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March 2011

Planning to Self-Publish a Book? Here Are 20 Questions You Need to Ask.

By George Kittredge

Book1One has just published an article on its website that is a must-read for anyone who is planning to self-publish a book. The article offers an excellent checklist of things to look for when comparing potential book manufacturing companies - plus some great guidance and tips on how to go about the self-publishing process.

Included in the article are the following 20 must-ask questions aspiring authors should pose to any company they are considering.

  1. If I have a problem submitting my book files or order, or understanding any of your instructions, what is the procedure for me to obtain assistance?
  2. If I need to, is it possible to speak with a real person by telephone?
  3. How easy is your book production process to work with?
  4. How long will it take to produce my books once you have received my book files?
  5. If necessary, can I place a rush priority on my book project?
  6. If so, how much will that shorten the turnaround time?
  7. Is there any additional charge for a rush order and, if so, how much?
  8. How long have you been in business?
  9. How many authors have you worked with over the past year?
  10. What type of printing equipment do you use?
  11. What can you tell me about your book binding operations?
  12. If I requested it, would you send me a sample of a book you have recently produced that is similar to my book?
  13. What guarantees do you offer?
  14. How much will it cost to produce my book?
  15. How easy is it to obtain a price quote?
  16. Do you have a minimum order requirement and, if so, what is it?
  17. What choices of book sizes (page height and width) do you offer?
  18. Is there an optimum page size I could use that would lower my cost?
  19. What choices in paper do you offer?
  20. What type of book binding choices, including cover options, do you offer?

To read the entire article, simply click here. Or you can go to the "News & Articles" page at www.Book1One.com and click on the title, "Self-Publishing - What Should You Look for When Choosing a Company to Produce Your Book."

Regardless of the type of book you may be writing, I think you will find the article to be both helpful and informative.

[George Kittredge is the creator of Book1Blog, published his own book in 2005, and has worked with self-publishing authors since 1997. He can be contacted by email at georgek@book1one.com.]


How to Make Your Book Signing Event a Smashing Success!

For unknown authors, book signings usually do little more than give the authors an ego boost. They are not likely to go from book signing to best-sellerdom. However, there are some benefits to holding book signing events and some things authors can do to maximize their impact. First of all, book signings can accomplish three important objectives for authors and their books.

  1. Book signings introduce authors to the public and provide opportunities to generate PR for their books in advance via posters, newspaper ads and articles, calendar listings, and a blurb in the bookstore newsletter.
  2. They provide a venue for authors to meet and talk with fans and book lovers, and sign books the day of the event.
  3. They give authors the opportunity to get to know store personnel and help them understand why they should sell their books after the book signings.

And here is some great advice.

There is a way authors can enhance the chances of putting on successful events: Don't make it a signing! Make it an "event." Give people value - a reason to come out - such as offering a miniseminar on the subject. Attendees are given a few precious tidbits, then provided a tempting glimpse into the rest of the materials covered in the book.

For novelists and poets, a reading is often the answer. Or an author might choose to talk about how or why he or she chose to become a writer and/or why they chose to write their book.

Here is a great true story and a great example.

Authors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield discovered a very successful approach to getting people to buy books. They usually would do signings in malls and position themselves at a table just outside the bookstore. When a shopper came by, they would simply hand the shooper a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul and request, "Would you please take 30 seconds to read one story on page 24?" The result? A whopping 90 percent of passersby would read it - and more than 70 percent would buy the book.

If your book lends itself to this approach, it could be a terrific way to maximize your book sales and make your book signing a smashing success!

[The above post was created from excerpts from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]

Promoting Your Book - Are Traditional Book Trade Channels Good Choices?

Promoting a book can involve as much creativity as writing one. If you are creative and diligent in your book marketing, almost any good book with a clear audience can be promoted effectively. The key is to find readers likely to have real interest, and to contact them directly.

Here are some thoughts to consider regarding traditional book markets and the channels it requires to get to them.

1. Many authors feel it's "sexy" to say their books are available to order from major bookstores, Amazon.com and the like. However, it is important to weigh the decision to pursue traditional book trade channels carefully, based on more objective criteria.

2. Remember that chain bookstores expect big discounts, a long time to pay, and the right to return unsold books for a full refund. Old fashioned publishers often see 20% or more of the books ordered by chain stores returned.

3. Some books truly need trade distribution - such as reference books for schools and libraries. In these cases, the authors will most likely need wholesale book distributors. But remember, sales through these channels will not be as profitable as those the authors make themselves.

4. The important point when considering the channels it takes to get to traditional book markets is that every link in the book trade supply chain takes a percentage. A typical scenario is that the book wholesaler or distributor pays the publisher about 50% of the cover price. This leaves the author with 50% less the cost of the printing. The result is only a modest profit on each sale - even if there are no returns. Carefull calculate your income after discounts and printing and other costs before deciding whether to focus on traditional book trade channels or to emphasize non-traditional outlets.

Whether or not you use a wholesaler or distributor, do everything you can to cultivate orders directly from readers at live events, on your own website, and from businesses other than bookstores. Accepting orders directly from the public is more beneficial, whether your book marketing plans include traditional book trade channels or not.

[This post was created from excerpts form U-Publish.com 5.0, co-authored by Dan Poynter and Danny O. Snow.]

What Information Goes On The Copyright Page Of A Book?

By guest author Karrie Ross.

The copyright page is the page that follows and prints on the back of your main title page. It is a page where you display the legal information regarding your book. If you are creating a copyright page, a good first step is to look at several published books in your book category and see what information other authors are placing on their copyright pages. Then determine what is best for yours. You may also want to have it reviewed by a legal representative.

Here, however, are the basic elements that a sample copyright page might contain.

  • Book title.
  • Book sub-title.
  • Author name (do not use "by").
  • Copyright year.
  • Statement that includes: "All rights reserved. Except as permitted under U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher."
  • Publisher's address and contact information.
  • Publisher's website address.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data (if you have filed for this).
  • ISBN-10 number.
  • ISBN-13 number.
  • Statement: "Printed in the United States of America (if printed in U.S.A.).
  • Book design by (list designer name).
  • Editor and/or photoghrapher names, etc.

Depending upon the type of book, other items may also be found on a copyright page. Such items my include a disclaimer for legal purposes for coaches, doctors, etc, special credits for use of quoted material, and other forms of the publication's ISBNs (i.e. CDs, audio book, etc.).

[Karrie Ross is a nationally-recognized book designer and can be contacted at Be It Now! Karrie Ross.]