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Learning from other authors

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Hi friends,

I would like to learn from authors that already have published a book.

 

My questions are:

  1. How did you find a publisher?
  2. What did you enjoy the most?
  3. What did you not like?
  4. What would have you done different?
  5. Was the turnout/receptivity greater or less than you expected?

 

Thank you in advance!

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I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I'll address your first question. After talking with several publishers and consultants years ago, I followed the consultant's advice and started my own publishing company to self-publish my first book. I've recently written and published my 11th book, and so far, I'm continuing to publish my own books instead of searching out a traditional publisher. I'm sure writers have good reasons to go the traditional route, but I also have good reasons to continue down my current path. Here are a few of them:

1) I have total control over my book content and marketing strategy. Publishers own your manuscript and can change it to suit their goals and opinions. Publishers also control your pricing, which affects your marketing. When you self-publish, you have full control - which can either be good or bad. Get a lot of advice from others (just because you self-publish doesn't mean you publish by yourself) and make sure you're publishing a quality product, but ultimately, you can call the shots. Also, you can change your book price whenever you want to in order to market your book effectively. If you don't self-publish, you do not have that flexibility.

2) My royalty is much greater when I self-publish. While talking with a publisher, I learned that after giving my agent 15%, my royalty was going to be less than a dollar per book (it was actually 85¢). As a self-publisher, my royalty can be around $5 per book, depending upon how it's sold. Hopefully, you're not writing to get rich (because you probably won't get rich), but your income will fund future marketing and writing projects, as well as supplement your income.

3) No matter who publishes your book, the author is mostly responsible for the marketing. This issue was big for me. I thought the publisher did the marketing. Wrong. They might do a little marketing, but most of the marketing is up to you. You're going to have to learn how to market your book effectively no matter how you publish it. If you do all of the writing and you have to do 80% - 90% of the marketing, why should you only get 85¢ per book? Granted, professional publishers will help you produce a good product, but if you build the right team around you, your self-published book can be pretty good quality too.

4) You can self-publish a book faster. The turn around time with a traditional publisher is typically two years or more. I could write and publish two or three small books or one larger book per year. I met with an acquisitions editor of large publisher last year. She told me that she would take my book to her committee in 6 or 8 months. It would then have to move to another committee before it could ever start the journey of being published. I don't want to wait a year to have the second committee finally reject it or accept it and then take another year or more to finally get it out. If you talk with anyone who's tried to get a book published the traditional way, they'll tell you it's very difficult to get your book accepted (you have to have a large platform that guarantees sales, for starters). It's true that a lot of self-published books do a great disservice to other authors and shouldn't have been published in their current state. If you work hard at it, you can still influence a lot of people with a well-written and well-published book.

 

I'm probably writing too much, so I'll stop. For now, I'll continue the self-publishing route. I've had relatively good success with it, and God has helped me to minister to people around the world with my writing. I won't say that I'll never sign with someone, but so far, I've opted to continue to self-publish. Hope my comments have been helpful.

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Triordan, thank you so much for your comment. I really really appreciate it.
It is very clear and contains a lot of insight.

 

Once again, thank you!

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