Saturday, August 15, 2009

How Many Books to Order Up

You’ve decided to write and publish your book, you’ve even managed to find a publishing method that works for you—great, you’ve made it this far. But your publisher won’t be the only one responsible for selling your books; much of this will fall on you. If you are traditionally published, your publisher will give you some copies, but expect you to purchase additional ones at your own expense. P.O.D. publishers often state they will be promoting and selling your books for you; this is just never totally true. You should expect to have several books on hand at all times. Remember, regardless of common belief, books really do sell “just one-at-a-time.”

So how many books will you need on hand?

Ask yourself these questions:

Will I be attending fairs where I will be selling my books directly to the public?

Will I be responsible for selling and “shipping” my own books?

Will “I” be the one selling and delivering my books directly to book stores?

How many copies will I be giving as gifts or using as review copies?

How many books will my friends and family be purchasing?

If you are a self-publisher and printing your own books, be careful of how many copies you initially order. Book printers offer great deals on large quantities of books. For instance, you may pay $8 per copy if you order only 100 (hard to make a profit). But if you order 500, the price may be cut in half. Then if you double the order number again, the copy price could be drastically less per copy, making it very tempting to order more than you will need. A new author may order 2,000 books to save money but end up with a closet full of books collecting dust (I can show you mine from my very first book order—dusty!).

The average self-published author sells less than 200 copies of their book. Better to make a little less profit than be stuck with excess copies for your grandkids (you just won’t have that many grandkids).

Find out how much your book will cost to print and ship using the calculator at

Authors, give us your input to share with newbie’s by using the comment section below.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Donations

Hi all! It's that time again. The South Coast Hospice Annual Casino Night fundraiser is coming up in October. As many of you already know, I am a commited volunteer to hospice. Many of the authors who regularly visit this Blog were gracious last year in donating a signed copy of their book for the event's auction. This year, I am hoping more authors will come out of the woodwork and contribute a copy of their published book for our important cause. Thank you for your consideration. may not need hospice now, but you most likely will someday!
Books can be sent to Carol Denbow at 66513 Schoolhouse Rd., North Bend, Oregon 97459.
May God bless you always!

Friday, August 7, 2009

How Long Should You Wait For a Publisher to Respond?

I get lots of emails from writers who have submitted their manuscripts to traditional publishers and ask me how long they should wait for a response before giving up and submitting to other publishing houses. My answer… not long! Most publishers need two or more months to review your work and respond—some never do. Meanwhile, your work may become outdated (non-fiction), or you might miss a golden opportunity with another house.

Personally, I believe you should carefully choose the top five most likely to pick up your book and stop there. Send a complete and professional package to those five and wait at least 10 weeks for a response.

More tips to query a publisher:

*Research the publishers to learn which ones are “presently” looking for your genre.

*Follow up on-line at the publishers Website to confirm instructions for submissions (current addresses, requirements, complete packages?).

*Call the publisher and ask who the submission editor is—and the correct spelling of their name. Then address your correspondence to that person only.

*Send “only” what is requested (no pictures of you and your dog!).

It’s okay to follow up with a phone call to the editor, but do so only once you know they have received your package and before they have had time to throw it out!

Be prepared and have thick skin. More than 90% of manuscripts are tossed without consideration. Don’t take it personal. Rejection letters are often impersonal form letters addressed to “Dear Author.” This does not mean your writing is bad. Many famous authors have been rejected multiple times. Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected 140 times and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind 38 times.

A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story includes detailed information on how to query a publisher as well as other publishing methods you might be interested in.

I appreciate all comments and additional suggestions from published authors.