So You Wanna Be A Published Author – Part 2

A year ago (that long?), I blogged about my experiences publishing my first two books. I finally finished herb book #3 and thought I’d share what’s happening with it since I was undecided in that post:

I’m still being hounded by that vanity publisher. It’s to the point that any phone call showing an Indiana area code on Caller ID is going directly to voice mail, even if I’m sitting right by the telephone. The once-twice-thrice weekly emails are “right click-deleted” without being read. Two more quarters have passed without an accurate royalty statement, necessitating my time straightening it out. (Next royalty statement is due next week. We’ll see …) Needless to say, my thinking was if I went with them for this next book, it would be déjà vu all over again. No thanks.

There are a lot of things going on in my life and although I want to get the book out, I really didn’t want to deal with a lot of it myself, so I submitted the manuscript to the same publisher as book #1. Yesterday morning I checked my email to find a contract offer. I was ecstatic until I read the terms of the contract. They’re not the same as my first contract with them. Not only did they want up-front money but additionally, they’d pay no royalties on the first thousand books sold. Say what? My books are very niche-market and it’ll be awhile before 1,000 copies sell. I’d like to see a return on my investment before I die my grandkids graduate high school.

I briefly thought about submitting it to a few other publishers I know work in that market but after talking with the husband & doing some research, I’m going to heave a big sigh and do it all myself. I’m lucky enough (thanks to the fiction book) that I have not only a wonderful editor but a fantastic cover designer. I will teach myself how to format for print – it ain’t the same as e-book formatting. (Learning curves. Ugh.) I looked at both Lulu and CreateSpace and although I haven’t made a final-final decision, I think I’m going with CreateSpace. Yes, this marries me to Amazon and somewhat limits distribution channels but on the other hand, they are the big dog in the market at the moment and have a good reputation. (If anyone has other ideas, I’m open to suggestions. Except Lightning Source. They’re too complicated.) My out-of-pocket will be only slightly more than what the publisher was going to charge me, yet I’ll see a royalty on the first book sold.

So, dear reader, that’s my experience with publishing to date. When the time comes, I’m going to ask for your help in spreading the word about Baneful! 95 of the World’s Worst Herbs. Hopefully, it’ll only be a few more months and it’ll be available. I have to get through tax season, y’know!