Publishing help for authors is a plain guide to getting into print and staying there: how to deal with agents, publishers and printers, how to self-publish in paper, electronic and web form, and how to promote yourself and your work. With 60 odd pages and 800 Internet references, the site shows you:
What you need to do, step-by-step, to get published.
The publishing resources you should consult.
The harsh economics of the publishing business.
Poets and novelists will find answers to their usual questions, and the site should also assist anyone who needs to find the most time- and cost-effective way of bringing their work to press. Electronic and web publishing are now treated here but on ecommerce digest, which provides an extensive overview to ebusiness and resources.
Listings are hand-picked on merit. Please let us know of good sites we may have missed.
All routes, and to an extent not realized by most first-timers, also require the bulk of the promotional effort to be undertaken by the author. If you dislike such things, then consider website marketing, possibly selling your own electronic books, or books you have self-published and placed with online bookstores.
Many strategies are possible, which you'll understand once you work through these pages, and follow up the Internet references. Publishing is not difficult, but you do need to shop around, and appreciate what is covered and what is not.
Publishing is a business, governed by economics. It simply doesn't make sense to print in book form the great majority of poetry, scholarship and fiction being produced today. The readership is too small for anything to be left over for the publisher once proofreader, typesetter, cover artist, printer, warehouser, distributor and bookshops have taken their cut. Nor, frankly, are authors always prepared to help in the marketing, which is essential. 'There it is', they say. 'I've written the thing: all you folk have to do is publish, market and distribute it, and pay me a little money in royalties.'
Unfortunately, only the smallest percentage of manuscripts will make money for a publisher, and he's naturally skilled in spotting that odd exception. In truth, the internet, ebooks, podcasts and blogs have given authors a royal road to their readers, though the clamour is still for traditional publishing, with the work coming out under a prestigious name, and glowing reviews to follow. No one wants to shatter illusions, but reviews (to put the matter charitably) are unreliable, and the prestige of publisher speaks only money. Before pestering a publisher, you'll need to research the market and prove to his and your satisfaction that a proper demand exists for your manuscript. Equally, before traditional self publishing, you may want to make your work available in electronic form, carefully monitoring the response, and then building on it. If that appears unreasonable, bear in mind the following statistics reported by Dan Poynter:
1. Around 1 million manuscripts are apparently looking for a US publisher, of which only 1% will probably be published.
2. Some 33% of US high school graduates will never read another book for the rest of their lives, and 42% of college graduates will never read one after college.
3. 70% of books published do not make a profit or even earn back their advance.
4. Serious literature art books, literary novels and poetry together account for only 3.3% of the US book market.
In short, publishers are concerned with two things: their reputation and staying afloat in a competitive market. Vanity publishers and some POD companies consult only the bottom line, but even reputable publishers are not patrons of literature, and place responsibilities to staff and shareholders well before the needs and wishes of their authors, particularly if new and untested.
USING THE SITE TO GET PUBLISHED
Publishing explained covers most aspects of publishing, but to speed up matters:
1. You're acting as executor, and are charged with publishing literary documents in a timely and cost-effective manner. Refer:
Finding a reputable publisher
Selling through online bookstores
2. You're acting as literary executor, but need for financial reasons to do much of the work yourself. Refer:
Desktop publishing programs
Preparing pages for print
Finding a printer
Marketing through local bookstores
Selling through online bookstores
3. You have some experience of both writing and publishing, and wish to publish your own work. You'll need to work through the extensive sections starting with:
Finding a publisher, or
Self publishing, and
Electronic books, plus
4. You wish to become an accredited writer, publishing your work as widely as possible. Refer:
Choose your career path
Build a reputation with the small presses.
Use small presses or self publish
Create electronic books
5. Circumstances and personality don't allow much self-marketing. Consider:
Making contacts through ezines
Setting up a poetry website
Selling ebooks online
Many other routes are possible, and the Internet references will provide further suggestions and contacts.
Search the Site
using the site
writing as a career
point of view
style and grammar
print on demand
costing the options
cheap dtp programs
professional dtp s/w
bar-codes & pricing
copyright & libel
getting book reviews
keeping up to date