How to pick the right publisher

I’m in the final stages of finishing a new e-book with a very long (but accurate) title: PICKING THE RIGHT PUBLISHER: A Pre-Journey Map to Success, or Getting your book in print, making it just like you want, and snagging every last reward–before you write the first word.

It will be available in a week or 10 days, in time for my next newsletter.

In the meantime, the process is based on answering four questions.

1. What rewards do you want from writing and publishing your book?

2. If your book, in printed form, was as good as or better than three other, similar books, which books would those be? Specifically, as good or better in what ways?

3. What reward tool(s) would you use to measure your book’s success?

4. How much time, energy, and financial investment must you spend in the publishing to produce the very best result?

Add to that a list of rewards:

speed, money, the number of books published, the book’s appearance or prestige, the likelihood of it being published, and how it will display your expertise

and seven kinds of publishing

traditional big house book publishing, ancillary book publishing, self-publishing (traditional marketing), self-publishing (niche marketing), self-publishing (mixed marketing), combination: self-publishing and ancillary publishing, and e-books from a website anchor

and you have a process explained in the e-book.    

If this helps you get your book in print, pick and choose!

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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Been working on your book for 20 years? Try this…

I had the pleasure of speaking to about 80 members of the Redwood Writers in Santa Rosa (CA) this past Sunday.  Great group, lots of good questions and interchange…

Most of them are in print already (most of those in fiction), but the saddest stories were those who are stuck 15 or 20 (or more) years on the same “masterpiece,” which in fact it may be.

My suggestion: get off the snide. If that book is ready to go but no “big publisher” will take a serious look at at, let the “ancillary publishers”–Lulu, CreateSpace, Blurb, Smashwords, Scribd, iPad, Kindle, and LightningSource–publish your book for you, free digitally, for a pittance if bound. They will help market it too, at no cost.

Then buy 10-15 copies and send one each to the most appropriate editors at the best and most likely “big house” publishers. Include a book proposal with the book copy–and wait to see if anybody is eager to pick up your book, as is or how they’d like it to be.

In the meantime, help the ancillary publisher promote your book, mostly by social networking, like Twitter and Facebook, plus tell all of your friends, colleagues, and others that your gem has seen light and it is just waiting to change the world.

At least your kids will have your book in their hands, as will your parents and kin. And if you need 100+ books to sell to friends or back-of-the-room at your presentations, order them from a P.O.D. printer and earn the difference between the printing costs and its list price!

Do it yourself, or see my book How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days! It will walk you through each step, so you can get this anchor book up from the depths, in print, and circulating widely, so you can write books #2 and #3.

The idea is not to write forever, but to publish so it can be read forever!

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

P.S. I also have a free, monthly newsletter yours for the asking (with three free writing reports), plus a lot more books and help items hiding at

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Thoughts about your book cover…

The quickest way to get a cover for your book is to get a big house (or any other house) to publish it. All they want is your book text in some sensible Word format, and from that they will create the interior design and the book cover. Oh yes, your suggestions about what that book should look like will fall on (their) profoundly deaf ears, they won’t pay you much or often, and they will also change your titile.

To get your own cover (and titles), self-publish and/or work through ancillary publishers. But then you are responsible for the cover artwork. If we publish through Lulu, CreateSpace, or Blurb, we can create acceptable covers through each, though they will differ from each other.

If the book is digital–for Kindle, iPad, Smashwords, Scribd, and LightningSource–there are two schools, though you need some cover image for all. One says that the covers are almost immaterial since they are seldom printed beyond a wee thumbnail. The other school, mostly novelists and perhaps poets, say that the cover must look sharp and professional. Take your pick.

So most of us will probably have a cover designer create a cover that can be adjusted a bit from the bound book to the digital version, to which an ISBN and the appropriate price can be added, if needed. That way the same book can be published by many houses and it will have the same external appearance.

Yet to do that you now need many different cover files from your designer. 

Not too many years back, I only needed two kinds of covers from my cover designer: a full cover .jpg (front, back, and spine) and a front cover (also .jpg) for the digital version. When it came to promo materials, mostly fliers and cover downloads, I also requested .pdf copies of the both covers. These were in addition to the designer sending the approved cover artwork to the printer. He called his counterpart, I presume, at the printing firm so that when I sent my book text as an email attachment (in .pdf format), he also sent the cover(s) the same day so that both were linked to the same proof!

Lately, with ancillary publishers added to the submission mix, we also need cover files that are 600 pixels or larger (up to 1,000 pixels is fine) so the covers can also be used (and easily read) in thumbnail formats.

That’s the core of the work-for-hire agreement I have with a cover designer: possible designs for the cover, my selection, my final artwork OK, its submission to the primary bound book printer (I will submit it to the ancillary houses), and the additional files mentioned above that I keep on disc and at the book file on my computer. That way, with the publishing choices at hand, I can paste and submit as needed without becoming a pest.

Some add postcard and bookmarker artwork in the same package. A friend also has poster art included. Ask cover designers you are considering if they have any other cover file ideas they can add to the package.    

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

P.S. My newest book tells you how to publish through those seven ancillary publishers, and addresses the covers in each case. The book is called How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days? I also have a free monthly newsletter where I mostly talk about publishing and writing, plus empire building. Glad to have you aboard!

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