Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finding a Publisher is Harder than Finding An Audience with The Pope

Weeding through the 154,000,000 Google pages of book publishers is an obvious daunting task. It's a clear indication of how many people want to publish a book.

But given the financial problems that have beset successful publishers like Altitude (shutting down its operations, while transferring some of its assets and rights to another publisher) and Raincoast Books (closing its publishing program to focus exclusively on distribution and wholesaling), a mainstream publisher is difficult to get. Not to mention that traditional publishers are quite selective about their titles. It's probably easier to land an audience with the Pope.

There are a lot of options out there, particularly for those who can think outside the box. In fact, there isn't anything a publisher can do for you that you can't do for yourself, and maybe even a little bit better. For sure, you'll see more money in your jeans on a per book basis with self-publishing versus traditional royalty publishing. You don't have to wait for rejection letters, and you have complete unmitigated control. You control distribution. You control pricing. You control editorial.

However, you need to be aware that there are many unscrupulous "Print on Demand" firms that will lure you with lavish praise in order to get your money. It doesn't mean they will produce a good product and it doesn't mean you get to retain control.

Before you start, there are three things every author needs to know:

1. By understanding the publishing process and what's involved, the author can see and believe in the fact that they, too, can publish a book.

2. Regardless if they self-publish or land a traditional publisher, they need to do the due diligence in creating a professional product that would be welcome in any bookstore.

3. No matter what the venue or how the book is published, the author has to come up with a succinct and ongoing marketing plan.

There are so many options for authors to get published today, including traditional publishers, small publishers, self-publishing, and print-on-demand publishing. It's no wonder inexperienced authors have a tough time finding the right option for their books.

The first place you can find help is through the pages of Self-Publishing 101 (Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, ISBN 978-1-55180-639-6). This book shows authors how to make a self-published book a success in today's difficult book market in a step-by-step manner and what information they need to make the right choices. It is available throughout North American bookstores and Amazon.

For more information:
Debbie Elicksen
Freelance Communications

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