ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

With the Right Plan—Successfully Publishing Your Book Is Possible

Updated on May 11, 2017

I lead a company called Sea Hill Press, and I’ve been in this industry for over thirty years. I started as a printer, moved into publishing, and have worked in book management, promotion and sales. In short, I’ve been in all areas of the industry. Publishing is a creative endeavor, and each book is unique. A successful book project is greater than the sum of its parts, which are editing, layout, design, printing, and sales. I spend a lot of my time helping people make these decisions.

Here are a few questions that I ask authors that may help you better define your mission if you are considering publishing a book:

  1. What is a successful outcome for me? For many authors, the writing has been a hobby. The completion of the hobby comes when they see the manuscript in its completed form as a printed book. Many authors today want enough copies for their friends and family members. And that’s OK. Print-on-demand publishing is a solution that gets your there. If you can only envision selling fifty copies, then start there. With print on demand, you can always order more. you may find that the process of writing was rewarding and producing only a few books is a happy ending. If so, you don’t need to move onto the next question. However, if you want to share your writing with a larger audience, then it’s time think a little bigger.
  2. What are my goals for selling my book? Be specific in writing out your intentions and goals. Consider such things as who your audience is, where they live, where they work, and what their purchasing habits look like. How are you going to tell these people about your book, and how are you going to promote your work? Write your ideas down. This is the start of your marketing plan. It’s better you know this before you go too far down the path.
  3. Do I understand what it means to have a good editor? There’s more to editing a book than being good at grammar. People often ask me the difference between working with one of our editors, or using a friend with good written skills and my answer never changes. Book publishing has its own set of language rules and presentation guidelines. Not only are specialized book editors experts in the writing and style guidelines exclusive to the book industry but also they are experts at understanding the layout and design formatting of a book design. A good book editor knows the pitfalls of publishing and can steer you clear of the holes that bring criticism and bad reviews. An Editor is a specialists, and a good one is worth it. If funds are tight, Its better to wait, save the money and then speed it wisely, on a good editor.
  4. Have I developed a good distribution plan? If you intend to sell your work, then launching it successfully is no different than any other new business venture. Plan it, develop it, and make it happen. Just because your book has an ISBN and is listed online doesn’t mean it will sell. Getting it online is only an initial step in the distribution plan. Look for specialists to assist you in shoring up your weaknesses in marketing, promotion, and sales.
  5. Am I interested in going into book sales as a business? You probably enjoyed working on your manuscript and developing its layout and cover, but not all authors enjoy the aspects of selling their books. Book selling is a business; along with it comes making sales and handling accounting and taxes. Your business is going to take time away from your writing and other activities you enjoy. It’s OK to work with a company to help you get your proof of concept and get your book finished. Ask yourself how much time you’re willing to commit to the business side of selling your book. I’ve meet with many authors in my life. They tend to fall into one of two groups: either they want to see their writing in print or they want to make a good income off selling books as a business. There’s not a right group and a wrong group, however do be honest with yourself on this point.

We all spend money and resources in our lives for experiences and hobbies we enjoy. If writing your book was the experience, and sharing it with friends and family is the reward, then printing a limited number of copies will likely be satisfying for you. The fun was in the writing.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)