Friday, January 13, 2012

Publishing Your Book

If you’re like me, the last thing you want after having spent all that time writing, revising and editing your manuscript, is to have to wait to hold your book in your hands. When I was looking at my publishing options, I sent out letters to agents and publishers (A&P’s) and then I waited for a response. I didn’t sit back and do nothing while I waited. I read, researched and continued to work on my pitch.

As I researched A&P’s I couldn’t believe that some asked me to give them up to six months to answer my query. Some of these asked to be exclusive, now my thoughts on that were this: If I send it and have to wait six months for a NO, then I’ve wasted six months. So, I skipped over those A&P’s.

I was even more surprised (and disillusioned) when I found out that once my manuscript was accepted, it took an average of 12-18 months before the book was in print. (I’ve even seen 24 months).

OK, so worse case scenario 30 months…and that is if I didn’t get continuously rejected.

There had to be another way.

I looked at self-publishing and assisted-publishing options. After having read some self-published books, I decided to stay away from that format because of the way some of the books turned out. I turned to assisted-publishing. I had been having regular conversations with a rep from the time my manuscript was finished (first draft) up until I was ready to submit it. (I had had my manuscript professionally edited, checked every line and paragraph to make sure it was properly formatted).

I was offered an amazing selection of publishing packages, from ‘just print my book’ to the complete package including editing, reviews, marketing packages, a publicist, book signings, etc.…well, you get the idea. Yes, the more you took, the more it cost, but I quickly learned that even with a traditional publishing deal, the author had a lot of work to do in the way of marketing the finished product.

I did not have an endless budget, so I went the less elaborate route, choosing a reasonable package and adding a few extras. I was offered assistance throughout the process and there was always someone available to answer my questions. I purchased my package on Aug 8th, submitted my manuscript on the 17th, and on Aug 31st the title went ‘live’. Somehow the author copy took its sweet time getting to me, and so some of my friends who had purchased copies through Amazon, Chapters and a Finnish bookstore, received their copies before I did.

I was surprised and thrilled to find my book popping up in online bookstores all around the world. I’ve counted over 100! I am still in contact with the marketing department and continue to review my options for promoting my book. So even now, months after my book has been released, there’s someone there, offering assistance.

There’s one more thing, in choosing my publishing format, I own the rights to my book.

My book is offered in either paperback or e-book format and I am satisfied with what I got. For the record, I chose iUniverse, and I plan on using them again in the future.

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