A Magical Cat with a Message
By Shirlee Hall
Baba shares his infinitely superior wisdom with his human pet, Mama Shirlee. Baba suggests how we can heal ourselves and others and at the same time be connoisseurs of comfort. He also suggests that magic can be a living part of our lives. Although he can purr his way out of anything, his wisdom message needs to be heard. Time spent with him is never wasted. Mama Shirlee has studied many teachers and has come to the conclusion that the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
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Life as an Astrologer
By Anold Lane
You are about to enter the world this astrologer has inhabited over the years, including some unusual and paranormal experiences which are written about in this book. Anold hoped you will gain an enhanced sense of how extraordinary and mysterious life can be as you read what has become his abbreviated autobiography. Some of his stories will take you “out of this world!” Fitting for an astrologer’s life, is it not? May this book inspire you to follow your own calling, whatever it may be.
You and Your Manuscript
The Publishing Decision
Getting It Printed
Give Yourself a Promotion
Far and Wide ... Or Not
Capitalize on Your Potential
Manuscript Preparation Guide
Effective Advertising Guide
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Getting It Printed
Third is the manufacturing stage, the printing of the book. Printing options are not unlimited (unless your budget is), but are broad enough to accommodate practically any requirements you may have. While some books such as cookbooks, atlases, automotive manuals, calendars or datebooks may require specialty printing and binding to suit their uses, most books will be either perfect bound with a paperback cover or have some version of a sewn binding with a hardback cover and dust jacket. Which is suitable for a given book depends on cost, presentation, primary audiences, and in the case of a self-published work, the author’s preferences.
A trade publisher will, upon acceptance of a manuscript, calculate the most commercially advantageous format for the book, and print a number of copies which they anticipate will sell. To keep the per unit cost down, this is often done on large printing presses using well-established printing and binding techniques. Specialty trade publishers will likely use smaller equipment, but similarly calculate a profitable ratio of overall costs to predicted sales. These print runs create stock on hand from which to fill orders. Book printers contracted by the self-publisher will likely fall into the smaller press category. Terms offered by these printers may be payment in advance, half in advance with the balance on delivery, or net thirty days if you have otherwise excellent credit.
It is important here to understand the term “Print On Demand” or POD, since this term is often used by both vanity publishers and printing sources. Print on demand is simply a variation in printing technology that allows a single book to be printed and bound on the equipment used. Instead of requiring large print runs to bring unit costs down, POD prints one to few hundred books to order, only when they are needed. Printing costs are reduced by producing several titles at the same time. This eliminates tying up your money in large overruns and also reduces costs for shipping and storage. Further, since POD books are manufactured only when an order for them has been received, all direct sales (book sales placed with you by mail order or by website customers, for instance) should be prepaid. Bookstore sales ordered through their regular wholesalers (these orders are usually placed at a trade discount) may return your profit to you in about thirty to ninety days.
books will be produced to common physical standards. The main reason
for these standards is cost effectiveness, and it is disadvantageous to
stray too far from the physical norms in production without good reason
to do so. For one thing, keeping your initial production costs low
allows you the flexibility to spend your available budget as other
anticipated and unanticipated needs arise. Your book’s particular
specifications (along with several other considerations) will determine
whether it is more cost effective to use a small book printer or a POD
As to actual costs for production of your book, these can be determined with some degree of accuracy once the physical specifications and quantities involved are known, both for the initial run and for reprints.
It is tempting to believe that your book will miraculously get “noticed” by someone influential, who will then undertake to push it to all the right people and organizations. It is also easy to talk yourself into relying on “word of mouth” to get your book widely circulated. While these things can and occasionally do happen, the fact that trade publishers and successful writers, with their long lists of best sellers and their impressive reputations, do not rely on these methods alone should tell you something about their effectiveness as your sole means of publicity.
The fact is, your book will become known largely due to your own efforts, direct and indirect, regardless of what version of printing/publishing you choose. For example, even if you have a trade publisher deal, the local radio host doesn’t want to talk to the publisher’s rep, she wants to talk to you, and the same is true for all other media, appearances, and obviously, book signings.
Promotion should not be seen as only occurring after your book is published and ready to sell. Advance publicity, once you know what you are promoting, is key to securing attention for your later efforts. Practically every technique mentioned here will be more effective if it is set up with phone calls and mailings before you make your pitch for publicity, request for help, or proposal to speak.
Regardless of how you decide to promote your book, whether with personal appearances, direct mail, contact with organizations, a website devoted to your work, or through a publicity and public relations campaign (to cite only a few), you may need advertising and handout materials, website development or enhancement, or other services. These should be developed specifically for you, your book, and your audiences if they are to have maximum effectiveness.
Far and Wide ... Or Not
Physical distribution of the book is another aspect of publishing your book to consider. Since the other steps occur first, we have placed distribution in fifth place here, but make no mistake about its importance. Getting your book into the hands of your readers is critical, and how you will do so deserves plenty of thought.
The people involved in moving your books from the printer to the customers’ hands can include the publisher or yourself if you are the publisher, yourself to people you contact personally (through seminars, lectures, etc.), book wholesalers, online and storefront retailers (independent locations and chain stores), bookstores, libraries, and various organizations if yours is a title that is tied in with their purposes. Each has particular requirements that need to be met in order for your book to work with their system. Anticipating your distribution methods in advance of publication will allow you to prepare for these needs.
So far, we have focused primarily on printed books. Book lovers understand there is something special about holding a printed book in your hand or seeing it on your bookshelf among many others. Perhaps this is why e-books, either on the computer or on a reader such as Amazon’s Kindle, have not caught the public’s imagination as it was once thought they would. But other aspects of the internet have developed which also affect both the printed book and its distribution. Most significant is the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) which provides access to an unlimited library of books and prints the customer’s choice on the spot in just minutes, anywhere in the world. The EBM allows distribution of any book in its catalog anywhere a machine is installed.
Since all of these considerations can affect the design, content and physical form of the book, they need to be considered prior to the production phase. The point is that distribution must be planned for just as you would plan any other aspect of your book marketing project. If you prefer to handle these things if and when they come up (after all, you may not know at this stage which of these will apply), that can be a perfectly workable strategy, too. It will be useful, however, to know that they can come up so these circumstances and expenses are not a surprise.
The sixth phase is capitalizing on the potentials created by the published book. While this is not strictly one of the steps to publishing your book, it is helpful and instructive to visualize what you will do after the book is published and a great success, whatever that may mean to you. It is not coincidental that so many philosophers and self-help gurus advise that if you want to accomplish something, you must write it down, refer to it often, and visualize it as already being a reality. Not only is it good to fix your goals in mind, but having an idea of where you are going also allows you to make decisions along the way as to how to use your resources, what is important among all the demands on your time, and when you need to accomplish various aspects of the work in order to reach your objectives.
Only you can decide what results you want from self-publishing. After writing your book, getting it published, and getting it to your audience, what will you do then? Will your life change, will you be a different person? Will you publish another book? None of this can be predicted with certainty, of course ... except that whatever you envision now will be different then. In the meantime, imagining the future not only helps to create it, but also helps one to prepare for it and can provide some useful perspective.
This finishes our brief overview of printing, promotion, distribution, and planning to capitalize on the potential of your self-published book. To go back to the information on the basic services needed for getting your book ready to self-publish, click here. To contact RealityIsBooks, please click on the RealityIsBooks Services link below where you can review the help we provide and the charges for same, and contact us to discuss your project.