The Future of Print Media in the Digital Age

To understand the future of print books in the digital age, one must first understand the history of books in society.

400 – 1500 A.D
In the Middle Ages, when printed text began to emerge, there were only religious and philosophical writings. The clergy created the material, and so they retained control over what was written and printed. Depending upon what religious sect had fashioned the text, only their view would be expressed, and only their belief was shared and openly accepted. As these works were exceptionally difficult, and elaborate to produce, they were usually only acquired by the wealthy. At that time, the wealthy consisted of the Church, the royalty, and the extremely successful merchant class. The average shopkeeper could never have afforded to own a book, and the lowly barmaid would never have been allowed to read one.

1453 – 1600
After the invention of the printing press, the reach of printed text extended further than the Church, not by much however. The manufacture of printed information was costly and time consuming. Therefore, the growth of book publication and production was funded by the popular politicians, the reigning royal family (and close friends), and the upper crust of society. It was still accepted and expected that what was considered popular reading material, be based upon the view, opinion, and preference of those who could afford to purchase the books. It was probably likely that writers, who wanted their work to be published, would write what they believed the readers wanted to read.

As more printing presses were employed, the printers themselves found methods to lower the cost and the effort needed to print greater numbers of books. As printing became more affordable, more writers could write and publish what they wanted to, and more people could afford to read what was being written. This factor began to encourage people to discover and form new opinions and beliefs, and gave them the ability and the willingness to share them with others. No longer were the elite or the church controlling what was read, allowing the people to learn freely.

1640 – 1800
The printed word comes to America. However, the common people of America were very limited in their reading material. The Bible and related writings were most common and popular, as religion and its infliction upon the masses were paramount to the first colonial settlers. Again, for a time, the churches held power over what the people read. In fact, boy children were taught to read and write in the first colonial schools, with primers that contained the alphabet, and passages of scripture. Girl children of the wealthy were taught basic reading and writing, and math skills at home by their governess. It was not acceptable until the late 1700’s for girls to attend public school.

1800 – 1900
Printing was affordable, writing was open-minded and wide-ranging, reading was all the rage, and even women and children were encouraged to learn the skill. During this time, the invention of modern paper had significantly decreased the cost of the production of books and magazines. This met with the demand that the people had for more written material to read. To satisfy this demand, book publishers developed faster and more efficient, and more creative methods for the production of books, such as adding color illustrations, and using variations of typesetting.

The 1800s brought about a greater demand for specialized books and magazines as different professions were developed, and traditional professions advanced. This demand led to the conception of dedicated publishing houses. A few of the earliest established publishing houses are still recognizable in some form today, although they have merged, been taken over by other media corporations, and have transformed into different forms of media businesses. Nearly all American people had access to books by this time, except for the very poor and the completely uneducated, which made up a substantial part of the population.

The book publishing business began to grow and expand during the early and mid-1900’s. During this time, specific category books became more popular, such as trade books and textbooks especially. Paperback fiction, mystery, and romance, were among the most widely read material during this time. The laid back later years of the 1900’s brought about the arrival of the mail order and the book club readers. This assured that very few people were unable to find a book when they wanted one.

The late years of the last century, and the beginning of the new century, witnessed a surge in the number of and the types of bookstores available in the United States. The Internet made it possible and convenient to buy books online. There was even an experiment, (if you will) in what is known as the eBook. While it did not catch on as quickly as was expected, it is now a common aspect of the cyber community. Countless would-be authors are able to create and publish their own books in this form, and some of these eBooks are actually very popular. These eBooks are also a useful and cost efficient marketing tool for web entrepreneurs.

The book publishing industry of today and tomorrow is not that different from when it first began. The major difference being the amount of money spent and made in this industry, and the size of the publishing companies. From the very first published printed material, the intent was to spread enjoyment, enlightenment, and knowledge. I believe that the intent is still the same. However, the future of printed media is inevitably intertwined with the other forms of media communications of today, and the media that we have not yet imagined.

When the first book was published, no one could have imagined seeing that book come to life on a movie screen. When the first movie was made from a book, no one had yet imagined being able to watch that movie on a hand held screen. Printed media is encouraged to grow as our society grows, and printed media encourages the growth of the other media forms.

Different Paths to Publishing – Even “Subsidy Press” Can Be the Right Fit For Authors

Be realistic with your expectations, and subsidy press can be the right option for those who dream of publishing a book.

If you’re considering publishing a book, honestly assessing your own strengths and abilities is the best thing you can do for your business plan. It is the life goal of many to publish books, and sometimes, the best plan can be subsidy publishing.

Subsidy publishing is not suited for those who are realistically able to market their book to thousands of people. Rather, subsidy publishing can be a great way for an author to achieve his or her dream of seeing their book in print. If the idea of your book is personal narrative or poetry, you traditionally do not have the formula for a profitable book publishing plan. Remember, publishing books is first and foremost a business. If you spend the money to package and print a quality book, it can easily cost the upwards of $30,000 for 2,000 copies. Book printing is only half the battle, as aggressive marketing to sell your book at a quick pace is necessary to make back the large sum of money you’ve just spent. Over the years, there have been truly sad cases in which authors had gotten in over their head with too many books to sell, and weren’t able to earn a return on their spending.

What do you hope to accomplish through publishing your book? Is it to print a book to showcase your hard work and writing? Is it to fulfill a life-long dream? Is it to have that book to share to friends and family, and perhaps only print 100 copies to casually sell? The very best thing you can do is be straightforward with your own goals and abilities.

A lot of people will criticize subsidy publishing, saying they will accept any book idea and only profit off the author, regardless of the book’s sales. Indeed, for those who have pre-existing customer bases and will invest a great deal of time and effort to market a book, subsidy press is not the best option. Just because a subsidy publisher prints your book does not mean they are endorsing it to be a success on the book market. Keep in mind that they don’t discriminate much of what they print, and won’t be around when the time comes to market your book.

But for authors more focused on the accomplishment of publishing a book to share with loved ones, subsidy press allows a great opportunity. Publishing books is not a hobby, but a business-one that requires extensive investment, time and marketing skills, and a certain amount of risk. This business is not suited for everyone, but fortunately there are still ways for passionate authors to get a book published. Be realistic with your expectations, and subsidy press can be the right fit for your specific needs.

Print Your Own Book? A Look at Print on Demand

For small book sellers, authors, companies looking to cut down on back stock, or sellers who want to offer options when it comes to out of print or out of stock books, print on demand can be an excellent resource. In many ways, print on demand technology has revolutionized the way in which the publishing industry operates. If you have plans to print your own book, here are a few things to think about.

Consider what happens among books sellers with traditional printing options. Most publishers have a minimum order requirement with any particular printing, which of course makes printing more cost effective. However, what happens when those books get to the sellers? They end up as back stock, taking up valuable space. And then, if they do not sell well enough in that particular market they end up as bargain books and wind up being a lost investment.

With print on demand, you as an author will be able to much more effectively manage risk by printing smaller quantities of books as they are required. This is a much more beneficial arrangement especially if you’re a beginning author who must fund the cost of printing out of pocket. It allows you to get started on a reasonable budget, begin to generate book sales, and then scale up keeping pace with demand.

One of the advances in technology that has made print on demand possible is the availability of compact print machines, such as the Espresso book printing machine from Lightning Source. Such machines, stationed within a book store, offer the opportunity to booksellers to print books on demand from a catalog. These machines are small enough to fit in an office and allow you to print your own book in less than two minutes and in a wide range of sizes. The machine handles everything from printing, to binding to trimming. It can even print the cover and provide you with excellent library quality paperbacks. The catalog provided by Lightning Source and the Espresso Book Machine offer instant access to hundreds of titles.

From the perspective of an author, the development of POD machines is fantastic because it means that you have the potential for wide and even global distribution without having to print hundreds of thousands of copies. Frankly, this will likely change the landscape of the publishing business forever.

Print on demand can be a great way to publish small quantities of your book at a time, and can even handle your needs as your book sales and distribution require that higher quantities be printed. POD providers like Lightning Source can also ship to any location and require less turnaround time than standard publishers. Print on demand can be a great way to publish your books, obtain professional quality books for your business, or simply ensure that you never run out of copies when you need them most.

John Harricharan is an International Best-Selling Author with nearly 40 years of experience in book publishing.

Self Publishing Print & Ink Books

My first caveat is to warn you that fiction is a thousand times more difficult to sell for unknown authors than nonfiction. The vanity presses and subsidy publishers will tell you that is not the case, but they want your money and don’t care if you ever sell a single copy. That’s the first fact. If you are considering trying to self-publish a piece of fiction it is unlikely you will ever show a profit–I know, I just broke you heart, but at least I’m being honest with you.

So what does it mean to self publish? It means that you do everything in terms of getting the book into print and marketing it. Most people are not willing to do these things. But if you’re a go-getting and don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and doing some grunt work, you can make money self-publishing non-fiction books.

Search for print-on-demand printers online and get some quotes for your book. Most will do runs as small as 25 copies, although you will pay more per unit in small quantities. They can produce books just like the trade paperbacks you find in bookstores: color laminated covers with perfect bindings.

I would suggest you look online for catalog companies which carry titles in your niche and ask them about including your title in their next mailing. Offer a 50% discount and send a cover letter, a bio page, and a sample write-up they could use in their catalog. It’s easier to do than you might think.

Go to your library and find a copy of Bacon’s Radio Directory. It lists all 10,000+ radio stations in the U.S. with data on each one. Find stations that do author interviews and call them to give them a pitch for interviewing you by phone about your book. Authors sell huge quantities of books with this method.

Strangely enough, book stores are one of the worst places for unknown authors to sell their books. Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. Try the techniques I mentioned and you might be surprised at your results.

The Advantages of Self-Publishing

A few decades ago, self-publishing was considered a big “No No.” The cost to self-publish was high and vanity presses often took advantage of authors. However, several well-known authors from Walt Whitman and Mark Twain to James Redfield have self-published books that have become classics and bestsellers, and with the advances in technology, self-publishing is highly affordable. As long as the author makes producing a quality book a top priority, self-publishing can be not only a feasible choice, but it may even be the better choice over traditional publishing. Following are some advantages for why you might consider self-publishing.

Control of Production: Self-publishing your book gives you complete control of the production. Rather than sell your rights to a publisher who will then edit your book the way it sees fit and decide itself when to publish your book-often two years down the road-and decide whether to continue to sell your book or take it off the shelves, the self-publisher has complete control over timing and production. Your publisher may want your book to be a coffee table, expensive hard back book while you want an inexpensive paperback so you can sell more copies. If you self-publish, then you can produce it the way you want. You also can guarantee that your book never goes out of print by reprinting it as often as you like or the market demands. By contrast, publishers often cease printing books that are not bestsellers, and then authors have to wait years for their contracts to expire to buy back the rights of their own books. Having complete control over the entire publishing process and the lifespan of your book is perhaps the greatest benefit of self-publishing.

Print Runs: I’ve heard authors argue that traditional publishers will produce larger print runs than self-publishers. This is true. Even the smallest traditional publishers will often do a print run in the low thousands, while a self-published author who has to pay for the entire production himself might find it difficult to print more than 500 or 1,000 copies. Of course, you want your book to reach as many people as possible, but if your publisher prints 3,000 books and only 1,000 sell, what is the advantage over you printing 1,000 and keeping all the profit for yourself? A large print run is the weakest argument for staying with traditional publishing, since if the book sells well, the money from the profit from the first small print run can be used to pay for the second and third and larger ones.

Marketing: Traditional publishers are doing less and expecting authors to do more marketing for their books. Unless a book is considered a potential bestseller, and few are, little money will be spent on marketing. An author willing to go out and promote himself can be as successful at marketing a book as a publisher and might even get a publisher’s attention down the road. While traditional publishers do have more resources and outlets for promoting books, guerrilla marketing by an author can equal those efforts if the author educates himself on marketing and is willing to spend the time and energy. Authors can also find assistance from publicity companies, many of which are very affordable today.

Profit: Any author who thinks he or she is going to get rich off of publishing a book is in the wrong business, but that said, savvy self-published authors can succeeded in making a livable income or at least a hefty supplement to their income by self-publishing their books and promoting them properly. As far as profit goes, if an author has to help the publisher to market the book and is receiving 10 percent royalties, it makes more sense for the author to publish his own book and receive far greater profit. Consider these numbers:

Profit from Traditional Publisher:
No printing costs for author
Print run of 3,000 books at retail of $19.95
Royalty to author at 10 percent if all books sell: $5,985.00

Profit for Self-Published Author
Printing costs of $8.00 per book.
1,000 copies print run (printing costs decrease if print runs are higher) = $8,000.00
Sales at $19.95 per copy of 1,000 books = $19,950.00
Profit: $11,950.00

In short, self-publishing can equal double the profit if the author is able to sell just a third as many copies as the traditional publisher. Even if you sold half of your copies in bookstores and gift shops at 40 percent consignment, your profit would still be greater than 10 percent royalties on 3,000 books.

But how do you sell all those copies? Self-publishing success requires effort, and while the profit above looks good, it probably won’t be that high when you take into account additional production costs such as editing, building a website, etc., but you can still come out significantly ahead.

TIPS to Self-Publishing Success
Despite all your efforts, you will still find some people who will be dismissive of your book if it is self-published. The best way to overcome these objections and sell more copies is to produce a quality book. Here are some final tips and “musts” to make your book competitive.

Have Your Book Professionally Edited: A good editor will do more than fix typos and punctuation and grammar. She will enhance your words to their best potential while retaining your voice and meaning. She will make sure you sound professional, don’t repeat yourself, and you appeal to the wider reading public.
Remember What Your Readers Want: Readers want to know “What’s in it for me?” They don’t care about your personal story unless it has something in it that will help them. You can enjoy writing, but if you write for you, and not for others, you aren’t going to sell books.
Ensure Quality Production: Don’t print pages off your printer and have them bound. Avoid comb bindings. Go to a professional printer that has experience printing books and knows all the ins and outs of what kind of paper to use and all the other details. Be sure also to hire a professional to do the layout of your book and to design your cover. Even if you are determined to do it yourself by using a publisher like CreateSpace, find someone else who has done it before and can guide you along so your book looks completely professional and as good as anything produced by Random House or HarperCollins.
Learn from Marketing Experts: Books don’t sell themselves, and books on bookstore shelves don’t sell if people don’t know they are there. You don’t have to hire a full-time publicity agent, but join a publishing organization, attend publishing conferences, read publications in the industry, find out what works for others, get book reviews, and hire reputable marketing services that will help you spread the word. Your book won’t sell unless you are out there selling it, and marketing experts can teach you how to sell it so it interests people.

If you’re still not sure whether to self-publish or traditionally publish, I suggest you spend a year or two trying to find a traditional publisher. If that works out, great, but if it doesn’t, give self-publishing a try. Save up your money while you look for the traditional publisher so you are ready to proceed with your back-up plan. Even if you do find a traditional publisher, after you become more familiar with the publishing industry, you can always choose to self-publish your second book. No right or wrong way exists to publish a book; you just need to decide on what way is better for you and your book.

How to Self-Publish Using Print on Demand

The introduction of Print on Demand publishing sparked a bit of a revolution in the publishing industry. Writers no longer need to be at the mercy of editors and publishing houses, earning only tiny portions of the sales their hard work actually generates.

What is Print on Demand?

Print on demand is not a publishing style. Rather it’s a form of technology that allows the printer to create limited runs of a book that you’ve created.

Print on Demand simply means that the printer creates only as many copies of your book as you’ve ordered. Computer technology effectively replaced the old type-setting blocks that used to be the standard in publishing so that writers are now able to take control of their own publication careers.

Before the advent of Print on Demand (POD), writers who wanted to self-publish had to pay for large print-runs of books that they would often need to store in garages or spare rooms until they’d sold. Using POD means that you only need to order as many books as you’ve sold. This saves you time, money and storage space!

Why Should Writers Self-Publish?

The traditional method of publication was to write a novel, submit it to a publisher and then wait 6 or 12 months for the editor to decide if they would accept or reject it. If they accepted it, the book would go into a large print run of usually 10,000 and get shipped out to stores.

The writer got offered a contract that promised that they’d get paid 5% or 10% of the sale price of the book in the stores. If the book didn’t sell well within a few short months, then the book was withdrawn from sale and the writer would usually not get offered a new contract to write anything else.

This is a harsh way for any talented writer to make a living, but self-publishing changes the rules.

When you self-publish, you’re self-employed. You’re in control of all the profits – not just a tiny percentage of them – and you’re in charge of marketing and sales. By using Print on Demand technology to have your book printed, it means that you only have to print as many books as you have orders for.

Writing Your Book

Always be sure you’ve written and edited the complete manuscript before you send it out to your Print on Demand publisher. Many newer writers tend to send out incomplete manuscripts that haven’t been edited to check for typing errors or plot problems.

This might not seem like such a big thing when you’re excited about finally finishing your manuscript, but your readers will notice. Word of mouth is vitally important to a self-published author.

Visit some of the professional writing sites available to learn how to edit your work on your own properly without having to pay exorbitant fees to a proof-reader.

How To Self-Publish

There are plenty of reputable print-on-demand publishers available, all willing to allow writers to publish their own books. Always check that the company you choose has a good reputation with the writers who have already used them.

Some POD companies, such as Lulu or Booklocker, will create an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for you as part of the printing service they provide. If you don’t want them to have control over who owns your ISBN, you can register your own at isbn.org

Check and double check the formatting guidelines your print on demand publisher expects. There’s no point sending in a manuscript that is incorrectly formatted. After all, your printer will only create what you send them. It’s important that you get your formatting right before it goes into print.

Creating a Cover

If you know someone who is great with graphic design and you can have your own cover created, then this can help you enormously. Paying a print on demand company to hire a graphic designer for you can get a little expensive, but it’s still a better option than trying to create something yourself.

Remember, your self-published book could be listed on sites like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, so you’ll want it to look as professional as possible.

Print on Demand vs. Vanity Press

Learn the difference between self-publishing and vanity press. A true self-publishing print on demand publisher will always be clear about you keeping your own rights to your work. You control the content and the cover art. You control the sales and pricing.

A vanity press is where you pay a company to publish your work for you and then you only receive a percentage of the sales price back in return. This arrangement is NOT the same as self publishing through print on demand and can actually compromise your rights to your own work.

Marketing Your Self Published Book

If you decide to self publish, you’re not just in charge of writing and creating the book. You’re also in charge of sales and marketing too. The first place most writers think of selling their book is in a book store.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of bookstores and chains won’t stock self-published books. However, you might be surprised to find that more books are sold outside of bookstores anyway.

It’s possible to list your books for sale on your own website, but unless you have some serious visitors to your site, you might find your book sells a little slowly. Your POD publisher might have a great bookstore listing right on their own website that will happily list your book for sale there.

Submit your book to book review sites. Many readers will only buy books after they’ve read a recommendation and a little teaser about what the book’s about.

Finding a way to get the large online bookstores to list your book can be a great benefit to your marketing efforts. Submit your book to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other online bookstore you can think of to help increase your exposure.

Conclusion

Self publishing can be an incredibly rewarding way for any writer to realize the dream of being published. You not only get to hold your finished book in your own hand, but you might also find that the freedom of creativity you have along with the control over the potential profits is second to none.

Self Publishing Will Rule The Future

The printing industry is fast changing and one of the biggest advents of the modern publishing industry has been the popularity of self publishing. Not long ago the publishing world was dominated by traditional publishing companies which did not allow full creative freedom to all the authors. The explosion of the digital era has signaled a paradigm shift in the publishing industry making self publishing a buzz word among writers. Self publishing is the path many authors prefer to walk these days.

Self publishing is gaining immense popularity these days due to the fact that it gives the author creative freedom over his/her work. They can keep the copyrights of their work and gain huge monetary gains rather than a percentage from the publishers. Above all it relieves the authors from the hard-boiled editor who in most cases are interested in the commercial potential than the actual content of the book. Most first time authors have been at the mercy of the publisher for ages.

Self publishing is not as challenging as it used to be in the earlier times. The digital printing technology has brought down the cost of book printing drastically especially when it is in low numbers. Book printing doesn’t need to go through development of plates and films and has become more like computer printing. This has given birth to what we know as ‘print on demand’ where a author has the freedom to print as many copies as he/she wants even as low as a single copy!

With the rates at which authors are opting for self publishing it won’t be wrong to predict that they will soon take over the traditional author-publisher printing. Self publishing is also on a rise as there are options where people can host digital versions of their books online which are printed and given to readers. Never in the history of the publishing industry were the authors so powerful. Self publishing is a thing for the future as it empowers authors.

To ensure that your self published book is of high quality you need to hire the services of a professional printing service provider like PrintPapa. They are a modern printing house who uses the latest printing technology available in the market and have a well trained staff.

How To Publish Your Own Book: Tips For Self Publishers

There’s little doubt that one of the most exciting things you can do as a writer is to publish a book. (I should know, I’ve had over a hundred books published in my time and it excites me every time.) So here I’m going to explain how you can actually publish your own book…. and make good money from it.

In the past you pretty much had to find a publisher if you wanted to publish a book. But today new technology makes it possible and actually not too expensive to become a self publisher and do it yourself.

And – self publishing can be a very smart choice indeed. It’s affordable (if you know how), fast, pays much better than standard royalty agreements, and lets you keep control over your book too. Publishers might offer you a royalty starting at as little as 5% of the cover price. Self publishers can increase that to 50% or more!

Can the average person successfully self publish a book? Yes they can! There isn’t really any mystery involved. You don’t need to set up a big publishing company – you can do it part time from home. All you need is a saleable subject, good presentation – and determination.

These are the basics of self publishing: Writing your book, preparing it to be printed, getting it printed, distributing the book, getting publicity…. and, of course, counting the profits.

Here are some basic pointers to get you started publishing your own book:

* Choose your book subject. Non-fiction books tend to be much better for self publishing than fiction. Because they sell for higher prices and aren’t usually heavily discounted like novels and so on are.

Try to choose a fairly small, specialist subject to publish on. If your subject is small big publishers won’t be interested in competing with you yet you can still make good money from your book.

* Do some research. Look for competing titles and figure out how to make yours better. Find out what sales of those books have been to see if they are good sellers or not. Tip. Have a look on Amazon to see what similar titles there are, and find out how popular or unpopular they are by looking at their Amazon Sales Rank. Go into some bookshops and ask the staff there if the kind of book you have in mind is something they get asked for often or not.

* You can save money by doing as much as possible yourself. You will need a printer. But beyond that, do as much as you can yourself and just buy in the extra services you need from freelancers. You can even typeset your own book using software such as Adobe Publisher. Use a freelance editor/proofreader to edit your book and a freelance designer to design a good cover. It needn’t cost much if you shop around.

* Decide what format you’d like to publish your book in: Hard cover or paperback for example. Take a look at competitors’ books to get some ideas. Paperback might not look as impressive as hardback but it can cost as little as a quarter of the price.

* Get lots of quotes on printing – since this is likely to be your main overhead. In general, the more copies you print, the lower the unit cost. On the other hand, you don’t want a garage packed to the rafters with your books! Before hiring a printer ask potential suppliers to send you samples of their recently printed books.

* Check out print on demand publishers. Print on demand or POD is ideal for self publishers. Instead of printing hundreds of books in advance using traditional, ink-based offset printing you send a computer file to the POD printer. Books are then printed and bound ONLY as and when you sell them. So there’s very little upfront cash outlay and nothing’s wasted if your book doesn’t sell.

* Get an ISBN for your book. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is the standard code for identifying your book in the book trade. Once your book has an ISBN it can be ordered by any bookshop anywhere in the world!

* Decide how your book will be distributed, ie. how it will reach the bookshop or whatever. The conventional route is to go through a book distributor who will do everything for you – but they will expect around a 50% discount on the cover price for doing it. Some print on demand companies can also do it for you.

You can also distribute your book yourself if you want to. If you do, you’ll need to contact book shops directly and ask if they’re interested in stocking your book and handle all the orders. This can be a good choice if your book is a locally-orientated book. It’s usual for book shops to accept books on sale or return. Which means you leave them and if they sell, you get paid. If they don’t, you take them back.

You can also get your books sold on Amazon and similar online bookstores very easily.

* Be prepared to do some marketing of your book yourself. Distributors can do this for you, but you’ll get much better results if you get involved in a hands-on way. A very good way to get publicity is to send review copies to newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations…. better still offer yourself to do interviews. This is totally free publicity that can sell hundreds or even thousands of books if it works out!

Although a few self published books have become best sellers self-publishing is best thought of as a bit of a cottage industry. Then again, if you’re getting 50% from your book rather than 5% you can see that you could make £5,000, £10,000 or even £20,000 a year just from selling a few thousand books!

Ebook Publishing: Ebooks and Print Books And How You Can Publish Both

Publishing printed books used to be difficult, slow and expensive. But eBook publishing changed all that with its speed, simplicity and lack of cost.

Self published authors quickly turned to eBook publishing as a way to make money. And many are doing very successfully and have become eBook publishing millionaires.

Yet not many self publishers consider print publishing as well, because they believe that it is still slow and expensive to do.

But did you know that it’s just as easy now to publish your book as a POD (Print On Demand) paperback or hard cover book, as it is to publish it as an eBook?

In fact, you can publish your book as a print book and an eBook in less than one hour, and it won’t cost you anything.

As you probably already know, the fastest and easiest way to publish an eBook is by publishing it for the Amazon Kindle. Having a Kindle publishing account is easy to do and publishing an e book with Amazon only takes one click.

But what about publishing your book as a print book too? There may be readers out there who would prefer a print copy of your book, or who may, after reading your book as an eBook, want to own a printed copy too.

Well, you can do both.

If you want to have a printed edition of your eBook, you can do it for free using Amazon’s Create Space publishing platform or Lulu.com’s POD publishing platform. Both companies will publish your book for free and even offer cover templates that you can use if you don’t have a book cover of your own.

The dashboard on both websites for using the cover templates and producing a print cover (front-spine-back) is point-and-click simple. And you can publish your eBook and your print books on either Amazon.com or Lulu.com and both sites are as easy to use as each other.

Lulu.com also have the offer, if you want to take advantage of it, of offering your eBooks for sale through other online eBooks stores including iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

And if you get stuck at all, both Amazon.com and Lulu.com offer plenty of advice and guidance about self publishing. But you really shouldn’t need it because it’s so simple to do. That’s why so many authors are self publishing their own books now.

So if you’re self publishing your own eBooks, why not consider also selling them as POD print books and open your work up to a whole new audience of those who can’t or don’t read eBooks.

It won’t cost you any more to do it and once your account is set up it’s easy to repeat the whole process with every book you write.

And because it’s so easy, it gives you more time to get back to what you love to do the most, which is writing more books.

How to Get Your Book Published

Congratulations! It has taken a lot of time, effort and concentration to bring your book to this point.

Writing was the easy part! The next stage will take as much – if not more – concentration, discipline and “stickability.” There are thousands of manuscripts in cupboards around the world that did not reach the production stage and get successfully get published.

First things first

a. Proofreading. Has your manuscript been proofread and thoroughly checked for spelling and grammatical errors? Is your content logical and reasonable ? Is your manuscript easy to read and understand?

b. Acknowledgments. Have your quotations been acknowledged? Check the front pages of Bible translations for information about acknowledging scripture or visit the publishers via the Internet.

c. Accuracy. Are your facts accurate? e.g. “During the time of St Jerome in AD 275, everyone believed in the laying on of hands by the Bishop or the elders for the baptism of Holy Spirit..” (Did “everyone” really believe that?)

d. Editing. Finding a professional editor to give your book a good polish is the next stage in producing a book that will be salable. Submit your completed manuscript to your copy editor on a rewritable CD or memory stick so they may make changes directly onto the disk and return it to you. If the corrections are made on a hard copy with ink, that leaves room for additional errors when updating your manuscript.

Choosing a Publishing Route

Basically you have four choices – self-publishing, print-on-demand publishing, finding a formal publisher or using a literary agent.

1. SELF-PUBLISHING

Self-publishing is when the author bypasses all the intermediaries, deals directly with the editor, cover artist, book designer and printer, and then handles the marketing and distribution.

If you self-publish you take a greater risk, but you also get to press sooner, keep control of your book, and make more money. You are required to invest time and money, but the rewards are greater.

Famous authors who self-published their books before finding Publishers include John Grisham, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allan Poe, George Barnard Shaw, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and Virginia Woolf. You will not be the first.. or the last!

Should you choose the self-publishing route, you need to make decisions about the following.

The size of your book (physical size and number of pages).
The cover design. (Use a good artist.)
Additional pages – e.g. Dedication, Foreword, Introduction, Prologue (if appropriate), Acknowledgments, Advertisements, Copyright notice, Autobiographical sketch, and legal Disclaimer.
Copyright notice. “Copyright is a right granted to creators under law. Copyright in all artistic works is established from the moment of creation – the only qualification required is that the work must be original.”
Layout and typesetting. (Use a professional typesetter).
Obtaining ISBN and bar code.
Selecting a good professional printer and requesting quotes on an initial print run.
Marketing of the finished product. (Where, when and how.)

2. PRINT-ON-DEMAND PUBLISHING

Search Google for Print-On-Demand Publishers. These are companies that prepare your book for printing using special technology.

Print-On-Demand publishing is one of the easiest ways to get your book published on the Internet. There are a number of good companies offering this service. They work with you and turn your manuscript into a beautiful physical book. You pay the costs up-front, which are far less expensive than normal printing and, because they are not investing money in your project, they will print anything you have to offer (within reason, of course).

The difference between P.O.D. and regular publishers is that they do not actually print your book. They simply prepare it for printing. Technology has advanced to such a degree that they are able to print one complete book at a time, as needed. The quality is excellent.

Some examples of Print-On-Demand Publishers are createspace.com, booksurge.com and authorhouse.com.

3. FORMAL PUBLISHER

Finding a Publisher is not easy. Publishing is a business and the expected financial return is the bottom line for Publishers. Publishers carry all costs and authors usually receive royalties of around 10% of net receipts (i.e. what the publisher receives for books sold.)

It is estimated that publishers receive about two million book-length manuscripts every year, so unsolicited manuscripts have little or no chance of being well received. It is, therefore, important to do extensive research in order to find a publisher who is interested in your type of manuscript. It is highly recommended that aspiring writers purchase the “Writers’ & Artists” Yearbook” for information on publishers and their submission requirements.

4. LITERARY AGENTS

Literary Agents are specialists who work for both the writer and the publisher. They assist writers to find interested publishers. They also protect publishers from being overwhelmed by unsuitable manuscripts, which is why many overseas publishers only accept work submitted by Literary Agents.

There are two types of Literary Agents. Some simply evaluate your book and return unsuitable work. Others offer editorial services and assist to bring books with potential to their final stage. You may expect to pay around 15% of your royalties for their services, plus administration costs.

Should you choose to use a Literary Agent, send a synopsis, your manuscript and a brief history of your background and achievements in writing. The Agent will evaluate your book and either accept it for submission to a publisher, suggest re-writes, or reject it. If accepted, it is usual to sign an agent/writer contract.