Let me share some of the best Q-A info from the June 9 BAIPA Meeting in San Rafael, CA. (BAIPA is the Bay Area Independent Publishing Association, a first-rate monthly gathering of published folk living near San Francisco.)
1. If you want to use a famous (or even little-known) painting on your pages, find out the museum where it hangs, and get the rights (or how to license its use) from them. Sometimes it’s free.
2. Do you know about CreativeCommons.org? In its words: “Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.” Just take a look to see if it will help you, or through it you can help others.
3. If you want to sell copy or artwork to the major publishing houses, figure out to which imprint first, then the specific editor (or people) you must contact there. Do that directly.
4. CreateSpace is poor on promotion.
5. We must promote our own books: we are publishers and must do our own marketing.
6. Lightning Source and CreateSpace do about the same thing, and print POD. One person buys from Create Space, of the two, because the books are a tad cheaper and they offer cream-color paper. (LSI also has a $105 set-up fee; none at CreateSpace.)
7. Bookstores need a 40% discount to survive; distributors, 55%.
8. You don’t get rich from books (usually). They are really entre items, to get you recognition and prove your expertise. But you can get very comfortable from speaking (speeches, seminars, breakout sessions), consulting, or Web marketing — or all four, empire building!
9. One successful publisher switched his business model to niche publishing, used my book (sorry for the shameless plug), and is now the niche champ in his field, free from the usual marketing woes of general publishers.
10. Why not sell your book digitally chapter by chapter. Give away the first chapter (make it free), then maybe charge 50 cents to $1 for those chapters that follow? Dickens did it long before ebooks!
11. Sutro was recommended for creating travel apps. One such app was given away free and had 9,000 downloads (many from China). No income but those recipients can be contacted to buy updates. They will recommend the app to their friends too. You can also do stand-alone chapters on apps, through Apple.
12. If you want your book on audio, Audible (acx.com) was recommended.
13. “How did my book end up being sold by Google?” was asked. Maybe Smashwords listed it there was the only guess.
14. Most of the questions concerned marketing: how to sell their tomes!
15. For more about BAIPA, go to baipa.org.
I hope this helps!