Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Published

You’ve finished writing a book. Congratulations! What now? How do you get your book to readers?

Traditionally, authors have sought a publisher to buy, print, and market their books. Most books sold in this country still come from the large publishing houses, such as Penguin and Random House. But getting a publisher to take on your book––especially if you’re a new writer––is becoming increasingly difficult.

The good news is, today you have options that didn’t exist until recently. E-books constitute the fastest growing segment of the publishing business. Electronic books can be purchased on line, usually for much less than a printed book, and downloaded to your computer, iPod, Kindle, or other device. Most of the big publishers, as well as many smaller ones, now offer e-books. Some publishers only handle e-books. This new area of the business expands possibilities for authors and readers alike.

Print-on-demand or POD books are gaining popularity, too. This do-it-yourself method allows you to print your own book in small quantities. You become the publisher; you not only write your book, you design, promote, and distribute it as well. You retain total control. If you’re talented, you can lay out your book’s pages on your computer and design a cover––or hire someone with technical skill to do it for you. Download the digital files to a CD, then take the CD to a good copy shop or printer who’s equipped to produce PODs. They’ll run off and bind as many copies of your book as you desire. If you intend to use your book as an adjunct to your business, or only plan to offer it to family members and friends, this could be the best choice for you.

Never before have authors had so many avenues open to them. Consider your goal, your audience, and your resources to determine which option is right for you.

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