Category Archives: Publishing

Don’t Debate Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Book publishing pros and cons

There are 4 reasons why self-publishing versus traditional publishing doesn’t matter

Authors often wonder if they should bypass finding a traditional publisher and just self-publish their books. It’s a weighty question with a plethora of answers. Each option possesses a list of book publishing pros and cons, warranting careful consideration, but today I’ll share four reasons why it doesn’t really matter.

Readership

Either way others can read our work. Although some write for personal gratification, almost all writers have a deep desire for other people to read their work. Even those who won’t admit it, generally have an inner yearning to share their words. Both self-publishing and traditional publishing can accomplish this.

Marketing

Either way we must market our books. Except for A-list authors – those all but guaranteed to sell a million copies—all other authors need to promote their own work. True, traditional publishers will do some marketing, but their budget will be limited. Unless our book becomes a run-away sensation (unlikely), its success will hinge on our willingness to promote it—regardless of the publishing method.

Either form of book publishing allows the potential to make money. Click To Tweet

Earn Money

Either way we can make money. It’s possible to make money with either publishing model. Though the amount of money varies with the situation, type of book, and market size, as well as our personal preferences and personality, either form of publishing allows the potential to earn income.

Tangible Results

Either way we can have a printed copy of our book. There’s something significant about holding a printed copy of our book. It’s tangible proof our work is viable—and is something we can autograph. Both forms of book publishing can result in a printed version of our work (as well as an e-version and usually both).

In future posts, I’ll address the book publishing pros and cons of both options, but in the big picture, it doesn’t matter.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

How Can Publishers Become Developers?

Is it enough for authors to embrace a publishing mindset or must they go further?

publishers

I once read, “publishers are becoming developers.” This sounds profound, but what does it mean?

A publisher is someone who prepares and issues information or material.

A developer is someone who creates, who builds, who advances.

How can publishers become developers?

  • Turn a book or publication into a platform or business
  • Repackage past and current products (books, articles, posts, and so forth) into innovative offerings for a new audience
  • Build a social media presence to curate and share information
  • Create mobile apps of content for the on-the-move, I-want-it-now demographic
  • Establish new information dissemination channels
  • Reinvent being a writer into something with a greater, grander vision

These are all general ideas, of course. I leave the details for each author-turned-publisher to determine, pursue, and achieve.

Then, just as authors become publishers, we can take the next step to all become developers, too.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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9 Keys to Self-Publishing Success

It’s never been easier to publish a book, but that doesn’t mean we should

Self-published book

I once read a self-published book, a novella. I read it for several reasons: it was recommended (which turned out to be a bad reason), it would be a quick read, I’d never read a novella, and it was free (I got what I paid for).

On the plus side, the opening captured my attention, the story line was intriguing, and the ending was a delightful surprise. On the negative side, the book did not flow smoothly, was poorly edited (or not edited at all), contained many errors, and was poorly converted into e-book format. Overall, the great ending did not overcome all the negative elements.

Self-Published Book Success

For a self-published book to be successful, it needs what all great books need:

  1. A Promising Idea: If you don’t have a great story idea or theme, don’t start writing. This novella did, but its implementation fell short.
  2. A Compelling Opening (a Hook): The opening didn’t grab me, but it was sufficient to make me want to read more.
  3. Great Writing: I felt I was reading a rough draft. Elements of good writing were present, but they were too sparse to be effective.
  4. Professional Editing: The novella may have been self-edited (never a wise idea) or done so on the cheap, but the result wasn’t even close to professional. While publishing perfection is hard to achieve, the goal should be to get as close as possible.
  5. A Satisfying Ending: The ending of the novella was superb. It was the most notable element of the work. But one good line does not make a good book.
  6. A Memorable Title: Some titles are hard to forget and others are hard to remember. I can’t recall this novella’s title.
  7. An Attention-Grabbing Cover: The cover didn’t hurt the book, but it didn’t help either. If I were judging this book by its cover, I would have passed.
  8. A Pleasing Layout: In print, a self-published book shouldn’t look self-published. (We can’t always define it, but we know it when we see it). In electronic form, the formatting should flow smoothly with no glitches, misplaced text, bad alignment, or floating words or titles. In any good book, the interior design should be innocuous. When people notice the layout it becomes a distraction.
  9. Effective Marketing: The above items all relate to the quality of the product. (There are more elements to consider, but these are the main ones.) A quality product requires effective marketing. A stellar book with no sales will not be a success, nor will great marketing of lousy writing work out.Before you self-publish your book, make sure you include these 9 requirements. Click To Tweet

If you’re considering self-publishing, be it in print or e-book, make sure you cover all nine of these items before proceeding. Your book’s success will depend on it.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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What is the Future of Book Publishing?

Will book publishing follow the path of the music and movie industries?

Digital books and book publishing

When people look at the future of book publishing they often draw parallels to music and video. In many ways this is instructive, but not in all cases. What does the future hold for digital books?

Digital Music and Video

Look at the history of music. With music there were 78-rpm records, cassettes, 8 tracks, vinyl records, CD, and iTunes/iPods.

Next consider the progression of video. With video there were Beta tapes, VHS tapes, video disks, DVD, and Blue Ray.

Digital Books

Music and video both show a user progression of format and consumption to the digital realm. One might conclude, therefore, that printed word will give way to the digital word, that print books will cede to digital books, be it e-books or audio.

I don’t see that happening, at least not completely.E-readers and audio books will never completely replace the printed word. Click To Tweet

To say that e-readers will completely replace printed books is like saying iTunes will replace concerts or Blu-Ray will replace theater. It’s not going to happen.

E-Readers

True, e-readers may one day dominate the reading public’s preference, but just as there will always be demand for concerts and theater, so too for the printed word. The key for authors and publishers is to embrace both options, not pick sides.

As a reader, do you prefer print or digital? As a writer should you care?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

3 Types of Self-Publishing

Explore the 3 Types of Self-Publishing: Print, E-books, & Audio

Self-publishing options

Self-publishing, once vilified as an exercise in vanity, is now accepted as a viable option by most everyone—except perhaps those who earn a living in traditional publishing. Consider the three self-publishing options.

Three Self-Publishing Options

There are three segments to self-publishing: e-publishing (for Kindle and other e-readers), POD (print-on-demand), and audio books. Some POD vendors will also produce an e-book version, allowing for one-stop-shopping.

Of the three, POD may be more satisfying to the author. POD gives them something tangible to touch, see, and show. Whereas e-pub may be more profitable, having no printing, storing, or shipping costs.

Audio books reside in the middle. They have a higher production cost than e-books but also enjoying the ease of digital distribution. Ideally, the self-published author should consider all three. But start with e-books, followed by print books, and wrapping up with audio books.

When it comes to profit per unit sold, both print and e-books surpass traditional publishing, whose royalties are much smaller in comparison. Of course, traditional publishers have a more extensive reach, greater connections, and bookstore distribution, so the lower payment per book is often more than offset with a much higher sales volume.

Whatever route an author takes, there are pluses and minuses to each. Therefore, the key is to become educated, know your strengths, weaknesses, and available time. Then find the best match for your situation, personality, and goals. Study the 3 self-publishing options before making a decision. Click To Tweet

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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Blogging is a Basic Form of Self-Publishing

A Blog connects writers directly to readers with no middlemen, delays, or layers of isolation.

blogging

At one time, not too long ago, most everyone decried self-publishing as second-rate, used only by the marginal scribe and unpublishable writer. This is no longer the case. After all, blogging is publishing.

Self-Publishing

Now most everyone (except perhaps traditional publishers) views self-publishing as a viable option for anyone to consider, from novice to seasoned veteran. Indeed some indie authors self-publish because they can make more money that way, publish books faster and more frequently, and maintain greater control over their product and career.

Blogging is Publishing

Publishing, however, is not just about books. Self-publishing can be much simpler. At its most basic, blogging is publishing, perhaps the most pure and direct. Blogging is a means of publishing that connects writer directly with reader, as it is now with you and me. With blogging there are no middlemen offering delays, causing interference, or interjecting layers of isolation.

Blogging connects the author directly with the reader. Blogging is the simplest way to publish. Click To Tweet

Another bonus with blogging is that it’s not restricted to one-way communication, but opens the door for two-way interaction, through the comment section.

Blog to Book

I’ve been blogging since 2008. One day, in my spare time, I will compile some of my posts and turn them into a book.

Actually I started this project a couple of years ago. I need to get back to it. And when I do self-publish my book of blog posts, I will have connected two types of publishing: the blog with the book.

What is your experience with blogging? Have you ever self-published a book? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Feel free to link to your blog.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Why I’m Bullish about Printed Books

The future for print books is strong and ripe with opportunity

Printed Books

Michael Weinstein, in his “Publishing Panorama” blog at BookBusinessMag.com, posted this headline: “Report from the Publishing Business Conference: This Just In: Sky Not Falling!” This was four years ago. I think his conclusions about printed books are even more true today.

Citing many credible and reputable sources, he builds a case for a strong future in print publishing, quite contrary to the naysayers who frequently spout, “Print is dead.”

Two of his key takeaways are “Real quality matters more than ever. Never forget what beautiful objects printed books are,” and “the world does not need another book, it does need another original and well-done book.”

He concludes his comments by saying, “We’re publishing differently; we might be delivering some content differently. But passion still counts and quality will always count most of all.”

Although the book publishing industry is undergoing great change, this does not have to be a bad thing. With change comes opportunity and for those who are willing to adjust their thinking to include new perspectives, the opportunities are many. So don’t believe those who warn that the publishing sky is falling; it’s simply not true. People still want to buy printed books. Although the book publishing industry is undergoing great change, with change comes opportunity. Click To Tweet

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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Digital Publishing Pros and Cons

Consider both publishing options for your next book

Digital Publishing

For the past few years, there has been a great deal of press—and hence a great deal of excitement—about e-books.

Correspondingly, there is also significant debate about the relative merits of each option. The purists insist that the printed version is the way to go, nearly sacred. While the technologists say that e-books are where it’s at, declaring that paper is passé. Of course the diplomat insists that there is room for both.

The price of e-books spans a wide range, from free to matching their printed counterparts, so it is hard to know their true demand. After all if something is free or costs next to nothing, why not “buy” it.

Regardless of sales numbers, print is still driving the market. Author Annette Ehrhardt, in writing about e-book pricing strategies, once noted that, “It seems that many readers value the printed word more than the digital word.”

Consider both print and e-book publishing for your next book. Click To Tweet

While there may be viable instances where a book should only be in digital form or only in print, the vast majority of books need to be in both.

However, if for some reason you can only do one, go with print. Readers will apparently value it more—and what they value, they will buy.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

What is the Ultimate Reading Device?

There’s Kindle, Nook, Kobo eReader, tablets, and apps. Which one is the ultimate e-reader? Which one will rise to the top, replace its competitors, and survive as the reader of choice? Which one is the ultimate reading device that will endure long into the future?

The ultimate reading device
What is the ultimate reading device? Click To Tweet

The answer is: None of them!

What is the ultimate reading device?

Quite simply, it is the printed word.

With a hard copy you don’t need to worry about software compatibility, device obsolescence, battery power consumption, damage when it’s dropped, someone electronically recalling your book, and so forth.

A printed book has none of these concerns. You can read a book anytime, anywhere. It is truly the ultimate reader.

Although e-readers have their place and do offer benefits, I do not see them replacing printed books as many have predicted. The two will co-exist, side-by-side for the foreseeable future.

Even so, the ultimate reading device will continue to be the printed word.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Do Readers Want Digital Instead of Print?

magazine publishers

For magazine publishers, there’s a lot of hype and excitement about reading magazines and books electronically. All variety of statistics are being bandied about to support the deluge of digital. Studies are being conducted and consultants are consulting. There is euphoria over electronic reading.

But is it warranted? While digital reading is a tantalizing development and may someday change the way people interact with the written word, that day is not yet here. Consider some stats that I have stumbled upon from the magazine industry:

  • One magazine found that 75 percent of readers would not give up their print magazine. That means, the magazine can’t risk going fully digital.
  • A survey of magazine publishers over the performance of their digital editions found that 38% were “somewhat dissatisfied” and 22% were “extremely dissatisfied.” That means that among publishers, a full 60% are not happy with digital.
  • In another study, 61.5% of magazine publishers aren’t even sure how they can generate enough revenue to cover the costs of digital.

So, based on these stats, the majority of readers don’t want to read digitally, the majority of publishers are not happy with digital, and the majority of publishers don’t even know how they can financially support digital.

Going digital may be exciting, but the numbers are not behind it and the masses don’t support it—at this time.

Given this, shouldn’t the focus be on print?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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