Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's time for another book about publishing.
And a well-deserved plug for Fotolia.com

I used to say that I get "itchy" if I don't start a new website every six weeks or so.

And then I said the same thing about blogs. At one time, I was doing SIX each day. Ouch!

I don't know how many websites I designed over the years -- for my own business, for other businesses, and for personal use -- but the total is certainly over 100. The most that were online at any one time was probably about 40. Now there are about 20.

Publishing books is equally addicting. I started Silver Sands Books in 2008 with the intention of publishing exactly ONE BOOK -- for friends and relatives. My total is now approaching 20.

I had no idea this would happen. Publishing books -- if you like it, and I LOVE it -- is like eating Lay's potato chips. It's hard to stop at one.

As more and more authors decide to self-publish, more and more books are written to guide them, teach them, and inspire them. Some of them are great (like mine, of course), many are OK, and sadly, many of them stink.

Despite the growing number of books aimed at self-publishing authors, there are still niches to fill. I think I found one.

Self-Publish Your Book Without Losing Your Shirt: business basics for self-publishing authors is aimed at writers who don't need help with writing or designing, but do need help with the business side of the publishing business. It's intended for writers who use self-publishing companies, as well as writers -- like me -- who decide to stay independent, and form their own small publishing companies.

I got the idea for this about three hours ago and I already have a title, tentative cover, ISBN, a list of chapters and some of the words that go between the covers. I'll provide more info here as I make more decisions.

The cover photo, by the way, was taken by Piotr Marcinski and I got it at Fotolia.com. Fotolia is my first choice when I need photography. The selection is huge, quality the highest,  and prices either reasonable or ridiculously low. I'm sure I would have paid over a thousand bucks to hire a model and a photographer to get a picture like this one, and it might have taken weeks to get it. I made the decision on the Fotolia site in less than ten minutes, and the price (for a big hi-rez image) was about $12.

One thing I particularly like about Fotolia is that I can download free low-rez trial pix to experiment with in layouts, before I decide to spend money. If I decide to spend the money, and later realize that I picked the wrong pic, I probably wasted less money than I would spend on a pizza -- and I may be able to use the photo in another project.

Of course, when I use "stock" photography like this, it's not mine exclusively, so I check to see if any similar books have the same or similar illustrations. There is no guarantee that one won't go on sale in the future (there's also no guarantee that another book won't have the same title as mine), but I'm willing to take the risk. I'd have to sell many more books to pay for a $1000 photo than a $12 photo.


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