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How To Get Published


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In this presentation, author Gavin D. J. Harper explains some of the different routes to publication.

In this presentation, author Gavin D. J. Harper explains some of the different routes to publication.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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  • 1. Gavin D. J. Harper
  • 2. … you don’t need to be a genius to write a book.
  • 3.
    • Before you put your first word to paper, grab yourself a copy of ‘The Writer’s & Artist’s Yearbook’ – I discovered this handy book, a few books into my career… and wish I’d found it several years earlier!
  • 4.
    • Self-Print
    • Self-Publish
    • Print On Demand
    • Trade Publisher
  • 5.
    • Publishing is a Business not a Hobby
      • Publishers only exist by making a profit from books.
      • Profit doesn’t just depend on the number of books sold.
      • High Quality Books Don’t Necessarily Make Best Sellers & Vice Versa.
  • 6.
    • Self Print
      • Low Volume, Amateur, Labour-Intensive
      • You do *everything*
      • Book may not have an ISBN
      • Unlikely to reach a large audience
  • 7.
    • Self Publish
      • Approach a ‘Vanity Publisher’.
      • Money Up-Front
      • Author Required To Purchase Advance Print-Run
      • Possibly Little In The Way Of Marketing Support.
      • Imprint Carries Little ‘Kudos’ or Guarantee of Quality
  • 8.
    • Print On Demand
      • Services such as ‘’ allow you to
      • Discount for purchasing a volume print-run of books.
      • Book added to ‘Online Marketplace’
      • You set the price and how much you make.
      • Less ‘guarantee of quality’ than with a trade publisher.
  • 9.  
  • 10.
    • You upload a proof-read, fully DTP’d *.pdf file of your work to the POD server.
    • You upload a cover design for your book
    • You select a size and binding for the finished product.
    • You create a marketing blurb for your book hosted on the POD server.
  • 11.
    • A potential buyer browses the POD server, clicks to buy your book, and pays using a credit / debit card.
    • The POD server sends the details of your book to a sophisticated printer.
    • The printer prints the book, trims pages to size, binds the book and cover together and produces a ‘finshed book’
    • The printer prints a delivery note to accompany the book.
    • The book and the delivery note are automatically dispatched to the reader.
  • 12.
    • Trade Publisher
      • Guarantee of quality
      • ‘ Kudos’ from associating your name with a big brand
      • The publisher takes on a lot of the support roles – you just have to prepare text and images
      • The publisher takes a cut of sales – more that the margin you would set with a POD publication.
      • Harder to get your work published through a trade publisher – book must be a commercial success.
  • 13.
    • Don’t be scared by rejection…
      • The first book proposal I ever sent to a London publisher was rejected with a snotty prissy letter about how the publisher only worked with ‘established authors’ e.t.c…
      • In the end they did me a *MASSIVE* favour, rather than go with a small publishing house with an overly high opinion of themselves, I ended up landing my first contract with Mc Graw Hill, possibly one of the best international publishers for practical technology books in my field.
  • 14.
    • How did I select a publisher?
      • Both publishers had printed books that I had read in a similar subject area.
      • One produced large well illustrated high quality books, the others produced small pocket books that looked like they were printed on council toilet loo paper.
      • I aimed low because I thought that was where my best chances were – but it turned out not to be the wisest move.
      • In the end, the decision comes down to personalities and editors. They are the people who reject or forward your proposal.
  • 15.
    • Agents
      • Make money from a percentage of your royalty.
      • In their interest to find you work as they take a cut.
      • Generally work with a small number of clients.
      • Probably don’t need one if publishing non-fiction. If you are publishing adult-fiction they are a must-have.
      • For non-fiction, put your energies into finding the right publisher, not agent.
  • 16.
    • Do I Need A Writing Qualification?
      • Publishers *probably* value and respect graduate / postgraduate writing qualifications.
      • If the publisher doesn’t like your work / it doesn’t fit with their list, no amount of qualifications are going to sell them your work.
      • Courses teach the commercial fundamentals of publishing as well as technical, creative and artistic aspects.
  • 17.
    • The advantage of having a trade publisher, is that they provide a massive marketing machine and distribution network to support your book through production to sales.
    • They take a significant ‘cut’ of your profits, but this is more than compensated for by the *MASSIVE* distribution numbers that you can achieve with a trade publisher.