28 September 2009

Writing a book

As you probably have picked up from my earlier posts, on Nov. 21 I'm launching a new book 'Friends with Benefits'. This is my second book on Social Media and a follow-up on my first book 'A Girlfriend in Every City', published exactly 4 years ago. On both occasions I have made the choice to work with Ecademy Press as my publisher, based in Cornwall, UK.
I often get questions about this choice to work with a publisher which is based in another country, so I'll try to explain a bit more about this.
In general there are two options for publishing a book : Making a bookdeal with a mainstream publisher or self-publishing. For me both these options don't really work. Getting a bookdeal with a mainstream publishing brand is close to winning the lottery. The odds are against you unless your name is Dan Brown and you have already published a million-selling book before.
If you go for self-publishing, you are choosing for publishing without any backup at all. In fact you have to become a publisher yourself to get your book on the market.
I have chosen for Ecademy Press which is a cooperative publisher, offering packages of services which makes you land somewhere in between both choices I mentioned before. When I wrote my first book in the summer of 2005, I didn't even have a clue about the processes that were needed to transform my manuscript into a nice paperback book.
For a fixed fee I now get help with every service I need, after I have finished writing the manuscript in my wordprocessor. Processes like pagesetting, layout, coverdesign, ISBN Barcode, printing setup, proofs, distribution, ... everything is taken care of while they keep a constant dialog to ensure you agree with every step.
While I still sell most of my books through my website and at the events where I'm hired as a speaker, my publisher is also taking care of websales through their own webshop and also through other webshops like those of market leader Amazon.
Another plus for me is the fact that all books are digitally printed on demand. Stocks are no longer necessary and I can survive with just a small box of books to take along to speaking engagements.
When anyone orders a book online it's printed on demand.
How long does it take to produce a new book ? Writing a book takes me more or less 3 months and the processes to produce the paperback books will take more or less the same time, unless you are hard to reach for feedback.
For me this option still works the best, but I think every writer/author should decide for themselves which option to choose.

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