As a writer myself, I am well aware of the frustration and discouragement of getting a book published. I tried for years to get my first book published and I have learned how to deal with rejection. It has become even more difficult because of the way the print media has changed with the proliferation of the Internet and new avenues of expression.
I have now written 15 books and published more than 50 books. My first was published by a major Christian book publisher. It sold very well, several hundred thousand copies, and I received a total of $1,500. That was more money in 1994 than it is today, but it was not much considering the work I invested. None of my subsequent books has sold as many copies, but my profit from each has been significantly higher.
In the years since that first book, I have learned a great deal about the publishing industry and have developed a process that is designed to reward the author, not the publisher. If you have a book burning within you, or perhaps already on paper, you need to keep reading.
Before a traditional publisher will have much interest in your talents as an author, they must be convinced that your book will sell thousands of copies. Regardless of your writing ability, they are in the book selling business. That is why you will find shelves filled with books that have little to offer – authors who can generate sales even if they have nothing to say (some mega-church pastors, CEO’s of large corporations, celebrities, etc.). They already have a large book buying audience.
A traditional publisher will pay the author 5% to 10% Royalty for each hardcover book and 1% to 6% for each paperback book sold (not printed). Although publishers normally plan to print at least 25,000 copies, the reality is that the average number of books actually sold per each title is less than 12,000.
In order to clarify, let’s say you find a publisher and put out a paperback that retails for $15.00. You will earn $.75 on each book that sells (5% royalty) or a total of $8,850.00 if it reaches the average of 11,800 books sold. This process of writing, securing a publisher, printing, and selling will take at least one year, probably much longer. Most publishers write royalty checks twice a year. The publisher must be convinced your book will make them money. Consequently, your unpublished manuscript is gathering dust in a file cabinet somewhere.
There must be a better way!
Another approach has been developed in recent years because of improvements in technology such as Print on Demand. It is often called “Self-Publishing,” but it is not truly self-publishing because others are actually controlling much of the process for you. Here is the way it works.
You contact the Self-Publishing company (easiest way is through their website) and they will help you get your book printed. You will pay an upfront fee, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what services you need. If you choose the minimum, you might as well run down to Kinko’s and copy your manuscript and paste on a cover. To secure the services a publisher would traditionally provide before printing, you must purchase a package that will cost $4,000 to $5,000. (I saw one recently that cost $19,000.)
Once the book is designed, pages are laid out and printed, you can then purchase your own books from the Publisher. The initial order, whatever number you choose, will probably be offered to you for 50% of the cover price. Subsequent orders will cost you more as much as 70% of the cover price. You can then sell the books and that is when you make money.
Let’s say you are confident you can sell 50 books so you pay the $4,000 fee for the package in order to have a book that is not embarrassing and buy 50 books at one-half the cover price, $7.50. You have now invested $4,375.00 and have 50 books in your garage. After you sell the 50 books, you have $750.00. The purchase price of more books will now be $10.50 each. In order to recoup your investment you will need to sell 972 more books, a total of 1,022 books.
Once again, there must be a better way!
Austin Brothers Publishing was established on the belief and experience that there is a better way. Here is how it works.
You write a book, any kind (we have published a variety of books), and send us the manuscript. We will do everything that is traditionally done by a publisher to get a book ready for print – cover design, page layout, ISBN registration, bar code, editing, etc. All of this is done in consultation with the author. It is your book and we want it to be an expression of your ideas.
We work with the printer through the entire process of getting the book printed. When it is complete, the books are ready for sale. You may order books in any quantity you choose. Since we use Print on Demand technology you can even order one at a time if you wish. We will help you with this decision by looking at the potential for sales and price breaks in printing. You will pay a fee for design and layout and then purchase the books at a specified price. The difference from the above scenarios is staggering.
Let’s set up another example. You decide to publish a book and you have a manuscript that is good but needs a little editing and proofreading and you have no good ideas for a cover. We will charge a fee of $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the condition of your manuscript (we will talk about this when you are ready). Here is what you will receive for that initial investment:
•Manuscript Readiness – insure that the final published manuscript is print ready, this includes all editing •Book Design – select the size, type of font, page look, and overall layout of the book that will make it appealing to market, this includes paper style, weight, and finish (in consultation with the author) •Cover Design – Provide a cover design (in consultation with the author) that will capture the intent of the book to make it marketable •ISBN Registration – provide the ISBN number that is required for books to be registered with the Library of Congress •Copyright •Bar Code – provide the bar code that is required by book sellers and other merchants, allowing the book to be placed in stores •Printing – handle all the printing details necessary •Binding – handle all the details necessary to secure a proper binding for the book (paperback and/or hardcover) •Make the book available for marketing through online sellers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others •Make the book available to brick and mortar bookstores •Ebooks – make the book available for users of Amazon Kindle and other ebook versions •Fill and ship all online orders for the book
After an initial investment of $3,000 you have a published book. Here is what makes our process unique.
Austin Brothers Publishing pays a royalty of 60%. We calculate the royalty from the sale price minus printing cost. If the sale price is $15 and the printing cost is $3 then the royalty for each book sold will be $7.20 paid to the author. In order to recoup your initial investment of $3,000 you will need to sell 416 books.
Here is an amazing thing! Let’s say you are able to sell the average of 11,800 books as we suggested when describing traditional publishing. Your income, instead of the $8,850 royalty, would be closer to $80,000. That may not happen but you don’t need to sell that many books to have a nice income from something you have probably already written.
If you want to publish a book, it is certainly worth a discussion for you to consider what we are doing at Austin Brothers Publishing. The world of publishing is changing and we have developed a magnificent way to help you achieve your dreams. Even if you are a published author, you are probably weary of dealing with publishers and agents for very little real profit.
Let us help you turn your dream into reality!