Book self-publishing Interests Surges Among New Writers: Part I « The Canadian Headlines Newspaper
Writing, they say, is easy. Getting the manuscript published is the hard part. While you may consider your manuscript a gem of a material, getting big name publishing houses interested in your book is not easy at all. Your option? Publish your own book!
by Jenny Fulbright [Excerpted]
Do you have great ideas on how to do things? Maybe you know how to get rid of stage fright and begin earning from public speaking, or you have plenty of tips on how to keep a marriage solid through the years. You may be a novelist, or short story writer, who has written fiction works but is not getting a reaction out of the major publishing houses. You know that you have enough material, resources and knowledge to fill up a book, even a series of books.
However, you need to ask yourself the question: How are you going to publish your book?
Writing, they say, is easy. Getting the manuscript published is the hard part. While you may consider your manuscript a gem of a material, getting big name publishing houses interested in your book is not easy at all. In fact, it is extremely difficult for a new writer to get their book published
The high costs of publishing and the risks involved have forced the publishers to focus on sure-fire blockbusters or books that can easily sell 100,000 copies in hard cover. Hence, they focus mainly on established authors with track records of selling huge volumes of books.
Where does that leave start-up writers? If you persist in attracting book publishers to give your manuscript the light of day, be prepared to see multiple numbers rejection letters. Some persist and do well like Richard Bach who survived more than fifteen rejections before getting “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” published. Many others simply give up.
The Option of Self Publishing
The best alternative for new writers to get a book out there for others to see is through self-publishing. If you are convinced of the quality of your material, and you have already received a collection of rejection letters that could fill a dozen shoeboxes, you can try publishing the book yourself. With self-publishing, you can now publish any works from 50 to 1,000 pages on your own!
There are many self-published books that have become successful, an example of which are “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations,” a standard reference book, and the writer’s bible, “The Elements of Style”. These books sold well, and publishers bought the rights to publish them in greater quantity.
Self-publishing offers several advantages. Having a book published, even if self-published, can establish your reputation as a writer serious about your work and as an expert in your field. Having a book published raises up your ante: it could bring more paid lectures, consultancy clients, seminar programs, and tenure application
success. If things work well, it can even lead to publishers sitting up and taking notice of your future manuscripts more closely.
It may allow you to earn money wholesale and even more when you sell it direct (mail order, book fairs, etc.). There is also the chance that you may receive more profit per book than if a traditional publisher gave you a flat percentage of the cover price, depending on the cost to produce the book and the number of copies printed.
In addition, self-publishing allows you to retain creative control over your manuscript, cover design, etc. You have the final say about how the end product will be and look like. This shortens the time it takes to go from manuscript form to the finished book. It is possible to have your book in your hands (and in bookstores) in about six or eight weeks, whereas with a traditional publisher it could be a year or more before it is on the shelves.
The drawback, of course, is that you will do everything yourself. Or pay others to do some tasks for you. One thing is clear: self-publishing is hard work. As a self-publisher, you will be all of the following: writer, editor, designer/artist, typesetter/compositor, printer, marketer and drumbeater, distribution expert, and shipper/warehouser. At times, you will even act as your own legal adviser, financial underwriter, financier/accountant, and business manager.
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