Publishing a book seems daunting. But a published book helps with speaking, teaching, and establishing your credibility. And the world of publishing is changing. The traditional route of submitting your book to an agent and/or publisher and letting them bestow grace on you to publish your book is long gone. I had some publishers interested in my book, and they wanted to pay me in the range of five to ten percent. “So what do I get for that?”, I naively asked. They said, “Nothing.” They do no promotion, no advertising, no book tours. They just do a run and put it into bookstores. When is the last time you bought a book at a bookstore? So they make 90% off your blood, sweat, and tears. It didn’t seem fair. That has all changed. Self publishing used to be reserved for little old ladies writing their poetry books. Not any more. The stigma of self publishing is gone. If you produce a high quality book, no one cares how it is produced. Many famous authors are going the self publishing and publish on demand route.
So with that in mind, I entered the world of self publishing and publishing on demand (POD). Let me tell you how it works:
Step one: Write the book. Can’t really help you here. You do actually have to write the book. I meet people all the time who say they have a book. I ask them the title and how can I buy it so I can read it. Then, they put their finger to their temple and reply, “It’s right here.” Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if it’s in your head, it’s not a book. There are many good books on writing out there. To be a writer, it’s sort of like being anything else. You have to actually write. When I write, I write 12 to 20 hours a day for a long weekend. It just kind of pours out of me. If I’m having trouble, I let it cook some more in my subconscious. Find out how you write and write that book!
Step 2: Design: Once the book is written, then you have to get it put into a book format. I highly recommend a guy named Tudor Maier. He is very talented and is not expensive. He designed all of my book covers. Search for G. Brent Darnell on amazon to take a look. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. But there are many ways to do this as well. Post your book on elance.com and let folks bid on your book design. That’s how I found Tudor.
Step 3: Publish: Now enter the world of Publish on Demand (POD). I chose Lightning Source from Tudor’s recommendation. He said that Lightning Source had the best quality. You sign a pretty scary contract and set yourself up as a publisher. After that, you upload your book onto their website. They do a proof which you can view online. This process costs a few hundred dollars depending on the book size. Once you approve that, they will upload to many online websites including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and dozens of other sites all over the world. You give these online booksellers a wholesale price of 20% less than the list price. Lightning Source takes around 25% for the printing costs depending on the book size. So you are making around 55-60% on your book instead of 5-10% that a publisher would have given you.
Then, when someone places an order for your book, Lightning Source fills the order. They have publishing arms in Tennessee to cover the Americas, in the UK to cover Europe and Africa, and in Australia to cover Asia. So no matter where your order is placed anywhere in the world, they fill it. Then, they cut you a check once a month for whatever you have sold. There is a 90 day lag on release of publisher funds, but it’s still a great deal. You can also order books as the publisher and only pay printing costs. My book, The People Profit Connection, costs me around $3 each whether I order one or 10,000. The list price is $14.95, but I can sell them for whatever I want. I can also ship them directly from Lightning Source to a company or wherever I am speaking or teaching.
In addition, if you want to get into the world of e-publishing it is much the same. Tudor can translate your books into all of the ebook formats or you can upload your book (in Word format) to Smashwords. They reformat it to all of the ebook formats and sell it on their website. Again, they take a small percentage and send you a check. My ebooks sell for around half of my paperback books. But keep in mind, you can set any price you want. There is a woman on amazon who sold a million copies of her ebook that listed for 99 cents. Even if amazon got half, you do the math.
Then, marketing books is easier now with social networks and the internet. Give people copies of your book in exchange for a review on amazon. Check out my reviews on The People Profit Connection on Amazon. Peer reviews are the most powerful way to convince someone to buy your book. Also, always do the “look inside the book” feature. People are much more likely to purchase if they can look inside. I have a Facebook page set up for each book and I have asked folks to “like” it. When you get a good review, tweet and post it on your social networks. Blog on the subject in your book and direct folks to the web pages where they can browse and buy. Whenever you speak or teach, let people know about your books. Offer to speak for less or free if they buy books for everyone or allow you to sell books before or after the speech.
So there it is. It’s not hard. You just have to do it.
I wish you the best with your publishing.
By the way, my book, The People Profit Connection (audio or pdf) is available for a free download from my website until February 1st! So hurry! www.brentdarnell.com , click on the download center, register and create a profile, and download away.