Friday, July 9, 2010

Important facts of life for self-publishers

  1. You’ll probably see advertising proclaiming “FREE PUBLISHING” and you’ll discover publishing packages priced under $200. Here’s the truth: (1) No company will print and deliver a book for free. (2) Unless you are prepared to spend $1,000 or more ($3,000 or more would be better) you will probably not get a professional-quality book and will not be able to tell many potential readers that the book exists and why they should buy it.
  2. Don’t assume your first book will make money. It probably will lose money. Most books—even those published by the media giants with huge staffs of highly paid and experienced experts—lose money. Million-sellers are very rare in the book business. In self-publishing, thousand-sellers are very rare.
  3. We all dream of wealth and fame, but few people get rich from writing. Learn as much as you can about writing and publishing and work as hard as you can—but don’t quit your day job and don’t remortgage your house to finance a book.
  4. Most writers love to write. Write your first book for the joy of it, or to impress your friends and family, or maybe to change some minds, or as a learning experience or as a business builder. Over months and years, as you improve your writing skills and learn more about the publishing business, the profits may come in. If it’s not fun or profitable, stop writing books.

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