Top Five Questions
How much does it cost to publish a book?
Anyone who asks this very straightforward question expects a very straightforward answer. And while I’d love to give you the answer that you want, I have to explain that here are myriad of factors involved.
Let’s change the question to “How much does it cost to buy a car?” just for one moment. Do you want a Lamborghini or a Honda Civic? Gas, electric, or hybrid? Economy model or with all of the bells and whistles? New or used? Warrantied or “as is”?
Let’s change the question again to “How much does it cost to go on vacation?” Are we going for a couple’s weekend of camping an hour away with gear that we already own, or are we going on a cruise with all of the children and grandchildren? Do we need passports or not? Is it an all-inclusive trip or is this trip filled with “on your own” options that are going to rack up additional costs?
So back to publishing a book. Do you need an illustrator? You will definitely need an impartial third-party editor, and very likely a graphic designer to create your book cover in the required format. Do you envision a book that’s entirely black and white inside, or will you be needing to print photos or illustrations in color? Is your book under 50 pages, or is it or over 250 pages? Do you already have a professional headshot of yourself for the back cover? Do you have a website and social media accounts that are not your personal ones, but one that are dedicated to you as an author? You will need the website, the dedicated social media accounts, and a way for your readers to sign up for email updates.
A single (free, no-obligation) conversation between you and me can allow me to learn more about your manuscript and your vision for its publication. After a day or two, I can give you a reasonable estimate about the cost for your project. You can take your time to consider the estimate and decide if or when you want to pursue your project, and over what timeframe.
That’s really the most straightforward answer that can be provided.
Is it worth it to self-publish or go with an indie publisher?
Well, unless you already have the big-name publishers knocking your door down with offers to purchase your manuscript, you probably need to seriously consider self-publishing or working with an independent publisher like my company.
Big name publishers don’t entertain the idea of publishing unknown authors. The better-known authors who do end up working with them generally sign away a tremendous amount of rights and say about how their book is produced and sold.
Self-publishing is fine for people who are quite comfortable learning a myriad of new software programs and managing their own copyright applications and purchases of ISBN numbers. It’s also idea for authors who already have contacts in the editing/proofreading field, illustration or graphic design field, and web design or social media management.
However, a vast majority of authors don’t want to deal with “all that stuff,” they simply want to do what they do best, which is write. If you are one of these authors, then working with an independent publisher is the ideal situation. Your publisher knows people who will work as independent contractors on your book as an editor, an illustrator, or graphic designer. Your publisher knows the process for securing copyright and an ISBN number, and the sequence in which all of these details need to be done in order. Your publisher can guide you through these steps easily with no “hidden costs” like self-publishing can produce.
How do I know if my book will be a top seller or a flop?
Frankly, you don’t. Nor does your publisher, although they probably have a pretty good sense of how good your writing is, and whether your book falls into a fairly independent niche or will face ridiculous amounts of competition. A good analogy is trying to predict an infant’s success as an adult. That infant may have the greatest DNA, supportive and loving parents, a stable home, and a fabulous school filled with amazing teachers. Yet somehow, they don’t reach the level of success of another child who has none of those advantages.
If you have a book with great content, whether it is fiction or nonfiction, you will still need to do a tremendous amount of marketing both before and after your book launch date. Your publisher should work with you to develop your marketing plan and all of the elements of it.
The last publisher that I worked with didn’t do anything to promote my book. How is your company any different?
This is the number one complaint that I hear from people who published with lesser-known companies in the past five years. “They called me, and they asked me to write a book. I did, and they published it, and it has virtually no sales. I don’t think they did anything to promote it at all.”
Quite honestly, most publishers view their role as simply that — getting your manuscript into an electronic and paperback version. They don’t really expect to cover your marketing, nor even teach you how to have any say in it.
As an author, you will absolutely need an online presence which includes a website dedicated to your book(s), social media accounts which are separate from your personal ones, an email subscription list, and a pretty aggressive plan for managing all of those. Most authors don’t know how to set all of those up, and they don’t have the time or inclination to learn how to do all that. They want a comprehensive plan, but they want someone else to get it up and running.
That’s where we come in. We will build your website, set up your social media accounts that are dedicated to marketing you and your books, and link those to an email subscription list. We’ll run those for a month or two, providing quality content so that your list of fans and followers grows. Finally, we will then teach you how to manage the process on your own, so that you can have a finger on the pulse of whether you need to promote your book more — and when/how to do so. This is not an optional service; it’s part of our contract with you.
I have a great idea for a book, but I just don’t know how to get started. Can you help me?
Absolutely! Coaching writers is one of my favorite things to do. Get in touch and Let’s Start a Conversation
Regardless of where you are in the process of writing, I can work with you to develop a solid manuscript that is ready for publishing. One single phone conversation between the two of us (no charge, no obligation) will give you a better idea of what to do next, how to reach your goal, and the variety of services that we can offer to you. We have a team of editors, reviewers, illustrators, graphic designers, web design and social media experts to move your manuscript from the back of that file drawer to the Amazon marketplace.