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!


2 Responses to “Why Are You Writing Your Book?”

  1. 1 Carol Ann Hoel September 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    It’s written. Why did I write it? The story was in my heart looking for a way out. I could keep it in and deal with its persistent nudging for freedom, for release, or I could write it. My last revision, a redo of the first chapter, has been put on hold while I put together my blog. A blog, I’ve been told, is a writer’s tool to prepare for publication. Now that I have the blog, I don’t have time to finish the last revision of the novel nor time to write a query. Life is funny! Why not laugh?

  2. 2 Discover "The Road To Myself" - A Memoir by Jeff Emmerson October 14, 2010 at 11:02 am


    – Jeff Emmerson

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