I just finished compiling a book related to American History. Now I am starting to look into publishing items, and from what I can tell, self-publishing in electronic form may be the best bet. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I publish books with Amazon Kindle and on B&N Nook. It's fairly easy to get started you just need to learn how to promote your books. Take a look at my Hub on How to publish n Amazon it may help you <snipped-no promotional links>
Once a book has been self-published, it's very hard to get a publisher in the industry to look at it. There are actually publishing houses for text books, as well as all sorts of non-fiction.
I would highly recommend before self-publishing to go and get a copy of the 2011 (or soon out 2012) Writers Market. It's full of all kinds of helpful information on how to sell your book to a publisher. Plus, it'll help you figure out a lot more about your options other than self-publishing before you make a decision you can't unmake.
I highly recommend researching traditional publishing and even rewriting a book to make it worthy of a traditional publisher over self-publishing from my limited experience in the publishing world.
The easy road is not the best road.
It takes a lot of energy and skills (existing or quickly learned) to do well in self-publishing. I looked into it for years but ultimately decided that for a lazy writer like me it was easier to get a publisher than become one.
For some options in self publishing, I used Dan Poynter's book The Self Publishing Manual 13th edition, which is now a bit dated with all the electronic stuff such as Create Space and other out there, but it does offer sound advice for finding a traditional publisher and self publishing. That said, I self published my first book, also history non-fiction. I offered to speak to civic and social groups free, if they would let me sell the book. I got a list of every library in the state and book store and really worked it. I visited every historic society in our state and got several of them to stock it in their gift shops. My next two books also history were published by a traditional publisher. Wow, I thought I'd really hit the big time. I think most writers don't realize that they can only expect a 40% return on a book that is offered to sellers like Baker and Taylor and the bigger bookstores often at 75% off the cover price. So while my published books have a cover price of 25.00 I actually see about $1.10 per book. Not bad, but keep in mind that after the first 6 months, the publisher has already gone on to publish their next batch of books and they promote what's new. I'm about to publish an electronic book to see what happens with it. But to be honest, my self published book sold almost 2,500 copies so far and has turned a nice profit for me. My other two books are beautiful, but have not made anywhere close to my self published book. Best of luck to you.
Whose service did you use to self-publish that first book?
I started by contacting the small publishing association of AZ. Through them I found an editor and a cover designer. I found a printer through the cover designer and I applied for an ISBN number myself. Instructions are on line. One other thing that opened a number of doors was that I asked for an endorsement message from our AZ State Historian, but any other well known historian or writer from your area would work
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