Get published

HI there,
So I was wondering if anyone knows avenues to get your works published. I recently had an opportunity to get published but that fell through.

I would like to try online maybe on amazon or kindle. Does anyone know how to go about this?

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This would be better in Industry Insider @deangie

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Hi there,

I’m going to move this to the #industry-insider as that’s a better fit. The #improve-your-writing club is about discussions about writing, where as the industry insider is about everything related to publishing. :smile:

Thanks for understanding,
Fray - Community Ambassador :frog:

Kindle is through Amazon. Do you have any specific questions?

Most people in this club do. But you can’t ask the question so broadly.

Do you want to self-publish or go the traditional route (when you mention “try online” I assume self)? Do you want to publish ebook or print or both? Audio? In one country or more? Do you want to be exclusive to a distributer (e.g., Amazon) or wide (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.)?

Those questions are just scratching the surface.

Hello Fray,

That’s okay, I wasn’t sure which forum to post the question on. Thanks for the help.

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@Blayde @AlecHutson

I would love to got the route of traditional publishing, but that would be a bit of a complicated road to take in finding an agent and the likes.

I would like to self publish online, preferably exclusively with one distributor (because it’s my first time it would be easier to deal with one outlet). I would like for it to be available to different countries

I have no recent experience in publishing so I’m not sure how to go about it.

  1. How would i contact an online distributor for such an opportunity
  2. Are there any online distributors that you would recommend
  3. What sort of contracts come along with online publishing (I’d imagine they are different from traditional branding contracts)
  4. What are some of the things I should look out for when contemplating online publishing?

Thank you

  1. You go to their website and follow the directions. You don’t actually work with an individual (although you can send questions to their Customer Support if you follow the “Contact us” link).

  2. I only use Amazon KDP simply because they have 80% of the market share. Many people like to be wide, though, and use KDP, Barnes & Noble, and others. If you’re exclusive to Amazon you can also enroll in their Select program and get paid for “pages read” on your ebook in addition to sales. I’m ebook only, but if you go print you need to consider shipping costs. For example, these are all POD (print on demand). I have a friend in Australia who uses Lulu because they print locally there whereas Amazon does not so the shipping costs are much less.

  3. You’ll have to read the contract (and it cannot be changed). With Amazon KDP, read about pricing. It determines the royalty paid (70% vs 35%).

  4. You are the publisher. That means you do what the traditional publisher does when you go that route. Editing. Cover design/creation. Formatting. Pricing. Writing the blurb. Marketing. And speaking of covers, you must have the permissions to use images and fonts commercially. What you find on the internet is copyrighted and if you use it without permission you can be sued for copyright infringement.

With Amazon KDP, you can select the countries to sell in. KDP will do the currency conversion for the sale price you establish, but for the EU countries you have to bump it up to include the VAT (which is a different percentage for each country) otherwise you end up paying the tax.

P.S. Actually, going traditional is less complicated. It’s just difficult to find an agent/publisher and you earn less royalties.

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Thanks, this is really helpful

If you think traditional publishing is “too complicated” then you are probably not a good candidate for self-publishing. Sure, it’s easy to press the “publish” button, but that doesn’t mean anything. If you are going to self-publish, you need to do it “the right way” which means learning all the things a traditional publisher does and do those things yourself (or hire others on your behalf).

That said, I’ll go through your questions.

The only online distributor you need to worry about (given what you said) is Amazon. You don’t “ask them for the opportunity,” you utilize their service. In other words, there is no curation, anyone can put a self-published ebook for sale on Amazon.com.

Yes, as mentioned Amazon (though their KDP program - Kindle Direct Publishing) is who you want to work with.

There is no contract, there is a “terms of service.” In traditional you are "licensing your intellectual property (in a given number of formats, languages, territories, and time frame), in exchange for an advance and royalties. When self-publishing, you are merely using their platform to get your stuff “out there.” If you were to stop using their services, there is no further obligation between you and them.

As I mentioned, when you self-publish you are taking on all the responsibilities of the writer, and all the responsibilities of the publisher. That’s A LOT to execute well on, and a lot to learn. I think you are under the impression that self-publishing is easy - and as I said if done “right” it is anything but. And if you plan on doing it “the wrong way” - I’d say don’t bother.

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In terms of traditional publishing, you don’t always need an agent. Many publishers will accept your manuscript without one.

I haven’t had the guts to take it all on myself via self-publishing. I like having a publisher’s backing because they do generally help with editing, book covers, and marketing.

Generally small ones, but there are a few larger ones. Always, always, ALWAYS investigate to determine what they can offer you that you couldn’t do on your own via self publishing. Small publishers very rarely have anything other than online distribution.

Look up their books on Amazon and see their overall sales rank. Contact authors whose books came out 2, 3, 4 years ago and see if they pay on time and if they feel like working with them was worth it.

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Generally your best bet is to look for publishing houses advocating vacancies, finding an agent, or just going to Amazon and poking around until you can find your way into the smoky backroom where you get published out of. I got by the first way, and it’s a real help to the resume.

Only the small ones. Most of which don’t (a) pay advances or (b) have bookstore distribution. Some won’t even do editing. So, there’s not much advantage to going that way. Now, that said, I’ve been published three ways (a) self (9 books) (b) small press (2 books) and © big-five (11 books). I’ve made next to no money from my small press releases, but have done very well with both (a) and ©.

Marketing will primarily be the author’s responsibility whether you go self and traditional. If you have a standard advance ($5,000 - $10,000) you get virtually no marketing. Even with my big releases (six-figure advances some of which topped 1/2 a million) the marketing is (a) minimal and (b) lasts for only 4 - 6 weeks.

Yes, the publisher will do cover design (but small presses have some terrible covers) - so look at what other books they put out before you sign. There are a number of small presses that don’t do any editing. When self-publishing, you pretty much just outsource to a copyeditor, so it’s not too big of a deal.

I’m not even sure what “publishing houses advocating vacancies” means. Nor do I know of “the smoky backroom where you get published out of.”

Can you please clarify?