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Understanding Your Options in Book Publishing
 

Understanding Your Options in Book Publishing

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Presentation for Durham Academy's Academy Nights program. Discusses the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing.

Presentation for Durham Academy's Academy Nights program. Discusses the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing.

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  • * intros...what brings people there? <br />
  • slush pile -- the huge vat of unsolicited manuscripts that editors receive. <br />
  • <br />
  • show the various books I brought <br />
  • <br />
  • Books are sold on consignment. <br /> Bookseller can return unsold books to publisher for full credit. <br /> Those &#x201C;bargain bins&#x201D;? Authors get next to nothing when those sell. <br /> Books can be &#x201C;stripped&#x201D; (covers removed) and then destroyed instead of being returned to publisher. <br /> tons (literally) of books get pulped. <br /> <br /> HUGE amounts of books get returned because they are not sold. Book publisher is on the hook for these. As a result, leery of taking on new authors because of the very high likelihood that the book won&#x2019;t sell and they&#x2019;ll lose a pile of money. <br /> <br /> Understand that bookstores have very little risk in the traditional model. <br />
  • getting into 1000s of bookstores across the country is quite a difficult problem. <br /> But now, things are changing. <br /> * direct sales <br /> * Amazon distribution <br /> * print on demand <br /> * and especially, e-books <br />
  • more difficult than ever to get published. <br /> lulu and others make self-publishing possible. <br />
  • Several authors have self-published and then gotten nice hefty book contracts from a major publisher once the book gets some traction in the marketplace. <br /> <br /> The publishers are in a kerfluffle, but we as authors have options. <br />
  • <br />
  • <br />
  • probably not going to be any different if you self-publish vs. publish. <br />
  • publishers: provide an editor or ten <br /> self-publishing: you need to handle editing. <br />
  • publisher does this for you. <br /> Self-publishing...you have to do it yourself or get help. <br /> some technical hurdles here. Consider a book designer, especially for the cover. We DO judge books by their covers. <br />
  • One idea is to give away the e-book and charge for the printed book. <br /> Or, cheap e-books maybe a novella and then charge for the full novel? <br /> <br /> The sky is the limit. <br /> <br /> Include the e-book with print purchase? <br />
  • Yes, they did rip some books off the Kindle after people bought them. Ironically, this included George Orwell&#x2019;s 1984. <br />
  • <br />
  • You have to do this whether you have a publisher or not. <br />
  • BUT...you have to write the book without an advance. <br /> <br /> Of course, you probably have to write the book before a mass-market publisher will look at it, too. <br />
  • piracy is easy. So make your books easy to buy and don&#x2019;t wrap them in DRM -- that just makes them harder to buy. <br /> <br /> The only justification for DRM is when distribution of the content MUST be tracked, and the downsides of release exceed the upside. That is, classified government information. <br />
  • iPad or not? <br /> <br /> self-publishing has a lot of dreck. So, think about how to get your stuff out there and make people want it. <br /> <br /> reputation <br /> authority <br /> sample chapters? <br /> <br />
  • sorry, but paper is not compelling to the next generation, and distribution is a non-issue. Plus, there are possibilities with e-book that we don&#x2019;t have with paper. <br /> <br /> just yesterday, a video from Penguin with interactive children&#x2019;s books. Games built in. <br /> <br /> Use of iPad as a star chart to figure out what constellations you&#x2019;re looking at. <br /> <br /> Kindle has dictionary built in. <br />
  • which of these evokes strong brand recognition? <br /> Who publishes John Grisham? J.K. Rowling? <br />
  • who is the brand here? the AUTHOR <br /> who publishes these authors? Do you know? <br /> second-strongest brand? NY Times! The publisher has abdicated; not even on the front cover. <br /> recommendation from the NY Times matters; but apparently, the publisher doesn&#x2019;t. <br />
  • this is better. Also, not mass-market paperbacks. <br />
  • <br />

Understanding Your Options in Book Publishing Understanding Your Options in Book Publishing Presentation Transcript

  • Understanding your options in book publishing Sarah O’Keefe Scriptorium Publishing
  • The traditional model • Write a book. • Try (in vain) to get it published: • Literary agents • Acquisition editors • Slush piles • Query letters • Rejection letters Flickr: bptakoma
  • Traditional process • Author provides manuscript • Publisher provides: • Editorial • Production • Distribution • Marketing Flickr: julia_manzerova
  • Vanity press • Write a book. • Pay someone to print it. • Get your friends and family to buy it. Flickr: dragonflyajt
  • The traditional publisher’s business model • Acquire certain hits. • Make a pile of money on the hits. • Subside the losers. • For a $30 hardcover book: • Publisher wholesales at $15. • Author gets perhaps $2. Cover image from amazon.com
  • Remainders are the industry’s dirty secret. Flickr: daquellamanera
  • Distribution. The reason you need(ed) a publisher. Flickr: ipalatin
  • The situation today… • Traditional publishers are struggling. • Self-publishing is viable. • e-books are a big question mark. • Nothing is certain. Flickr: raindog
  • It’s a good time to be an author. • We have choices. • Traditional publishing • Go it alone with self-publishing. • Or a hybrid model. • e-books or print
  • Self-publishing options— some examples • Lulu and CreateSpace—if you think you can sell your book and just need someone to print and ship it. • Blurb—for coffee table books, especially one- off projects • Lightning Source and BookSurge—for small publishers who want distribution support.
  • Book publishing—the process • Write (and write and revise and write again) • Edit • Produce • Distribute • Promote/market Flickr: revdave
  • Writing • Do it yourself. • Hire a ghostwriter.
  • Editing • Editorial quality at publishers is much lower than it used to be. • If you self-publish, hire a freelancer? Flickr: nics_events
  • Book production • Print and print on demand • PDF • e-books: Kindle and ePub formats Flickr: bootbearwdc
  • Distribution • Distribution is (or was) the core value that publishers provided. • Today, you can get your book distributed yourself. • e-book distribution does not require physical media or transportation. Flickr: bsuter
  • Kindle • Used by Amazon Kindle reader only • Download software from Amazon to produce from PDF or other source files • Proprietary format
  • ePub format • Based on HTML • Can include digital rights management layer • Supported by everything except Kindle • Can convert ePub to Kindle format • Will be the format used by the Apple tablet
  • Promotion • Who is interested in your book? • Mass market? • Specialized audience? • Find out how to reach your audience.
  • Self-publishing • You take on all aspects of publishing process. • Royalty rates are much higher than with a traditional publishing contract. • Risk is minimal because you can print on demand instead of creating huge inventory.
  • Digital rights management (DRM) • Protecting e-books from piracy, at least in theory • Book publishers are terrified of the music industry’s example • DRM is annoying and generally ineffective
  • Today’s hot issues • Which e-book platform? • Quality issues • Publishing industry is built on the idea of the publisher as the middleman. The Internet affects industries with middlemen (disintermediation): • Travel agencies • Real estate • Car sales • Newspapers • Music
  • The future • e-books will dominate. • e-books will include new features that go beyond what paper offers. • Barrier to entry to publishing will be lowered. • Only publishers with a strong brand will survive. Flickr: mgifford
  • Cover images from amazon.com
  • Cover images from penguin.com
  • Resources • lulu.com • blurb.com • lightningsource.com • createspace.com • booksurge.com • Check my blog for additional reading and links: sarahokeefe.wordpress.com