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 Coming to terms with book publishing

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Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptySun May 29, 2011 10:58 pm

I’ve always enjoyed reading and dreamed of someday writing my own book. When I recorded my experienced in the Middle East, intended as a family journal, I was encouraged to seek publication. My understanding about book publishers was that they promoted the books they published and placed them in bookstores. I never heard the term POD publishing and understood nothing about it. I checked the internet for a publisher and selected one that welcomed submissions. I will reference that publishing company by the initials AP (A Publisher) for the purpose of this writing. AP responded to my inquiry requesting to see the entire manuscript. I sent it off immediately via email. I was surprised and elated when they said they would publish my story. I envisioned my book in bookstores. I read AP’s promotional material and was impressed by the statement that they made the books available to 10,000 brick and mortar stores. I assumed that meant they would place my book in those stores. My excitement continued to build. As for the contract, it was stated that it was a standard contract. I tried to find comparisons on the I-Net to ascertain if it was fair, but found nothing to indicate any problem. As for royalties, the percentage would increase with the number of books sold. I didn’t expect that to be a problem anticipating many sales. As for book rights, it was my responsibility to get the copy write. I followed their guidelines. I followed everything they suggested since I assumed they knew what they were doing and I was the novice. The new author information encouraged book signings in bookstores. (Deleted next three paragraphs critical of publisher)

The publisher encouraged me to join their forum. I did. I met some interesting people – good and bad types. I sometimes had trouble logging in and learned that it was because of a post I made that was considered critical of the publisher. It was not appropriate to question the publisher for any reason, especially on their forum.

Author support was supposed to be there as a help to the author. They were not helpful to me. In one instance…(deleted). On the forum I learned that authors were required to do their own promotion. They suggested getting a website. I did. I followed advice given only to discover that in most instances it was the blind leading the blind. Trial and error learning appeared to be the norm with the author taking the initiative to sell his/her own books.

I have spent much time and also money trying to promote my book(s). My subsequent two books were with a different publisher - a smaller POD publisher. I must admit that they have been very helpful and upfront about what could be expected from them.

On the AP forum I was told that I had to promote myself. That goes against my grain. Self-promotion is something I abhor in others and found it very difficult to do. Comments from friends and close associates about my self-promotion were not kind.

I didn’t write a book so that I could personally peddle it. I’ve been is sales for a good part of my career and made good money selling. The commissions were substantial. The effort to sell books was greater with a pittance in return. I read many comments about not writing for the money but for the satisfaction of writing. Each person determines the rewards of their efforts and success is personal. Achieving a goal is success, regardless of what that goal happens to be.

Currently, I have several writing projects. I have determined that if I cannot find a publisher or an Agent that will promote my work, then I will not attempt to get it published with a POD publisher. I often read about the benefit of a POD publisher in that they expend the money to publish the book at no cost to the author. In my estimation, I spent more money than they did. They got their investment back from my book purchases. That will not happen again. If I cannot find a main-stream publisher, then my book may not be worthy of publication. If I still think it is worthy, then I will self-publish. If I must sell my own books, then I want a greater return for my efforts.

I have learned much from my fellow authors. What I value is not how to sell books, but rather about writing in general and making new friends. Dick Stodghill became a good friend. I learned much from him. According to a post he made, he never bought his own book. He was not in the business of selling books, but in writing them.

I have read a number of books by fellow authors. I found that there are some very good writers on this forum. Getting the attention of a mainstream publisher or finding an agent seems to be a hurdle everyone faces. I’ve yet to read anything that gives instructions on how to accomplish this successfully.

Will I continue to write? Yes. Will I seek publication? I don’t know. Will I continue to be part of this forum? As long as I feel welcome and believe I have something to contribute, writing or otherwise, yes.

I believe we should determine what is right for us and not try to measure up to the aspirations of someone else. The rewards cannot be measured exclusively on money. Personal growth may be the greatest reward. Knowing that what we write has helped or been an inspiration to someone is rewarding. If one writes for a living, money is very important.

When I see posts from wanabe writers asking for advice, we offer encouragement and that is good, however we may do much harm if we fail to alert them to the work involved and the setbacks they may encounter. Questioning them about their expectations would help in offering appropriate advice. Expectations may be one of the biggest problems. What a person expects from their publisher tops the list. Excitement and enthusiasm are important ingredients for success. The momentum built on the initial excitement can dissolve quickly when the assumptions made are not based on reality.
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyMon May 30, 2011 11:52 am

You write well, Abe. No reason you can't find an agent or commercial publisher.

Quote :
Getting the attention of a mainstream publisher or finding an agent
seems to be a hurdle everyone faces. I’ve yet to read anything that
gives instructions on how to accomplish this successfully.

If you want to PM me, I can show you the query I sent my agent. I'm not an expert on anything, but it did land me him.
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dkchristi
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyTue May 31, 2011 8:00 am

Excellent posts. I'm a bit discouraged at present, mostly with my own lack of enthusiasm for my current writing projects. Arirang and Ghost Orchid were a joy in spite of the many rewrites, edits and learning experiences. However, the self promotion aspect is also difficult for me. I've had a lot of computer issues too that are a bit frustrating.
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http://www.dkchristi.webs.com
Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyTue May 31, 2011 8:29 am

Diane,
computer issues have been a problem for me as well. Seems when I get set to do a lot of work, something goes wrong with the PC. Either it is exceptionally slow, meaning it needs some cleanup and/or a suspected virus requiring scans. Seems I pick up the virus visiting other sites and on Facebook. Suspecting the source doesn't mean it is always correct, however remembering where I've been does narrow down the possibilities. Scam emails are a nuisance. Got another one this past week. Someone in distress (a friend on FB) that wants me to send money. The same wording in the message as a previous Scam email. They must have had luck to continue using the same message.

The bad thing about that is that in a true emergency, help won't be forthcoming. I'd like to see stronger penalties for the Scammers.
Life is full of twists and turns with seldom a dull moment. I suppose that if everything was perfect, that would also be dull. My wife looks at heaven in that light. She can't imagine sitting around all day with nothing to do and listening or playing a harp, especially if you don't care for harp music. Naturally that scenario has been imprinted on the minds of people as to what heaven is like. We only feel good after feeling bad. So, I guess having PC problems makes us appreciate the PC more when it runs well, however I could do with less appreciation of that sort.
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slb
Four Star Member
Four Star Member
slb

Number of posts : 926
Registration date : 2010-11-04
Age : 54
Location : Oskaloosa, Iowa

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyFri Jun 03, 2011 6:24 am

Yeah, authors go at this business by trial and error. You find good publishers and not so good publishers. As for marketing, there are different takes on it. Some people I've read don't do any marketing because their publisher does it all. That's great. Others ask the author to help out because the publisher is small and can't afford splashy campaigns. Social networking is key, especially for eBooks.

Keep writing and try not to get too discouraged. If you want to be published, keep at it. Somebody will take a chance with you and you'll see some success.
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http://www.stephenbrayton.com
Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyFri Jun 03, 2011 7:59 am

Thanks Sib. I just sent a query to an Agent and I'm waiting for a response. Just hope I'm not waiting, waiting, waiting. Patience is not my best suit.
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LC
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyFri Jun 03, 2011 9:14 am

Did you rewrite that one paragraph we talked about? Smile
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Abe F. March
Five Star Member
Five Star Member
Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10758
Registration date : 2008-01-26
Age : 81
Location : Germany

Coming to terms with book publishing Empty
PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing EmptyFri Jun 03, 2011 10:28 am

Yep. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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PostSubject: Re: Coming to terms with book publishing   Coming to terms with book publishing Empty

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