Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Publishing - What Is The Secret To Getting Your Book Published?

As a three-time published author and creative writing teacher I get asked a lot: "What is the secret to getting your book published?" Many of the interrogators are disappointed, some even disbelieving, when I tell them there is no secret. Getting published is about three key elements and none of them are a secret but all three play an important role. Book publishing requires a combination of luck, timing, and talent.

I know too much about the publishing game (and it is a game as much as it is a business) to discount the importance of luck when it comes to getting your book published. I have watched a lot of authors come and go. I have watched a lot of would-be authors do everything right to exploit their talent and then fade away into oblivion. I have watched a select few authors make mistakes and still come out with successful careers. While luck isn't everything and should certainly not be a key part of your publishing and writing strategy, you need to allow for an element of luck -- whether it is bad or good.

Timing is a crucial part of becoming a published author as opposed to being simply a writer. You could have the best book idea in the world and the most incredible writing talent but if you are delivering a book too similar to one they just bought or published then your timing is bad. Likewise, you could have a good book that hits the publishing house just when they are on a buying freeze and your book could languish for weeks or months -- or simply be rejected. The difference between timing and luck though is that you can control your timing much more than you can manipulate luck. Here information is the key. The more research you do into your market then the better able you will be to work timing to your favor. I have a friend who made her first sale by carefully researching the market and delivering to her chosen publisher the perfect idea at the perfect time.

Of course talent is important to getting published and becoming successful. You need to be a talented writer and possess the creative genius to create characters and plots that make for great reading. However, I save this element for last as without luck and timing then all the talent in the world may not be enough to get your published. I think in the end a talented writer could find a publisher but it would be a long arduous process and most writers become discouraged and quit before achieving their goal.

It is possible to become a published author. New writers are getting published every year. It is not easy to get published but a combination of luck, timing and talent can help you get your book published. While you cannot control your luck, you do have the power to control your timing and talent. Work on gathering information and work on your writing. You can succeed at book publishing.

About the Author:
Learn more about published author Renaissance Woman Deanna Mascle in her blog at

America's Next Erma Bombeck Answers Fans with Debut Book

Ten thousand emails begging for a book cannot be wrong. Following the meteoric rise of her blog, receiving one million hits fueled by the most popular eBay post of all time, Dawn Meehan's loyal readers begged her to channel her wit and wisdom into a book.

Just in time for Mother's Day 2009, the wisdom and humor of the woman who has been referred to as America's next Erma Bombeck will be available from Guidepost Books in the form of "Because I Said So" (ISBN 9780824947477). With chapter titles such as "I Was the Perfect Parent Until I Had Kids" and "The Reason I Haven't Quit (Yet)," Dawn pokes fun at her mothering mishaps but always with a tender heart toward her family.

"We're thrilled to publish Dawn on the Guideposts Books Spring trade list," said Linda Cunningham, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Books & Inspirational Media. "Other moms clearly identify with her hectic family life, and love the way she rolls with it all by using her unabashed sense of humor. Clearly anyone who has built a single blog into a 40,000 plus daily readership practically overnight like Dawn has done, has something to say that people want to hear."

Red Kool-Aid pickles and purloined Pokeman cards are two of the many topics Dawn has addressed in her short time as America's premier blogging mom. Her blog,, has been nominated for four Blogger's Choice awards and has been ranked as one of the top parenting blogs since the author gained national exposure with her eBay posting that showcased her struggle to get through a grocery shopping trip with her "six pack."

Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal. "Dawn's down-home humor and her willingness to present herself as a less-than-perfect mom have endeared her to moms everywhere, who often write her to say, 'I forgot how to laugh until I read your blog'."

While working on the follow-up title to "Because I Said So", slated for 2010, Dawn will be sorting through project offers, including a TV sitcom and a film. She will also be sorting through laundry and finding in it fodder for yet another blog or, if her fans have their way, many more books.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chicago Writer Sends Out Fake Picassos

Chicago artist Keith L.T. Alexander sent fifty Picasso prints to entertainment industry executives across the country to sell his collection of stories entitled Forgery of the Month Club.

Alexander printed the Picassos and his mother Anita signed them with the famous artist's name, a practice she adopted in the 1950s. "That's not illegal," says Alexander. "It would be illegal if we told you Picasso printed and signed the prints. Everyone knows exactly what they are getting from us."

The title is taken from the company Alexander and his mother started in 1984, and vividly recounts the daring illicit adventures of Anita and "the Crowd," a group of colorful cronies that consisted of gays, lesbians, hookers, and other outcasts --- the author's beloved "aunts and uncles" --- and the hustles they perfected in Chicago during the 1950s and, 60s in order to survive. They include:

-- Stealing the field of experimental Marijuana from the University of

-- Operating a twenty year-long bicycle theft-to-order ring

-- Scaling Chicago's statute of Alexander Hamilton to "liberate" its gold
leaf and

-- Selling fake Picasso prints and Rembrandt sketches.

"Anita's criminal antics are original, and her lifestyle bold and courageous. Keith's telling of them is a hilarious read," said the late Warren Casey. "Growing up, I wanted to be just like her," said Alexander who sees his collection of stories as a character bible for several television or film projects. In addition to apprenticing under his Mom as an art forger, he:

-- Looted burned-out buildings; robbed an art museum; masturbated against
women in crowds

-- Broke into Al Capone's vault a week before Geraldo Rivera

-- Painted illegal murals on rooftops and lead illegal tours through the
understructures of bridges.

Margo Howard, aka 'Dear Prudence' said: "In all my years of being a columnist, interviewing 'Anita the Burglar' was one of the highlights. A brilliant character, she gave a good name to art forgery, and other unusual ways of breaking the law."

Told lightly, lovingly and humorously, Forgery of the Month Club will compel viewers to examine the lessons they teach their children, and the legacies they leave them. These delightful, heart-warming stories will uplift viewers, tug at their emotions and make them laugh out loud.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Novel Writing: Five Secrets Of Success

Have you ever wondered, as you sit at your keyboard, if there are any secrets to successful novel writing? Well there are - and here are five of them. Remember these secrets and your novel writing will improve overnight!

To call the points below 'secrets' is perhaps to invest them with too great an air of mystery, yet it seems that so many words of advice are looked on as 'secrets' nowadays that I thought 'what the heck? Go with the flow - call them secrets. Why not?'

I'll tell you why not. Because it isn't fair. The 'secrets' I'm about to tell you aren't secrets at all - just good, solid advice that's been proven on the writing mill time after time. So, when next you read some sales blurb offering to tell you 'secrets' that will absolutely guarantee your success and turn you into an A-list writer - remember me. Remember these five points. Remember that the writer's road is a hard and rocky one. And especially remember that that road is the best road ever made!

Point One: Adopt a professional attitude towards your work. Does this seem obvious? Of course it does - and yet you would be amazed at how many people write 'when they can' or 'when the mood takes them'. If you are one of these people, you need to change this mental attitude right now - and I do mean right now. Unless you are another Hemingway or Joyce you will not succeed with such an approach. Set aside a regular time to work - then stick to it. Period.

Point Two: Identify your target market. Who will you write for? By this I mean what section of the reading public. A good thing to keep in mind is that you are more likely to be successful writing books on the subject your read yourself - romance or sci-fi for example - than forcing yourself to write in a genre unknown to you just because it seems to sell well.

Point Three: Self-belief. This is one thing that - unfortunately - no-one can teach you, yet it is one of the most important things that any writer can possess. Indeed, without self-belief it is highly unlikely that you will ever really 'make it' as a writer. Why? Simply because writing is a tough game and only the strong survive. A writer's strength lies in mental, rather than physical, toughness but it's toughness just the same. Cultivate this strength at every opportunity.

Point Four: Support. I've said this before in other articles and make no apology for saying it here - having the support of your family is of huge importance. If they understand that you are treating this writing business seriously and that you need to have set times in which to work then this will be of immense help to you. If they then go the extra mile and root for you at all times, well, you're halfway there!

Point Five: Rejection. This is perhaps the most dreaded aspect of writing for many would-be authors - the awful 'pink slip' of the rejection letter. What you must realise is that rejection is not a personal slight. Publishing is a business and all that rejection means is that your story or book doesn't fit with what that editor wants at that moment. Many writers in fact have a 'rejection selection' that they keep to one side and resubmit at regular intervals. After all, times change - and so do editors!

So - five short 'secrets' that, if you keep them in mind and more importantly act upon them, will always help you along the way to being a published writer. No guarantees, though - anyone who offers you those is someone you really shouldn't listen to!

About the Author:
Steve Dempster writes articles for the web and works of fiction. If you would like to get the know-how a novelist needs to write professionally, take a look at this.

Novelist William Elliott Hazelgrove Reads New Novel In Hemingways Attic

Writers give readings in coffee houses, bookstores, libraries, schools, classrooms, but few give readings in musty old Victroian attics that once belonged to the one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. But that is exactly what William Hazelgrove did. The attic also happens to be his studio, a serendipitous occurrence ten years before that put him in Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. "I was just looking for a place to write and the woman giving tours said there might be some space in the attic," the writer said while filming the reading for YouTube.

Some might see the self promotional angle of reading in a legends home, but Hazelgrove just shrugs. "The medium has gone to the internet and people are buying their books there, getting their reviews there, and yes, watching their videos there on YouTube. So if I can get the word out on this book with a reading, then to me it's just like a reading in a bookstore." Hazelgrove's fourth novel, Rocket Man is already setting the online reviewers on fire. Amazon's sixth ranked reviwerer gave it a rave review, saying, "Rocket Man is a brilliant piece of writing, a work that meticulously dissects contemporary life in America with such a keen eye that the author is able to catch at least passing glances at us all."

The reading takes place in the hot attic that looks like something out of horror picture with red trusses and old trunks. "There is still a lot of stuff up there from the Hemingway family," Mr. Hazelgrove says, getting ready to read again. "I think Ernest would be pretty amused that a place he used to come up to when he was six, is going into cyberspace."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Science fiction giant's screenplay for Moby Dick ends half century of 'invisibility'

Unseen for 50 years, Ray Bradbury's screenplay for John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick has been published with an introduction by William Touponce, Ph.D., director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and an internationally known Bradbury scholar.

Bradbury is the recipient of a 2007 special citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board for his "distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy."

"Bradbury, like Edgar Allan Poe, was initially not regarded as a canonical writer - one who should be taught in schools - because he was typed as a genre writer, a view of him that is still reflected in his Pulitzer Prize citation. But he was understood more broadly in Europe as an imaginative writer, and especially in France where his works were greeted with excitement in major literary magazines. Fortunately, the situation at home is changing and we are seeing a growing number of scholars visit the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies," said Touponce, who is also a professor of English at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Mr. Bradbury was a popular writer, having already published The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Golden Apples of the Sun (1953) when acclaimed film director John Huston asked him to write a screenplay for Moby Dick late in 1953. In fact Fahrenheit 451, perhaps his most famous book, was published while Bradbury was in Ireland working on the screenplay.

According to Touponce, Bradbury was a fan of Huston's films and Huston was a fan of Bradbury's work, including the short story "The Fog Horn" (collected in The Golden Apples), for which Bradbury had done a lot of research about the sea. Once he read Moby Dick, Bradbury agreed to write a screenplay for Huston. After several months of work in the British Isles, Bradbury submitted a working script for Moby Dick to Huston in early 1954.

By the time that the film came out in 1956, Huston had listed himself as co-author of the screenplay. Bradbury protested Huston's action to the Screen Writers Guild and initially was successful in having Huston removed as a co-author but the powerful filmmaker had the decision overturned.

After the success of the film, Bradbury was asked to do many screenplays based on the novels of others, but declined because he wanted to devote himself to writing novels. Later in his career, however, during the 1980's, he wrote all the screenplays for the Ray Bradbury Theatre.

While the authorship controversy kept the screenplay for Moby Dick from the public, Bradbury has always listed it as one of his works.

Huston died in 1987. Touponce says that Bradbury, now 88 years old, felt strongly about having the screenplay published under his name in his own lifetime. "It was Huston's film, but the language was all Bradbury," said Touponce.

Besides original screenplays, such as It Came from Outer Space (1953), Moby Dick is the sole novel which was not his own that Bradbury adapted for film.

"I know that Ray Bradbury was very proud of his work on this screenplay and feels this work borders on literature. Unlike plays, screenplays usually don't shape up as literature. But Bradbury's Moby Dick has a poetic style that can be read as quasi-literary," said Touponce, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on Bradbury more than 20 years ago and has devoted his career to the study of Bradbury's work. In 2004, he and Jon Eller, Ph.D., professor of English at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, published Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction with The Kent State University Press. It provides an overview of Bradbury's career of over 50 years.


In addition to writing the introduction to the screenplay for Bradbury's Moby Dick, Touponce is the editor of the New Ray Bradbury Review, the journal of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. The first issue of the journal will appear in November 2008.

A short video interview with William Touponce, Ph.D., director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, can be found at

Moby Dick: A Screenplay is published by Subterranean Press.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Andrew Knight, First To Seek U.S. Patent Protection on a Published Novel, Is Rejected

Andrew Knight, J.D., a novelist, inventor, and Registered Patent Agent, published the world's first patent-pending novel, dubbed The Mobius Strip, a book that Knight claims contains an intricate plot that may be patentable under current U.S. patent law. The novel is protected under copyright law but Knight asserts that without patent protection, the underlying storyline may be copied freely by anyone.

Knight, a graduate of MIT and Georgetown Law, was in 2003 the first person to apply for utility patent protection on a fictional storyline. Last month, after publishing the applications, the Patent Office issued final rejections in all four cases, requiring Knight to either abandon his applications or else appeal these decisions.

Before a patent will issue, the invention must first be deemed the kind of subject matter Congress intended to protect. "The case law of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has established that virtually any subject matter is potentially patentable," explained Jay Thomas, Professor of Law at Georgetown University. Further, a patentable invention must not be "obvious," or impermissibly similar to previous inventions. "Non-obviousness probably presents the biggest challenge to patentability," said Charles Berman, Co-Chair of the Patent Prosecution Practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Others assert that whether or not storylines are found to be patentable, there is a need among authors for robust protection of fictional storylines. Leon Arden, author of One Fine Day, sued Columbia Pictures in 1995 for copyright infringement, asserting that the writers of Groundhog Day plagiarized his plot. The suit was tossed out by a U.S. District Judge on the basis that storylines are not copyrightable. According to Arden, storyline theft "can gut a writer, stealing from him the rewards of his best work, even derailing his career."

The Mobius Strip, published under Knight Publications, tells the story of a man caught up in a world of incessant productivity and consumption. Perpetually seeking the approval of others through possessions, status and achievements, he finally comes to realize that lasting contentment only accompanies self-satisfaction. "If a man isn't happy with who he is or what he has, he won't be happy with more," Knight stated of his novel's theme, but did not elaborate on the plot elements that he considers potentially patentable.

As for the existing four storyline patent test cases, Knight stated that he intends to appeal the Patent Office's recent decisions. "Final rejection is standard protocol in test cases that push the boundaries of patent law," Knight said. "I fully expected it. The issue will ultimately be decided by the Federal Circuit."

Author's website:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in Paperback on July 7, 2009

Fans of Harry Potter are keeping the magic alive online and in bookstores, schools, libraries and homes all across the country with fans re-reading the series and new fans starting at the beginning. There are anniversaries to celebrate, a new charity book in December from J.K. Rowling and now the paperback edition of J.K. Rowling's bestselling and final Harry Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," (ISBN 0-545-13970-8; price $14.99), will be released on July 7, 2009. With an initial print run of 2 million copies, this will bring the total number of the seven Harry Potter books in print to over 143 million in the U.S. alone. The paperback edition follows the record-breaking release of the hardcover edition which hit stores at 12:01 on July 21, 2007 and has sold 14 million copies since then, making it the fastest selling book in publishing history.

As previously announced, Scholastic is releasing two Harry Potter books this fall:

-- "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" -- Available now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the publication of J.K. Rowling's debut novel, Scholastic has published a special anniversary edition. Including an exclusive drawing of Snape drawn by J.K. Rowling and a description in her own words, the book also features new jacket artwork and a four-color frontispiece by Mary GrandPré. To celebrate the day, Scholastic is inviting fans of all ages to come to its headquarters in New York City to be part of "Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day," an all-day read-a-thon starting at 8:00 a.m. Fans who can't be in New York can view the all-day read-a-thon through a live webcast at

-- "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" -- On December 4, 2008, the Children's High Level Group, the English charity, co-founded by J.K. Rowling and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, MEP, to protect and promote children's rights and make life better for vulnerable young people, will publish "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" in cooperation with Scholastic, Bloomsbury and Amazon. One of these tales -- The Tale of the Three Brothers -- is recounted in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The remaining four stories are revealed for the very first time in "The Tales of Beedle the Bard."

Friday, October 10, 2008

First-time Novelist and Independent Publishing Company Meet with Unexpected Success

When a small independent publisher and a first-time novelist decided to work together, neither could have anticipated the incredible early results. The novel, Resurrecting Randi, has quickly gained praise from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners and is winning ardent fans across the country.

"Being a small, independent publisher can make it difficult to compete with major houses that are used to having large PR budgets," stated Megan Renart, co-publisher of Balios Publishing. "We knew that we would have to find an innovative way to market this remarkable debut novel."

"Early on, we received great endorsements from Nobelist J. M. Coetzee and Pulitzer Prize winner David O'Shinsky," said Jennifer Watters, Director of Promotion for Balios. "Then we started receiving unsolicited e-mails from readers saying that they found Resurrecting Randi a book they could not put down. Many said it was one of the best books they have ever read!"

With a growing sense of the potential of Resurrecting Randi, Balios Publishing decided to seed the market with complimentary copies of the novel to readers who accepted this bargain: If they like the book, they will join a dedicated social networking site and become an advocate for the novel. ( The program rapidly gained advocates from more than twenty states and several countries. Once a member, advocates are encouraged to help spread the word among their friends, family, local book clubs and booksellers--even their local media. The more active advocates may even become eligible to share in book royalties.

"It's a great feeling to know that there are people out there who support you as a writer and truly appreciate your work," said author David P. Shepherd who is now working on his second novel.

Balios Publishing has now set its sights on gaining one thousand advocates who share the goal of seeing Resurrecting Randi reach the New York Times bestseller list.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Website for Authors and Readers of African American Books

Books of Soul recently launched a free website for authors to promote their new books to readers of African American fiction, nonfiction, and children's/young adult books, available at

For authors, the website offers the opportunity to feature their soon-to-be published or self-published works. Authors can provide cover art, release dates, and a synopsis of the work, including reviews. Moreover, authors can provide announcements of their appearances and booksignings, celebrate their reviews and award nominations, and interact with their readers and fans. And, all of this can be done free of charge.

"The website is essentially a promotional service for authors," says Eric Brasley, founder of Books of Soul. "We want to provide a free service to authors and poets to showcase their interest in African American culture and African peoples and issues. In doing so, we think readers, publishers, agents, reviewers, librarians – everyone involved in the publishing industry – will find the site a valuable resource."

Readers will be able to search the site for books of their interest. With new authors and new books, readers can find a variety of new works that they have heard about, look for their favorite authors, or just peruse the site for upcoming works. They can offer their comments and reviews to the author and to other prospective readers.

The website is a virtual community for those interested in African American and African culture: Book clubs, book stores, writer's workshops and conferences, publishers, and libraries can freely announce their meetings and author events. This is another venue for these organizations to promote themselves to authors and readers and to share their insights on topics affecting the African American publishing industry. focuses on sharing new and upcoming releases of books and other literary works about African American and African cultures and supporting the authors, publishers, bookstores, book clubs, and libraries who share the same interest.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

U-M at forefront of new era in publishing

With the installation of a state-of-the-art book-printing machine at one of its libraries, the University of Michigan stands at the new frontier of 21st-century publishing, offering printed and bound reprints of out-of-copyright books from its digitized collection of nearly 2 million books, as well as thousands of books from the Open Content Alliance and other digital sources.

U-M is the first university library to install the book-printing machine. The Espresso Book Machine, from On Demand Books of New York, produces perfect-bound, high-quality paperback books on demand. A Time Magazine "Best Invention of 2007," the Espresso Book Machine has been called "the ATM of books." It was purchased with donations to U-M libraries.

After Oct. 1, the Espresso Book Machine will be operating most mornings during the week, with a selection of titles available for sale.

"This is a significant moment in the history of book publishing and distribution," said Paul Courant, dean of libraries at U-M.

"As a library, we're stepping beyond the limits of physical space," he said. "Now, we can produce affordable printed copies of rare and hard to find books. It's a great step toward the democratization of information, getting information to readers when and where they need it."

The book machine, located in the Shapiro Library lobby on U-M's Central Campus, prints out-of-copyright books from the University's digitized collections. At a cost of about $10 per book, the service is available to researchers, students and the public.

The printing process begins with a reader selecting a digitized book from U-M's pre-1923 collection or from another online source, such as the Open Content Alliance. Most books printed prior to the early 1920s can be reprinted without seeking the permission from whomever holds the copyright. Then the file is downloaded to the Espresso Book Machine, where it is formatted, printed and perfect bound with a four-color cover.

A finished printed book takes 5-7 minutes, depending on the number of pages.

Since 1996, U-M Libraries have digitized nearly 2 million books. The University was the first participant in the Google Book Search program, which digitizes books in libraries throughout the world.

"We are delighted to install the machine at such a prestigious institution where it can access a variety of digital repositories to print high-quality books in about the same time it takes to brew an espresso," said Dane Neller, cofounder and CEO of On Demand Books.

On its Web site, On Demand Books likens the potential impact of the book machine in the 21st century to that of the Gutenberg press in the 15th-century. Mass production and dissemination of books was a major factor in the rise of critical, independent thinking, leading to a renaissance in the arts and sciences.

In the next several years, On Demand Books expects to install Espresso Book Machines in libraries and bookshops around the world. All the machines will be connected by a network, allowing libraries to share and reprint volumes from their collections.

"This print technology will allow the Library to maximum advantage of digital technology," said U-M's Courant.

"Digital and print versions work in tandem, and soon researchers anywhere in the world will be able to browse U-M's digitized holdings, select a book from our out of copyright collections and have the book printed within minutes."

Animal Farm - Do You Know Why This Classic Book Was Banned?

Animal Farm by George Orwell: Animal Farm is an allegory for the rise and decline of socialism in the Soviet Union and the emergence of the totalitarian rule of Stalin. It was banned in the USSR until the 1980s for being anti-Communist but also banned in the USA for the Communist text in its introduction. Published in 1945 it is arguably one of the most important books of the 20th century.

The books below were also banned. Do you know why?

Gone with the wind - Margaret Mitchell

To kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

The Communist Manifesto - Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx

Brave new World - Aldous Huxley

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

On the Origin of Species - Charles Darwin

Go here to find out why these other famous books were banned.

Watch videos of banned books where Maya Angelou talks about the importance of reading, Salman Rushdie reads from The Satanic Verses and a video about John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

Borders Books UK announces a special offer to highlight the books that were banned by history. All this month Borders is featuring a wide range of banned books, all with up to 40% off the RRP.

Join the! [Blog debate on Banned Books at Borders Books.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Will Traditional Publishers Eventually Meet Their Demise? by Alex Cleanthous

If you know anything at all about book publishing you'll know that getting a mainstream book publisher to even look at you is virtually unheard of. If you want them to actually read your book that's another matter entirely.

So it's not surprising that so many people are looking towards self publishing as a viable way to get into print. And thanks to the Internet - coupled with the wonderful existence of Print On Demand technology - you don't even have to risk hundreds or even thousands of dollars of your own money any more either.

It's becoming more common for first time authors not to consider approaching mainstream publishers at all. The wealth of opportunities available to them online now is such that they can join a website (for free), upload their book using the software and systems provided (also usually for free) and be selling electronic copies of their books just hours after they first signed up.

Anyone who points out that the authors have to give a certain proportion of the proceeds from each book to the website that is hosting it obviously hasn't encountered the royalty structure of any major publishing house lately. The princely sums offered there will rarely scrape into double figures, which makes the 65% or so that authors get from many sites online to be quite a heady profit by comparison.

It used to be the case that online publishing opportunities only made it possible for authors to sell their books in e-book format or traditional paperback or hardback format from their own website. But now many of the biggest websites offer a service where you can get your own copies listed on Amazon. These kinds of services do incur a fee of course, but for those people looking for a viable alternative to the long drawn out process of attracting the attention of a traditional publisher it's a much better bet to lead to recognition and sales. It almost seems as if the online version of getting your book published is... well, just as good, if not better, than the old way.

So will the traditional publishers find it too difficult to compete with these services? Could we ever imagine a future where the bricks and mortar publishers are no more and everything is done online?

If it does happen it will be a long way off yet. The majority of people who flock to the online publishing opportunities are those who wouldn't stand a chance with a regular publisher. Perhaps when the celebrity chefs and other well known names start bypassing the traditional publishing route and head straight for the internet as well we will start to see a real change happening.

Until then the rise of online publishers looks set to continue. The key is whether the traditional publishers will do anything to make themselves more competitive in that market. As we've seen with other businesses who haven't grasped the power of the online marketplace, there is a tendency for them to get left in the dust as other people who can see the potential go for it with both hands.

Web Profits specialises in search engine optimization, online marketing & web design, helping businesses generate profits from the Internet. For a free report on 'The Secrets of Online Marketing for Offline Businesses' visit SEO.