Do you know your ABCs? You should if you want to be a writer. The world is changing, and even a lousy writer can get a book published. HOWEVER even a good writer may not make money from his or her book. OK here's the skinny. After you've written your book, there are really three ways to get it published, and far more often than not, you will not get rich from it. With that said, writing a book should NEVER be about money.
Now that you've sat your ass down to write a book, let's talk about how you sell it. For the moment there are basically three ways of getting published.
The first is with a book publisher. Usually that requires getting a literary agent, if one will accept you. Be aware the process here might take a very long time. (a year or more) The plus side to having an agent is they will be motivated to get your book published because they don't money unless you do. If a publisher accepts your book, they will pay for the printing and such, but you usually don't make any or little money until they recoup their expenses. After that, if the book is popular you will get a percentage of the sales. FYI most publishers get excited if they sell a few thousand copies of a book, so don't expect to get rich. (It could happen though) With this kind of publishing, you make the least amount of money per copy of the book. By the time the publishers takes their share, then the agent (usually 10%) you will have a small percentage of the sales. This way is great if you sell volumes, but if you only sell thousands, you may only walk away with thousands.
The second way to get published is to self publish. There are two ways to do this, so this will be the first way I'll talk about. There is a technology called Print-On-Demand, where you upload your book to a company,. Somebody sees it on the internet (usually amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com) and they buy a copy. Once that happens the book is instantly printed and mailed to the customer. The cool thing about this is that there's no inventory, and the price you set is flexible, but the printer, and website (amazon.com) gets a percentage of the sale. You can make more money this way compared to having a publisher, HOWEVER it is up to you to market the book to make money. the companies that offer Print-On-Demand technology usually offer e-book options for you to upload your book as an e-book. One more thing this way does not include hardback publishing and the books are ok quality.
The third way of publishing is through a printing company. Basically you pay a printer to print thousands of books for you. The plus side is after you pay for the book, you set the retail/wholesale, and you can make the most amount of money this way. The downside is if your book sucks and nobody buys it, you have a large inventory of books. This way can get you your hardback and the quality is high.
Ok, one more thing. A very popular company called Kirkus that does book reviews has become an important part of publishing. They read your unpublished manuscript (for a big price) and they review it. A good review can get you a good publisher, a great review can get you a great publisher, a bad review sucks for you.
So you want to write a book?
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