Being Bruce -: So, You Want to Write a Book? - Part 1

Monday, April 12, 2010

So, You Want to Write a Book? - Part 1

Marge and I have been writing series of books recently and are planning to complete at least several more this year and each of the next few years. We each have a whole list of topics we want to write about and we now have a process for getting them published, printed, and marketed that works for us.

Since we published the first in this series, just last December (we've since published four more and have a total of five more in various stages), I've been amazed at the number of people who want to write books who've approached me to discover how we are "getting it done" and asking me for advice or guidance.

First off, I should be very clear that I don't publish books myself, nor do I print them. I do market and promote our books and occasionally books other people write that we find very useful, inspiring, or just plain fun. Mostly, though, I'm a writer who likes to use the book format as a means to capture and communicate what I'd like to share with others.

I am, however, highly motivated to help other people succeed in life (it's one of my top 5 Passions, but that's another story). Therefore, I figured if so many people are interested in getting their book or books published, I can probably help some. And if I can help, my value system is such that I choose to do so if it doesn't conflict with other interests and responsibilities.

So I've decided to blog a few times about the various ways you can get your book published today. I emphasized "today" because technology continues to change the way we can do many things, including publishing books, and since there's clearly a market for regular printed books (paperback and hardcover), chances are pretty good that new developments will pop up regularly. For now, however, I've found a process, or, better stated, a combination of processes that works very well for Marge and I. There are, however, different ways to get your book published - some are easier than others, some are cheaper, and some have a better chance of actually getting sales (if that matters to you - which isn't a facetitious statement, BTW, there are many, many people who want books published for personal or family use or "just to get it done").

In following posts in this series, I'm going to cover:
  • traditional book publishing (I've done that)
  • vanity publishing (I've not done that)
  • print on demand - done by yourself with an online service (I've done that)
  • print on demand - using a publisher who handles formatting, makes sure it all looks good and gets everything registered and in distribution channels (This is the process we use now)
  • print on demand - using a full service book production service that will help you get a book written, edited, formatted, help with graphics, registered, and in distribution channels (Haven't done that but we know someone who totally rocks it)
  • Group or individual coaching for book writers - this can be a combination of vanity and print on demand publishing under the encouragement and guidance of an established expert in this process (Haven't done it, know of two people who do it big time)
So those are the six channels for book publishing I know something about. I don't claim to be an expert in any of them, but I know enough to know what works for Marge and I and if you're interested, this series of posts may be enough to get you started.

Disclaimer - In some cases I may recommend (in fact I fully intend to) people and services with whom I have some level of financial arrangement - meaning I might get a referral fee or commission or something like that. It's in my best interest, therefore, to be sure only to recommend said people and services that I either have firsthand great experience with or that I have enough knowledge or second hand info about to recommend. I won't keep repeating this, because most people expect it, but I do want to be transparent that I'm not concerned that I might make a little money by helping you - especially if it doesn't cost you any more than if you found the person or service on your own.

The covers below are the books Marge and I separately and together have written and had published. See if you can tell which books (just by their covers) were produced by which of the above modes.

One last point. I'm only going to focus on physically printed books in these posts. there are other ways to get your books published that can be faster and cheaper - just go fully digital. We've done that, too, publishing audio books, PDF-format ebooks, and (so far) one book in a Kindle version on Amazon. Digital book publishing is another area of interest, but this series of blog posts will be solely about processes to use to get regular old printed books on paper - that's what most people still seem to want help with.

I'm looking forward to writing this series, I hope you'll enjoy it. Who knows, if enough people like it and if I find more to write about the topic, like producing ebooks and audio books, maybe I'll even write a book about it . . . LOL.