VANITY PUBLISHING ONLINE and
A vanity press is what they called printers who would print anyone's book for a fee, or a self-published book. In the "old days" self-published books were not looked upon as being legitimate literature, but these days, that has changed as many successful authors begin with self-publishing. Bear in mind, however, the SUCCESSFUL self-publisher is quite rare. Anyone can write and print a book-- but selling MANY COPIES and creating a real demand for your book is something that takes quite of bit of effort, or enormous talent, or tremendous luck, or all three.
Having a thousand copies of your book printed is generally (if you shop around) the most cost effective way of self-publishing-- but only if you have the initial capital. In order to get the best price per book, you have to order a large quantity in general. Most authors will NOT want to go this route. Keep reading...
Now a days, you have the option of printing just the books you sell- this is called Printing On Demand, or POD. It is a nice option for people who are not sure if there is actually a market for their book, if they don't have much money to invest in self-publishing. This is probably you, and the smartest way for just about everyone to go starting out, or even if you've been in the game a good long while.
There are presently three main players--
I had nothing but HORRIBLE experiences with Booksurge in many ways. Just forget them completely. You've been warned.
I use Lulu and Lightning Source for what each company does best
BUT THE BULK OF MY PRINTING IS DONE WITH A THIRD INDEPENDENT PRINTER- QUALIMAGE PRINTERS in Denver. And I'll explain why...
(NONE OF THESE ARE PAID ENDORSEMENTS IN ANY WAY.)
I use Lulu for certain aspects of setting up my books, i.e. creating a one-piece cover that I use elsewhere.
You can very easily set up a book on Lulu, and only have a Microsoft Word file and go from there. They even will supply you with a generic cover. Lulu makes publishing a snap, and they even provide you with your own web site page and listing on the Lulu Marketplace where you can describe and sell your book.
The downside is that they initially make you wait about 45 days before you get your royalties, and then they continue to hold on to your royalties for that same period after sales. Not nice. The upside is, as long as you sell on the Lulu Marketplace (their online book store) you make a very fair royalty of about 50% on the retail price. Compare this with a traditional publishing deal where you are lucky if you make 10% of the retail, but generally far less.
Of course with Lulu, you will not get any advance, and your audience is limited to shoppers on the Lulu site-- but this is a growing audience, and if you can get lots of people (you clever internet marketer, you) you will have a nice presence on Google for your search keywords.
If you want to sell your book on Amazon, Lulu makes this possible through a Retail Distribution agreement. You get an ISBN- BUT THEY OWN IT. Bad news. Never give away your publishing rights unless you get a TON of money for it- almost never happens. Never the less, in this agreement they will list the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and a few other retail sites. HOWEVER, I DO NOT RECOMMEND LULU FOR GENERAL RETAIL SALES OF YOUR BOOK because the royalty rate is SUBSTANTIALLY lower in their arrangement.
There is a much better way to use LULU for your own purposes, and distribute using other channels.... this is explained later.
Lightning Source was the best Print On Demand printing company I found until I discovered Qualimage, and you can use Lightning Source in combination with LULU to get yourself printed, as well as published on Amazon- for far less money and better profit than using LULU alone. I continue to use Lightning Source for some purposes.
These days I have Lightning Source and Lulu print the English version of my book, and sell it in various places, including Amazon. Incidentally, publishing and selling of physical books on Amazon for most self-published authors is a total nightmare (and apparently deliberately designed to be) unless you partner up with someone like Lightning Source. This is explained later-
It took me years to discover a printer THIS GOOD. I have tried many things, I have scoured the web for deals-
This printer offers the BEST QUALITY, at THE BEST PRICE, with the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE.
I.e. They always pick up the phone- their books are better quality than ANY printer out there including Lulu and Lightning Source- because they have the best machines- and they will match the best price you'll get anywhere for POD books.
Additionally, Qualimage also offers at cost book fulfillment- i.e., they will ship the book for you at cost for doing this.
The best method that I've found is to use EACH of this printers for what they do best-- explained here:
The publisher holds the rights, and can put the book out of print before you can say "starving artist". The publishing business runs on a 5% profit margin-- you think tens of thousands of authors in the country are making a real living wage from their efforts on this kind of operating percentage?
If you do sell some books,
and you can, you will likely start by selling a few
books. If your production costs are high- i.e. giving a
significant slice to the production company, you will
have to sell twice as many books unless you take on the
relatively simple task of printing your own books, or
putting your books online upon your own web site.
If you have an incredible streak of luck, you are enormously talented, you have unfailing effort it writing and you have figured a way to make your book desired by a great many people-- then traditional publishing may be the best route for you.
In the end....
Consider ALL the possibilities and USE YOUR BRAIN to know which way to go.
Other pages of Interest- Your support is appreciated- thanks- Neil
The AMAZING BRAIN ADVENTURE's MOST POPULAR PAGES:
Your Amazing Brain Adventure is a web site all about Tickling Your Amygdala- i.e. turning on the best part of your brain as easy as clicking on a light switch. This is done as easily as imagining a feather inside of your head stimulating a compass, the amygdala. The amygdala is a set of twin organs, a part of your brain that sits right in between the most advance part of your brain- the frontal lobes and pre-frontal cortex- and the most primitive part of your brain- your "reptile brain" and brain stem. By tickling your amygdala you instantly and directly increase creativity, intelligence, pleasure, and also make possible a spontaneous natural processes known as "paranormal abilities", although such things as telepathy and ESP are really as natural as breathing, or as easy doing simple math in your head. The ability to self stimulate the amygdala by something as simple as thought has been proven in laboratory experiments, such as those conducted at Harvard University research labs, 1999-2009, and can be tracked with modern brain scanning machines such as fMRI and PET... Indeed, thought is faster than light.
Other sites of interest:
EasyPaintYourCar.com is a painting site dedicated to learning how to paint a car yourself, even if you've never painted a car before. You can refinish your car to professional standards at home, better than if you take it to someone else, and enjoy doing it at a fraction of the cost of having it done in an expensive shop. You can repair dents, rust, and use the most durable real automotive paint, and even learn to apply it without any special or expensive gear, in a safe and enjoyable manner. Paint your car in your garage, car port, or even driveway. You can spray, use an HVLP gun, or even use a roller.
Easy Make A Kindle and Your Own Publishing are sites about self-publishing and writing, and how any person can publish materials, print, online, and electronic books. You can drop out of the corporate slave labor rat race and own your own life by writing and distributing your own books on the subject that you know best.
InkJetHelper.com is a web site about escaping from the ridiculous cost of ink jet printer ink refilling- and refilling your printer for pennies instead of $70 a shot. It also has useful tips about maintaining ink jet printers, especially Canon brand printers.
Julia Lu Painting is all about the creative works of Chinese painter Julia Lu, a modern master of oil and water color painting. Julia shares her creative secrets, ideas, as well as her art work.
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