As you can tell from my home page, I was on Oprah in 1990. I was on with
Pat Evans who wrote a book called "Verbally Abusive Relationships". In
the past years Pat has sold 220,000 of her series of books. She has made
less than I have with my 4,800 books that I have sold solely through speaking
In the past it was desirable to have a big name publisher. However, with
the advent of ebooks and nearly everyone having a book, most publishers
won't talk with you unless you have 3 to 5 titles that are on the best
sellers list. So why give up the bulk of the sales dollars to a publisher
that doesn't do anything but put their name on the cover (it is nice have
a big name publisher for bragging rights, but that's about all you'll get
for it) but they pay for the printing.
Book Publishers have created a mysterious aura around the practices of
publishing. This is for one reason. The more complicated it seems, the
fewer authors will attempt self publishing or the more important term is
I have a background that includes about 20 years in the printing industry,
so publishing is a cake walk for me. I'd like to help you take the steps
to overcome your apprehension concerning publishing, so you too will realize
how easy this truly is.
outlined the step-by-step process and how you can publishing your own book:
The ISBN numbers now can be obtained instantly on line. You can purchase
them for $20 each and must appear in the interior title page and on the
outside back cover page for scanning when purchased at a bookstore. They
are purchased from:
International Standard Book Number - US Agency
121 Chanlon Road
New Providence, NY 07974
resources is this website: http://www.bowker.com/
to Bar Codes: http://www.isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp
Get ABI form for registering book:
2. Cover Design
I use local artists for my book covers - they are very creative! Ask small
local printers who they would recommend, interview two or three and look
through their portfolio to determine their style. You'll find someone compatible
with your preferences.
This could take anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on how many
times you have to request changes. Do not settle for something you're not
going to be happy with!
If you're on a low budget, visit a Junior or College Art Department and
ask the instructor who they might recommend.
layout process is a lot more simple and you are no longer required
to do the pagination. Prepare your book in Word so you can use their spell
check and phrasing suggestions.
You'll want to set the page margins 1/2" top, right and bottom and 3/4"
on the inside. You'll also want your book title on the top right side of
the page and page numbers at the bottom, typically centered. Be sure to
change the Page size to 6 x 9.
of writing your book has to come from your desire to have a finished product
and a belief in what knowledge you have that you want the general public
to be aware.
At first, I forced myself to write 20 pages a week. I could only write
two pages an hour with the first book. It was a painstaking ordeal. Then
two months from my "drop dead" (no more excuses) date, I began writing
20 pages a day on the weekends and five pages a day during the week. I
literally lived and breathed the book during my waking hours.
I find I can accomplish much more with a deadline. You might find your
personality responds otherwise. Regardless, find your comfort zone and
embrace it. If you find that it's easier for you to complete your
research before you start writing, fine! If it's easier to write on a legal
pad and then type it, fine! Maybe you're like I am and find the easiest
process is to simply apply myself the chair and begin to type! It doesn't
matter, as long as you continually make progress.
My second book took three weeks start to finish. Then three more weeks
to edit it. Not bad, but it takes a major commitment and more hours than
most are willing to dedicate. My third book will soon be released and it
has taken me about two months.
is a tricky aspect. Do not edit the book or read it until you have finished
the very last page of each chapter. It's one of the easiest pitfalls of
being an author. You could spend all of your time editing and never complete
Print the book single sided to make it easier for editing purposes. Have
several friends read through it and have them make suggestion in the margins,
everyone has their own perception of what sounds right. Follow your own
style, but be sure to take in their suggestions.
One method of getting an editor is through elance.com. There are several
people I work with locally too. Just let me know if you'd like some personal
The book's inside paper should be 70# (it's heavier than 20#
bond that you normally use). Also choose a cover that is at least
10 point cover stock..
There are several resources for on-demand printing. Currently I like
to use Mira Publishing. The normal book size is 6 x 9 and typically 200
pages and should be about $5-6 per book when ordering about 100-200. The
price drops significantly when ordering more than 1,000 books.
8. Cost Analysis
For your first book run, you'll want to print about 100 books. The materials
are as follows:
$ 100.00 cover design
600.00 100 books book
$ 1500.00 or $15.00 per book
second run of 100 will reduce the cost of the books to $6.00 per book.
So your profit will be $14.00 per book for a $19.95 price point.
A friend of mine is working with a large Chicago publisher. Her book
sells for $17.95 and she takes home $ .36 per book. Granted she doesn't
have to pay the printer for 5,000 copies and the publisher will help get
her book in some bookstores, but imagine, she has to sell 200,000
books to make what you will by selling 5,142.
10. Recouping Expenses
Once you've sold your first 100, and you recoup the cost of your cover
design and editing, the second hundred will generate a tidy profit. As
a rule, I keep 50% of the income generated by book sells in a separate
account. That will be put towards my first large run at a commercial printer.
I've printed about 1000 copies and am almost satisfied enough to take it
to a larger print run. 1,000 books range from $3.25 to $4.25 and 10,000
are about $2.35. Quality Book Printers out of Chicago (800) 332-5355, charge
$2.85 per book for 1,000 and as little as $1.95 per book at a 10,000 run.
Larger commercial printers who have web presses are the most ideal. They
will run the whole book on one websheet, fold cut and trim by the time
it's ends up at the finish. You should visit a printer so you can appreciate
and allow for the requirements of the process. I have found several who
have even agreed to store the books and drop ship them to bookstores and
my speaking engagements.
You are your best sales person. You know the material and the heart of
the matter better than anyone else.
You will need to develop a speaking venue. You can be the guest speaker
at Rotary, Lions and Kiwaniis groups. There are Soroptomists and an amazing
list of associations on the internet that will have an interest in having
you speak to their group. Try to stay within your sphere of interests.
You can search for speaker's organizations like the National Speaker's
Association to find groups in your area and find out where the members
have been speaking.
Ask everyone you know if they know other authors and set up a speaker's
help group to share information.
You will also find a comprehensive list of speaking engagements and speakers
to network with on my website as well as a list of media sources for interviews.
Advanced Self Publishing is a very large marketing program available for
authors. Prices start at $2,500.
Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Borders will list authors to increase
their foot traffic.
You'll also want to arrange a book signing at a local bookstore. The private
stores are easier to work with than the big brand name stores. It is best
to stage a newspaper interview prior to the event so that you can command
I'm still working on developing the contacts for other distribution lines,
and will update you as they're discovered.
This is the results of 18 months of research, trial and (mostly error)
and sweat equity!
The latest and most effective method to promote your book is through bookyourguest.com.
This another one of my sites and I'll set up an interview for you, then
send the email to the radio personalities that will interview because they
like the way your interview sounds.
All in all, it is much easier to promote your book today than it ever has
been. Enjoy the adventure . . . you will never be the same!