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Old 12-04-2015, 08:00   #1
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Book publishing

Does anybody have connections to a publishing company? I have written 5 books, professionally edited, and everybody recommends to have them published. But no publishing company or agent ever responds to any submissions unless you are already famous.
I could publish on Lulu or Amazon as e-books which I have just done for one, about exploring Cuba by sail "Sugar Sails, Last Island of Happiness, Castro's Cuba" by Wolfgang Berg on Lulu.com. But I would prefer a real publisher. All books have a sailing background, 2 non-fiction, the above and "Banana Log, from Dream to Disaster", a cruise through all Caribbean islands in 3 parts, and 3 fiction. All ready for publishing.
Any hints are welcome.
Thank you
Wolfgang
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:16   #2
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Re: book publishing

amazon do a print-on-demand service. I think it's called Create Space? One book ordered, one book printed. No minimum order, I think it's like $4 to print and $4 postage, everything else is for you.
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Old 15-05-2015, 01:50   #3
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Re: book publishing

I'd really recommend using Amazon Kindle Direct publishing to start with. Its a no cost entry to market where you can see through Amazon and make some money but more importantly you can then show real sales to a publisher. Publishing is a very tough business right now with the average first book - if a big seller - only making an author around $7000 - and I mean if a BIG seller...

Publishers and agents are always inundated with requests and you may never hear back or you may hear back in months when someone goes through a slush pile for inspiration but odds are it will be never. The Artists and Writers Yearbook will give a good guide to publishers and agents by specialty and it of course makes more sense to go to say Adlard Coles than Random House.

But wherever you try to go it will be much better received if you can say - I'm looking for a print publisher for my Kindle book thats just sold 2000 copies in 3 months (though if you can do that many on Kindle you'll be making great money anyway) - after all - thats how a barely literate woman got one of the worst books ever written (Fifty Shades) to being the publishing success of the decade having been (rightly IMHO) turned down by every publisher she had tried before...
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Old 15-05-2015, 07:59   #4
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Re: Book publishing

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfgangSeaLife View Post
But no publishing company or agent ever responds to any submissions unless you are already famous.
No offense intended, really, but this is simply not true. If it were true, no new authors would ever get published. But they do. Every year. I mean, JK Rowling was a complete unknown when the first Harry Potter book was published. So don't let yourself get discouraged by believing this.

That said, I think Snowgoose35 has probably given you the best advice. Publish it yourself on Amazon, and then keep sending it out to editors and agents.

And just now, it occurs to me to mention...

I hope you are not sending all five books at once with a letter that says something like "Here are five books you should publish/represent/whatever." You need to target your submissions individually. You need to write and edit your cover letter just as carefully as you did the books. Don't tell them that the book is ready to publish--they will decide for themselves if it is. And don't tell them it has been "professionally edited"--they have their own editors who will decide what needs to be done with it.

Good luck.
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Old 15-05-2015, 08:16   #5
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Re: Book publishing

Why beg for a "real" publisher, when you can do it all yourself? I have self-published 4 novels, and it's how I make my living. This is the golden age of independent authorship. What do you need a "real" publisher for, to get you on the shelves at Borders Books? Whoops, they went out of business. Amazon is the 500# gorilla of publishing, and you can get up to 70% royalties, while your "real" publisher will give you 15% at best... and still, most of your books will be sold via Amazon.

I began with printed books, but e-books have totally taken over. My printed books are now the diminishing "legacy" portion of my self-publishing business. I would advise going straight to Kindle e-books, and print the books later when you can. I would advise against "print on demand," in most cases it's too expensive per book to allow for a wholesale level. The basic formula is your cost per printed book must be no greater than 25% of the retail cover price. I print 2,000 copies at a time of my titles. Warehouse costs must be factored in, and there is not much price saving per book by going to higher print runs.

There is a terrific website where you can learn all about self-publishing on Kindle. Go to KindleBoards.com, look for the Writer's Cafe. You will be able to get up to speed on all of the latest concerning self publishing your own e-books. Good luck!
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Old 15-05-2015, 10:44   #6
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Re: Book publishing

Travis McGee: What genre are you pursuing? Agents, publishers, and editors at pub houses are still a legit way to go. You should also consider smaller houses and places like Oregon and Seattle depending on subject. But remember, niche non-fiction isn't going to strike anyone as being cost effective. So, self pub is a good way to go.
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Old 16-05-2015, 05:49   #7
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Re: Book publishing

Wolfgang -- I sent you a PM.
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Old 16-05-2015, 07:06   #8
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Re: Book publishing

The only reason to hook up with a publisher is to get their marketing and bookstore presence (they have the connections to make that work). There is a serious bias against independents who do not use publishers, because the product of such folks is variable (some great, some really, really bad).

So, if a book critic (from say, the Times or SF Gate or Chicago Tribune, etc) - even smells that you're self published, they'll probably not review your book. Part of this comes from the old-time hegemony that the publishing industry enjoyed for decades. Part of it comes from the lack of efficiency that is automatically associated with culling out the bad from the good when dealing with self published authors.

Sigh. Anyway, there is another alternative that the posts on this thread have not addressed. If you're not going to use a publisher (a big publisher, that can actually successfully market your book) - then you might as well get the best price on printing independently, and distribute it yourself (lot of work there, BTW). You'll be trying to ply your wares at independent bookstores, and book fairs, etc. Full time job.

There is a big difference between POD pricing and offset press. For instance, I have a book I can get POD printed for about six dollars. From an offset press company, printing a thousand or two books, my cost is less than two dollars each. I don't have the volume chart handy at the moment, but you get the idea. So, how many books are you going to print? A four dollar difference adds up in a hurry. POD is great for low volume (what most authors are, but not by choice).
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Old 16-05-2015, 07:45   #9
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Re: Book publishing

Another thing not addressed if you are self publishing is where do you get a good editor? I mean a GOOD one. Not a butcher, The EFA EFA takes anyone.

Recomendations?
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:14   #10
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Re: Book publishing

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Another thing not addressed if you are self publishing is where do you get a good editor? I mean a GOOD one. Not a butcher, The EFA EFA takes anyone.

Recomendations?
Yes - editing is one thing you'll get with a big publisher. Editing books is a very non-trivial task that most self published authors can't get right until revision xxx.xx. Publishing houses are not very forgiving of the bloopers that inevitably get into all original manuscripts (this happens even with big name authors) - so editors will ship the stuff back to the writer many times until they get it right.

Cheap publishing packages for the DIY crowd might do the spelling and clumsy passage editing - but traditional industry editing involves working with major rearrangements of the story, plot, structure, etc. Much different animal.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:48   #11
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Re: Book publishing

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Another thing not addressed if you are self publishing is where do you get a good editor? I mean a GOOD one. Not a butcher, The EFA EFA takes anyone.
True that.

I've got a friend who wrote a novel. He was smart, and hired a professional editor on his own dime to edit the book. He was also smart enough to start the next two books in the series before that edit was done, and before he hooked up an agent. I do not know how he picked or found his editor.

He got signed with a major publisher, is now a "NYT bestselling author." - The edit was key in that process, as well as finding the right agent, and it not being a lousy book.

I've read some self-published stuff on the kindle that was absolute garbage. Only so much misspellings and bad grammar one can take.

OTOH, I've read some damn fine stuff. Stuff that's good enough to go buy a Catamaran on the proceeds.

Overall I think quality is essential to success. But of course you can publish crap fanfic (50 shades) and make $$$ if the market is there for it.
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Old 16-05-2015, 12:07   #12
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Re: Book publishing

Well, thats the thing. Most agents and houses won't read your stuff without you having it ready to go with edits. They want it ready to publish.

I'm self editing my novel right now - sort of a fantasy/YA/Lit. Been working on it for over two years. I'm just trying to get it ready for beta reads and possibly professional reader reports BEFORE I send it to an editor (for further work - self paid or not) and/or an agent. So far, I'm up to edit 2.3. First draft; second draft/edit (that alone took 1 year); 3 minor edits. I take about 4-6 weeks off between drafts. The point is, you have to do a LOT of work even before you can send it to someone to HIRE to work for you, yet alone SUBMIT to.
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Old 18-05-2015, 14:09   #13
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Re: Book publishing

Interesting read to say the least... Working myself on some books and thought about self-publishing but then.... How to market it?
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Old 27-05-2015, 14:10   #14
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Re: Book publishing

I've self-published three books now, the two most recent I had printed by lulu and CreateSpace, both full color. The first of the two printed by lulu was of good quality, but they kept upping their printing cost to the point I just couldn't sell it retail and make any profit. I was also disappointed with their customer service.

My most recent book, a photo book of the Abacos was done with CreateSpace which has a much more reasonable price, including a much more reasonable price on Amazon. The overall quality of the book seems good and I was very happy with their customer service. My one notable complaint is their paper quality is not what it should be for color images. They all look a bit dull. A colleague of mine printed a novel through CreateSpace and the quality seems good.

Having a book available on Amazon of course is not the same as actual marketing.
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Old 31-05-2015, 15:03   #15
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Re: Book publishing

sorry did not get it.
Do you want them by Drop Box or ftp site?
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