How do I get a book published?

28 replies
Hi,

A friend of mine and myself are writing a book and we are trying to figure out how and where to get it published. It's going to be a physical book.

Any ideas on how to accomplish this on a small budget?

Thanks in advance.

John
#book #published
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Hey John, I've published four physical books and am very familiar with the process. Shoot me PM including your email addy and I can get back to you tomorrow morning.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1471950].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
      It depends on how you are going to be selling it. It is very unlikely you would get a true publisher to publish it. I would do all of the work yourself and find a POD printer willing to run off 25-100 copies as a trade paperback. You can get a full color, laminated cover with a perfect binding if you wish. It's cheaper if the interior pages are all B&W with no color images.

      A very good company I've had experience with is DeHart's
      Signature

      I'll help you create a reputation-building evergreen product in any niche and launch it successfully!
      Check it out here.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472526].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Sissy76
        If you want to be published the traditional way, by a trade publisher, you're best off finding a literary agent.

        The vast majority of trade publishers don't accept unsolicited manuscripts and literary agents have working relationships with publishers to offer them works which have already met the agent's criteria.

        An agent will take a percentage cut from your advance and royalties, so the publisher knows that the agent will only bring them material which has commercial potential.

        Being on an agent's books is not a guarantee of publication, however you're a lot closer than if you approached the publisher yourself.

        I've worked in the book publishing industry for over a decade and have had 4 books published myself, I can tell you, there is a LOT of rubbish which comes through the post to a publisher, literary agents make things somewhat easier.

        Be aware however, that even if you do go the traditional route, the amount of promotional work you will have to do yourself will pretty much be the same as if you self published.

        The promotional life of a title for a publisher is around 6-8 weeks, then the next lot of new releases are the focus of the marketing department. If you want a healthy royalty cheque, or even to cover your advance, you will have to organise your own promotion outside of the publisher's schedule.

        The best thing about a traditional publisher is that they know the market, so will help to make it a commercial success; they have good relationships with printers and can reduce the per unit cost of a title's production; they have good warehousing and distribution networks, as well as sales reps on the road taking orders - so you won't have to sell from your own car boot; they house a team of professionals who will make sure the title meets the most professional editorial, design and production standards; and they also have substantial marketing budgets to reach your audience and market through mainstream media.

        That being said, the internet is making it MUCH easier to self publish. You can promote your own works both online and offline, using the many marketing techniques you'll find in this forum and elsewhere online; create a following of readers and a 'name" for yourself and most importantly, you keep all of the profits. You will have to take care of all of the administration involved with producing, promoting, selling and distributing the book, which is a lot of work.

        It is wonderful to see your work in print, you just need to weigh up which path to publication is best for you and your situation.

        Feel free to PM me with any questions.

        All the best,
        Sissy
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472604].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
          Thanks for taking time to answer my post. Thats pretty much what my friend was told by one publisher he called. One said that they would take 90%, I was like no way. He was also told it could take 12-24 to get it in print. Thats way to long for either of us. We may go the self publishing way and just need a good company.


          Originally Posted by Sissy76 View Post

          If you want to be published the traditional way, by a trade publisher, you're best off finding a literary agent.

          The vast majority of trade publishers don't accept unsolicited manuscripts and literary agents have working relationships with publishers to offer them works which have already met the agent's criteria.

          An agent will take a percentage cut from your advance and royalties, so the publisher knows that the agent will only bring them material which has commercial potential.

          Being on an agent's books is not a guarantee of publication, however you're a lot closer than if you approached the publisher yourself.

          I've worked in the book publishing industry for over a decade and have had 4 books published myself, I can tell you, there is a LOT of rubbish which comes through the post to a publisher, literary agents make things somewhat easier.

          Be aware however, that even if you do go the traditional route, the amount of promotional work you will have to do yourself will pretty much be the same as if you self published.

          The promotional life of a title for a publisher is around 6-8 weeks, then the next lot of new releases are the focus of the marketing department. If you want a healthy royalty cheque, or even to cover your advance, you will have to organise your own promotion outside of the publisher's schedule.

          The best thing about a traditional publisher is that they know the market, so will help to make it a commercial success; they have good relationships with printers and can reduce the per unit cost of a title's production; they have good warehousing and distribution networks, as well as sales reps on the road taking orders - so you won't have to sell from your own car boot; they house a team of professionals who will make sure the title meets the most professional editorial, design and production standards; and they also have substantial marketing budgets to reach your audience and market through mainstream media.

          That being said, the internet is making it MUCH easier to self publish. You can promote your own works both online and offline, using the many marketing techniques you'll find in this forum and elsewhere online; create a following of readers and a 'name" for yourself and most importantly, you keep all of the profits. You will have to take care of all of the administration involved with producing, promoting, selling and distributing the book, which is a lot of work.

          It is wonderful to see your work in print, you just need to weigh up which path to publication is best for you and your situation.

          Feel free to PM me with any questions.

          All the best,
          Sissy
          Signature

          I like to mess around with software programming.

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472722].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Sissy76
            Not a problem, happy to help.
            If you're going to look more closely at self publishing, take a look at Dan Poynter's website. It has all you need to make a more informed decision.
            You could also take a look at lulu dot com, they're a print-on-demand publisher who also help with selling on Amazon and Borders, as well as having their own bookshop. You set the price and have more control of your profits, however I think they may also take a percentage, just double check it.

            Cheers,
            Sissy
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472769].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
        Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

        It depends on how you are going to be selling it. It is very unlikely you would get a true publisher to publish it. I would do all of the work yourself and find a POD printer willing to run off 25-100 copies as a trade paperback. You can get a full color, laminated cover with a perfect binding if you wish. It's cheaper if the interior pages are all B&W with no color images.

        A very good company I've had experience with is DeHart's
        It looking like thats the route we may be going. My friend found one company that for $800 will do the copy writing and put book online at places like Amazon etc and produce 25 copies for us.

        Is this a good price?
        Signature

        I like to mess around with software programming.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472733].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author longdrv4u
    I saw a WSO a while back on getting published by Amazon or one of their companies
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472540].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Just google self publishing. There are quite a few self publishing options that are not very expensive.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472548].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Sissy76 nailed it, a literary agent is the route to go if you're not in a hurry. If you're in a hurry you will need to look at POD (print on demand) options. A friend of mine uses Lightning Source for self-publishing.

    A literary agent might as well be called a publisher's screener because they do screen out the low quality manuscripts. A good literary agent can also be a coach and give you several tips to help you prepare your material for consideration.

    For example, the agent I've worked with always wants a marketing plan to show the publisher - if you aren't a well established author publishers want to know how you're going to help them make sales. It's not like most people think...that you write the book and just sit back and collect royalties.
    Signature

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472777].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author rondo
    Also look at www.Createspace.com It's similar to Lulu.com but owned by Amazon.

    Andrew
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472843].message }}
  • Iuniverse is good they do all the work for you for $1000 if you have a small budet you can use cafepress.com you upload the book their website they charge you whole sale for the pinting ex $5 lets say you chage $40 you make a profits of $35.

    They send the products to your customers and send you the checks
    Signature
    Discover the secrets to Never paying out of pocket for your Advertising EVER AGAIN!! CLICK HERE

    Dial 888-888-9802, ext 66509 (3) , code 1 (#) FREE Recorded Message

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472895].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Originally Posted by prostarprofitsdotcom View Post

      Iuniverse is good they do all the work for you for $1000 if you have a small budet you can use cafepress.com you upload the book their website they charge you whole sale for the pinting ex $5 lets say you chage $40 you make a profits of $35.

      They send the products to your customers and send you the checks
      CafePress is likely to charge a lot more that $5 a copy and,
      let's face it, $40 for a book is pretty steep and you'll need
      rockin' sales copy to sell at that price unless you've got some
      sort of exclusive information.

      The result of small print-runs with Lulu or CafePress is you'll
      be paying a LOT of dollars for each copy for a book which is
      not the same quality as a commercial-printed book. The covers
      are flimsy, among other factors. They're in business to make
      money, not make a bargain for small-run publishers, though
      these services have positioned themselves that way.

      If you shop around to a real publisher expect a frustrating
      process because publishers take the financial risks, so they're
      averse to publishing stuff to please you.

      There are other, creative ways around these issues - ways
      to print and bind as few as a dozen copies for a couple of
      dollars a piece. Small comics-presses do it - if they went
      with Lulu or whatever it would eat their whole profit margin,
      thus they self-bind with paper and glue. Very cheap, and
      if you do it right it looks great.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475055].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
        Yes $40 dollars is way to much for our book. We are looking at $15-20 and looking to make 40-50% on each sale.



        Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

        CafePress is likely to charge a lot more that $5 a copy and,
        let's face it, $40 for a book is pretty steep and you'll need
        rockin' sales copy to sell at that price unless you've got some
        sort of exclusive information.

        The result of small print-runs with Lulu or CafePress is you'll
        be paying a LOT of dollars for each copy for a book which is
        not the same quality as a commercial-printed book. The covers
        are flimsy, among other factors. They're in business to make
        money, not make a bargain for small-run publishers, though
        these services have positioned themselves that way.

        If you shop around to a real publisher expect a frustrating
        process because publishers take the financial risks, so they're
        averse to publishing stuff to please you.

        There are other, creative ways around these issues - ways
        to print and bind as few as a dozen copies for a couple of
        dollars a piece. Small comics-presses do it - if they went
        with Lulu or whatever it would eat their whole profit margin,
        thus they self-bind with paper and glue. Very cheap, and
        if you do it right it looks great.
        Signature

        I like to mess around with software programming.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475233].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Stanley Tang
    Hey John,

    I've gone through the process of publishing a book so if you need any help shoot me a PM.

    If you are looking for credibility (in return less money, royalty, editorial control, copyright and pretty much everything) then go with a traditional publisher (one of the big six - Wiley, Penguin, HarperColins etc) although it usually takes a heck of trouble to get your manuscript approved (if you are doing fiction almost certainly you need an agent). And once they've approved it it usually takes another 10-12 months for your book to be on market.

    If you are looking for speed and hassle-free then go with a POD printer/publisher like Lightning Source, Lulu.com etc. It's just that you dont get the credibility that comes with a major publisher and that you have to pay up front for all your costs.
    Signature
    eMillions: Behind-The-Scenes Stories of 14 Successful Internet Millionaires
    Get Your Copy of The #1 Best-Seller Now At Amazon For $13.57

    http://www.emillionsbook.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472904].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
      Originally Posted by Stanley Tang View Post

      Hey John,

      I've gone through the process of publishing a book so if you need any help shoot me a PM.

      If you are looking for credibility (in return less money, royalty, editorial control, copyright and pretty much everything) then go with a traditional publisher (one of the big six - Wiley, Penguin, HarperColins etc) although it usually takes a heck of trouble to get your manuscript approved (if you are doing fiction almost certainly you need an agent). And once they've approved it it usually takes another 10-12 months for your book to be on market.

      If you are looking for speed and hassle-free then go with a POD printer/publisher like Lightning Source, Lulu.com etc. It's just that you dont get the credibility that comes with a major publisher and that you have to pay up front for all your costs.
      Yeah I think we are going the self publishing route as we don't want to wait 12-24 months or give up more than 50% of book price.
      Signature

      I like to mess around with software programming.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1472918].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    I think that you are not necessarily looking at the big picture. sure they take 90%, but they also have excelletn distribution channels. The publishing of a book by a recognised publisher is as much about building profile as it is making money off it
    You need to look at your long term goals. a book in itself is not the money maker- it's all the things around it that makes the money- once it secures you as an expert.
    I'm written (and had published) 27 print books. Each one in itself has had huge long term gains that has very little to do with how much my royalty checks are.
    So I guess the question is- what is your long term goal?
    Signature

    If you can afford to, please give money to support the people in the Christchurch Earthquake.
    Here is a post to give you information on how to, no matter where you are in the world
    New Zealand thanks you

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1473386].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
      Originally Posted by Rachel Goodchild View Post

      I think that you are not necessarily looking at the big picture. sure they take 90%, but they also have excelletn distribution channels. The publishing of a book by a recognised publisher is as much about building profile as it is making money off it
      You need to look at your long term goals. a book in itself is not the money maker- it's all the things around it that makes the money- once it secures you as an expert.
      I'm written (and had published) 27 print books. Each one in itself has had huge long term gains that has very little to do with how much my royalty checks are.
      So I guess the question is- what is your long term goal?
      I understand but at 90% we would have to sell millions to make a decent amount of money which will be split 50/50. The book will sell for around $15-20 so you are looking at less than a dollar for each of us. Now granted if it sells a million copies than thats not bad. Maybe if book sold for $100.

      Also we are not looking at waiting 12-24 months to see the book in print.

      I won't go for less than 40% of book retail price. Think giving up 60% is more than amicable.
      Signature

      I like to mess around with software programming.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475008].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    John
    I guess what I am trying to say is- do you have a distribution plan? How is the book going to be marketed? And with what money? Will you be able to get yourself onto national television or in magazines with it?
    Look at the big picture and not be so into the fast buck return.
    Signature

    If you can afford to, please give money to support the people in the Christchurch Earthquake.
    Here is a post to give you information on how to, no matter where you are in the world
    New Zealand thanks you

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475148].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author John Cabral
      Originally Posted by Rachel Goodchild View Post

      John
      I guess what I am trying to say is- do you have a distribution plan? How is the book going to be marketed? And with what money? Will you be able to get yourself onto national television or in magazines with it?
      Look at the big picture and not be so into the fast buck return.
      I understand what you are saying but I just think its not worth it to me and my partner to give up 90% of profits.

      We have one company that will place our book on all the major online stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others. We realize we will have to put forth some work in getting it marketed since our budget is limited.

      My sister knows of a well know local radio DJ's wife who we will give a copy and set up a radio interview and we will also be sending out copies to some other well know people.
      Signature

      I like to mess around with software programming.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475193].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    A smart move if you are publishing on Amazon is to choose a well searched Keyword in the title.

    This is the "Bum Marketing" of book publishing. It is much easier to get an Amazon page to rank for a keyword, than for many articles and websites. You only need to ad backlinks. Make the book controversial and this will happen automatically as soon as you reach a certain point of sales.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475383].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author affenpinscher
      If you're written a novel (fiction), it would be very difficult to sell yourself as a self publisher. Places like Barnes and Noble would only order your book in response to a request from a customer and you'd better have an ISBN and be listed in Bowker so they can find you.
      The other major distribution point is Library Journal that all U.S. libraries use to decide if they want to buy your book. One of the big publishers can get you in there but it's a tough market to crack in fiction on your own.

      If you've written a non-fiction, then self publishing is very viable. Use Createspace which Amazon owns and also sell it on your own website.

      You're going to have to do marketing and publicity whatever route you go, but non fiction is the easier one for self publishers.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475445].message }}
      • [DELETED]
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475544].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author um1001
          Originally Posted by MarkAndrews IMCopywriting View Post

          Correct me if I'm wrong but
          http://www.CreateSpace.com
          give you an ISBN number.
          Yes, they do assign you an ISBN number, which makes CreateSpace pretty awesome IMO.
          Signature

          -- Jack Morrison / um1001

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475846].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Amanda Craven
    I'm with Rachel on the longterm credibility you can gain from going the traditional route (I've published 7 books - all with mainstream publishers). It's worth keeping in mind that you can still do this even after you've published on the internet. In fact, some non-fiction writers use the net in a two-pronged apparoch, racking up healthy internet sales to help entice a traditional publisher.

    You will probably need to beef up your ms. before sending it to a traditional publisher as hard copies tend to be longer than their digital cousins. I'd also advise getting an agent if you do go this route but make sure to pick one who represents writers in your subject area - in the UK we have the Writers & Artists Yearbook to help - pretty sure there is a US equivalent. I'd also recommend a highly entertaining site: Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing, Newspapers, Magazines, Broadcasting and Tinseltown, Too: A Writer's Guide to the All-Pervasive Propaganda Network set up by a guy without an agent but with a healthy dose of attitude...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475830].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ZhaoAnXin
    I highly recommend CreateSpace. . . The process is really really intuitive and easy. I used to to publish my most recent book:
    Thick Black Theory (Book;Hard Copy) | The Son Of Heaven

    And I am working on a new book that will be about 1,000 pages which I hope to have ready by new years.

    The thing about createspace is that it's really easy to use. You upload the PDF version of your book.

    You create your cover art using their interface, which is really simple. If you don't like that you can upload your own in pdf.

    You set the price structure according to how much you want to make per sale.

    You choose whether you want it listed on amazon.com or not.

    You order a proof (for about $4) and then approve the book.

    It goes live.

    Now - I think that one of the best reasons to do this is that if your book is titled the same or similarly to the keywords you're targetting in your niche - you can basically GET AMAZON TO PAY FOR YOUR PPC COSTS.

    So if the keyword you're targetting is "Litter Box Train Your Cat" and your book is titled "How To Litter Box Train Your Cat", and you've set your keywords and tags up right with createspace, Amazon.Com is basically going to run the ppc campaign for you, at their expense.

    I reference my main website in the description for the book so it's right there on amazon.com, and get a lot of my traffic this way.

    Actually, as a traffic strategy this is very powerful.

    For less than $10 (Proof Copy Of The Book+Incidentals) and a little bit of creativity you can generate a huge and permanent traffic stream back to your website. ESPECIALLY if you're targeting long tail keywords.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1476080].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    I second the recommendation for CreateSpace. I did a lot of research before I published my book and CreateSpace seemed like the best option -- i.e. you keep more of your royalties plus get superb support through the whole process.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1476114].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mr2020
    Hi John,

    lulu.com is great, I've published paperbacks through them, and done well. They will help you get on to Amazon, sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee.

    Have fun!

    Mr Twenty Twenty
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1476443].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sal64
      I had mine published through iUniverse.

      My first book was self published and I paid for the print run of 10,000 copies.

      It really depends on what purpose your book will serve.

      If you're doing it for money... then all I can say is "good luck".

      Having it published limits what you can do with it and you have to buy copies at wholesale if you want to distribute them.

      That said, having a published book is the best cred builder you can have.

      Another, more expensive option is Morgan James Publishing.

      Good luck either way.

      Sal
      Signature
      Internet Marketing: 20% Internet - 80% Marketing!
      You Won't See The Light Until You Open Your Eyes.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1476484].message }}

Trending Topics