Archive for September, 2010

Why Are You Writing Your Book?

I participated in a teleseminar a couple of weeks ago and one of the topics covered was the reason people write books.

Reasons listed were:

  • To gain credibility
  • To attract more clients/business
  • To create additional income (new revenue stream)
  • To share information people can use
  • To fulfill a dream

All of these are valid reasons, but the last one (to fulfill a dream) is the one that most puppy mill presses/subsidy presses/vanity presses zero in on. They’ll happily take your money and make publishing with them sound like a dream come true. In reality, you may be walking into a nightmare.

Some of these publishers offer levels of packages (labeled by precious metals or jewels or some other delineator). Be sure you examine each package.

  • Do you get original designs you can keep or just templates that belong to the publisher?
  • Do you get editing or does that cost extra?
  • Do you get proofreading or does that cost extra?
  • How many copies of your book do you get for the hundreds of dollars you’re spending up front?
  • Where do orders for your book go? If they’re required to go to the publisher, do you pay extra for that service?
  • Do you pay for the printing of your book when the books are ordered (print on demand), only to have the publisher pay you a kickback (disguised as a royalty)? If so, what are the chances that royalty was jacked up into the printing price in the first place so you’re simply getting your money back?
  • Does the publisher keep a percentage of every book you pay to have printed when you order it? If so, why since the printing is probably already marked up to include profit? And, is that percentage paid in addition to order fulfillment fees?

Do your due diligence and really think through your publishing options. Why are you writing your book? If you simply want to fulfill a dream of being published, any publisher will do.

But if you’re writing your book for any of the other reasons listed, you want to make sure your publisher does quality work that follows the conventions of book publishing. You can do it yourself¬† if you’ve got the time¬† to find good book designers, good book printers, etc., but for most authors who are writing their books to gain business and credibility, that isn’t the best use of their time.

Why are you writing your book? When you know the answer to that, you can find the right publishing option for you.

Happy writing!

E-book Reality

We’re flooded with information about e-books and their impact on the book publishing world lately.

E-books do bring an exciting dimension to the book world, yet they still have issues that need to be worked out.

There’s no one-size-fits-all technology–do you go Kindle or some other format? What about protecting the .pdf so your e-book isn’t passed around at will (without compensating you) once someone gets a copy? Then there’s the issue of supporting design elements or graphics like bullet points, etc. that e-readers don’t do well yet.

And, as with previous entertainment technology (yes, books qualify as entertainment), what happens when technology changes? Think 78 rpm, 45, 33 1/3 lp, 8-track, cassette, CD, etc. in music. Think beta, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, etc. in video. How will we read e-books in five years? Three?

Granted, e-books are hot and getting hotter, but before you decide against publishing your book the traditional way, give some thought to e-book reality and the long-term life of your book. Look into e-books as an option. Publish your book as an e-book. But don’t overlook the longevity of print books when you do. You may decide you want to do both.

Happy writing!