Six Reasons You Should Stick with Legacy Publishing

high speedThere is a tendency for authors, especially new authors, to discount the value of the established and venerated publishing houses: those establishments that have for, in some cases, hundreds of years provided the readers of the world with quality materials to entertain, inform, and enlighten.  But suddenly the reverent awe in which we have always held these firms is being besmirched, like graffiti on a church, by a pair of hooligans: a bratty upstart called Self Publishing and his sidekick Indie Press.  Oh, sure; their cousin Vanity Press has been prostituting herself for almost as long as the Big Houses have been around, but she pretty much kept to herself and offered little threat to them.

Self and Indie, however, have managed to lure a sizable contingent of writers into their posse with promises of instant money and stardom.  But, here are six reasons why authors should stick with the brick and mortar giants of legacy publishing. Read More

Espresso Book Machine: Print on Demand Bookmaker

espresso, print on demand, books
No, not THAT kind of espresso!

P.O.D. (Print on Demand) book machines have been in use in companies like CreateSpace and Lightning Source for years.  Using these machines they are able to print your books as they are sold – one at a time if need be –  instead of having to do print runs of thousands (or tens of thousands) of copies as a traditional offset press would.  That means you, the author/publisher, don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on printing costs up front and don’t have to pay for storage of the books while waiting for them to be sold.  Print them as you need them: what could be better?

A recent development in the world of Print on Demand brings this capability to a wider variety of businesses; even libraries.  Continue reading “Espresso Book Machine: Print on Demand Bookmaker”

How to Start a Publishing Company

printing, publication, press, publisher, printing pressThere has been a fair bit of discussion in the forums lately about authors who open a publishing company to self-publish their work.  Much of that discussion centers on whether that practice is ethical: is this author trying to deceive the readers into thinking a publishing house picked them up or simply doing business in a business-like manner.  I contend the latter.  I make furniture, no one questions my decision to sell my furniture as a woodworking business.  Similarly, as an author who produces and sells books I see nothing wrong with my doing business with book retailers under a publishing business name.  Some distributors demand this: they will not deal with the author as the publisher. Continue reading “How to Start a Publishing Company”

Avoiding Self-Publishing Scams

The recent class action lawsuit filed against Publish America is just one more reminder that Indie authors need to be careful about whom they do business with in the process of publishing their books.  What follows is a list of red flags that may indicate caution is required if they pop up in your dealings with a so-called “publisher”.

Many so called self-publishing houses are what are referred to as “vanity publishers” because they offer to get the author’s books in print for a fee.  These often advertise that they “need” or are “seeking” new authors.  If you’ve ever tried dealing with a reputable publishing house you know that rejection is the normal order of things; they will put their imprint on and marketing efforts behind only those books that meet their standards.  Vanity publishers accept anyone and charge unsuspecting authors to publish their work, often producing books that are poorly written, have not been edited, have awful covers, and are (for all intents and purposes) virtually worthless in the commercial book market.  Worthless, to everyone except the vanity publisher, who makes thousands of dollars from the author.  Beware of these signs: Continue reading “Avoiding Self-Publishing Scams”

Turning the Tables on Bookstores

bookstore, bookshop, independant
iStock Photo - all rights reserved.

There was a time when avid readers were frequent customers of small, neighborhood bookstores – these were the places where books lived and could be bought.  Then the big chain bookstores: B Dalton, Crown, Borders, and Barnes & Noble shoved the small shops out of existence.  The book buyer’s expectations changed as the venue changed.

Barnes & Noble and Amazon have been duking it out for control of the print book market for some time.  Then, about three years ago, eReaders came on the scene and the venue changed again.  Continue reading “Turning the Tables on Bookstores”

Pricing Your Printed Book: Avoiding the Traps

cost of printing booksIn a recent post, Pricing Your eBook, I discussed the vagaries of setting a price on a book sold only in electronic form.  That model is driven mostly by perceived value and target audience, when determining the price for a printed book you have a couple of other items to factor into your profit map.

Pricing a printed book is also deserving added thought because changing the price of an eBook is a simple matter.  Changing the price of a printed book is not simple because the price is printed on the back cover along with the ISBN and bar code.  Changing the price means changing the cover, which means service fees paid to your printer every time you make a change.

Cost of Printed Book Design

Unlike an eBook, printed books actually cost you money to produce, how much will depend on who you choose to produce your books and the styling of your books. Continue reading “Pricing Your Printed Book: Avoiding the Traps”

Twitter Feeds for Major Publishers

For those who want to keep up with what the major legacy publishing houses are doing, here is a list of the top 5 twitter feeds from each house and how many followers each account has.

HarperCollins Imprint Followers
1 @HarperTeen 15,292
2 @zondervan 12,279
3 @HarperPerennial 11,656
4 @HarperCollins 10,252
5 @BookClubGirl 8,046
Simon & Schuster
1 @simonschuster 122,660
2 @ScribnerBooks 7,920
3 @freepressbooks 6,852
4 @AtriaBooks 6,020
5 @SimonTEEN 5,453
Penguin
1 @penguinusa 183,477
2 @PenguinPbks 18,006
3 @PenguinClassics 10,214
4 @PenguinTeen 9,784
Hachette
1 @littlebrown 141,507
2 @GrandCentralPub 12,406
3 @orbitbooks 8,554
4 @FaithWords 5,143
5 @HachetteBooks 5,429
Random House
1 @randomhouse 193,845
2 @AAKnopf 104,638
3 @fodorstravel 104,623
4 @randomhousekids 14,943
5 @VintageAnchor 11,652
Macmillan
1. @torbooks 83,892
2 @FSG_Books 14,522
3 @PicadorUSA 8,992
4 @HenryHolt: 4,722
5 @StMartinsPress 2,652
*As of June 20, 2011, Source: Publisher’s Weekly

Creative Methods of Book Marketing

Writing a great book and getting it published are just parts of the journey to becoming a successful author.  Making the buying public aware of your book – and getting them to buy it – is the final, and often the hardest, step.  If you were able to get published by a major publishing house, they will most likely shoulder most of that burden.  If you go with a small publisher or self-publishing, as more and more os us are, that task will fall squarely on your shoulders.

The following is a round-up of book marketing tips posted to BookBuzzer by Tony Eldridge.  Tony is the author of the action/adventure book, The Samson Effect, that Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure” and the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests which helps people find targeted Twitter followers.  He also shares his book marketing tips with fellow authors through his blog and through his free video marketing tips for authors. You can follow him on Twitter @TonyEldridge

Now, on to Tony’s guest posts on BookBuzzr…  Continue reading “Creative Methods of Book Marketing”

Stepping up to a 3D Book Cover

Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Sell Your Work - book imageToday I took the next step in the full-publication process of my latest book. That step being to produce a PDF version that I can sell on my web site. Most people who buy and read PDF books are accustomed to seeing snazzy, 3D book cover images that look like a photo of a real book. So the flat 2D image that I’ve been using in the bookstores isn’t going to be quite good enough if I want to look “professional” as an author of PDF books. But, I can’t spend $700 on Photoshop (the most popular software for doing this) nor do I have the time to learn it even if I could afford it.  So I went looking for alternatives.

I found a bunch.  Several were plugins for Photoshop to make setting that up easier – no good if you don’t have Photoshop. {Gong} They’re disqualified.  Continue reading “Stepping up to a 3D Book Cover”