This is another in my series of articles that explain the Online Publishing Model (OPM) and how small-time authors and/or self-publishers can use the OPM as a more lucrative alternative to the often archaic and dysfunctional traditional book publishing model. In short, using the OPM you’ll make more book sales and you’ll net more profits, faster.Typically, you will create your book/ebook in a source word processing program such as MS-Word or WordPerfect. Once you have converted it into PDF format you’ll be ready to start selling it via the three primary channels that make up the Online Publishing Model: 1. Sales-Mini-Sites, 2. Digital Download Distributors, 3. Print-On-Demand (POD) Distributors.This article explains the numerous benefits of using the Online Publishing model (OPM).Frankly, after my frustrating and disappointing experiences using the traditional book publishing model, I was truly blown away when I discovered the many benefits of the Online Publishing Model. I was thrilled to discover that there actually IS an alternative that will allow me to write and publish books and ebooks for a living.BENEFITS OF ONLINE PUBLISHING MODELAs I state on the Web site for the Instant Book Writing Kit, the benefits of the Online Publishing Model are numerous and compelling, Here are a dozen of them:You’ll Make More Money Instead of getting a paltry 3% to 35%, you’ll get somewhere between 60% and 90% of your cover price, depending on which of the three channels you’re using.You Can Charge More People are willing to pay more if they can get the information they are looking for almost immediately. Higher prices = more profits for you.You’ll Get Paid Sooner Many online payment processors will pay you within two weeks of making a sale. On the other hand, traditional publishers and distributors will make you wait 90 to 120 days for payment.Your Costs Will Be LowerWith the online publishing model your up-front costs will be significantly lower than if you self-publish the traditional way.You Won’t Have “Returns” You can choose to NOT accept “returns”. Unlike the traditional publishing model, all sales under the OPM will be final with minimal refunds. Returned “over-orders” will be a thing of the past.Your Sales Will Be On Automatic Pilot Once you have your Web site up and running and your files uploaded to the digital fulfillment and POD distributors, your ebooks/books will be selling automatically with little or no intervention by you.You’ll Be In Charge You’ll be in control of almost all aspects of the publishing and distribution of your book/ebook. You can publish or revise when you like. No more jumping to somebody else’s timetable.You’ll Have No Inventory You won’t have to keep track of an inventory and worry about shipping, storage, and damage hassles and costs. You’ll be completely inventory free.Order Fulfillment Will Be HistoryWith the OPM, your digital and POD distributors will handle the logistics and expense of shipping and handling for you. Any website downloads will be automatic.You Can Revise Whenever You LikeUsing online publishing channels you will have the freedom to make revisions to your books/ebooks whenever you like. You just update your book/ebook and post the new version at your convenience.You Can Add Special Features You can add value to your eBook by adding links to multi-media features and other hyper-linked bonuses.You’ll Have Direct Access To Your Data Dealing with online fulfillment houses and distributors you’ll have direct online access to current sales and earnings data.BOTTOM LINE ON OPMWhen I realized the full power of the online publishing model I truly was astounded! Discovering this new publishing model hit me like a breath of fresh air.After all, using the conventional book publishing model, I had spent more than two years banging my head against the wall in frustration — getting nowhere and going broke fast.That’s when I decided I had to find a better way. So I spent the following two years looking for a way to sidestep the traditional publishing model. It took literally thousands of hours and thousands of dollars, but in the end it was worth it because I did find a better way – the Online Publishing Model – the benefits of which are described above.Eventually I managed to write it all down in my Instant Book Writing Kit for the express purpose of sharing my Online Publishing Model with anyone who is interested in writing a book/ebook and wants to make some decent money publishing and marketing it online. By creating that book I wanted to make sure that other small-time authors and self publishers wouldn’t have to go through all of the trial-and-error aggravation and expense that I did. My goal was to create a turnkey, paint-by-number blueprint, that any aspiring author and/or self-publisher could easily duplicate and implement what I have done.So, if you are a small-time author and/or publisher you owe it to yourself to look into the Online Publishing Model before you write and/or publish that next book or ebook.Copyright © Shaun R. Fawcett. All rights reserved.
Every March, book people across the country celebrate Small Press Month. While the term “small press” can refer to a modest-sized publishing company with multiple titles from various authors, it most often applies to self-published authors. That’s another term that is subject to interpretation: “self-publish.” In the old days it was considered something you were forced to do if you couldn’t get a “traditional” publisher to put out your book. These days, however, self-publishing is a different ballgame. But many aspiring authors I meet still wrestle with that old stigma.The Time and Money ExcuseAnother comment I often hear: “I know that self-publishing is an option I should consider, but it will take so much time, effort and money. I think I may be better off looking for an agent or a publishing company to put out my book.” True. Self-publishing a book does take time and effort. But so will preparing a book proposal and hunting down the right agent or publishing company — especially one that will send you something other than a rejection slip.And with short-run digital printing (also known as “print on demand”), producing your own book doesn’t have to be expensive. You can print your first run of perfect-bound paperback books for as little as a couple hundred dollars.Do It YourselfAs you may have guessed, I’m a big proponent of self-publishing. So, if you’re at that stage where you’re trying to decide between traditional and self-publishing, please consider my “Five Reasons to Self-Publish Your Own Book”:1) You set the timetable. Big publishers can take from one year to 18 months or more to get a new book out. When you self-publish, your book can be out in a matter of weeks or months. Also, traditional publishers will only put a promotional push behind a book for a short window (perhaps three or four months). A self-published book can be aggressively marketed by its author for years on end.2) It’s a great way to test market a new title. If you have a cool idea for a book, wouldn’t you rather get an early version of it out into the marketplace to see if it has legs? Or would you prefer to spend a lot of time writing proposals and researching who might me interested in helping you publish it? Personally, I’m most eager to see if my ideas resonate with actual consumers.3) You can still reach the masses. Most aspiring authors believe that a publisher will get them into bookstores and other sales outlets, and that as a self-published author they’ll be hamstrung with limited sales options. The truth: Many established publishers do have developed sales pipelines through which they promote their titles. That can be an advantage, but it doesn’t guarantee your book will be widely available in bookstores.Today, using Amazon’s Advantage program and a POD service like Lightning Source (which gets your book listed with Ingram, the world’s largest wholesale book distributor), you can tap into many of the same sales channels as the traditional publishers.4) There’s more profit potential. If you sold 500 copies of your self-published book directly to readers for $20 each (assuming your printing cost per book was $3), you’d make $8,500 in profit. To make that same $8,500 in royalties from a standard publishing contract, your publisher would have to sell more than 5,000 copies. In other words, you can make the same amount of money selling one-tenth the number of books.5) It gets you into the game. Even if you some day want to have a traditional publisher handle the printing and sales of your title, I still believe self-publishing is the best first step. You learn more about the process, get feedback directly from readers, acquire a first-hand understanding of marketing, and more. And if you achieve some small-scale success with your self-published book, you’ll be in a much better position to get the attention of a major publisher. Perhaps, they’ll even pursue you. And wouldn’t that be a nice position to be in?I encourage you to look over these reasons again and strongly consider putting out your next book yourself!
Publishing is an extremely competitive business. There are three main ways to go about getting your manuscript published; through an agent, directly through a publishing company, or by taking the increasingly popular self-publishing option.The best way to improve your chances of getting your book published by a traditional publisher is to find an agent who will ‘take you under their wing’ and add you to their list of clients. Publishing companies very rarely read or pay any attention to unsolicited manuscripts (i.e. a manuscript submitted by an author NOT by an agent). Therefore, you are in a much more likely to get your manuscript published if you have an agent.Unfortunately, getting an agent to agree to take you on as a client is almost as hard as it is to get a publisher to read your work. Agents give your work approximately 20 seconds of time before making a decision to either pursue you or reject you.., and 90-99% get rejected. It is tough!So getting an agent…- There are hundreds of Literary Agents in the UK. You need to target those agencies that handle the kind of writing that you do. So, get a copy of the ‘Writers Market UK 2008’, or the ‘Writers and Artists Yearbook 2008’. These list literary agents, telling you what genre of writing each agency deals with.- You can contact the Association of Author’s Agents (www.agentsassoc.co.uk) or the Society of Authors (www.societyofauthors.net) who should be able to point you in the right direction, and provide a list of suggested agencies that would suit your novel.- Call or email the appropriate agencies to enquire about their procedure for submitting manuscripts. If you don’t follow procedure you will automatically be rejected.- Write a well-written, succinct letter, briefly outlining your work and include a synopsis, together with three polished chapters and a brief CV. Make sure each letter is tailored to each individual agency – do not send generic covering letters, and make sure you address them to an appropriate individual at the agency, not a ‘Dear Sir / Madam’- Submit and wait. If the agency is interested they will make contact with you and ask for more information. If they aren’t interested you will either receive a rejection letter / email, or unfortunately you won’t hear back from them.Getting a publisher without an agent…If you are unsuccessful in securing an agent, or you want to try targeting the publishers direct, without using an agent, the process is basically exactly the same as it is for trying to ascertain an agent;- You need to target publishers that handle the kind of writing that you do. So, get a copy of the ‘Writers Market UK 2008’, or the ‘Writers and Artists Yearbook 2008’. These list publishing companies, telling you what genre of writing each publisher deals with.- Call or email the appropriate publishers to enquire about their procedure for submitting manuscripts. If you don’t follow procedure you will automatically be rejected.- Write a well-written, succinct letter, briefly outlining your work and include a synopsis, together with three polished chapters and a brief CV. Make sure each letter is tailored to each individual publishing company – do not send generic covering letters, and make sure you address them to an appropriate individual at the agency, not a ‘Dear Sir / Madam’- Submit and wait. If the publisher is interested they will make contact with you and ask for more information. If they aren’t interested you will either receive a rejection letter / email, or unfortunately you won’t hear back from them.It is really very hard to get published nowadays because agencies and publishers will only ever give your submission a 20 second read before making a decision on its worth. Furthermore, most agencies and publishers’ client lists are already full, so they aren’t looking to take on new writers. On the other hand, without writers, agencies and publishing companies wouldn’t exist – so they do need fresh new talent to keep their businesses alive!Self PublishingIf you find that you aren’t getting anywhere with securing an agent or a traditional publishing company, you can try ‘Self-Publishing’. This is where you pay a publishing company to publish and print your book for you. They can register it for an ISBN and will often make it available for purchase over the internet.Self publishing companies have a range of products, ranging from a single publish and print package, to a distribution, cover design and marketing packages. Different packages and different self-publishing agencies will have different pricing schemes; but as a guide price you can expect a standard, high quality self-publishing option to cost between £600 – £1000.