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How Should You Get Your First Book Published?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

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One of the more glamorous ways of getting you book published is by using a mainstream traditional book publisher. These are the “big boys” of the world that want to publish your book and they will even give you a hefty advance on the royalties.

As a first time unknown author you will spend a lot of time getting rejected by the traditional book publishers. Even the J.K. Rowling of harry Potter fame was rejected 12 times by large book publishers. Stephen King is one of numerous other rich and famous authors who were rejected multiple times before they were published the first time.

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The odds of you getting a book published by a traditional publishing house and receiving an upfront royalty is slim to none. You might have better odds playing the lottery. Even if you are lucky enough to get a contract with a real traditional book publisher, they probably will not give you an advance check on the royalties prior to publishing your book.

Why should they give you an advance eon your book? Look at it from their perspective; you are a new writer and they are already taking a financial risk that may not pay off. If they give you a large royalty advance and then you book “bombs”, they are out not only the advances on royalties they paid you but also their time, research, marketing, editing, and publishing costs.

Traditional book publishers are in the business to make money. You as a first time unknown author will stand little to no chance of getting a deal until you prove yourself to the traditional book publishing company. The good news is this is a modern age and we no longer have to rely on traditional book publishers.

Vanity Presses

In the past people would often turn to Vanity Presses to publish their book. A Vanity Press differs greatly from a traditional book publisher. A vanity press publishing company will charge you upfront and make you pay for the costs associated with publishing your book. They would promise that they would market your book and you would make a lot of money and become a famous published author, but this rarely occurred.

Vanity presses are in the business of raking in the money from book authors, as opposed to a traditional publishing company that is in the business of raking in the money from book buyers. That is a big difference. Vanity presses may have had a slight reason in the past to exist, but this is a modern technological age and you no longer need a Vanity press. Never deal with a Vanity press.

Self Publishing Companies

The line between a self publishing company and a Vanity press is often blurred, yet there is usually a large difference. A Self publishing company will publish your book for a fee, and then you are on your own to market and sell the book. A Vanity press claims to help you market your book but they actually do not. A Self publishing company on the other hand is at least honest and will tell you they do not help you market and sell your book.

The problem with many self publishing companies is they sell the books to you at a high mark-up. These companies need to make a profit, and a short run of books is generally expensive for them to print. If you go this route you may find your 102 page paperback book with a retail cost of $30.00 or more. Not much of a market for a short fiction book by an un-known author that will sell for $30.00. With the exception of your mom, your whole family will balk at the cost. If you cannot get your own family to buy your first “published” book then how do you plan to get strangers to buy your book?

If you cannot get your own family to buy your first “published” book then how do you plan to get strangers to buy your book?

You can always start your own publishing company. This is a process with many steps, but it basically involves paying a printer to print and bind your books. You are then responsible for the ISBN numbers, the marketing, publishing, and the various media aspects. You will no longer have the time to write because you will be so busy trying to print, market, and run your little one man publishing company.

On Demand Book Publishing

A better option for many writers is an on demand publisher. They are capable of printing out and

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 selling your books in very short runs, sometimes just one book at a time. If an order is placed for your book they will print, bind, and the ship the book to the person or book distributor who ordered it. On Demand book publishers work great for some authors. You can test the waters and get your book published without investing thousands of dollars in books that have a good chance of not selling.

You don’t want your garage loaded with 500 copies of your autobiography collecting dust do you? I know, you’re thinking that my book is a guaranteed seller because it is a fascinating topic and you are such a great writer. You keep thinking that but as they say” plan for the worst and expect the best”.


This is the modern age and you can easily write and sell your book online as a digital EBook. You don’t need a company to do this. You can take one of two different paths. You can choose to directly sell your book online or you can choose to get it listed on the Amazon website as a digital book for the Kindle.

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Buying books on Amazon only in digital form is becoming very common. Many old school traditionalists declare proudly that they will never use a Kindle or other EBook reader because a book is meant to have pages. Many of these same people rapidly change their mind once they can experience using one and learn how many books a digital reader can hold. The newest Kindle from Amazon can hold up to 3500 books. How many books will fit in your backpack?

There are numerous reasons to buy a Kindle, but I am not here to convince you to buy a Kindle or other digital EBook reader. I am simply saying that if you have a desire to publish your book and actually make sales and to be able to do it for the least amount of money then selling you book digitally online is something you definitely need to research, even if you are an “old school” person who refuses to read any book on a Kindle.

If you want your book read then publishing it so that Kindle readers can buy it off of Amazon is what you need to do. You may hate the Kindle but your potential readers already read digital books. They may use a Kindle or read a book on their Smart Phone, but either way digital books are here to stay.

Remember how popular VHS tapes were? Yep, eventually oriented books will be that rare. The young kids are being raised and honed to do everything online, so in order to reach these buyers in the future when they are older a book must be available in electronic format within the Amazon Marketplace.



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