.
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Posted by ebooksinternational on January 28, 2012 in Book Sales, comment on posts, e-book Conversions (technical), e-book design, googling social, join the conversation, post to public, Publishing, Publishing Contracts, Self-Publishing, Social Media Book Marketing, Social Networks, Website & SEO
Tags: book sales, cover design, e-books, editing, formatting, marketing of their books, paper books, platform, Publishing, publishing news