Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Starting a book publishing business

De chalcographiae inventione poema ecomiasticum.Image via Wikipedia
From the April newsletter of the China Speakers Bureau:

This month we have some exciting news from our own global offices, as we have started a new service to support our speakers in getting their books on the market. In April we signed our first book publishing contract with Warren Liu, who earlier published KFC in China: Secret Recipe for Success, both in English and Chinese.
Book publishing is changing fast, as the methods to control the publishing process by the authors themselves, in stead of a publishing house, have become very easy over the past few years.
What are the advantages of Publishing On Demand, or POD, as it is called in the jargon?
Publishing is faster: a professional publishing house takes at least six months to get a book on the shelves - if you are lucky; in POD you can do it within three months.
Distribution through Amazon and other onine book sellers is part of the deal
You are in full control of the look and feel of the book
You have full control of marketing and distribution of the book
You royalties through Amazon are higher compared to when you use a traditional publisher
Because of the low costs of the print process, your royalties can be higher - or you can lower the price of the book
So, when we started to think last year about our own book, A Changing China, we even did not bother to find a publishing house. And when we published that book, we looked at each other (virtually and over Skype, since we work on three different continents) and decided it would be a good idea to offer our newly acquired skills to our speakers. We discovered that POD does work, but still is not that easy. Art work, exploring new software applications, writing additional chapters, editing and guiding the book through the publishing process are elements of the publishing business, most authors do not want to be bothered with. So, we decided to offer this as a service.
We are not becoming a publishing house: we help our speakers to publish their own books, including an ISBN number and distribution through Amazon. That is also beneficial for our speakers' business. When you have written a book, when we can actually send that to potential clients, speakers do have an extra selling point. And we are of course happy to help them. When you are interested in this new service, do drop us a line.
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