Thursday, April 28, 2011

Advice to Future Authors

The following is an email that I sent to someone asking advice about publishing a book:

There are two publishers whom you can publish anything you want for free: and . The only cost that may be incurred to you is ordering one "proof copy" of your book, and that should not cost more than about ten bucks (or less).

I've used Lulu and it's fine. However, a friend of mine, Richard Carrier, has used both publishers and he says that createspace is the way to go. When people order your book, you will recieve royalties (profits) based on the book's price (which you set yourself) minus the cost of printing the book and a percentage taken by the company. If you publish on Lulu, you'll probably want to join their "distribution plan" which will post your book on amazon. However, when you publish through Lulu, the books sold through will generate smaller royalties, simply because lulu and amazon both take a cut of your money.

So here's why createspace is better: createspace is almost the same as lulu in its service, but createspace is owned by the amazon corporation. So the revenue you earn from books sold on amazon will be higher because now you only have one company (instead of two) taking a cut of your money. In my experience, most people would rather buy a book on amazon than on Lulu, so most of your books will be sold on amazon, and since createspace is so "Amazon-efficient" it is the better choice.

Some other advice: do some "google research" on writing books with Microsoft Word (or whatever program you are using). I did, and it helped me out a lot. Also, I've read that anything you upload to createspace has to be in pdf format, but it shouldn't be to hard to find a program to help you do that. In fact, you could sign up for lulu (for free) and then start a project, upload your microsoft wordfiles, and then generate a top-notch pdf from those. Doing that requires no special skill at all, Lulu advertises these services, and they are free.

Other than that: make a point to read the advice and instructions of the company you choose, and choose good, knowledgable friends to proof-read your book. In case you're wondering, I use Lulu (I hadn't heard of createspace when I published) and even copies of my book that I sell through Amazon bring in over a dollar a copy, and my book is priced at only $13.99! My book:

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