Capitalizing on Anniversaries and Holidays to Market Your Book

In promoting your book, it’s always a good idea to try to tie it to popular events or trends. It can be hard, however, to determine what the trends will be by the time you finish writing a book that might take you a year or two.

However, tying your book into holidays can make it a perennial favorite. For example, my book Haunted Marquette is about all the haunted places in Marquette, Michigan, the town where I live. As a result, every year at Halloween I have TV and radio stations and newspaper reporters contact me to do stories about hauntings. I also have groups ask me to do talks about haunted places around Halloween, as well as other times of the year. Consequently, my name and the title of my book get into the public eye regularly.

While you may not want to write about ghosts or even a Christmas or Easter book, don’t overlook the less popular holidays. For example, my book When Teddy Came to Town is about Theodore Roosevelt’s visit to Marquette in 1913 when he sued a local newspaper editor for calling him a drunkard. Only one president had visited Marquette before so the community was thrilled to have him come to town, and people remain interested in his visit today. Consequently, on President’s Day, the local TV station interviewed me about his visit.

Besides holidays, you can also try to capitalize on upcoming anniversaries. For example, in 2010, writing a book on the Titanic would have been a good idea so you could capitalize on the 2012 anniversary of its sinking. In the last five years, a lot of books have come out on World War I because of its 100th anniversary. Those events are now in the past, but it’s not too late to start writing a book about an event that happened in the 1820s or 1920s.

Of course, writers of history will benefit the most from capitalizing on upcoming anniversaries, but history doesn’t have to be the focus of your book. For example, 2020 will be the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage. Sure, you could write a book about Susan B. Anthony, but you could also write a book about education and then capitalize on the anniversary by talking in the media about the importance of educating girls today to keep the spirit of the suffragettes alive.

And don’t forget about all the months and days devoted to specific topics. Black History Month (February) or Native American Heritage Month (November) are large umbrella topics that any books about African Americans or Native Americans can be promoted under. Romance novels can be tied to Valentine’s Day. War books are popular at Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. A cookbook might have a great recipe you could promote on National Pasta Day (October 17) or National Green Bean Casserole Day (December 3). You get the idea. You can find a complete list of national days at: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/

There are no end of ways you can market your book. Using historic events, anniversaries, holidays, and national days are a great way to get you started. I guarantee there is at least one if not many such events your book can be connected to. Find out what they are and then plan ahead for them.

Book wrapped with a ribbon

_______________________________

Tyler R. Tichelaar is the founder of Superior Book Productions (www.SuperiorBookProductions.com), a full service editing, proofreading, and book and website design company that began in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature and has taught at three universities. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction (www.MarquetteFiction.com), and the author of twenty fiction and nonfiction books. Tyler is the current President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, and the former regular guest host of the Authors Access Internet Radio Show (2007-2012). More than anything, he loves wordsmithing.

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How to Price Your Ebook

Deciding on how to price your ebook can be difficult since unlike with your paper book, you don’t have to be as concerned with your printing costs (see last week’s article “How to Price Your Paper Book”) so you don’t have to figure out what your profit will be over your costs. The only cost you have with an ebook is the initial setup fees and then the percentage the ebook retailer will deduct from your profit.

I won’t go into details about all the various ebook retailers and their pricing, but simply use Amazon as my model for this discussion since I’m assuming you’re new to ebooks and Amazon is the number one place people buy books today.

Finding the sweet spot for pricing your ebook may take a little experimenting.

First, let me say that an acceptable ebook price range is $0.99 to $9.99. I have seen some traditional publishers and academic institutions price their books above $9.99, but when I see an ebook priced at $14.99, I’m inclined to buy a paper book for that price since I still prefer paper over ebooks. And oddly enough, sometimes I’ve even seen paper books for sale for less than ebooks. Furthermore, Amazon decided several years back that $9.99 was the limit for ebooks except for some bestselling authors and certain publishers it worked out individual deals with. If you are a first-time, independent author, you’ll have to stick within the price range Amazon has set, and most other ebook retailers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play) use similar parameters.

Amazon has two different types of royalties it pays depending on the price you give your ebook. If you price your book between $0.99 and $2.99, it will give you a 35 percent royalty. If you price your book between $3.00 and $9.99, it will give you a 65 percent royalty.

Obviously, 65 percent is better than 35 percent, so why would you want to price your book lower? There are numerous reasons:

  • Your book is the first in a series. You want to get people to take a chance on your series so you set the first book at a lower price to entice them. Then you can sell the sequels at higher prices once you have readers hooked. I did this with my historical fantasy series, The Children of Arthur, about King Arthur and his descendants. The first book, Arthur’s Legacy, is priced at $0.99 and I get 35 cents for every copy I sell, which isn’t much for a 400+ page novel I spent three years writing, but the other four books in the series are priced at $6.99, which is still a low price—low enough that people will want to keep reading the series hopefully—plus the stories are just darn good. By comparison, the paper copies of all books in the series are $19.95.
  • Your book is extremely short. There are a lot of ebooks out there that are really just essays or short stories and not much more than 20-50 pages long. These books should be priced lower because readers won’t want to pay a high price for a short book that might only take them half an hour to read.
  • You are trying to promote your business, product, or service. You aren’t likely to get rich on ebook sales if you’re selling your book at $0.99, but if your book will interest people in your services, you might end up with some clients who will add significantly to your income. For example, if you’re a life coach and your book introduces people to some life coaching tips and they find what you say to be helpful, they may want to hire you as their coach. In such cases, your book is your lead generation tool to increase your income in other areas.
  • You are serializing your book. Serializing is similar to writing a book series. Some authors will sell their books chapter by chapter at $0.99, and then when they have finished writing the book—twenty chapters for example—they will sell it as a full book for $9.99. Readers love this because it’s exciting to read a book as it develops.

Arguments have long existed about the advantages and disadvantages of pricing books low. Bookselling gurus have suggested it’s better to sell 1,000 books at $0.99 than only 10 at $9.99 because people didn’t want to take a chance on your book. That said, people also tend to believe that you get what you pay for. For example, if you write a book on a topic and another author writes a book on the same topic and that author’s book is more expensive than yours, while some readers may buy your book because it’s cheaper, others will buy the other book because they assume it’s of more value (better written, better information, maybe the author has better qualifications, etc.).

If you are selling information (and for all nonfiction books, that’s ultimately what you are doing), then your information is valuable, so price it accordingly. If it’s a simple essay about the dos and don’ts of dating, it might only be worth $0.99, but if it’s an intensively researched book on quantum physics, it makes sense to charge $9.99. That said, if it’s an essay on quantum physics, a price of $2.99 might be more reasonable, while a full-length guide to dating might well be worth $9.99. After all, everyone wants to find love, but not everyone cares about the details of how the universe works—it will just depend on how much individual readers will value your information.

Take time also to look at other books in the same genre as yours and how they are priced. Then price your book accordingly, maybe slightly lower, to entice people to buy it while still making them believe your book is of value.

And don’t be afraid to experiment with price. You can price your book high and then reduce the price over time to find your sweet spot for pricing, or at Christmas or just because you want to have a promotion, you can reduce the price as a special and then raise it again in January.

Ultimately, no perfect answer exists for how to price an ebook because it will depend on your book’s genre and content, how you want to promote it, and what you want it to do for you—gain clients, entertain readers, educate people, etc.

Regardless of what price you put on your ebook, I encourage you to produce ebooks because while print sales are making a comeback, ebooks have proven that they aren’t going away any time soon, and not to have an ebook version of your book means you may miss out on a significant percentage of your potential book sales.

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Tyler R. Tichelaar is the founder of Superior Book Productions (www.SuperiorBookProductions.com), a full service editing, proofreading, and book and website design company that began in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature and has taught at three universities. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction (www.MarquetteFiction.com), and the author of twenty fiction and nonfiction books. Tyler is the current President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, and the former regular guest host of the Authors Access Internet Radio Show (2007-2012). More than anything, he loves wordsmithing.


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How to Price Your Paper Book

At Superior Book Productions, one of the most frequent questions we are asked by the authors we work with is “What should I charge for my book?” There is no straightforward answer to this, but several factors should be taken into consideration. In this article, I’ll review those factors so you’ll have a guideline for pricing your own work.

1. Make sure you make a profit.

Making a profit all depends on what you will sell your book for, minus what your production costs will be, and also any costs you may have to book distributors or retailers. Here’s a personal example:

When using a traditional printer, the more copies of books you print, the lower your unit cost will be. With POD publishers, however, the unit price will stay the same whether you order 1 or 1,000,000 copies.

With the first book I published, I used a vanity publishing company that did all my book layout for a reasonable price, which made me decide to work with them. The problem was they also set the price for my book and they sold me copies of my book at prices higher than I could afford. They priced my book at $25.95. The cost to order copies below 100 was too expensive, so to save money, I would order 100 copies and get a reduced price of $15.65 per book (including the cost of shipping it to me). That didn’t sound bad since I’d still make $10.30 per book. However, I then brought my book to the local bookstores and discovered they wanted 40 percent of the sales. That meant they would pay me $15.57 for every book they sold. In other words, I would lose $0.08 on every book I sold through a bookstore.

I could have resolved this situation by ordering 250 copies of my book and getting a lower price per unit, but I didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay for the larger printings—but that would have still been more than $3,000. Eventually, I learned more effective ways of printing, first by using a local printer, and later using print-on-demand services that would charge me the same price per unit no matter how many books I sold and allow me to order whatever quantity I wanted.

Today, I set my own prices and make sure I take into consideration printing costs and using retailers or distributors. As I said, a retailer will typically want 40 percent. If you use a book distributor, it will typically take 15 percent, in which case you’re looking at 55 percent of your profit going to someone else.

Let’s say you print a book of about 200 pages and you use a print-on-demand service that will charge you $4.00 per book. As a bottom line price, I’ve found that multiplying your price by 2.5 will work. If we did that here, you’d be selling your book for $10. If you sell to a retailer, that means you’ll get $6.00 from them. Minus your printing costs, you’ll make a $2.00 profit. If you use a book distributor, you’ll get $4.50, and minus your printing costs, make a $0.50 profit. Unless you’re likely to sell thousands or more books, your returns will not be worth the trouble of selling the books since your time is worth money too. Therefore, you may want to set a price of $14.95 or even as high as $19.95 for your book.

Price your book so that you can still make a profit of a few dollars after your production costs and after the retailer and book distributor get their cuts.

Determine Your Book’s Value or Demand

I once told an author I thought her 100-page book was overpriced at $20.00. She responded that she had put in hundreds of hours of research on the book so she deserved that much per book. Truth be told, authors have to write books because they love to do it, not because they want to make money on them. Given that about 95 percent of books sell less than 500 copies, chances are you might break even or even make a profit off the books after you consider your costs, but you’re not likely ever to be reimbursed for the hours you spent writing the book.

Readers do not care how much work you put into a book. They care about the benefit to them. If your book is only going to take them an hour to read, they won’t want to pay $20 for it. Personally, I figure the value of entertainment is about equivalent to what you will pay to see a movie. If I pay $10 for a movie ticket and that movie is two hours long, I value my entertainment time at $5 an hour, so if your book is $20, I expect at least four hours of entertainment from it. Most people read somewhere around 10,000-15,000 words an hour so your book better be at least 40,000 words for me to want to pay that much.

There are exceptions. If you are writing a scholarly work on a subject no one else has written about, you can get away with charging more. I have seen academic books priced as high as $100. The problem is these books are usually only sold to university libraries since most scholars will not be able to afford them themselves. Yes, there are hundreds of university libraries out there, but you are limiting your audience by pricing the book that high. Only a fraction of those libraries are likely to buy your book and they will only buy one copy.

Consider the Value of Promoting at a Reduced Price

I am always in favor of pricing your book a little higher than normal because once you set the price, especially if you are printing the books in large quantities, you can’t increase the price on the printed book. (Of course, if you’re using print-on-demand, it is easy to get a new barcode and upload a new file with a new price.) So I don’t have a problem with selling a book for $19.95 at Amazon (and sometimes Amazon will sell your book for less than that but not cut into your profit). The advantage to selling your book at a slightly higher price is then you can go to book shows or art fairs and sell your book yourself. You might offer a “Show Special” of your $20 book at $15 to get people to think they are getting a deal when they buy it. Plus, when you sell your book outright, you make all the profit on it, minus your printing costs, of course.

Bottom line, you want to make sure you receive a reasonable profit from your book while balancing that with providing value to your readers. Fortunately, with print-on-demand services, it is easy to experiment with price, so start a little high when your book is new, and then when your book gets older and is not as in demand, you can always reduce the price, or offer discounts or “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” type specials.

Finally, I caution you to remember that writing and selling books is not about the money so much as the fun of doing it. Don’t have so much fun that you bankrupt yourself. Be as wise of a business person as you can, but ultimately, find your happiness in the number of people who read and tell you they enjoyed your book. The dollars are an added bonus.

Next week I’ll discuss ebook pricing.

_______________________________

Tyler R. Tichelaar is the founder of Superior Book Productions (www.SuperiorBookProductions.com), a full service editing, proofreading, and book and website design company that began in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature and has taught at three universities. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction (www.MarquetteFiction.com), and the author of twenty fiction and nonfiction books. Tyler is the current President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, and the former regular guest host of the Authors Access Internet Radio Show (2007-2012). More than anything, he loves wordsmithing.

Writing Dialogue

The following advice is excerpted from The Nomad Editor by Tyler Tichelaar

Nothing is worse in a novel than poorly written dialogue. Here are a few pointers to help authors fix their dialogue.

Use contractions: It’s rare someone would say “I am going to the store to buy apples and I would like to know if you would like to come.” More likely, the person would say, “I’m going to the store to buy apples, and I’d like to know if you’d like to come.” That at least sounds human, although a more realistic sentence yet would be, “I’m going to the store to get apples. Wanna come?”

Avoid cheesy phrases no one really uses: I’ve edited books in which little boys say things to their friends like “Be a lamb and….” I have yet to hear a boy use that phrase in real life. If he did, his friend might just punch him. In another novel I edited, the author had her lovers continually calling each other “Darling.” Does anyone really call anyone that anymore? The novel was set in the South and I’m from Michigan, so maybe they do in the South, but I’ve never heard anyone who wasn’t in my grandparents’ generation or older use that word when addressing someone. When I pointed this out to the author, she told me that people should call each other “Darling.” I can’t argue with that, but what should be and what is aren’t the same thing, so best to stay realistic. At my recommendation, the author toned down the frequent use of the word.

A lot of these expressions like “Be a lamb” or “Darling” are used lazily because authors read them in Victorian novels or heard them in old movies. Such authors are writing based on how they think writers write rather than paying attention to how dialogue actually sounds. I love Jane Austen, but I admit the way her characters speak sounds stilted to me, despite how critics praise her ear for dialogue. Her contemporaries probably did speak like she writes in 1800, but people don’t in the twenty-first century. Unless your novel is set in 1800, don’t use Jane Austen as your dialogue model.

Adverbs and dialogue tags: Earlier, I mentioned that my favorite advice from Stephen King is, “The adverb is not your friend.” This is especially true when it comes to dialogue tags. There is absolutely no reason to write a sentence like:

“Mary, run!” Joe shouted loudly.

That Joe is shouting is obvious from the words he says, the exclamation point, and the use of the word shouted. So leave out the adverb. After all, can you shout any other way than “loudly”? It’s implied so not necessary.

Similarly, there’s no need to write a sentence like:

“You know I love you,” said Joe gently, while stroking Mary’s hair.

Cut out the adverb “gently.” The words Joe says and the fact that he is stroking Mary’s hair make it obvious he is being gentle. Dialogue should always have within it the implication of how the speaker is speaking so the adverb is not necessary.

Similarly, authors should avoid overly descriptive words for the dialogue tags. There’s no reason to say, “Joe ejaculated.” If you want to say, “Joe shouted” or “Joe yelled,” I can live with that, but we all know what image springs to mind when we see “ejaculated.” Don’t make your reader go there in the middle of your gunfight scene. Nor is there any need for “Mary prevaricated” or “Bob summarized” or “Ralph declared.” Ninety-nine percent of the time, “said,” “replied,” and “asked,” are the only dialogue tags you need. (Some writers will go so far as to say “said” is the only one needed.) Think twice before you use any others. When you use large words and adverbs in the dialogue tags, you distract the reader from the words the character is saying, and those words are the important part. Explain to your clients that the dialogue tag is not there to show off the big words they know. The dialogue tag is there to clarify who is speaking—it’s utilitarian and that’s all.

I’ve only hit a few of the highlights of writing dialogue here. Many fine books have been written on the topic and I encourage you to explore them. One I particularly recommend is The Fiction Writer’s Guide to Dialogue by John Hough, Jr.

________________________________

Tyler R. Tichelaar is the founder of Superior Book Productions (www.SuperiorBookProductions.com), a full-service editing, proofreading, book and website design company that began in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature and has taught at three universities. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction (www.MarquetteFiction.com), and the author of twenty fiction and nonfiction books. Tyler is the current President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, and the former regular guest host of the Authors Access Internet Radio Show (2007-2012). More than anything, he loves wordsmithing.

Manuscript Preparation Checklist to Save You Time and Money Publishing Your Book!

Here at Superior Book Productions we are often asked how to prepare the manuscript before submitting it to us for editing or layout. We have had to do some major doctoring over the years of manuscripts that have needed a lot of fixing before the editing could even begin. As a result, we’ve written up this guideline for authors so they don’t waste time doing formatting or other things that are needless and will make the editor or layout person’s lives more difficult. We hope you find this checklist helpful.

1. Save your book as a Microsoft Word document: Convert (Save As, Export) your book to Microsoft Word before sending it to Superior Book Productions (SBP). If your book is in other formats, like PDF or Pages, etc.), it needs to be converted to MS Word before we can edit it. We can convert it for you, but there may be a modest charge for cleaning up the converted file because conversion often introduces formatting errors.

2. Send us your book in one file: If each chapter is a separate document, compile them into one in the correct order before sending the file. If you need us to, we can compile the files/chapters for you for a small fee. One reason for compiling your book before you submit it for an edit sample is so you can give it one more look to ensure the pre-edit draft is complete.

3. Keep images separate: Images can be very important to your book. However, they make big, hard-to-work-with files that slow the editing process, so please take them out. Don’t forget to add a placeholder. Just delete the image, center the cursor, and type “Place image (insert file name) here” in red.

Once the book is edited, you will send all the images to the layout person. These images need to be at least 300 dpi resolution and in either CMYK color mode or grayscale for black and white applications. You must own the rights or have permission to use any and all art. If you want to put all the images in a center insert, write up a list of captions in a separate Word document for proofreading. Number the captions and then number the image files accordingly. If you have charts/graphs or other images with words, you can send those separately for proofreading and then they can be sent to layout with the manuscript when the time comes.

4. Don’t indent the first line: Block paragraphs (that’s what they’re called when you don’t indent the first line) are the easiest to work with. Indented paragraphs cause problems in the design process, so please, if you want them in the final book, just leave a note and they will be added during layout. Please specify 1/8”, 1/4”, or 1/2” indent.

5. Use only one space after a period and all punctuation marks: You may have learned to put two spaces after a period in school, but now we just use one space after everything. In keeping with industry standards, we use the Chicago Manual of Style, the same style guide used by large, New York publishing houses.

6. Use Times New Roman 12 as your font: Times New Roman in 12-point font works for all publishers and it works for Superior Book Productions (SBP) because it is the easiest font to read, which helps prevent eyestrain when editing for several hours each day. You don’t need to design the book; you just need to write it. So don’t worry about selecting fonts for titles, subtitles, etc. In most cases, layout will change everything you do, anyway. But you will get to weigh in on fonts when your book gets to layout.

7. Use italics for emphasis: Avoid all caps (considered shouting at the reader), color coding, bolding, or underlining. Bold should be reserved for your title, subtitle, section and chapter titles, and sub-headings within chapters, at your discretion. Simply italicize any word you want to emphasize. While we’re at it, avoid using quotation marks for emphasis. Reserve them for actual quotations and the titles of lesser works. Your writing will tell your readers what’s important; you don’t need clunky visual aids. And, of course, the more you emphasize, the less important the emphasis becomes.

8. Respect copyright laws: Please avoid copyrighted materials unless you can get written permission to use them. Oddly enough, no portion of a song can be used without permission, no matter how short the quote. All song lyrics are copyrighted and cost money to use, sometimes several thousand dollars. You can quote those lovely ditties written prior to 1923 that are in the public domain.

You may also quote poems, short stories, articles, other books, etc. as long as you stay under 20 percent of the piece. Written permission from the copyright holder trumps this, of course. And again, there are lots of public domain works you can use.

You can’t even use cartoons or magazine covers, financial charts, photos of famous people, etc. unless they are in the public domain or you have permission. At Wikipedia, you can usually click on images to go to a page with copyright information—just remember you need high resolution images for print. In addition, images on the Internet are not usually high resolution, so when you get permission to use an image, also ask for a high resolution version. If the copyright owner does not have a high resolution image, you’ll have to do without it.

For all other works (poems, short stories, images), contact the creator/shareholder and get written permission. If you cannot find the owner, it is best to leave it out. Better safe than sorry.

Here are a couple of useful sites for figuring out whether something may be copyrighted:

For images: http://blog.visme.co/how-do-you-know-if-something-is-in-the-public-domain/

For all items: http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~dkarjala/OpposingCopyrightExtension/publicdomain/SearchC-R.html

9. Understand the process: Publishing a book is kind of complex if you haven’t done it before, or often enough. To help keep you up to speed, we’ve included a nifty flow chart. We encourage you to refer to it frequently while prepping your book for publication.

10. Rest assured that you’re in professional hands: Tyler and Larry have between them more than twenty years’ experience writing, editing, designing, and publishing books. Tyler has authored twenty books of his own and edited over four hundred. Larry assisted in editing several dozen of those books and has laid out many more.

If you need help with any of the manuscript preparation elements above, do not fear. We can play book doctor and stitch together multiple files, fix font problems, etc. But we want to empower you with this information so you have a better grasp of the editing, design, and publishing process. Ultimately, this information should save you, your editor, and the layout person time. And that should save you money.

We at SBP want your book to succeed, so we strive to remove obstacles right from the start. We hope this document gives us all a head start in achieving that goal.

We look forward to helping you fulfill your dream to become a published author! Congratulations on finding us and taking the first steps.

_______________________________________________

Editing queries: Tyler@SuperiorBookProductions.com

Layout queries: Larry@SuperiorBookProductions.com

http://www.SuperiorBookProductions.com —  906-226-1543  —  1202 Pine St. Marquette, MI 49855

Choosing Traditional (Offset) Printing vs. Print-on-Demand (POD)

Choosing how to print your book is not an easy decision. Before you decide, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How many copies do I realistically think I am going to sell? (To put that in perspective, know that 95 percent of books published sell less than 500 copies. Don’t expect to have an overnight bestseller.)
  • Do I have room to store hundreds of copies in my home, or do I want to pay to store them all somewhere? (Think hard about this. Those books will come in large boxes of 20-35 lbs each and weigh hundreds of pounds total.)
  • Do I want to sell books directly to the public by carrying them to various selling events? Do I want to sell them off my website and then go to the post office every couple of days to mail them?

Once you know the answers to those questions, you can decide what kind of printing better suits your lifestyle and your book promotion plans. Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages involved with both kinds of printing.

TRADITIONAL PRINTING

Traditional (offset) printing means that you work with a printer to have your books printed. A printer can usually print a run of 500 or more copies for you. Some printers will agree to do runs as low as 100.

Advantages:

  • The more books you print, the cheaper the unit cost. For example, printing 100 copies of your book might cost you $10.00 per book. However, printing 1,000 copies might reduce the price to $6.00 per book. Printing 2,500 might reduce the price to $3.00 per book. Of course, you’d rather pay $3.00 per book, but do you have $7,500 to spend upfront and a place to store all those books?
  • Traditional printers can usually handle any shape and size book, while Print-on-Demand services are usually limited to standard sizes.
  • Color printing of interiors is usually higher quality with Traditional printing.

Disadvantages:

  • You need storage space.
  • If you find errors in your book, you will have to sell out your print run before reprinting to correct it.
  • You have more upfront costs because you’re printing a large number at once. Printers might make payment arrangements with you, but most will want half upfront and half when the job is completed (usually within 30 days).
  • You have to deliver all of those books to stores and to individual customers, which means investing in mailing envelopes, postage, and making frequent trips to the post office, plus mileage on your car and your time spent delivering.

Print-On-Demand (POD) Printing

Print-on-demand technology basically means that instead of printing large print runs of hundreds of copies, you can have just one book printed at a time as needed. You can have your book files uploaded to a platform like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP, formerly CreateSpace and Kindle separately for paper and ebooks respectively) or Ingram’s Lightning Source and then that platform will print and sell the books for you. For example, KDP is the print-on-demand platform at Amazon, so if you use KDP, your book will be for sale at Amazon. When people purchase your book at Amazon, KDP will print one copy and mail it to them. It costs you nothing to use KDP’s platform and you do not pay anything for the printing or mailing of that individual book. Instead, you will receive royalties on your sales, so for example, if you have a book priced at $20 and KDP sells it, you’ll get a royalty payment of about $6-7, usually paid about two months later.

However, you may want to sell books at your website as well as at Amazon, and you may want to have your copies on hand to sell at book signings and other events. In that case, you can also order your own books from KDP at a discount.

Advantages:

  • When you order your own books at KDP, you pay the same price for every book you order and you can order as many as you want. The printing cost will depend on the size and number of pages of the book. For example, KDP might charge you about $3.00 to print a standard size book of about 200 pages. You would pay $3.00 if you buy one copy or $3.00 per copy if you buy 500. And you can order any number you want—1, 27, 59, 238, 3,838, etc.—all at the same price per unit plus shipping (of course, the more you order, the higher the shipping costs will be).
  • You only need to order as many books as you think you’ll need in the short-term so they are easier to store.
  • Your book never goes out of print because KDP will constantly print it.
  • You are saved the hassle of mailing books if you prefer to direct people to Amazon, even from your website, to buy them.
  • You can order smaller print runs so you don’t have to make a big investment upfront.
  • If you find an error in your book, you can have it corrected in your file and re-upload it without having to sell out your whole print run or destroy copies and lose money.

Disadvantages:

  • Interior color printing quality is not always as good as with traditional printing so if you’re doing a colored children’s book, photography book, or coffee table book, traditional printing may be the better route.
  • KDP uses various printers so if you order 100 copies that look fabulous, the next order may only look okay if printed by a different printer. You will only really notice slight changes in color to your cover and perhaps to the quality of your photos. At least with KDP, the print quality itself is consistent.
  • Some Print-on-Demand publishers may produce lower print quality. While that may still be true in some cases, print quality has greatly improved in recent years so that it is difficult now to tell most Print-on-Demand books from traditionally printed ones.
  • Print-on-Demand companies tend not to support odd sizes that are used for art and coffee table books.

Whether you decide on Print-on-Demand or Traditional Printing, Superior Book Productions can help you.

We have frequently uploaded books to KDP and Ingram’s Lightning Source and know how to use their templates and what glitches to watch for to make sure your book files are accepted.

We also have good relationships with several different printers across the United States who are known for producing high quality books and offering competitive pricing. We will be happy to connect you with a printer who will help you produce the kind of book you want.

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Tyler R. Tichelaar is the founder of Superior Book Productions (www.SuperiorBookProductions.com), a full-service editing, proofreading, book and website design company that began in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature and has taught at three universities. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction (www.MarquetteFiction.com), and the author of twenty fiction and nonfiction books. Tyler is the current President of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association, and the former regular guest host of the Authors Access Internet Radio Show (2007-2012). More than anything, he loves wordsmithing.

Tyler Tichelaar, Owner of Superior Book Productions, Releases “The Nomad Editor”

For Immediate Release

Freelance Editor Publishes How-To Book About Building an Editing Business

Marquette, MI, February 1, 2019—Award-winning author Tyler R. Tichelaar has released his twentieth book, and this time it’s not a novel or a history book, but a career-oriented book about being a freelance book editor. The Nomad Editor: Living the Lifestyle You Want, Doing Work You Love offers those who wish to work from home, use their English or communications degrees, and be their own bosses a look at the daily life of an editor, examining many of the skills needed for the job.

The Nomad Editor is a look into the skills needed to be a freelance book editor.

“There are many English majors and others who are highly educated and knowledgeable about the English language but can’t find employment in their fields,” Tichelaar said. “I was once one of them, having earned a PhD in English but being unable to find a tenure-track teaching position. However, once I published my first book, I found legions of people who needed help with their own books, so I began editing. Within a couple of years, I was able to become a full-time freelance editor. The Nomad Editor describes the skills needed to gain the same freedom and job fulfillment I enjoy.”

The Nomad Editor’s title refers to the freedom freelance editors enjoy—freedom to work from anywhere and travel the world—all you need is an internet connection. Patrick Snow, publishing coach and international best-selling author of Creating Your Own Destiny and The Affluent Entrepreneur, provides the foreword. Each chapter also features an illustration by Kathy Kuczek. “Editors are depicted traveling the world,” said Tichelaar. “They are working on their laptops while riding camels or visiting landmarks. Of course, you don’t want to get sand in your laptop, but a picture is worth a thousand words in emphasizing the freedom and flexibility freelance editors can enjoy.”

Tichelaar assumes readers will be proficient in English grammar and punctuation. His focus is on the daily juggling act of editing and proofreading multiple clients’ books, setting up your business, bidding for work, writing cover text, working with designers, balancing work and personal life, and the advantages of being your own boss. Tichelaar also provides insight into how to find clients and grow your business, choose projects judiciously, and give back to your community.

“I feel blessed to do work I love from home and to travel when I want,” said Tichelaar. “I also get to meet fascinating people. I’ve edited books for world champion athletes, lawyers, doctors, millionaires, and romance novelists. I get to spend my days learning about religion, psychology, history, and a myriad of other topics, or solving crimes and journeying in imaginary lands with fascinating characters. I can’t think of any career I would enjoy more.”

Tyler Tichelaar, playing the Nomad Editor, on a trip to Ephesus, Turkey

Tichelaar is the chief editor at Superior Book Productions, a growing full-service editing, proofreading, book layout, and website design company he founded in 2008. He has a PhD in Literature from Western Michigan University and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in English from Northern Michigan University. He is the author of twenty books, including Haunted Marquette, When Teddy Came to Town, and The Best Place. In 2011, he received the Outstanding Writer Award in the Marquette County (Michigan) Arts Awards, and the Barb H. Kelly Historic Preservation Award. His novel Narrow Lives won the 2008 Reader Views Historical Fiction Award. In 2014, his play Willpower was produced by the Marquette Regional History Center with a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council. He is the former regular guest host of the Authors Access internet radio show (2007-2012) and helped co-author the book Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers. He has been the president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association since 2008.

The Nomad Editor (ISBN 978-0-9962400-6-2, 6×9 size, paperback, 214 pages) is available at www.SuperiorBookProductions.com and www.MarquetteFiction.com, and at online retailers in paperback or ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Google Play. Publicity contact: tyler@superiorbookproductions.com. Review copies available upon request.

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