When I started writing my first book, all I ever thought about was getting it complete and then to leave the story at a point which would hook the reader to my next book. There was peace in my mind, thinking of- “I just need to write some 200 pages and then no one can stop my writer journey…Lol. Never did it incur to me the harsh reality of the publishing world.
Let’s just say writing is one part of that journey, publishing another and then there is marketing and sales.
If u already went through the About section before, you now know that I am not someone with great English skills as someone who has an English Honors and also not someone flaunting a MBA degree.
Just a typical engineer from a common college. Everyone knows about it, so it’s nothing great😒.
If any of my college professor’s reading this right now… I didn’t write any of the above lines. It was just my 1 year old niece playing with my phone and I was miles away when any of that happened.😶
So, how does it all start?
You google out some known publisher names, find the “Publish with us” section or something like that. If no success, then you try to find the editors via LinkedIn or Facebook and contact them.
The typical response is generally received after some days asking you to send a sample manuscript (mostly, first three chapters) and then usually after a long time frame of ,let say a week to 2 months, you either hit a dead end or hopefully you receive a mail asking to send the complete manuscript for further processing.
Further processing- 99% of the times is just a way for the editors to keep you in the loop and then they throw you away, making you waste close to some 5-6 months (coz. they already had a book coming up in the same front by a published author(and they would never want to get another book on a similar front to effect its publicity😶) or maybe they didn’t find any time to even look at your manuscript).
To the one who’s reading this right now- Did you try the procedure above? If yes, Did you find success? Yes now too😶, then there’s nothing for you down below.
Everyone else, just stay with me for some more time.🙏
You are not a person to just accept defeat at the hands of some editor. Well, they are people like us too and I have no qualms against them. But I just hope that, at least a small mail from them wouldn’t hurt anyone or if there’s someone who’s really sent down from heaven, they can guide the person to forward it to their known associated in a similar field.
So, what’s the next option?
Well! There’s always Google Baba! At the end of your search, if you find something called vanity publishers…Your life’s all set. Or that’s what to hope to be…
I won’t be calling in names, they are all available on the net and I am also not saying they are all devils.
What they charge to take the manuscript from you and turn it into a book is something else, a price that start to go up from 40k to 2lacs (generally). They promise to get 1000 copies of your book ,both online and offline.
But in reality they hardly print anything more than 100 copies and digest all that hard earned money of yours. If you got the money from looting some bank or the Tanishq store, then go ahead for sure😉.
Then there’s also publishing agents who promise you to get a deal for your book. I have never been in talks with one. But I have seen people… yes real people… get a deal, for sure. Yes, they charge too. So, TRY THAT ON YOUR OWN RISK.
Wasn’t it boring? Just stay for some more boring talk to end this blog post.
The last option which I personally love- Self-Publishing OR you can just drop all ideas to get your book published and just take all the years/ months it took you in getting it written just a bad attempt at something/ for granted😒.
Getting a deal is always good but the main problem that I personally experienced with it, is that you lose all freedom. You have to compromise at certain things and sometimes things start to go the wrong way.
Self-Publishing gives you total control over your book. You decide what you want to keep, how you want to keep it and way to portray it. Simply speaking, you manage all the editing, proofreading, pagination, layout, cover design, printing, delivery to bookstores and Amazon’s warehouse, manual shipping at times too and marketing. You also decide on what price to sell your book at (but do note that Amazon charges a hefty sum to get your book to someone out there…The premium is basically for providing you a medium to sell stuff.)
Let me quote the fees- If you plan to sell your 200 page something book at Rs.100 in there, do note that Amazon will charge you Rs.83 something(This increase and decrease based on the MRP decided by you) and there is nowhere in India where you can get a 200 page book printed at Rs.17.
So, if you got your draft and cover ready to print, then hope to shell out Rs.45,000 onward to get it in your hand. But here, at least you know you know that the money you spend is not making someone middleman fat. The price for such a book (200pages) is ideally Rs.129-139 something, the situation where in you stand on the Break-Even point (Nothing Gained-Nothing Lost on the money front). But this is also not always true. Though the money spent is coming back to you in bits and pieces, you are getting something far better- “Recognition”.
Just yesterday, no-one knew you and now at least someone knows you. Isn’t that great. You may feel like a mini-celebrity too😏 when someone leaves a review on your book or message you personally via Facebook (I am using Facebook here because almost the entire world is out there. There are some peeps too with ‘n’ number of accounts and stuff🤦♂️, but I am not discussing them in here). This is about the person who seriously followed the entire text above and hope to gain something. This one who hopes to make a change in someone’s life. You might not understand it now, but when people will message you the aftereffects, you will be in tears (happy ones, that is…).
The choice rests on you. I am just an agent of the devil🙊.
I am hoping to write my next post on an ambiguous term – Marketing. Should I? Comment below.😍 or else give your suggestions.😎