Almost every day I receive an inquiry from someone who has spent a small fortune getting their book published by a company that basically promises them the moon when it comes to the success of their book.
In the majority of cases, regardless of how you get your book to market; self publishing in the truest sense of the word; vanity publishers, or traditional publishers, the author will have to proactively market the book in order to sell copies.
My most recent inquiry came from a man who had a 56 page document published as a book by what appears to be a vanity publisher. The publishing company has a retail price of $19.95 on the book.
Needless to say, the author has had a difficult time selling the book to people who see it and those who buy it sight unseen are disappointed with the minimal number of pages.
Lots of people have the dream of becoming a published author yet, lack enough information to make the best choice for their particular publishing needs. Although there are numerous reputable publishing companies, there are many companies taking advantage of an aspiring author's dream and lack of knowledge.
The best thing a wanna be author can do is to learn as much as possible about your publishing options before you “sign on the dotted line”.
For the purpose of clarification here are some simple definitions (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):
Self PublishingSelf-publishing is the publishing of books and other media by the author(s) of those work, rather than by established, third party publishers.
Vanity Press A vanity press or vanity publisher is a book printer which, while claiming to be a publisher charges writers a fee in return for publishing their books or otherwise makes most of its money from the author rather than from the public.
POD – Print on Demand
Print on demand or publish on demand (POD) is a printing technology in which a copy is not created until after an order is received.
The reality is, regardless of what avenue of publishing an author chooses, they will still have to be very proactive in the marketing of their book. Rarely is this not the case.
Many people are under the impression, or led to believe, the publisher will do the marketing for them. If a publisher provides such a service it is usually minimal at best. Perhaps a press release or two, listing on Amazon, a posting on a website, a simple website, etc. If a company does provide an effective marketing and promotions campaign, usually there is a hefty fee that is attached to it.
Many vanity presses make a big deal out of getting the author a listing on Amazon.com and offering a website as part of the publishing deal. The fact is in and of themselves, listings on Amazon.com and having a website, will do little if any good. The author must still market and will be well-served to drive traffic to those locations.
It’s like anything, no matter how good something is, if people don’t know about it, they can’t buy it. No matter how good a book is, how great the title, how big the market, without a very proactive approach to marketing, books do not sell. The marketing and promotions is an ongoing process and absolutely essential to the success of a book.
Personally, I am an advocate of self-publishing in the truest sense of the word. It means I oversee everything. This doesn’t mean I do all the actual work myself, rather, I hire it out.
Areas that you would hire out would be:
You can even hire out some or all of the writing.
I personally do all my own writing, but the other areas such as design, layout, and editing I contract to others.
The world of book selling has become incredibly competitive. In my experience, the best way to sell a book is have a very proactive online approach as well as selling through speaking engagements.
You can find some marketing ideas in my free recordings at http://www.streetsmartsmarketing.com/marketingaudios.htm
You can learn some extremely effective online marketing strategies with my eBook, The Truth About Making Money on the Internet at http://www.streetsmartsmarketing.com/free-ebook.htm
You can also get many of your questions answered by joining two excellent Yahoo Groups for self-published authors.
You post a question to the group and if people have an answer they will usually respond in a timely fashion.
I would highly recommend you get books on publishing, marketing books and self-publishing by the following authors.
Tom and Marilyn Ross
There is nothing to compare to see your book published. Yet, without the correct information your dream can quickly become a nightmare. Before making any decisions do your research. You will be glad you did.