Enjoy today's Book Bite: Writing a Book...
Congratulations for taking another step in your writing career! If you are, however, still trying to make that big decision about weathering the deluge of rejections by submitting your manuscript UNTIL it is approved with some publisher, bear in mind that in the current industry trend less than 1% of all submissions are ever accepted! Self-publishing is the empowering option of taking control of your own destiny. Before you take the leap, it is best to ask yourself a few really important questions.
What is your motivation for publishing your book?
You may well be surprised to note that the typical expenditure of time in bringing a book to market includes about 10% in writing, 15% publishing and 75% marketing. Your work really begins once you have finished the writing!
For whom specifically are you writing your book?
If you intend to write to a "general" audience rather than delivering your message to a tightly niched group of readers, be prepared to expend far more resources in your marketing efforts. When your audience is clearly identified (specific), definable and easily accessible - then you will begin tracking some healthy profits.
How do you plan to sell your books?
The most profitable method to sell your books and recover your publishing expenses is through direct sales. How do you plan to manage that? Heavy discounts to big chain buyers can be costly if you don't already have an audience and created a significant "buzz" in advance of its release. Without a strategic marketing plan, you may even have difficulty getting into bookstores, especially if your book's message better serves a "specialty" market.
How willing are you to seriously promote your book?
One thing most new authors fail to understand is that your book stops selling the minute you stop promoting it! Another common misunderstanding is that the publisher is responsible for creating the demand for your book, when, in reality there is very little that is assumed by the publisher. If you want your message off the shelf and out the door - you will either have to put in some serious time marketing and selling, or delegate those tasks to a publicist/promotions expert.
Have you determined how many copies you might sell?
You may be encouraged by your publisher of choice to purchase in volume to reduce your cost to print; you will end up with a garage full of unopened boxes of books. Now, what do you do to convert them into cash from sales? This point deserves attention; there is a better way - print on demand (POD). Technology has been kind to the publishing industry - opening the door to a publishing/printing process that eliminates waste. Only when a book is ordered or purchased is the book printed to fill that request.
I have thrown out a number of questions you might not know to ask, and I trust the answers are good food for thought. The most important questions, however, are those which are burning in your mind - waiting to be answered! If you will email me that question at firstname.lastname@example.org, I have a unique surprise in responding to that question. Just put "Burning Question" in the subject line.
Publishing trivia: Feed Me, I'm Yours by Vicky Lansky sold 300,000 copies before she was picked up by Bantam books, after which time she sold 8 million more!
Anna Weber... always, encouraging you to engage in positive, life-altering actions which ultimately will provide you with long-term, sustainable benefit.
What one action will you take today that brings you closer to achieving your desire to publish a book?