Does anyone have good advice for book publishing?

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  1. Dorsi profile image87
    Dorsiposted 15 years ago

    I know some of the hubbers here have books published, and I am in the process of working seriously at my first book ( I have 2 other books that have been on a back burner for a while)
    But the one I'm working on now I WILL finish, and I'm wondering if anyone has some advice about publishing, self- publishing, pros and cons, and also book advances.
    If you can steer me in some good directions I'd much appreciate it!
    And I would love comments and advice from anyone, not just someone who has already published!
    (and BTW- I've started publishing the first few chapters as hubs, which has been really neat because it's sort of turned it into an interactive book, which is pretty cool)

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image90
      Rochelle Frankposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      My hub on self-publishing a childrens book is here: … -We-did-it

      I think we were lucky in having a subject that fit a particular niche market. -- even then, the marketing did (and does) take some time and dedication. I'm glad we did it anyway.

      As Marissa suggested-- always check out "Editors and Preditors" to know whom you are dealing with. Especially if you are not doing it all yourself.

    2. BDazzler profile image78
      BDazzlerposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      It really, really depends.  I had an idea for a book in the early 90's.  I had a title and and an outline.  I didn't realize it, but at the time, tehcnical books on that particular topic were in high demand. I had publishers falling all overthemselves to get it.

      I had written articles for a few of the programming magazines. I was always reliable and wrote articles for the magazines theme and made life as easy for the editors as possible.  One of the editors, who liked my work introduced me to another editor at a NY Publisher. Suddenly I was "in".

      For the publisher, it really is a business. They know what they can sell and what they can't. They buy what they think will sell So,the two things that worked for me were:
      1. Make an insiders work easier, and thus get an introduction.
      2. Write on an "in depand" topic.

      Finishing that book was still the hardest single thing I ever did.

    3. profile image0
      shazwellynposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I do, but it will be published in a series of hubs shortly - just if you are interested.

    4. thisisoli profile image71
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I would use the amazon publishing services, not only is it distributed to kindle, but it also allows you to sacrifice percentage of earnings to choose your distribution level, from aamzon to on the shelves in book stores.  They also have regular special offers on promotional services such as half price press releases etc.

      1. Pamela Kinnaird W profile image84
        Pamela Kinnaird Wposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Wow, this is all news to me.  Thank you for this information, thisisoli.

  2. darkside profile image69
    darksideposted 15 years ago

    If you're looking for a publisher, do a lot of homework. What types of books they've got on the market. Your first port of call should be a book store. Go and see what's already out there in the niche that you're writing for. Take notes of who the publishers are, and then find out what else they publish.

    Of course you could always get an agent, but the good ones will probably be more inclined to represent someone who has already got something published.

    With self-publishing you'll have a lot of homework to do too, but completely different from what you'd be doing if you were after a publisher. Wikipedia's entry on self-publishing would be a good place to start. Also consider Print On Demand. offer such a service.

    I'd suggest that you avoid Vanity Publishing.

    1. Dorsi profile image87
      Dorsiposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Darkside, this was extremely helpful. I've signed up for CafePress, I'm still going to research book advances though. I found some interesting grants for new book writers.

      1. darkside profile image69
        darksideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

        Ah yes, grants.

        Are they Government grants?

        I know there are government grants in Australia for people wanting to do something creative. Within their criteria of course. But no need for an agent.

        Also check out

        I just found out about this site less than ten minutes ago.

        On-Demand Self Publishing, DVD on Demand, CD on Demand, Books on Demand, DVD Duplication and DVD Replication.

        Like minus the t-shirts. And owned by

        1. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 15 years agoin reply to this

          That looks like a good option.  You may have heard there was a move by Amazon to refuse to list other self-published or POD published books, so going with them would avoid any such trouble in the future.  P&E has nothing to say about them - yet.

          I wouldn't think Cafepress was a good choice. No one would go looking for a book at Cafepress,surely!

          1. darkside profile image69
            darksideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

            They give you all the tools so you can copy and paste code into your own blog or website and it'll display the product, click through to its own homepage, and people can buy it. Cafepress collect the money, and pay you.

            While I agree with you that no one would be looking for a book at, it makes it easy for you to sell your book anywhere you please.

  3. dineane profile image80
    dineaneposted 15 years ago

    Ah, darkside brings us to the catch 22...most publishers who will give you an advance want you to be working with an agent...but ds is correct, the good agents are also not too interested in newbies.

    Check out my mom's hub for a little about how she got "lucky" :-) … g-Business

  4. Marisa Wright profile image87
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 years ago

    Dorsi, funnily enough my blog is all about the pros and cons of self-publishing -

    It really depends what you're writing about and what your expectations are.  Be aware that a POD book is considered a "best-seller" if it sells more than 100 copies.  Without the marketing machine of the mainstream publishers, you will struggle to get readership if your book is fiction.  Non-fiction is easier but still takes a lot of work.

    If you're checking out my blog, you'll find the most relevant posts are in the November archive.

    I've also got a Hub about this, it has a good Youtube video!

    The place to check out publishers is Preditors & Editors

    and here's a good FAQ from a site I came across:

  5. darkside profile image69
    darksideposted 15 years ago

    Maybe our own Hup can tell us some backstory when he was involved in the publication of Myspace for Dummies.

  6. DonnaCSmith profile image82
    DonnaCSmithposted 15 years ago

    I have steered clear of self publishing, initially out of pride - I wanted to be published by a "real" publisher because to me it meant someone besides myself thinks my work is work it. Also, self publishing means you pay alll the expenses, whereas a traditional publisher pays you.

    You didn't say if your book is fiction or non-fiction. They work a bit differently in how you approach the publisher. I suggest you buy a copy of The Writers Market and study the listings. Visit some writing websites and ask questions. is one I joined many years ago. Some veteran writers and newbys are regulars there and can answer questions, plus you can post a chapter or two for ctitque.

    Posting your chapters here may hurt your chances of getting your book published. The publisher does not want something that has been "previously published."

    Good luck with your writing. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your finished, published book for the first time!

    1. Dorsi profile image87
      Dorsiposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      This is a great thread- I am learning so much! I actually am posting the chapters here as hubs, and I've got 3 chapters published as hubs so far with 6 done. Its an autobiography/memoirs book. If it had to fit into a category I would say it would be considered inspirational, human interest, christian, probably a few others as it has many elements in it.
      It was confirmed to me yesterday that I've hit my niche, so I'm going to keep pushing forward.
      Thank God for!!!!

    2. Dorsi profile image87
      Dorsiposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I thought the opposite ( but what do I know??) that maybe by publishing here it actually may help improve my chances of getting it published,,,,,,,,,but I see your point, I'll have to study that Donna.

      1. Whitney05 profile image83
        Whitney05posted 15 years agoin reply to this

        I always thought the same thing. If everyone has access to the book before it's officially published by any means, then anyone can steal it and post it all over the internet, which I would think publishers would hate bc it may be hard to prove if you really wrote it or if you stole it from the internet.

        1. darkside profile image69
          darksideposted 15 years agoin reply to this

          Traditionally the music industry was the same way, but the Internet in the last few years has turned it on its head.

          Nowadays you don't need a recording contract to become famous. You can get your music out there, create your own fan base and then use that as leverage to impress the record companies.

        2. Dorsi profile image87
          Dorsiposted 15 years agoin reply to this

          In my case they would have to steal my life story! They couldn't hide the theft of that one easily!

          1. Whitney05 profile image83
            Whitney05posted 15 years agoin reply to this

            It's true, as I did skim the hub you posted about it, but if the hub is posted all throughout the internet, or even in a few other places, wouldn't it still pose a questionable concern to a publisher?

            1. Dorsi profile image87
              Dorsiposted 15 years agoin reply to this

              Hmmm.. it's only posted here, but if I "unpublished" it here that would make it unaccessible. I wouldn't think people will copy and paste it for any reason to their site- that would be odd. Something to ponder as I'm in uncharted territory here.
              The whole MySpace music thing comes to mind though....
              If it works there why wouldn't it work with books?

  7. BeatsMe profile image54
    BeatsMeposted 15 years ago

    There are two other POD sites. and
    But then, you might be satisfied with cafepress. I wonder, though, how you'd know if your books are selling or not. I haven't read scams about them yet but we don't know for sure.

  8. rockinjoe profile image89
    rockinjoeposted 15 years ago

    I think CafePress is a pretty legit company, but they take a huge cut on most merchandise they sell for you. Another option (if you've thought of doing this paperless) is to publish it as an ebook or even a paid website. Setup your entire book online and put a Paypal (or other) password gate on it and charge a one time admission.

  9. SweetiePie profile image83
    SweetiePieposted 15 years ago

    Maybe just rewrite the first chapter for publication purposes?  Just a suggestion.

  10. Marisa Wright profile image87
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 years ago

    It's true most book publishers want the content to be exclusive for as long as they have the contract. The good thing about publishing it on HubPages is that you can always delete the Hubs when you get a publisher. 

    Personally, I would be publishing only one or two "taster" chapters - don't publish any more.  If you publish too many, no one will need to buy the book, will they - they'll start thinking you will eventually publish more chapters if they wait long enough. 

    I do think you should be using, or maybe the Amazon equivalent - places that specialise in producing BOOKS.  With both services, you may have to do a little more work to set the book up, but you can get an ISBN and list on Amazon, both of which are important (and which Cafepress doesn't mention).  There is a small charge for the ISBN.

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image90
      Rochelle Frankposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      If you choose to, you can get an ISBN and a listing on Amazon  all by yourself-- I did.

      1. writerbella profile image57
        writerbellaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        If you're looking for a publishers, do a lot of homework. Find out what types of books they've got on the market. Your first port of call should be a book store. Go and see what's already out there in the niche that you're writing for. Take notes of who the publishers are, and then find out what else they publish.  When I published with S&D ( and their other site ( I did exactly this and had a GOOD experience.

  11. Stacie L profile image90
    Stacie Lposted 15 years ago

    Check out selfpublishyourbooks dot com.
    I read where Harper-Collins will stop giving advances to authors and instead
    started a new program of splitting profits 50-50 after the books goes on sale.
    This requires a lot of trust and accountability.
    Times are tough in the publishing industry.

  12. sagebrush_mama profile image60
    sagebrush_mamaposted 13 years ago

    I really like, but I'm just doing my personal homeschool materials, and some gift books for friends and family...still, they have some nice options for self-publishing if you decide to go that route at some point.  I have a relative who has used, and he seems pleased.

  13. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 13 years ago

    Generally speaking commerical publisher is going to make you more money for less effort.  So if you have a manuscript suitable for commerical publishing it would be worth looking into that rather than going straight to self-publishing.


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