To answer the question of why, let’s go back to 2008, when I was navigating self-publishing my first full book to sell to the public (after already launching a selling eBook). There was little information available to me to find out how to print cheaply, get a cover design done (DIY ugh!), and sell my well-researched book to people other than my network.
I tried a public seminar—what a failure. I handed out flyers about it, and people looked startled. There were many things I would like to have known throughout my journey, starting with the philosophical question: is this all worth it? Each of us have our own criteria, and therefore our own answer. But one thing is for sure, a Book Writing & Publishing club offers a handy resource for indie authors.
To me, being an author-publisher-entrepreneur (well, businessperson) is worthwhile, both financially and career-wise. I thought Business Author Academy a good name befitting what we are trying to do: teach businesspeople to be indie authors.
About the Book Creation Success Club
Taking just the best of what I have learnt and built up, the content of the Book Creation Success Club starts with six key elements covering the writing and self-publishing process. These are:
- Why? Writing for Business and Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
- Legal Aspects
- Book Production
- Book Funding
- Book Structuring, including the Publishing Schedule
- Print on Demand how-tos
Marketing and Media (month 2/3)
These resources, including audios, videos, text and PDFs, naturally fitted into a monthly membership – particularly as I am adding at least one more item per month. I aim to delve more into the areas of bookstore distribution too.
All this information is dovetailed to the aim of writing a book for career success, rather than just any old book for any old reason.
Take the Fast Track?
There are a lot of choices for the new author. There are courses, memberships like this one, and individual coaching – as opposed to signing up for an assisted publishing package (vanity publishing). So, how do you decide what to do?
I believe it depends on the kind of person you are. If you like to ask questions directly of someone and you want a fast track to writing a book, then hire a writing coach who is also an editor. But, if you prefer to learn 24/7 on your home PC and download resources, then the membership no-risk offer is for you.
Further, if you are over 65 and really don’t want to be learning a heap of things now, then go with the assisted self-publishing package. Remember, if you purchase a package, you buy the layout and editing services, the upload/conversion is done, but you don’t learn anything from it.
When Should I Use Mass Print… or Print on Demand?
There is a document in the Book Creation Success club about Self-publishing versus Traditional Publishing Pros and Cons, which answers many questions people have asked. But what about doing mass print runs versus printing on demand?
The answer depends on where you are going to sell the books. If you are selling 200-500 books a year in your seminars and tours, then yes, go get 3-4 tiered printing quotes and samples. (Tiered means quantities e.g. 100, 250, 500). Also, if you get yourself a book distributor who is open to indie authors who work hard doing promotions, then you could also do a mass print run of over 300 books. Still a risk and best to get independent advice.
But if you are not sure of pre-orders or forecasts, then Print on Demand offers both. It offers a virtual distribution, libraries can order the book from TitlePage, and it offers the chance for you to buy your book at wholesale in small quantities like 50, to sell direct. The wholesale price also has GST, freight, and $2.50 handling on top, so don’t forget those tricky costs.
There is ample opportunity inside the ISBN assignment for you to set a different price for libraries and schools (net) and an option for people to also buy direct from the publisher/you. So, if you wanted to buy a mass amount and not select international distribution, you could feasibly supply your own books to Amazon’s AU store, but you would need to do the shipping (which could cost more than each book does). A lot of working out to do first.
As I found out recently at a seminar with start-up indie book distributors Imaginarium 2.0, bookstores don’t buy in books (unless requested) through print on demand (IngramSpark) because of the ridiculous price that they have to pay for handling, shipping and wholesale. ($8.50 to freight a light book, Ingram, really?) Then there is the heavy admin burden of stocking say, 100 independent publishers rather than 100 authors with just one publisher. So don’t feel bad if your book hasn’t sold well through Print on Demand; it is not your book but the discovery and distribution path that is at fault.
So, are you happy with how you print your books? Do you like personal writer coaching or prefer to learn online, in your own time?