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The Publishers' Meeting Place

This is the place for publishers (or would-be publishers) to meet -- the publishers' meeting place!

If you thought writing was hard, wait until you dip your fingers into the publisher's world... not that I'm trying to put you off -- on the contrary, I want to encourage you -- but I also think that it is a good idea to be realistic right from the start.

Let's look at the advantages and the disadvantages...

The advantages of self publishing:

1. You can make more money -- instead of 5% to 15% royalties, you can make 40% or more, and with electronic publishing the profits are even higher.

2. You have more control -- from book design, to advertising copy, you are in charge.

3. Your book has priority -- it is your baby, not one of a stable.

4. Tax advantages -- run as a home business, there are a multitude of costs you can deduct from your income taxes.

5. You can do it in your own time -- part time at first, in addition to your day job.

6. As a launching pad -- having a book published, even if it is self published, gives you credibility as an "expert" and once you generate a readership, can often lead to contracts with larger, more established publishing houses.

The disadvantages of self publishing:

1. You provide the money for printing, advertising and shipping costs, you have to take all the risks.

2. You do everything -- you are the writer, editor, book designer, illustrator, photographer, typesetter, printer, financial advisor, public relations, shipper, and manager.

3. It can be difficult to obtain constructive criticism -- you give your book to your friends and relations and they all say it is great, but is it really?

4. Self motivation and the discipline required to follow through on a project that can be years long, can be a problem. Sometimes you get so close to your book that you can no longer see it clearly.

5. You have to be able to sell yourself -- not everyone can do this.

6. You are on your own -- especially in the initial stages, do you have the strength to persevere?

What I found after eight years of writing/publishing is that working alone during the writing stage is fine, but that I need good people to help me when I get into the editing, book design and marketing stages.

A good editor, or a professional reader is worth every penny. I got stuck on a book I had been working on for three years, I went up one side of the mountain and came down the other and was completely lost -- to the point where I had just about given up. I was getting tired of people asking me, "How's the book going?" and not being able to give them an answer beyond, "It's coming along..."

A friend suggested that I find an editor, which I did... after months of procrastination and fussing with myself over the costs involved. The editor suggested that she do a "readers report" which would give me a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of my manuscript. It cost me $150.00 and was worth every penny. Her twenty page report showed me how to correct the basic problems I had been unable to see before. I had to do a complete re-write, but I was able to do it in six months, and finally finished the book.

This book is now available online as a downloadable pdf format eBook -- it's called: Real Feelings -- how to heal your bodymind with transformational exercises. That, by the way, was a bit of shameless self promotion -- it becomes a habit after a while, hard to stop... you?ll get used to it.

Two books I have found absolutely outstanding are The Self Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter and The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Tom & Marilyn Ross. If you are serious about writing and publishing you NEED these books.

They both have web sites, Dan Poynter's is called Para Publishing, where you can download an interesting little eBook called Steal This eBook! by Danny O Snow.

Tom and Marilyn Ross have two sites, About-Books and SPAN (Small Publishers of North America). It will cost you money to join SPAN, but it won't cost you anything to visit their site and put your name down for their free ezine.

But before you do that you should put your name down for our free ezine, The Self Publishers Club News...

More useful links...

Powell's Books

The world's best independent online book store...

From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Powell's Books has grown into one of the world's great bookstores, with seven locations in the Portland metropolitan area, and one of the book world's most successful dot-coms, serving customers worldwide.

ISBN online

Where to find US and Canadian ISBN registration information online...

Spam check!

Spam check, the new anti-spam tool from Site Build It!

How to avoid the stress of self publishing

Before you start on your self publishing journey, take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Do I want more stress, anxiety and financial pressure in my life?" Or... "Do I want to fulfill myself creatively, make some money and enjoy myself in the process?"

The best decision I ever made...

Imagine this -- a web hosting service that not only provides unlimited hard drive space for your web pages but includes in the price a complete set of tools and instructions that make it a snap for anyone (from pro to newbie) to build a professional, popular and profitable web site.

Tax advice...

As a self publisher, you are self employed (or self unemployed, as the case may be...) which means that you are now permitted to enter the arcane world of tax deductions for business related expenses.

The free directory of independent writers and artists

The Published.com directory provides a platform for hundreds of writers and artists to promote their work and connect with others world-wide. It's easy to use, and it's free!

Internet Marketing Diary

I began this diary in 1999, offering weekly updates for a complete year. At the end of November 2000 I stopped writing the diary and moved on to greater things (like the Self Publishers Club). This is a summary of my experiences and some guidance for you on what not to do, and how to fast track your own online business...

The pros and cons of self publishing my own gardening book, by Robin Wheeler

I'm lucky - I've had a chance to self publish my own gardening book, "Gardening for the Faint of Heart", and then had the opportunity to see what happened when one of the big publishers took the book over for me. The results have left me a bit more cynical and flinty eyed than when I started, a bit smarter, and I still have boxes of books under my bed...

Trafford on-demand publishing service.

A report by Paul Blakey, on Trafford's on-demand publishing service for self-publishing authors. Highly recommended.

The Invisible Path to Success

Who's directing your movie? If you would like to find out, you should run, not walk, to The Invisible Path to Success. This is the best self help advice I have ever found. Highly recommended, six stars out of five!