Thursday, April 22, 2004

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing vs. Hybrids

The term "Publisher" is getting more and more confused. In the traditional sense, the publisher is the business entity that owns the rights to a book and gets it into circulation by editing it, typesetting it, getting it printed, storing it in inventory, marketing it, taking orders for it, and getting it shipped to the customer. If the publisher is the same as the author, it is called "self-publishing," which is a rather new and growing phenomenon. Until recently, it was more common for someone else (a publisher) to buy rights from an author (in return for some payment, often a royalty against sales) and pay the costs of getting the book manufactured and to market. Now, with the popularity of self-publishing, businesses have developed that are hybrids, bearing trappings of both fee-for-service businesses and publishers. These hybrids may charge you (as author) a fee for certain services (copyediting, book design, page makeup, and publicity services are common) but provide a publishing infrastructure common to publishers (getting an ISBN number, manufacturing books, taking orders, and shipping) and then pay you with what amounts to a royalty on sales. The result is that these hybrids are (publishing) service businesses dressed up to look like publishers. They are not necessarily a bad deal, as long as you remember that you really are the publisher and are the only one that is going to make your book work. Email your comments. More info at Graphics West.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Business Card As Order Device

Business cards are relatively inexpensive, sometimes even free. (See Vistaprint.) They don't have to be standard format either. Mary Schroder, one of our clients, created a business card for her book, Nicholas Creede and the Amethyst Vein. Instead of personal information, it tells you how to order her book. She's inserting one into every copy. Please email me your comments. More publishing information at Graphics West.

Author vs. Writer

Key to success: To be successful in publishing, you need to make the transition from writer to author. The difference? As a writer, you are an introvert, interacting with your own imagination. You are creating the word. As an author, you are an extrovert, interacting with an audience outside of yourself. You are spreading the word but also changing and improving your work based on the feedback you get from your audience. Think about it. What good is a story or a book without an audience? Publishers look for authors because they know that authors are far more likely than writers to sell their work. Please email your comments. For more info, see Graphics West.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

When You Can't Afford to Wait ...

Self-publishing can be big business. Even USA Today has noticed. See "Self-publishing will spur book industry to modernize" by Laura Vanderkam (USA Today, Mar. 23, 2004). One of the reasons. Traditional publishing takes time. Once you sign your agreement, you'll need to wait an average of 12-18 months before your book comes out. Some authors can't wait. If your manuscript is complete, you can self-publish a credible-looking book in a month or two. Thanks to Ray Hill, author of the newly minted Emotional Traps: How a Little Logic Can Change Your Life for the clip. Email your comments. See Graphics West for more info.
Welcome to Publishing Pro, a place where you can learn the latest about publishing your work. Email your comments to me. And see Graphics West for more help.