Ideally, the average novelist aspires to publish their book with large publishing houses such as Simon & Schuster and Random House. Publishing houses are sent thousands of manuscripts each day — less than a handful will be the next Harry Potter and the rest will perish in a mysterious wastebasket. Authors are brought to tears when rejected by mainstream publishing houses. It can be heartbreaking and discouraging to get rejected by esteemed corporations. Rejection or acceptance is not an indicator of an author’s talent. J.K Rowling was reportedly rejected 13 times before the billion dollar Harry Potter empire was built. If you are an author who has been rejected by a publishing company or wish to self publish, this article will help you get started wisely.
Self-publishing is a method of publishing that puts you in charge of your writing, marketing, funds, customers, media, wholesale and more. The author is responsible for everything a large corporation like Random House is responsible for. Self-publishing is a business. Authors who are unfamiliar with starting a business need to consult their local small business administration. The first step is establishing what type of business you will start. The most popular for self-publishers are sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Corporation.
Sole Proprietor :
~Is the easiest and cheapest to get.
~Assumes full responsibilities for liabilities and debts
~The business can be easily dissolved if you choose.
~Business and personal assets are not separated
Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) :
~ Personal Protection against liabilities
~Ongoing tax benefits when there is more than one member
The best option for any business venture is LLC. Most business owners are at a risk for lawsuits — LLC corporations allow a wall between business and personal assets. An author can be sued for copyright, plagiarism and other claims related to thievery. A limited liability corporation ensures that the author’s personal assets are not at risk.
E-Publishing Verses Print Publishing
E-publishing produces electronic books that are read in programs like Adobe or devices like the Kindle. This method of publication is growing in popularity — given the amount of time the average American spends online. E-Publishing has potential to be more lucrative for the author if done correctly. When E-publishing, it is important to do marketing online and offline as well. Send emails, join writing forums, create social networking sites and distribute flyers. Offer the first batch of books free; nothing draws a crowd more than free merchandise. Have your readers subscribe or follow your website in order to receive their book. If you do not wish to give completed books away for free, offer lengthy excerpts. Unless, you are already established it will be difficult to gain a following online. Consumers are still wired to see what it is that they are about to purchase. By giving the first batch of ebooks away for free, you are sending the message that you have faith in your book. Consumers want to be sure that they will be satisfied with their purchase; especially since many online returns are either a hassle or nonexistent.
The advantages of E-Publishing:
- Cost less to produce more books
- Free to send to customers
- Customers get their books quicker
- Cheaper for the customer
- No costs for packaging materials to mail to customers
The Disadvantages of E-Publishing:
-Omitting a percentage of potential customers (those who prefer paper books, those who don’t have a Kindle or similar device, and those who don’t have a computer)
Print publication is the more “safe” route to take. The book has the opportunity to be stocked in bookstores such as Barnes & Noble. The author directly deals with the graphic designers, illustrators, editors, marketing, customers, distribution and legal matters; the author also pays the necessary fees to these professionals. E-publishing omits the need for distribution and print.
Before publishing :
Write a Business Plan
The business plan does not have to be professional. Bplans offers free templates and assistance in business plan writing. Figure out your goals as an author and publisher. How many books will you produce? What are your expenses? How much money do you have? Writing a business plan is also helpful when applying for a loan.
Assess Origin of Funds
Figure out how you will fund the entire project. Are you eligible for a small business loan? Do you have enough money saved to complete your first batch of books (including the fees of professionals)? Will your family members contribute to your endeavors? It is important that you have all of the money before you start publishing. If you run out of funds it will delay publication.