My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Zoe on March 22, 2007, 09:05:40 AM

Title: Publishing Question
Post by: Zoe on March 22, 2007, 09:05:40 AM
Hello successful writers,

just realised again how helpful it is to be part of this circle when I hit a small bump along my writing journey.

So far Im getting on (slowly but surely)  with accomplishing my writing 3 books goal for this year. After I realistically reviewed them and narrowed down to at leasst finish and publish 1 Book by March (only 9 days to go...) I have to  extend that too to April... can anyone relate?

Incidentaly my book is on setting and achieving goals ;) Remember those? we set them in January? Hope yours are not in the Goals Graveyard already. :'(

Anyhow before I rumble on and on... my questions are,
Has anyone Self published? Feedback, experiences -  good & bad.
How can you market & distribute  books effectively besides  website?
How do you get Amazon to list your book that is POD?

As a newbie its a jungle out there with publishers. I am nearly finished and am looking at marketing & distribution to determine the next step.

HELP! ???


Title: Re: Publishing Question
Post by: Talisman on March 22, 2007, 02:15:31 PM
There are loads of links on here Zoe re self publishing and POD (techncially there is a difference) as several members, including my own sweet self have gone down this route. The reasons are many and varied, but mainly because I did have the time to wait for my book to be picked up, and also becsuse I wanted more control over the finished product, marketing plans etc than a mainstream publisher would most likely have given me.

I chose the POD route, since I did not have a warehouse the size of Wembley Arena in which to store thousands of books, it was definately the right choice for me. When I got my second royalty cheque this morning and started to add up the books I have sold in the last 7 months since publication, it must by now be well over 100, which is not too bad. Most POD books from what I gather struggle to sell even this amount.

The things I like best about it is the fact that it is so easy to make changes to the book (I am currerntly in the process of changing the cover), it is environmentally friendly, and also the fact the book is never out of print. As long as you pay your annual fee (around 20) for the printer to continue storing your files, that is.

I chose a small publisher based in Bedfordshire, here in the UK, called Authors OnLine. They were actually the first POD publisher in the UK, and from what I have heard, are still the best. Their costs were very reasonable at around 1200, and for that I got the entire book (some 120,000 words) proof read, bespoke cover design, library deposits, website prescence on both the publishers own site and all amazon sites US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, China, Japan), and also formatiing into an e-book, which is handy for anyone living overseas who wishes to save postage.

It has been very hard work, but is very rewarding. I have managed to get the book into several stores - Borders are now stocking it on a national basis, and also my local Waterstones in Epsom, Surrey, plus the Chalice Well bok shop in Glastonbury. I get postcards and magnets printed by VistaPrint when they offers and distribute them to various churches etc that I know and go to, and give the magnets away as freebies - they make great gifts.

By far the majority of my sales though have been via talks at various local groups. I have also doen the odd psychic fare type thing, and am booked to do my first craft fair as well at the end of May. Once I start editing the local newsletter in June (they have offered me a free advert in return for my services) then that should certainly help. At the moment I am waiting the WI (womens institute) to call me for an audition so that I can become one of their approved speakers.

There are lots of things you can do though, and really the sky's the limit. It is up to you how much effort you want to put in, and some things will work better than others. You just though make a note of what doesn't work and either do things differently next time or learn from it and try something else.

There are other articles as well on my website if you want to have a look. I am sure others will add to this thread as well though.

Title: Re: Publishing Question
Post by: Zoe on March 23, 2007, 07:06:41 AM
Hi June,

thank you for your advice and support. That was very helpful. Wonder have you sold more books through your own site and efforts or through Amazon? What did you put on the Vista cards & bookmarks? Your website or bookcover?

Title: Re: Publishing Question
Post by: Zoe on March 23, 2007, 07:11:55 AM

just read your post again and have the answer to where you sol more books. Ignore that.
Have you got back the money you investedin the printing already?
Whats the royalty margine with the books sold through Amazon?
Do they forward you the order or your publisher?
Who then actually packs and shipps your book off?

Many questions I know but theres so much to check and I appreciate help from someone whos been there, done that and sold the book ;D

By the way congratulations, I checked out your booksite. All the best with sales.

Title: Re: Publishing Question
Post by: Talisman on April 08, 2007, 06:07:50 AM
Ask as many questions as you need to Zoe, we are here to help each other after all, and I am still learning. I don't think you ever really stop, as least I hope not.

In answer to your questions though, no I have not recouped the full cost of publishing yet. I am yet to do my accounts for this year (the tax year has just ended in the UK), but I am pretty certain that I will not have covered the cost. I might do next year though with a bit of luck.     
My publisher works on the basis of a 60/40 split of royalties in favour of the author, which is pretty reasonable by POD standards (some I looked at only offered 12.5 percent). What this basically means though is that no matter where the books are sold (book stores, amazon, or whatever) then Richard as owner of Authors on Line gets 40 percent of the net profits (this is after print costs etc are taken off) and I get 60 percent. I end up though with roughly 2 a copy when sold through amazon, 3 a copy through the larger chains (Borders for example) and around 7 a copy when sold through Richards own site. The situation is of course somewhat dfferent with the copies that I buy and sell myself via talks etc, as I pocket the difference between what I buy for them and the final selling price, usually around 8 a copy. This will be slightly less though once I do change the cover though, since I also intend to change the font size, which mean more pages. More pages means higher print costs.
All orders are filtered through the publisher, who takes care of the whole process for me. That is what their 40 percent is for.

Loads more questions I am sure, but ask away, as it what we are all here for. A lot of the information is on my website anyway, as I think it is important to inform people about these things. They all think that us writers are raking in the money, and I only wish that were true. In reality is is worst paid job I have ever had.