How to Get Published
By Steve Gillman - August 23, 2011
There are many ways to get published now, including a new
and expensive way I'll get to in a moment. For starters it is
cheaper than ever to self-publish. I did this myself with Secrets
of Lucky People and Beyond Mental Slavery. In each case I used
a different POD (publish on demand) publisher, and even with
editing that I paid for on "Beyond" it cost less than
$1,000 both times.
Then there are my e-books. They have never been best sellers,
but Ana just did the accounting, so I know they made a couple
thousand dollars in the second quarter of 2011. I spent about
$200 one time years ago to set up the accounts at ClickBank ($50
each), and I used to use a PDF conversion service, but since
finding a better free converter there have been no expenses.
None. Of course we already had websites to sell them on, but
zero cost could still be achieved with a free blog for promotion.
Kindle--that's the Amazon ebook reader--is perhaps the easiest
and cheapest way to get published. It is free to set up an account,
and once you play with their document converter for a few hours
it becomes relatively easy to publish and sell books through
their system. NO ISBN is required, and you get to name your price
(though they recommend keeping it between $2.99 and $9.99). They
pay a healthy 70% royalty for sales in the United States, compared
with a more typical 7.5% of retail from a traditional publisher.
My royalties for July were about $250, but I haven't added, edited
or done anything with the book I have for sale there in many
Of course it is fun and enlightening experience to get published
traditionally. I was approached by a senior editor at Wiley &
Sons to write 101 Weird Ways to make Money because of
my website http://www.UnusualWaysToMakeMoney.com,
or more specifically because of the 5,500 subscribers to my Unusual
Ways Newsletter. Keep that in mind if you want to get a book
contract--publishers are now looking for authors who already
have an online following.
Getting published the traditional way not only looks good
on your resume, but means more exposure. Barnes and Noble ordered
my book for every store. They never ordered one copy of my self-published
books (most self published authors rely on Amazon.com and Barnes
and Noble's website). I also never would have been on FOX News
without the help of my publicist at Wiley.
Now for that new and expensive way to get published. I'm reporting
this because I love to see new and innovative ideas, even if
they are not directly useful to me.
First, some information about the industry: One of the reasons
most traditional publishers are losing money these days is that
they take all the risk. They not only pay for all of the printing
and marketing costs, but they still pay advances to top authors,
with no guarantee that they'll sell enough books to recover their
costs. A creative solution to this is to turn the formula around
and make the author take the risk. That's just what Clint Greenleaf
did with Greenleaf Book Group.
Why would an author want to take the risk on himself or herself
and pay as much as $30,000 to $60,000 in production costs up
front? To make more money. Top authors might traditionally get
20% of the wholesale revenue from a book, but Greenleaf's authors
can make as much as 70%. In other words, those who know or believe
that their book will sell well can make a lot more money with
this arrangement. Celebrities and others who think they have
a "sure thing" are lined up to get published with Greenleaf.