Ted Polet books

WRITING IS FUN

Ted Polet

PUBLISHING

Things aren't made very easy for a new author trying to claim his place on the book market. Publishers aren't always very welcoming to a new author, which is not surprising in view of the widely varying quality of what is written. A publisher needs to make a profit to survive.

It is a maze in which you will easily lose yourself. It is a good idea to try and find a literary agent who will do the initial editing work and pave the way to a publisher. This slightly lowers the threshold.

GOOD TO KNOW

Unless you are very lucky, writing doesn't make you rich. Many publishers will require you to invest several thousands before you manage to get anything published: editing, cover design, the layout, printing, getting an ISBN, marketing - the initial risk is for the author.

It is only when the sales counter starts to run that there is a chance of you getting a (partial) return on investment. The number of books sold is often far below what you'd think. In the tiny Dutch language domain it may be as small as a few hundred copies.

When signing a contract with a publisher, have a good look at the terms: copyright and other possible legal pitfalls. It pays to seek advice and at the very least search the Internet for suggestions.

PROMOTING

Even if a publisher, apart from taking care of the technical aspects, will do some promotion work such as press releases and mailings, an author is supposed to promote his own work, as this will increase sales. Think of arranging lectures and signing sessions in local bookshops and public libraries.

ALTERNATIVES

An alternative is self-publishing, although it requires you to manage every part of the process yourself: layout and cover design, obtaining an ISBN and arrange for printing. If you have some experience of image editing and web design you can do the lay-out work yourself. Editing the manuscript however should be done by someone qualified because you may be blind to your own style errors.

As a last resort it might be conceivable to turn to digital publishing entirely - turn the manuscript into an e-book and offer it through an outlet channel such as Amazon. But beware of the risk that this may block the road to a published paper book, which many readers still like to have in their hands.

     

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