“Open” or ancillary publishing means that you can get your book published and sold for $25 or less (nothing if it’s an ebook) and on sale in hours or days through Kindle, iPad, Nook, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Lulu, Blurb, Kobo, and/or Scribd.
May I share two short, true stories about folks to whom ancillary publishing may indeed seem miraculous?
* The first is about a middle school teacher getting unstuck.
I met this tall, skinny, bearded lad, about 40, who reminded me of a young Ichabod Crane. He told me that he taught seventh grade so he had time to play. I was almost afraid to ask him what that meant. He laughed and said that, given his druthers, he’d spend all his time fly fishing.
Turns out that he’s locally famous because he has created some weird lures and a unique fishing technique that his colleagues all want to know about. He’s also spoken at fishing gatherings, which he loves.
Could he write a book that would be the core of a campaign to get him invited to speak at conventions nationwide and in Canada? he asked me. “I already have a couple of books sort of done,” he added, “but nobody seems interested in publishing them—and I sure don’t know how!”
* The second is a book for kids about warts.
A tiny woman waylaid me as I slipped away restroom-bound during a workshop break in northern California. She thrust out her hand and introduced herself. She said most people called her “somebody’s grandmother.”
“I’ve got 22 kids’ books, I illustrated all of them, but nobody wants to publish them. I’m making Kinko’s rich! What should I do?” (Buying Kinko’s stock came to mind.)
I asked if she had any of the books with her. She reached into a satchel and handed me Louie Has Warts! “This is the newest,” she said. “They all look pretty much alike.”
It was first-rate, funny; even the artwork looked professional.
I asked her if she was selling many copies, and she said she averaged about 50 a book—but she could sell hundreds just within 20 miles. She could create a new one every month, too, but she was exhausted with all the folding, stapling, and schlepping.
I suspect there are a million Americans with a book in them that will never be seen or read. And how many more thousands of wee books are “published” on a copier, or are still captive on somebody’s computer, that would change the lives of the writers and thousands of unaware potential readers if the author just knew how to get their book quickly and inexpensively in print?
Add to that the professionals who need validation books that show their expertise and articulation. Or …
* family history and private memoir books that will inform and inspire kin and grandkin almost forever;
* cookbooks with recipes that need trying, sharing, and preservation;
* humor books, joke books, funny family or company happenings;
* baby books, full of footprints, photos, announcements;
* fiction of all kinds and to all ages;
* nonfiction, from the full account of Uncle Al’s pin and needle shop to the history of soap (or soup);
* a photo-and-text account of the family’s trip to Ghana or the Grand Canyon;
* a memory book of the twins’ high school graduation, or
* an odd little book that would have been completely lost but instead monumentally changes the world’s thinking.
Then along came open publishing a couple of years back that opens and democratizes access to putting words in print. You write the book and one (or all) of the eight publishers I mentioned above make it possible for any fly fishermen or “somebody’s grandmother,” or you, to get the book out, looking professional and sold worldwide, almost free and almost instantly. It’s a sort of publishing miracle. There’s no reason any more for not becoming a published author.
In my blog here,a few days back, “8-step process to publish in Kindle, Nook, iPad, Lulu, CreateSpace…” I explained what those interested must do to avail themselves of this free, open, and much used means to put their dreams and advice in a book that will be around almost forever.
I’m so excited about the process that I want you and your friends to know about it. Which is why I recently published How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days.
I’ll blog a lot more about it here in the coming weeks, if you are interested.