Writing and publishing your own book

Easy when you know how

Could you turn your expertise into a booklet or a book?  If you go about it the right way it need not take you too long and there are lots of different potential rewards if you go about it the right way.  I’ve written a number of books, some of them best sellers, but despite having some very good advice and guidance I’d say that much of it I learned the hard way.  You can learn from my mistakes.   This page outlines your options and how to go about writing a book in a productive way.

If you are a specialist in your own field and you wish to make yourself better recognised as such and to establish your reputation as a leader then it’s best to go about it in a systematic way.

Alternative methods

Of course writing a book isn’t the end of it.  Your book needs to be published too.  There are three basic approaches and each has its place.

The first method is the traditional one where you find a publisher willing to sign you up as an author and publish your book.   Historically, publishing was very expensive and with some significant risks so publishers have had to be very selective about what they publish.  It’s not much fun printing 5,000 copies of a book and finding that two years later there are 4,500 sitting in the warehouse!

“in most cases self publishing is a bad idea”

These days, with modern digital printing techniques some of the traditional risks can be avoided.   The technique called “print on demand” means that books can be printed to order in small numbers as required rather than speculatively in high number in advance.   That tempts many individuals to become “self-publishers” of their own books.  I know I can be accused of bias but I think that in most cases self publishing is a bad idea. That’s not because it’s inherently difficult but because most people who try it make rather a poor job of the technical side of the work and an even worse mess of promoting it. They end up with books that appear to be of poor quality and are hard to sell.

There is a third alternative available and that’s called “co-operative publishing”.  It’s a kind of half way house between using a conventional publisher and self-publishing.   A co-operative publishing company provides an author with all the services needed to publish a book.  So, for example, the author can have the cover designed, the ISBN number obtained and the bar-codes sorted out for the cover.  When I first came across the co-operative publishing idea I found it very attractive so when I set up theendlessbookcase.com I created it as a co-operative publisher.

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EBook sales

Sales of e-books are now running at a higher rate than conventional paper books so this is an area well worth investigating. If you have an interest in writing an e-Book or e-Booklet then take a look at theendlessbookcase.com

What else?

Is that it then? Well no, because what we’ve considered so far is just books as opposed to booklets.   As a very rough rule of thumb, because it is very easy to find exceptions, booklets tend to be under 100 pages in length and “proper” books over 100 pages.   However, booklets tend to differ from books in other respects typically scope.   Some booklets are equivalent to what might be a chapter or section in normal book.  One particularly popular format is the “tips booklet” in which a series of tips are given on a specific topic.     The most common format of the title is “How to…”

How about you?

Here’s a question for you.  If you absolutely had to write a booklet with a title starting with “How to…”  what would your booklet title be?   You don’t need to limit your answer to what you do to earn your living.  Perhaps there is some hobby, sport or other activity that you could write about?

Taking it further

If you’d like further advice and guidance about writing or publishing your own book do get in touch with me at theendlessbookcase.com