City Writing Contest - Prize A Sales Pitch?Kawartha Lakes Mums was asked to run a free promotion for the writing contest City of Kawartha Mayor Lakes Mayor Andy Letham is co-ordination in conjunction with several local businesses.
We have been very reluctant to publicize this event.
Here is why.
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Published Authors Warn Against Indie PublishingA few years ago, a number of published authors started a blog called Writer Beware to warn new writers against vanity press.
One of those writers saved me from what would have been a VERY costly mistake.
Many inexperienced writers are under the false impression that they need to pay a publishing company to publish or edit their books.
This is WRONG!
This is the tail wagging the dog. Writers GET paid for their work.
Legitimate publishing companies will not charge you a cent up front.
Legitimate publishers are willing to invest their time, money and resources in you if they believe your writing has wide appeal and will sell.
Legitimate publishing companies:
- Will not charge editing fees,
- Will not charge consultation fees,
- Will not charge travel fees,
- Will not charge for promotional materials.
- Will not charge printing fees.
Many legitimate publishing companies will even pay YOU money up front - this is called an advance.
Legitimate publishers will rarely praise your writing. Usually, they will refuse your manuscript or if they believe it has promise , will give suggestions for changes.
Most legitimate publishers only take submissions from publishing agents. Legitimate publishing agents will not charge up front for their services either.
So, who are these companies who want to charge you money up front to edit, print and publicize your books? These are known by experienced writers as vanity press.
These companies prey on your vanity, kind-heartedness, greed, desire for fame, and impatience.
These companies will sometimes take a fundraising approach.
Vanity press will use phrases such as - don't you want to keep all your money OR don't you want all your money go to your favourite charity?
All your money is NOT going to you or your charity!
All your money is NOT going into your pocket!
A vanity press makes money even if you NEVER sell a single book!
These companies often bill themselves as:
- indie publishers or
These companies will also offer you 'deals' for bringing in other potential
We have read many vanity press published books. Every single book had numerous errors. Some errors were small typos, but others had missing or repeated sections!
When to Use Vanity PressVanity press is very useful in some circumstances.
There are times you definitely will want to use a vanity press.
Does your book have a limited audience?
Is this a keepsake of your wedding or the company picnic?
How many books do you think will sell?
For example, maybe you are doing a history of your family or family recipes. Did you stumble across something really juicy and noteworthy?
If not, you still may want to try a real publisher. Perhaps you have a writing technique that has wide appeal.
If you really think only a few people will be interested in your book, then do this.
Suzanne and Mike Castell at NP Media in Omemee have done some beautiful books.
You might also check out prices from vanity press like this.
Personally, I would avoid any printing company billing itself as a publisher.
Go into vanity press arrangements with your eyes wide open!
2. Get an editor not just a proofreader.
Everyone makes typos.
We are so close to our message we can't see even glaring mistakes.
You might use a free online program like Grammarly The World's Best Automated Proofreader, but an editor does much more. We have received several self-published books for review and most have glaring errors like duplicated passages!
Once you have a price for printing, ask a cousin or two to read it over.
You could promise them a free copy of your book in exchange for their services or offer to pay them.
Once you have all your printing costs figured out, you might want to add in something for all the work you've done.
3. Take Advance Orders. Now that you know your costs, contact all your relatives and take advance orders.
Do NOT pay anything out ahead of time. You may find your book is just a labour of love.
When, and only when, you have the money in hand to pay for all the costs THEN sign the printing contract.
Remember:Be extremely careful about any contracts you sign. A printing company rarely has you sign a contract - you merely pay upfront for the printing.
How to Make Money WritingVery rarely do people make any money printing their writing through vanity press.
Do you have a book with wider appeal,?
Here are some tips that may help you make money with your book.
- Check out the best sellers list for your type of book.Find out who published those best sellers and their submission guidelines.
- Then follow the submission guidelines.
Remember:Start with the biggest company, because they have more money to risk on unknown authors.
You may need to submit your book to several companies.
You may need to do several re-writes.
An excellent book available at the library to help you navigate through publishing is The Writer's Marketplace.
Now that you have been forwarned, here is the poster about the City of Kawartha Lakes Writing Competition.
Interested in finding out more about how publishing works?
Check out Writer Pressed
Need a proof reader for your book?
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