Have you ever wanted to add the title of "Author" to your resume? Now you can and it's as easy as 1, 2, 3. In the old days, in order to get your book published, you had to hire an agent, who could get your manuscript read by an editor who then pitched the idea to the publisher. Chances of that happening were and still are slim to none; unless of course you are a celebrity. But with today's technology, the internet, and Print on Demand or POD printers, your dream can become a reality.
Keep in mind, the steps are easy for you because I'm going to tell you all of the pitfalls and mistakes I had to endure when I published my first book. My situation may be different from yours but the information is the same. I chose a POD because I didn't want to buy 1,000 books in advance and didn't want to store the unsold books in my garage. First of all, 1000 books would be about 10-20 large boxes that have to be protected from rain, cold, and animals. Not into that. So the choice I made was using a POD service. Here's the main reason you want to go with a POD. Cost. If you don't have the capital to lay out for the book printing or the place to store your books, then POD makes the most sense. You may pay a little more per book, but you won't have to pay a lot out of pocket, initially. When you're talking about $3,000 vs. $50. Most people I think will go for the $50. And the quality is really good too!
Write your manuscript, or draw your picture book.
Choose a POD printer that will help you distribute your book to marketplace
Start your marketing engines
1. What does it take to write a novel? Most novels need at least 50,000 words. Picture books are based on word count, but page count. The average is 32 pages. But I've seen books as high as 46. In fact, that's the minimum number of pages you have to have in order to print on the spine of the book at LightningSource. For CreateSpace, it's 101 pages.
2. There are hundreds of POD printers out there. Some of the more popular ones are listed below.
Author House, Director of Author Promotions, 1663 Liberty Drive #200, Bloomington IN 47403; 812-339-6000; 800-839-8640; Fax: 812-339-6554. Publishes 500 to 600 titles each month. Writers retain all rights (and are free to publish elsewhere as well). Royalties go as high as 30%. They are owned by Author Solutions, which also owns Xlibris and iUniverse.
CreateSpace: Amazon.com's publish-on-demand service which offers no set-up fees, no minimum orders, plus you keep the rights. You can publish books, DVDs, audio CDs, audiobooks, video downloads, and more via this service. Details here: http://www.createspace.com/Products/OnDemand Works.jsp.
Lightning Source, 1136 Heil Quaker Boulevard, La Vergne TN 37086; 615-213-5815; Fax: 615-213-4425. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the main advantages of this system is its affiliation with Ingram Books, the major book wholesaler in the United States. All books on its system are automatically available to bookstores across the world. It uses the IBM InfoPrint 4100 and HP Indigo technology to print single copies or more of perfectbound or hardcover books. Currently offers 300,000 titles from over 3,000 publishers. They are the biggest POD printer probably in the world. Note that Lightning Source is more oriented towards working with professionals rather than amateurs.
Lulu.com, Stephen Fraser, Marketing Director, 3131 RDU Center Drive #210, Morrisville NC 27560; 919-459-5858. Email: email@example.com. Lulu.com offers free, on-demand publishing for books, ebooks, custom calendars, music, and images. Founded by open source entrepreneur Bob Young (founder of Red Hat), Lulu.com offers an open publishing platform that allows content creators to bring their content directly to consumers. With over 10,000 titles published in the last year, Lulu.com is one of the fastest growing on-demand companies in the U.S. Authors set their own royalties. No set-up fee or minimum orders. Nonexclusive contracts. Color or b&w printing. They offer ISBN assignment and expanded distribution to Amazon.com and others for an additional fee. A 6x9 softcover book of 150 pages costs $7.50 per copy.
I'm actually working with two companies right now. I chose to work with CreateSpace based on several self-publishing groups (forums) I found on Linkedin.com. You can post almost any question up on the discussion boards and people are very open to their experiences. In the beginning of my process, I found that CreateSpace.com could do everything I needed and wanted. The way CreateSpace.com web site is very intuitive that helps you along the way. They have outstanding customer service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I found that people were there even on New Year's Eve!
I'm also working with LightningSource because they provide a little more in the way of distribution than does CreateSpace. And I found that since CreateSpace is so inexpensive, It's okay to have a backup plan in case one of them can't get books out in time for an event.
You will learn a lot from each of the POD services you select. And I also suggest canvassing the publishing forums on Linkedin.com. They're priceless!
3. As for Marketing. I went to Barnes and Noble to ask if they would carry my book. They told me that what I should arrange for free readings at some of the local elementary schools and then pass out invitations to a book signing event at the Barnes and Noble. Then invite the media, hire a local photographer, and invite friends and family to the event. Hopefully the media will show up and do a nice story about you. And even if they don't show up, use the photographs of your event in a nice little PR package and send it off to the media.
Also don't forget about contests. There are several contests out there that will do wonders for you. The POD sites also have tremendous marketing resources that can help you achieve your marketing goals.
Now start writing and get published!
For more information and to learn even more about self-publishing, visit the author's web site, www.intensemedia.com. Nick is working on an inexpensive ebook/book that illustrates everything you need to do in order to be a publisher of your own books. Nick is the publisher and author of two books and nine apps available for Apple, NOOK, and Amazon.com.