Self publish, or use "well known" publishers like Wiley Finance, Cambridge Press etc.

by NunYaa
16 replies
I am writing a book in a relatively niche, technical area (finance). The objective for the book is twofold:

1. Generate revenue
2. Feed into my product "funnel".

The only advantage (is it really an advantage?) I can think of going with the "big boys" in this field is the (credibility?) that having a book published by them brings. However, I wonder if I will be giving too much control away (and might not even be in a position to negotiate meaningful royalties).

I have written a book before (in this same area), but I (rather foolishly), did not get paid anything for it, even though it did do relatively well for a period of time, for the publisher. I don't want to go down that route again.

However, self publishing seems to be relatively uncharted waters, but the path is not as clear to me (or perhaps I'm being too cautious). My main concerns are (in no particular order):

1. Correctly selecting the book size, also softback or hardcover?
2. Correctly selecting a sweet price point for the book
3. Holding stock: I don't really want to end up stocking books, waiting for demand to pick up - I've heard of "pre-ordering" but not clear on how to actually do it
4. How to take payments/orders for the book (and even how to package and send them - do I need to pre-order boxes for packaging etc.?)


Any advice from someone who has been down this route before will be very helpful indeed.
#book creation #cambridge #finance #funnel design #press #promote a product #publish #publish book #publishers #well known #wiley
Avatar of Unregistered
  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    1. Depends on size of your book, softcover for fewer pages, hardcover for looooong book. Just my opinion of course.
    2. Don't worry too much about price. If it's good, it will sell. Sell for what you feel it's worth (honestly)
    3. Start small with say 10 physical prints. That way the risk is small. If they sell out (or close to selling out, order more). Many people print 100-1000 copies expecting great results and it sells only 3. Rather safe than sorry.
    4. Bubble wrap is the cheap way to go. Perfect for hardcover books especially. Think about how YOU receive books you've ordered online. Courier companies can help out with packaging. Don't stress too much about this. As long as the book is protected, it's all good.
    Signature
    Need SEO and Backlinks?
    Get a 30-Day FREE Trial
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468315].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Why does it need to be a physical book?

    The benefits of digital publishing are many.

    Brent
    Signature
    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468441].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NunYaa
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Why does it need to be a physical book?

      The benefits of digital publishing are many.

      Brent
      I thought about this whilst I was writing my question. I suppose the only downside I can think for e-books is that they are much easier to copy - and the incentive might be greater for an e-book retailing around $35 - which is my desired price point.

      I had a quick look on Amazon Kindle for books in my category, and they're going for $5 or less. Even the veritable "The Intelligent Investor" (Benjamin Graham of Warren Buffett fame), is going for roughly $10, so it's definitely not my market (Kindle that is).
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468444].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I see 'the intelligent investor' for $14.99 Kindle version and for higher prices for the paperback, hardcover, and audio CD versions.


    Ebooks are not easy to 'copy' when it's a book published by Amazon, etc. Those are not the same as a download link for a digital book purchased from your own site

    Realistically - price is dictated by the market. Is your name so well known that buyers would pay $35 rather than go to Amazon and buy from your competitors for less? Closely examine all your options rather than focusing only on the price you hope for.
    Signature
    Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

    Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468445].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NunYaa
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I see 'the intelligent investor' for $14.99 Kindle version and for higher prices for the paperback, hardcover, and audio CD versions.


      Ebooks are not easy to 'copy' when it's a book published by Amazon, etc. Those are not the same as a download link for a digital book purchased from your own site

      Realistically - price is dictated by the market. Is your name so well known that buyers would pay $35 rather than go to Amazon and buy from your competitors for less? Closely examine all your options rather than focusing only on the price you hope for.

      The point you make about Ebooks is a valid one. I was thinking of online pdf files that people also refer to as e-books. I will consider this as a serious alternative to physical books

      I'm not sure I follow your point about buyers going to Amazon to buy from my competitors for less. This is a book that I wrote, how can it be obtained from other competitors? - am I missing something?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468483].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by NunYaa View Post

    I am writing a book in a relatively niche, technical area (finance). The objective for the book is twofold:
    1. Generate revenue
    2. Feed into my product "funnel".
    Unless you have a sizeable subscriber list (or access to one) or your book is breaking new ground or stirring up controversy, don't expect to be generating much in the way of revenue - at least not at the start.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "feeding into your product funnel". Would this book be a lead magnet for a buyers list and/or upsell products? If not, you'll have to explain what that funnel is intended to do.


    1. Correctly selecting the book size, also softback or hardcover?
    2. Correctly selecting a sweet price point for the book
    3. Holding stock: I don't really want to end up stocking books, waiting for demand to pick up - I've heard of "pre-ordering" but not clear on how to actually do it
    4. How to take payments/orders for the book (and even how to package and send them - do I need to pre-order boxes for packaging etc.?)
    An established publisher in the financial field would be able to help market your book to a targeted audience and garner reviews from the specialist media. It would also be much easier to get your book into retail outlets. And, as you say, there's the added authority that comes with being published on a "known" imprint.

    On the other hand, self-publishing is becoming more acceptable as a route to market, even for well-known authors, and you do get to control more of the whole process - as well as holding on to more of the profits. These days, there are many companies offering a POD (Print On Demand) service which does away with the need to hold stock. A simple Google search will give you an idea of the services available from the likes of Amazon through to local independent publishing houses. Most of these will offer design services, pricing options, payment facilities and customer fulfilment. If you wanted to, you could simply write your book and hand over the rest of the work (for a cost).

    And as Brent pointed out, you don't have to choose either print or digital - you can publish in both.
    .
    Signature
    TOP TIP: To browse the forum like a Pro, select "View Classic" from the drop-down menu under your user name.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468449].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NunYaa
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      I'm not sure what you mean by "feeding into your product funnel". Would this book be a lead magnet for a buyers list and/or upsell products?
      Yes



      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      An established publisher in the financial field would be able to help market your book to a targeted audience and garner reviews from the specialist media. It would also be much easier to get your book into retail outlets. And, as you say, there's the added authority that comes with being published on a "known" imprint.

      On the other hand, self-publishing is becoming more acceptable as a route to market, even for well-known authors, and you do get to control more of the whole process - as well as holding on to more of the profits. These days, there are many companies offering a POD (Print On Demand) service which does away with the need to hold stock. A simple Google search will give you an idea of the services available from the likes of Amazon through to local independent publishing houses. Most of these will offer design services, pricing options, payment facilities and customer fulfilment. If you wanted to, you could simply write your book and hand over the rest of the work (for a cost).

      And as Brent pointed out, you don't have to choose either print or digital - you can publish in both.
      .

      I think the best option would be to write a few "small" ebooks, use them to feed into my funnel, and also raise my online profile, and THEN write the "meatier" more technical book and engage the services of an established publisher in the industry.

      Very useful feedback my good Sir! I doff my hat off to you!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468485].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I'm not sure I follow your point about buyers going to Amazon to buy from my competitors for less. This is a book that I wrote, how can it be obtained from other competitors? - am I missing something?

    I could have phrased it better. What I mean is this: There are many good finance books - by many good authors. Would someone pay $35 on your site when they could buy a competitor's book for $15 on Kindle and be reading it 5 minutes later.
    Signature
    Every child needs a pet because every family needs an optimist

    Saving one dog will not save the world....but will forever change the world for one dog.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11468504].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SPF
    When it comes to ebooks, you either need to price the book for what it's worth and make money on that one product, or you need to decrease the products price to get them into your funnel and make money on the back end.

    Many marketers price their books at $0.00 to $1.99 just to get them into their funnel and collect the lead.

    With your book being in a technical niche you can really take multiple paths.

    1-Price your book low to get the sale and hopefully get into your funnel.
    2-Make a bunch of smaller books of your main book, to be sold at a decreased price. Saving with the purchase of the main book.
    3-You can make up another small book, priced low, with the intent of the reader to purchase your main book and get into your funnel.
    4-Or you can focus on advertising you main book at the higher price.

    I would personally pick option 2.
    Signature

    Want To Grow Your Self Publishing Business?
    Get My #1 Tip To Scale Up Your Business. http://bit.ly/SPF-OI

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11472560].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NunYaa
      Originally Posted by SPF View Post

      When it comes to ebooks, you either need to price the book for what it's worth and make money on that one product, or you need to decrease the products price to get them into your funnel and make money on the back end.

      Many marketers price their books at $0.00 to $1.99 just to get them into their funnel and collect the lead.

      With your book being in a technical niche you can really take multiple paths.

      1-Price your book low to get the sale and hopefully get into your funnel.
      2-Make a bunch of smaller books of your main book, to be sold at a decreased price. Saving with the purchase of the main book.
      3-You can make up another small book, priced low, with the intent of the reader to purchase your main book and get into your funnel.
      4-Or you can focus on advertising you main book at the higher price.

      I would personally pick option 2.
      Thanks for enumerating the options clearly. I had independently come to the conclusion of possibly going for option 3, although option 2 is also a great idea.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11474453].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    You are correct, there is still some additional credibility/connections that traditional published books get over self-published books...honestly not a tremendous amount though. Where it does "buy" you an advantage is with other players in your industry...for example, it will take longer for you to get some of the bigger names in finance and business to endorse your book and may be a little tougher for you to get hold in the "speaker's" circuit without having traditional publisher - but in the end, it mostly comes down to your platform and sales of the book (self-published or otherwise)

    If you truly see the book as a lead-magnet - then consider "giving" it away (free + shipping or cost of the book only charged) offer in and around the $7-$9 mark with very strong marketing where you break even or even take a "small" loss on the front-end to more rapidly build the back-end. You can print the book for between $2.50 and say $4 - have it shipped/fulfilled for around $5-$7 and automate the entire process. Then focus on marketing.

    This strategy is good if you are converting even decently into your back-end offer...though not sure what you have in mind in this case.

    Physical book works best here as people really do feel they are getting a $30 book for next to nothing, partners love it because they promote a great offer and you generate leads and back-end sales more quickly than if you had to go market a $35 book

    Jeff
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11473462].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wecoach
    I have no experience in self-publishing, but I am learning about it because I want to publish by myself.

    On the other hand, I have already published a book with renowned publishers (traditional publication). The main benefit of this is the "academic status" you receive; few can publish with them and being able to publish with these editorials is synonymous of quality (especially Elsevier, Whiley and LWW). However, you will not receive much. They give you a few royalties and do not worry about your book being sold because they use a long-tail strategy to sell their products (millions for them, cents for you).

    If you publish with them is to improve your image as an author and as a professional, this may positive affect the sales of future self-publications you do, but either way, if you want to make money with the books, I think the alternative is self-publishing.

    My two cents,

    Regards.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11473466].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author christyjpp
    Another benefit of going the digital route is it's pretty much pure profit. Self publishing is extremely expensive in smaller quantities - at least the last time I looked into it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11473872].message }}
  • I would use traditional publishing to establish your brand in your industry, and self publishing to generate a buyers list.

    As others have listed above, it's beneficial to have smaller Kindle ebooks ranked on the first page of Amazon dot com's search results, listed anywhere from $0.99 - $2.99, that leads potential buyers to your main paperback book. Selling your Kindle ebooks with the upsell to your main book means, that you have a list of people who are able to do online transactions. Offering free ebooks to download, may just get you a bunch of downloads, of people who are not able to make purchases online.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11474089].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author NunYaa
      Originally Posted by Internet Trillionaire View Post

      I would use traditional publishing to establish your brand in your industry, and self publishing to generate a buyers list.

      Offering free ebooks to download, may just get you a bunch of downloads, of people who are not able to make purchases online.
      Very astute observation. Thanks
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11474454].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MSutton
    Have you ever tried getting a book publisher to publish your book?


    Good luck with that one. The book publishing industry is very incestuous, run by only a few elites. Unless you know someone or have an agent whose "connected", you will likely grow old and gray before you get a publisher to publish your book.



    Your best bet is to learn how to self-publish. Kindle isn't always the best avenue.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11476973].message }}
Avatar of Unregistered

Trending Topics