Self-Publishing Options — Part 2

Audiobooks

Audiobooks are an alternative to printed books and eBooks which are growing in favour at a very rapid rate. Put simply, an audiobook is a voice recording of the text of your book.

Producing an audiobook, however, is more complex than it might seem. Every chapter and all of the separate front matters, such as the copyright page, the dedication page, and so on, must be produced as a separate file and must fulfil some specific audio requirements such as decibel level, tone, and so on.

Just the task of capturing a quality voice recording alone can be an expensive process. The most common method is to engage someone with a good speaking voice to read the text. Findaway Voices, one of the providers in this field, estimates the cost of a voice recording of 50,000 words of text to be between $1,000 and $2,000. Other sources put the cost of recording 80,000 words at, potentially, upwards of $5,000. Clearly, this is a truckload of money for a self-published author to come up with.

There is a window of hope, however. You can undertake to do the recording yourself.

Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

It will involve a small outlay of dollars to acquire decent quality recording equipment (perhaps somewhere between $100 and $300, though you can spend much more if you choose to). Just speaking into your computer’s microphone will not meet the audio requirements any of the respected publishers of audiobooks will require. You need a quality microphone that is fit for purpose, along with some specific attachments or add-ons. You will also need a quiet space free from interruptions to undertake what may be a fairly lengthy recording project.

It will also involve a fairly significant time commitment. It is estimated that an 80,000-word manuscript will take 9 to 10 hours to narrate. But that is an estimate for people who do such narration regularly. You can be sure it will take much longer than that if you do it yourself. Nonetheless, it can be done, and many are now choosing to go down this path. The internet is full of good tips and advice about some of the pitfalls to avoid as well as tricks of the trade that will help you achieve a quality result.

You will need some software to record your efforts and to facilitate management, review and fine-tuning of the recordings you make. Fortunately, you can download free software (Audacity) that will do this from the internet. Apple’s Garage Band application, which is provided free of charge with most Apple desktop and laptop computers, will also do the job very competently.

You will also need a separate cover for the finished product which has different parameters than the ones you may have used for your print edition or eBook. An audiobook cover is square. Keep this in mind when you are organising a cover for your print edition and/or eBook, as it will be a simple matter to create a square version suitable for an audiobook at the same time.

Once you have recorded all the necessary files and have reviewed and fine-tuned them to meet the parameters required, there are several service providers that can publish and distribute your audiobook for you. As with print and eBooks, these service providers will then pay you a percentage of the royalties on any sales.

The Best Combination

In my view, having researched these matters thoroughly, and taking into account my own experience after having self-published 11 separate publications, is that the best option is to proceed as follows.

Print Publication

  • Publish through Amazon KDP. Use this for purchasing any ‘author copies’ you require as they are the cheapest provider, especially when the combination of print cost and postage is taken into account. Publishing charge: none other than a percentage of your royalties.
  • When that is done, also publish through IngramSpark. Publishing charge: a one-off fee of US$49 plus a percentage of your royalties.
  • Once you have published your paperback with IngramSpark as well as Amazon KDP, consider whether there is any merit in publishing a hardback edition as well with IngramSpark.
The combination of Amazon KDP and IngramSpark is also recommended by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) as offering the widest distribution for your books.
Photo by Annelies Geneyn on Unsplash

eBook Publication

  • Publish through Amazon KDP. Sign up for their KDP Select service for three months (during this period you cannot publish your eBook with anyone else). Utilise the unique marketing options available under the KDP Select service during the three months. Publishing charge: none other than a percentage of your royalties.
  • At the conclusion of the Amazon KDP Select three-month period, discontinue KDP Select but otherwise leave you eBook on Amazon KDP.
  • Then, upload your eBook for publication through Smashwords as well. This will enable you to access the range of useful marketing features offered by Smashwords. Publishing charge: none other than a percentage of your royalties.
  • Then, upload your eBook for publication through Draft2Digital as well. This will enable you to access the range of useful marketing features offered by Draft2Digital. Publishing charge: none other than a percentage of your royalties.

Audiobooks

  • At some future stage, you should at least consider the viability of creating an audiobook edition of your publication. At this stage, only consider this if you are prepared to make a small investment in equipment and a fairly large investment in time to produce and QA the necessary files.

Self-Publishing Options

Once you’ve decided to self-publish, you will need to consider what options are available for you to do that. In part, this will be linked to what kind of book you intend to publish. 

The expected size will be one factor. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP), the current clear market leader, offers sixteen different Trim Sizes (essentially, book size, or the size of the front cover) ranging from 5” x 8” (12.7 x 20.32 cm) up to 8.27” x 11.69” (21 x 29.7 cm). If you intend to publish a ‘coffee-table’ style book, such as a photographic essay on a particular topic or location, Amazon KDP may not be the service provider that will work for you.

For most fiction and non-fiction books, however, Amazon KDP just can’t be beaten. In fact, most of their competitors seem to have given up trying to better them and are now focusing on services that complement what Amazon has on offer.

And Amazon KDP really does what they do very well. Their service is very slick, it’s easy to deal with, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it offers good returns for authors as well as regular reports which are updated in real-time. 

There is no upfront cost for publishing with Amazon.

There is no establishment fee; they simply take a percentage of the royalties from any sales that occur through their distribution network. They offer the author somewhere between 35% and 70% of the royalties, depending upon the particular deal you opt for. 

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

It is, however, up to the author to format, check, edit and otherwise prepare their manuscript (or to get someone to do that for them). It is also up to the author to provide the cover artwork, although, once again, you may decide to engage someone to prepare that for you. Amazon does provide a manuscript template for whatever trim size you opt for. In my case, I was able to use their template to configure my manuscript’s print layout without the need for special software (I used Microsoft Word) or any third-party assistance.

With a print publication, or paperback (Amazon KDP does not offer a hardback option at this stage), Print-on-Demand means that, once published, a book is only printed when someone buys it from Amazon’s online sales pages, or when you as the author request a number of ‘author copies’, which are then supplied to you at the Print Cost plus postage.

As the final step before completing the initial publishing process, Amazon advises you what it will cost them per copy to print your book (the Print Cost). You then decide what price it will be sold at (the List Price). The royalties apply to the difference between the Print Cost and the List Price. If my book’s List Price is $24.99, for example, and the Print Cost is $6.45, then, if I have chosen the 60% royalty option (more about that in Step 9), my royalty for each paperback sold will be 60% of $18.54 — that is, a royalty of $11.12 per copy.

You can decide on a print edition, or an eBook, or both. Although the print and eBook editions require slightly different formats for both the cover and the manuscript, those formats are closely related. The print edition formats are slightly more complex, and so the usual path is for an author to prepare the files for a print edition first, and then modify the files so that they are suitable for the eBook publication as well.

Photo by Perfecto Capucine on Unsplash

Significantly more eBooks are sold than are paperbacks, so the eBook option is virtually essential these days — but it is your choice. The profits (royalties) on an eBook are lower as the expectation from buyers is that an eBook will be sold at a significantly lower price than a paperback. In the case of eBooks, rather than estimate a Print Cost, Amazon estimates the cost of producing the eBook and distributing it to the buyer. This cost is deducted from your sale price (List Price) , and your royalty is based on a percentage of the resulting figure.

Along with a range of other useful services, Amazon provide you with an online reporting system and a ‘control panel’ (called the Bookshelf) to manage any changes to your book (which you can make at any time with no additional charge from Amazon) including, amongst other things, the cover artwork, the content or text, the keywords associated with it, and so on. You can view daily updates of your sales and royalty figures and make changes to the publications price at any time you feel is necessary.

There are, of course, other options than going with Amazon KDP. Many of these offer similar services to those offered by Amazon. None, to date, can match the full range of services offered by Amazon KDP, or their prices. 

More importantly, none can match Amazon’s domination of the online book sales market. Nearly 70% of all book sales go through them. For my money, unless you are planning a book size that sits outside of what Amazon KDP can deliver, they are the undisputed first-choice service provider for a self-publisher.

Does publishing with Amazon KDP limit your options?

Deciding to avail yourself of Amazon KDP’s services does not mean you should not also consider using some of the other providers which nicely complement what Amazon offer.

In terms of a print edition, there are good reasons to consider also publishing with IngramSpark. The latter offer far superior options than Amazon for ‘bricks and mortar’ bookstores which may want to stock your publication (more about this in Chapter 6). You will need a separate ISBN to upload your book through IngramSpark, but this is easily dealt with (more about ISBNs under Step 5 in Chapter 4).

In terms of eBooks, Amazon KDP is a very significant player, and its Kindle service is hugely popular. Once again, there is no need to make them your exclusive choice, however. Although there is a range of other eBook services, the two standouts in my view are Draft2Digital and Smashwords. 

Draft2Digital offers a very slick distribution service to all of the eBook retailers that don’t partner with Amazon. Like Amazon KDP, their service also has no upfront charges. They cover their costs by taking a percentage of the royalties on any of your sales through them. Apart from distributing to a wide number of retailers that Amazon doesn’t partner with, they also offer some very useful marketing tools that are not provided through Amazon. You will need a separate ISBN to upload your eBook to Draft2Digital (more about this in Chapter 6), but this is easily dealt with.

Smashwords, while not as slick as Draft2Digital, offer even further marketing tools. Once more, there are no upfront charges for publishing your eBook through them. Like Amazon KDP and Draft2Digital, they take a percentage of the royalties on any of your sales through them. And, once again, you will need a separate ISBN to upload your eBook to Smashwords.

Click on this link if you haven’t already signed up for my Mailing List but would like to do so. I will then drop you an email to let you know whenever I post a new blog.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about self-publishing, and get some easy-to-follow advice on how to do it, why not have a look at my publication: Self-Publishing: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Click on this link if you want to access a list of all of my Writing Tips posts in one place.

Why Self-Publish — Part 3

Vanity Press or Subsidy Publishing

In my previous two blogs on this matter I discussed going down the traditional publishing path and straight-forward self-publishing.

The third path is to have your work published by a ‘vanity press’ or ‘subsidy publishing’ business. There are publishers who will take a manuscript and publish it at the author’s expense. This is, in fact, just another form of self-publishing disguised as traditional publishing.

Some subsidy-publishers will provide editorial and proofreading services (which the author pays for), but most take no responsibility for any errors in the text supplied. They also do not get involved in the book’s distribution. 

These ‘publishers’ should be avoided at all costs. Writers’ associations and others routinely provide lists of specific companies to be avoided. There is no definitive list, however. As soon as they begin to acquire a bad name in the writing community, many of them simply re-badge and then reappear under a different name. They are often associated with outright scams and they prey upon the uninformed. It is not uncommon for their charges to run from anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $20,000. Some will, in addition to those charges, then take a significant percentage of any royalties as well. They usually don’t publish the books themselves, either. Most commonly, they will simply put your book through Amazon KDP on your behalf — something you could have done yourself at no cost at all!

An acquaintance of mine recently decided to publish with one of these publishers. Unfortunately, I did not find out about it until the deed was done and they had already spent several thousands of dollars for something that could have been done just as well at literally no cost at all.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Why pay a subsidy-publisher what can amount to thousands of dollars when you can do all of that yourself, with no great effort other than an investment of a bit of time and care? Who, after all, cares more about your finished manuscript than you?

Yes, doing it yourself requires a bit of skill (computer skills, mainly) and knowledge. That is the aim of these blogs — to provide you with the knowledge and the skills to do all of the things required.

My first book took me some three or four weeks of work to publish, not counting the considerable amount of time I spent trying to find out how to do it before I started. When I subsequently published a combined version of what had up to then been a two-part story (i.e. it was originally published as two books: Books One and Two of The Chronicles of the Ilaroi), it took me two hours. That was because by then I knew what I was doing! The aim of these blogs is to put you in a situation where you know what you are doing when you undertake to self-publish your work.

Whoever you decide to deal with, do a bit of research on the internet to see if others have had bad experiences with them. Writers’ associations, particularly the pre-eminent national bodies in each country, often publish lists of ‘publishers’ to be wary of. If a publisher wants to charge you for some part of the deal they are offering you, that can be a warning flag. Check them out thoroughly before you agree to anything.

Summary

Traditional publishing has some advantages (though these are being eroded by self-publishing with every passing year) but is extremely difficult to break into. Even if you can secure a traditional publisher for your manuscript, you may find the final sales and profit outcome is no better (in fact they may very well be worse) than if you had self-published. In most cases, it is also an inordinately lengthy process.

A handful of authors out of the hundreds of thousands if not millions out there hit the big time with their first manuscript. Writing is a craft. Even the most gifted of individuals tend to misfire with their first effort. It is something that writers tend to get better at the more they do it.

Self-publishing is a way to take the first few steps with a relatively small investment of your precious dollars, and without a lot of heartache or sitting around waiting for years for it to finally happen.

It’s also a way to begin to build a portfolio of work which you can then use as a springboard if you want to try to build a career as a professional writer. 

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

For the one-off producer of a memoir, a self-help book, or some similar work, it’s a very easy way to get that product published and quickly available for others to access or purchase.

The key benefits of self-publishing include:

  • Control:You will retain ownership of your work and will have complete control over every aspect of your publication. Traditional publishing requires you to hand the rights to your work over to a publishing company for the duration of your contract.
  • Royalties:You can often make more money by self-publishing and promoting your own work. Royalties from traditional publishers range between 8% and 15%. Royalties for self-publishers range from 35% to 70%.
  • Costs:Self-publishing is not as expensive as you think it might be. It can even be achieved with no up-front cost at all, though judicious use of professional service providers, within the bounds of what you can afford, will help lift the quality of your publication and potentially significantly boost its marketability. With Print-on-Demand services available from a number of service providers, and digital formats that can be produced at almost zero cost and then made available worldwide within a matter of hours, some of the few benefits of going with a traditional publisher are being quickly eroded.
  • Speed: You can get your book published and available for purchase within a matter of weeks, at most a few months — as compared to most likely years.

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In the meantime, if you want to know more about self-publishing, and get some easy-to-follow advice on how to do it, why not have a look at my publication: Self-Publishing: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Click on this link if you haven’t already signed up for my Mailing List but would like to do so. I will then drop you an email to let you know whenever I post a new blog.

Click on this link if you want to access a list of all of my Writing Tips posts in one place.

Why Self-Publish — Part 2

In case you missed it, tap here to read Why Self-Publish — Part 1.

In my last blog, I talked about traditional publishing and what I see as some of the pros and cons of going down that path. In this blog, I will focus on the primary alternative — self publishing.

In my next blog I will talk about the third way – ‘vanity press’ or ‘subsidy publishing’.

Self-Publishing

Self-publishing works a bit differently from traditional publishing. While traditional publishers manage and cover the costs of the entire publishing process, from editing to illustrations to cover design and typesetting, as a self-publisher, you will be responsible for doing all of the work yourself. This does not mean that you have to draw your own illustrations, edit your own book, or design your own cover. In fact, you need to be very careful before you think about doing those things on your own. 

Some self-publishers pay others to do all of those things, shopping around on the internet or elsewhere for the best deals to keep costs within reasonable bounds. There are some very good providers of these services in the marketplace, some expensive but very good ones, some outrageously expensive ones, many that are cheap, and some that are both moderately priced and who produce excellent outcomes. A bit of research and checking in with writers’ associations or writers’ groups will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and find someone you can work with — and that you can afford.

Other self-publishers will do some of those things themselves and only pay others to work on the aspects they feel are beyond their skillset.

A smaller number still will do all of it themselves, with quite a considerable cost-saving.

It is quite easy to self-publish a book without incurring any costs at all.

The real issue is achieving sales. The quality of what you publish will have a big part to play in whether your book sells. While many aspects of quality will be determined by the amount of care and effort you put into preparing your manuscript for publication, some, such as cover design, require very specific skills. 

Once again, you can produce a good cover for no cost at all. There are a number of sites on the internet which will help you achieve this free of charge. Really good covers, however, come at a cost — anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to around $1500. And covers play an absolutely vital role in achieving sales. As a self-publisher, it is your call how far you go down this track. That decision will depend on your goals for your publication and on your appetite and capacity to invest some dollars in achieving a high-quality end-product.

These issues will be discussed in more detail in a future blog. Suffice to say at this point, getting tasks that are normally done by professionals done by others (or doing it yourself) will often reduce costs but with the risk of lowering the quality of the final publication. Most of us have limited budgets, however. The trick is to work out how far you can reduce costs without impacting too greatly on quality.

Regardless of the above, one of the major benefits of self-publishing is that it can happen fairly quickly — easily within a few months and potentially even much quicker than that. With a good deal of experience under my belt, I can now publish some of my books within a week, or even a few days. I know just which tasks I need to get underway before I finish my manuscript to achieve that.

A second and arguably more important benefit is that you will retain all of the rights to your own work, as well as control over the whole publishing process from beginning to end.

Finally, none of this is hard to do. It requires a bit of knowledge — hopefully my blogs will provide you with most of that — and it requires a bit of time and effort, but nothing that is not manageable.

As I have noted above, if you end up publishing more manuscripts down the track, it will get even easier still — and you’ll be quicker at it.

Pros of Self-Publishing:

  • You retain total control over your work.
  • All royalties go to you.
  • You can easily self-publish within a few months of completing your manuscript. If you get good advice, have done it before, or go for a cut-down approach, it can happen in much less time than that.
  • You retain total control over marketing decisions.
  • Through print-on-demand services, such as Amazon KDP, you can easily access author copies at a very low cost. You can then use these to give away to friends, sell yourself, use in local marketing opportunities, and so on.
  • You can still get your books into bricks-and-mortar bookstores, but it takes a bit of effort and time.
  • You can get editing, layout and cover design done quite cheaply depending on your own abilities and time available. There will often, however, be a trade-off between financial outlay and quality.
  • Profits are just as hard to achieve as they are with a traditional publisher, but control of marketing and promotion lies with you.
  • If you are looking at writing as a long-term objective, building up a portfolio of self-published works (assuming you focus on good quality end-product) may help you break down the barriers to the big publishing houses. Only a small number of authors achieve this, but nonetheless, there is a growing number of authors who started out self-publishing and have now hit the ‘big-time’ with a deal with one of the major publishing houses. Here are just a few:
    ~~~~
  • Andy Weir — author of The Martian which was self-published in 2011. Crown Publishing purchased the rights to the book in 2014. It has now been made into a major film.
  • E.L. James — author of Fifty Shades of Grey, self-published the first book before it took off and achieved worldwide recognition.
  • Libbie Hawker — author of the how-to-plot book, Take Off Your Pants, self-publishes her various series but lets her imprint publish her standalones. As you might imagine, this means Libbie is quite prolific. She was on her sixth self-published book when a publisher first approached her. She now has 37 books to her name.
  • Michael J Sullivan — author of The Riyria Chronicles, self-published several fantasy novels before being picked up by Orbit.

     Cons of Self-Publishing:

  • Harder to get your book into bricks-and-mortar bookstores (though they only deliver good sales figures if accompanied by good marketing) but, as noted above, you can still achieve this as a self-published author
  • You have to pay for editing, layout and book cover design but, as noted above, there are many ways to reduce these costs substantially.

In my next blog: The third option — Vanity Press or Subsidy Publishing.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about self-publishing, and get some easy-to-follow advice on how to do it, why not have a look at my publication: Self-Publishing: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Click on this link if you haven’t already signed up for my Mailing List but would like to do so. I will then drop you an email to let you know whenever I post a new blog.

Click on this link if you want to access a list of all of my Writing Tips posts in one place.

Why Self-Publish — Part 1

You’ve finished your manuscript, or you’re getting very close to the end, and your mind is starting to turn to getting your work published. The hard work is almost over. Well … not quite.

I’d like to start this book on a positive note by confirming that all of the work is, in fact, behind you, but I can’t. You still have a fair bit to do. How much will depend on the path you intend to follow. Will you try to find a ‘traditional publisher’ to take your manuscript through to publication, or will you go down the self-publishing path? There is even a third path, but that is one to be avoided at all costs — more about that later.

Be clear on what your goals are and who your likely audience is

Before you even think about which of those paths to follow, you need to consider an even more fundamental question, one that will help you decide which is the best path for you to follow with your manuscript.

It’s a simple question — why did you write the manuscript you have written?

Was it because your aspiration is to be a best-selling, or at least a moderately successful, author (really aspire, that is, not just dream of such an outcome as almost every writer does at some point)? Was it simply to scratch an itch? Was it because you have some important knowledge you would like to share with a specific group of potential readers? Was it because you want to share a memoir or all that detail from your family history research with your broader circle of friends and family, or was there some other reason? Do you expect that there will be more to follow? Is this a one-off, or are you already thinking about (perhaps even working on) your next manuscript? What are your realistic hopes and expectations?

Having a good sense of the answers to these questions will help you establish who your potential audience is. This is as important a consideration as the question of why you wrote your manuscript in the first place. If your audience for your memoir or family history, for example, is your own circle of friends and relatives, you may not want to wait the one, two or even three years to find a traditional publisher and work right through their publishing process. Knowing your audience will also help you answer a number of other questions you will encounter along the way. What sort of cover will appeal to that audience, for example, what format and layout, and so on?

Knowing the answers to these questions will also help you decide which of the broad paths which lie before you you should follow.

Traditional Publishing

I’ll start with traditional publishing, that is, being published by a publishing company. Note that this does not include ‘vanity press’ or ‘subsidy publishing’ businesses, which masquerade as traditional publishing houses. That is the third path. More about that later.

Publishing with a major publishing house involves, as a first step, finding the ones that are currently accepting submissions for manuscripts in the genre you have chosen to write in. Once you have identified those publishers (this may not be a very big list), you will then need to submit a query letter or a proposal, along with your manuscript. When they receive your package, your manuscript will go into one of two piles (if you email it to them consider these ‘virtual’ piles). The priority pile will be for manuscripts from authors who have been published previously, though not necessarily by them. The second pile, which is likely to be a big one, will be for manuscripts from unpublished authors.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

As you can imagine, given the likely size of the second pile, the editor who must read those manuscripts and decide whether to offer the author a deal will probably follow a fairly ruthless decision-making process. Many manuscripts will be put aside for a rejection letter after only a few pages or, at best, no more than a chapter. Editors do not have the time to read every manuscript they receive in full and will quickly discard ones they don’t think the publisher can make a profit from.

Assuming you are one of the less than one percent who makes it through that sifting process, you may then be offered a publishing deal. Book deals typically involve the publisher purchasing all of the rights to your book from you. In return for this, you will receive royalties from any sales. In some cases, you may even receive an advance. An advance, however, is just that — an advance payment against future royalties. If you do receive an advance, you will not receive any further payments until royalties from sales exceed the amount already paid to you.

Perhaps more importantly, the publisher will take on the responsibilities and costs associated with designing, printing, distributing and marketing the book. You will be consulted on most of this, but the ultimate decision will rest with the publisher. Remember, they will have purchased the rights to your book.

The above process is usually a very slow one. Count on anywhere between 12 to 24 or more months before you either get a successful response to one of your query letters/proposals/submissions, or before you decide to give up! Dealing with rejection letters (all authors get them — J. K. Rowling received dozens before finally finding a publisher for her Harry Potter novels) can be very depressing. Many of them will give no reason for the rejection. Some may even be rude. A very few might offer some helpful advice.

Then you need to count on another 12 to 24 months to get through the publication process. Yes — it really can take that long! It is a rarity for the process to take less than 12 months.

If you can make it through all of that, as a traditionally published author, you will not have had to pay anything for your book to be published. The flipside is that the publisher will now own the rights to your book. They will pay you a royalty for every book sold. Average royalty rates are between 8% to 15%, though I’ve yet to meet anyone who got anything near 15%.

Pros of Traditional Publishing:

  • Gives you a lot of ‘street cred’ in the writer community, though the alternative, self-publishing, is fast becoming recognised as a completely acceptable way to get your book published.
  • The publisher will cover any editing, layout and cover design costs (this is one of the biggest advantages of traditional publishing).

Cons of Traditional Publishing:

  • You hand over all publishing rights to the publisher, who will then pay you royalties when the books sell. Average royalty rates are between 8% and 15%, as compared to somewhere between 35% and 70% with self-publishing — the publisher has to cover those editing, layout and book cover design costs somehow!
  • You may (this does not happen with all publishers) get paid an advance. However, this is an advance against future royalties. Once paid, you will receive no more payments until your total royalties exceed the amount of the advance already paid to you. 
  • Less than 1% of authors get accepted by a publisher.
  • Of that less than 1%, industry figures indicate that only a small percentage (best estimates are around 10%) of this number will make a profit.
  • If, after many rejections, you are accepted by a publisher (a process which itself may take up to 12  to 24 months or more), it will most likely take a further 12 to 24 months to get the book published and available in the marketplace, with the real possibility of the publisher deciding to pull out of the deal anywhere along the way (this does happen). This means that you can spend months if not years only to end up with a pile of rejection letters and a still unpublished manuscript. Even established authors cannot guarantee that their next manuscript will be accepted by a traditional publisher.
  • You will often find the publisher does a lot less in terms of marketing that you think is appropriate. They are running a business, and every decision to spend money is taken from a business perspective, not from the author’s perspective.
  • You will often find it difficult to easily access information such as up-to-date statistics on sales from the publisher.
  • You may find author copies from a traditional publisher too expensive to make them useful for you to acquire and market yourself locally or otherwise.

More about Why to Self-Publish next week!

Click on this link if you haven’t already signed up for my Mailing List but would like to do so. I will then drop you an email to let you know whenever I post a new blog.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about self-publishing, and get some easy-to-follow advice on how to do it, why not have a look at my publication: Self-Publishing: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Click on this link if you want to access a list of all of my Writing Tips posts in one place.

Books 1 and 2 of the Chronicles of the Ilaroi now available at multiple ebook sales points

As Fire is to Gold, Book 1 of the Chronicles of the Ilaroi, and When All the Leaves Have Fallen, Book 2 of the Chronicles of the Ilaroi are now available at multiple ebook sales points [previously they were only available at Amazon].

The following links will take you to a page summarising the links available so you can buy a copy from your ebook provider of choice. NOTE: This list is expanding quite quickly now so let me know if your provider of choice is not there and I will see what I can do to remedy that.