How Three Publishing Myths Kill the Author

By: Judy Cullins

Agents and publishing houses have their best interests at heart,
not the author's. Save yourself from headaches, disappointments,
and money down the drain. Become your own independent publisher
and produce your book faster and cheaper. All you need is a
little help from professionals.

Myth: You need an agent or big publishing house to market your
book and make big money.

Since big publishers don't look at unknown authors, now is the
time to look at what they can do for you. Dan Poynter, self-
publishing guru, says that if a publisher can't sell four times
as many books as you can, you're better off selling it yourself.
Self-publishing first is good because it acts as a test market
for your book. If it sells well (over 10,000 in a year),
publishers may be interested in your book. Traditional publishers
and agents accept only 1-2% of authors' submissions, and even if
you are one of the "chosen" you may not make much money after
printing, bookstore, distributor, wholesaler and other expenses
--probably $2 on a $14 book. Yes, you get an advance, but your
sales must meet that and more. And after the initial book tour,
the trainee marketing person is onto the next new author. Then,
your books disappear from the bookstore shelf unless you,
personally, devote a lot of time to marketing them.

Book Publishing is a new game today.

Think self-publishing where
the profits are all yours. Self-publishing is in. Thanks to Dan
Poynter of the Self Pulsing Manual for giving us permission to do
part of the task ourselves. If you self-publish and decide to
print, you need to print only the copies you need (5-500) with
the new technology Print on Demand (POD). No more unsold cartons
of books in your closets or garage. You print as you go leaving
enough cash flow to market your book splendidly.

Myth: To be a respected author, you must invest thousands of
hours of time on your full-length book.

The reality is that people today want concise and useful
information. You don't have to write a 200-page book to be a
real author. Remember The One-Minute Manager and the One-Minute
Salesperson? Around one hundred pages. People want information
fast and convenient. Create short information products you can
sell online, even if you don't have your own Web site.

If you choose to print your book with Print Quantity Needed
(PQN), your perfect bound books will look as good as any book
on the bookstore shelves.

Myth: Authors must spend a lot of money to publish themselves.
The printing costs for 1500 copies of a 160-page book might cost
$3000, about $2 a unit. Small runs cost even more per unit.
That's a lot of cash for anyone to put out all at once, and it's
not worth it to many of us to use our home equity or life savings
to finance our book. The answer is a small run with Print on
Demand (POD) where you can print only 500 for around $2.40 for
160 pages. Without the high inventory, you can maintain a
comfortable cash flow.

You save even more money if you don't print your book. Book
publishing is going Internet. You can write small books in less
time, market them easily and inexpensively on the Web and reap
profits sooner. Try an e-book. It can be downloadedFind Article, it takes no
printing costs because your buyer prints or downloads it. You
don't even have to have the whole book finished to sell it. Just
include your table of contents at the end of each chapter and
present it as an e-serial book.


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