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Kilronan
30-11-11, 12:47 PM
I have a poem (horsey) that I wrote that I would like to turn into a childrenís book, is there any reputable online publisher type companies that allow you to publish the book through them then sell them for you?
Or should I send it into a proper publisher, or invest the money myself and pay to get it printed?

Donít stress it has been edited by my tame spelling and grammar Nazi.

I have found that you donít really need to be good at spelling and grammar to write good poems and songs :P

Horsegears
30-11-11, 12:56 PM
I have a poem (horsey) that I wrote that I would like to turn into a children’s book, is there any reputable online publisher type companies that allow you to publish the book through them then sell them for you?
Or should I send it into a proper publisher, or invest the money myself and pay to get it printed?

Obviously you have to research this yourself.

But perhaps test the market first by having a few printed yourself. It may only costs a few dollars per book (If your wiling to do the work, layout etc), and that's all you pay. (Certain online publishers can also do this). And you can purchase just one book if you wish!

Some online companies make you pay thousands to get the book up and running, but as most books don't sell that may be a waste. Generally I would be wary of these companies.

It will depend on your circumstances etc.

I am very interested to hear more opinions/tips on this.


.

... Taff
30-11-11, 01:51 PM
It will need to have illustrations though, won't it? What plans have you for that?

Kilronan
30-11-11, 01:52 PM
I have got some pretty decent, drawings of actual photos of mine.

PipCC
30-11-11, 02:14 PM
A few years ago we published The Eventers Handbook. We used a small company called Fast Books. http://www.fastbooks.com.au/
They were terrific. They hadnít been going very long back in 1990 when we did the first one but they were helpful and gave good advice and we went on to publish 4 editions of The Eventers Handbook with them. Looking at their website I think the same people are running the company who were running it then.
What we did was put the entire book on a disc and then we chose the cover design and format and they did everything from there. I would imagine that now you could just email the entire thing to them and they would come back to you with designs, prices etc.
It wasnít so very expensive to do though of course the more copies of your book, the cheaper it is to produce. Their offices are in Glebe and once the book is ready they will courier it out to you.

PipC www.falconsporthorses.com.au

Kilronan
30-11-11, 02:29 PM
Pipcc Could you email me simnmatt@tpg.com.au
on a unrelated matter!

skymare
30-11-11, 03:05 PM
I ain't gonna sugar coat it, Kil!
If publishing books were as easy as just approaching a publisher then there wouldn't be any unpublished manuscripts. If you want to publish a fiction book or any kind of book first time then you have to write it first. If you want to publish a poem then send it in to the appropriate magazines/papers/poetry publications. You may or may NOT be published by them. As for approaching a publisher...MOST DO NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts and they will say so on their website. This means you need an agent. To get an agent is just as tricky as getting a publisher. There are ways and means and approached best used, but you need to do your research. Those that do accept unsolicited manuscripts will have PILES of unsolicited manuscripts (in the thousands per year) passing through their office and under their reader's eyes. The readers may or MAY NOT read your manuscript. A quick glance is all you may get and then it's thrown in the enormous pile in the bin.
getting published is damn near impossible. just ask any published writer. be prepared for the long haul and being honest with your work to yourself.

If you want to self publish then good luck finding anyone to distribute or market your book. Although ebooks is often the way to go if you are rejected by publishers or you don't want to go through that process.

Jk Rowling was rejected by 22 publishers and she was only discovered when a publisher's daughter picked her manuscript out of the BIN and read it and then asked her daddy 'what happens next?' It's not an unusual story. Many great novels were almost never published.

Your best bet is to do a course on writing as the teachers will tell you all the ins and outs of trying to publish your manuscript.

hope that helps. :)

Kilronan
30-11-11, 03:10 PM
I have no interest in making a living out of writing, and I am fully aware that most dont ever see the light of day.
I have simply written a poem that makes a great childrens book, if nothing else I want to make copies for my friends and family, but nice properly prepared copies.

dilutesrule
30-11-11, 03:29 PM
Places like Officeworks, Harvey Norman and Rabbit photo make up coffee table type books from photos etc. If you wanted to get a few made up on a small scale first up, maybe worthing see what these types of places can offer. Other than that I am of no help, sorry.

LindaH
30-11-11, 03:32 PM
When I was at University they had a publishing section. I printed out my thesis myself and sent it to them to be bound into a propper hard cover book. Maybe a Uni near you offers a similar service?

skymare
30-11-11, 03:40 PM
There you go, I was just about to recommend Unis or tafes.

Horsegears
30-11-11, 03:47 PM
I have no interest in making a living out of writing, and I am fully aware that most dont ever see the light of day.
I have simply written a poem that makes a great childrens book, if nothing else I want to make copies for my friends and family, but nice properly prepared copies.

Considering the above.

If your prepared to put in the work etc, the option I mentioned above where the upfront cost is zero and you only pay for the books you buy is certainly the best go IMO. Once your work is done the company prints the books within days. Because their so cheap I printed some initial versions as draft copies to edit (And also sent one version to a super CH member who edited it further for me). This method is advantaged, as you can make adjustments from print to print for no cost. PM if you wish to have the details.

Kilronan
30-11-11, 03:48 PM
Places like Officeworks, Harvey Norman and Rabbit photo make up coffee table type books from photos etc. If you wanted to get a few made up on a small scale first up, maybe worthing see what these types of places can offer. Other than that I am of no help, sorry.

had not thought of that!

PipCC
30-11-11, 03:50 PM
Skymare publishing a book can be easy. Itís writing and selling it thatís difficult. You can have as few or as many copies made as you want and you can have the choice of plain paperback or a more expensive finish. If it is something you want to do, then go for it.

Of course if you are an author and you want to sell your book on the open market and have someone else finance the whole procedure and distribution it would be difficult, and I donít doubt that more peopleís books are rejected than accepted. But that doesnít mean you canít do it yourself. We did and the people who did ours couldnít have been more helpful. In addition to publishing it for us, they also promoted it and it was, and for all I know still is, available in public libraries. We did our own marketing Ė obviously ĎThe Eventers Handbookí had a limited market and was of interest only to a specific group of people, but I have seen people selling self published books at markets and occasionally in bookshops.

PipC
www.falconsporthorses.com.au

Yes, unis, TAFES and some of those printing/copy shops might be able to help.

Horsegears
30-11-11, 03:51 PM
Places like Officeworks, Harvey Norman and Rabbit photo make up coffee table type books from photos etc.

I would think specialist printers would be cheaper. I cant see the above places printing a book from a few dollars!

dilutesrule
30-11-11, 03:58 PM
I would think specialist printers would be cheaper. I cant see the above places printing a book from a few dollars!

Yes I DO realise this horsegears but OP did also say........

I have simply written a poem that makes a great childrens book, if nothing else I want to make copies for my friends and family, but nice properly prepared copies.

So thought I would offer my thoughts if she just wanted a few made up for family and friends!

StElmosFire
30-11-11, 04:45 PM
Skymare, if it's so hard to get a book published, can you tell me why there is so much total and utter tripe filling the shelves of so many bookshops????
There are a lot of authors out there who range from "good" to "absolutely excellent", but Crikey, there are also a staggering number who range from "awful" to "unreadable tripe".

And before you think those things just aren't to my taste, what I'm saying is there are so many SERIOUSLY BADLY written books published, it staggers me. They don't have to be to my personal taste - just be well written and readable.

Yes, it's hard to define what makes a "good" book, but I guess it has to be appreciated by a good cross-section of people.

opensky
30-11-11, 04:57 PM
Gotta have tough hide, too. I got 2 children's books, written and illustrated by me rejected by a dozen or so publishers to whom I had sent sample pages several years ago. I wasn't devastated, I have just bound the originals and given my sons one each :) Good advice given above, though. Rgds

HQ
30-11-11, 05:30 PM
Kilronan, I have just gone through the same process. I had a book published, but my publisher was totally unreliable with promotion and royalty payments. Once our contract expired I looked to self publish. I have joined a large Print On Demand company called Lightning Source. They have branches in the US and Europe and recently opened in Australia.

Basically you send them your book as a PDF file. You submit a cover design and tell them the format you want (eg paperback, hardback, ebook, page size, etc). They send you proof copies and when you give them the go ahead they print your book as they receive an order. They have contracts with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and few other large retailers - so your book gets listed in their catalogs too. Your book is always in print.

There is some initial set up costs and you have to buy an ISBN from an authorized seller (I think there is only one in Australia) and you can buy a bar code which gets printed on the back cover so it can be scanned. Once the book is completed the cost to you is a fixed cost per copy. For example, my book costs $3.50 to print and retails for $20, so I make $16.50 per copy. This is much better than the $1.50 per copy I was making using a legitimate publisher. The POD (print on demand) company sells the book for me at $20, keeps $3.50 for itself and sends me $16.50. They also send you regular audits of your sales.

The book is available worldwide, but you can also choose to limit the retails sales to yourself ie, you are the only one that can sell the book - it won't be sold by any other outlet. In this case you set up a web site or facebook page to sell your book and have a PayPal account for purchasers to pay into.

I have three books coming out in the next 12 months and I will never go back to a publishing firm again.

I hope that's helpful.

Renvers
30-11-11, 05:41 PM
HQ (and anyone else considering self publishing), if you haven't already, don't forget to register your books for Public and Educational Lending Rights. Any book that has an ISBN is eligible.

... Taff
30-11-11, 05:46 PM
I agree with skymare.

If you read about writing, then you will read in every book how difficult it is to be published. Writers that you have heard of will have been rejected many many times before being successful.

Just this afternoon, having read out the snippet about JK Rowling, I heard that Tolkien's The Hobbit was handed to a child by his publisher father, who thought it was a childrens book.

Hold on, I have been ordered to research this information before passing it on. Wet blanket...

Back in a sec.

opensky
30-11-11, 05:49 PM
HQ that is really interesting! Thanks for the info. Sounds 100% on dealing with publishers the snail way. Rgds

... Taff
30-11-11, 05:59 PM
The Hobbit began when he was marking School Certificate papers, on the back of one of which he wrote the words "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit". He did not go any further than that at the time, although in the following years he drew up Thrůr's map, outlining the geography of the tale.

The tale itself he wrote in the early 1930s, and it was eventually published because he lent it to the Reverend Mother of Cherwell Edge when she was sick with the flu; while the Reverend Mother was in possession of the manuscript, it was seen by the 10-year old son of Sir Stanley Unwin, Rayner Unwin, who wrote such an enthusiastic review of the book that it was published by Allen and Unwin.



That is what I just found. it's quite different to what I was told a little while ago.

thesaddleclub101
30-11-11, 06:57 PM
I am going to like a b*tch but I am not going to sugar coat this...

I am an aspiring writer, and a paid/(journal) published poetess and in the middle of writing my first book. I find it very, very aggravating and incredibly insulting for self publishing to be put into the same realm as publication by a publishing house.

There is an old saying amongst writers, that goes a little something like "those who write well, do not write for money" and I strongly believe this. If money is your priority when writing, you will very rarely write well and consequently you will very rarely be published by a reputable publishing house. Those who write because they want to entertain, to enchant, to express themselves, to open other worlds for people - these are the individuals that write well and are publishing by publishing houses.

As skymare said first you need an agent, and that in itself is a difficult process - I am going to have to approach an international agent and an international publisher as there is literally no publisher in australia that accepts unsolicited poetry manuscripts and no agents that will represent poets to solicit manuscripts - so I literally have no choice.

If you think you've written some great poetry, that's great. Approach some journals and look for publication - no one will take you seriously as a poet until you do this anyway. I've only been seeking journal publication since mid year, and have been published three times, so it's not difficult if you're passionate about your work and the work has literary value.

I know this is harsh and probably comes across as self opinionated, but I take writing very seriously and if I was published by a publishing house I would be endlessly offended that it was being compared to someone who self published their work because THEY deemed it worthy for publication.... :(

Jenny Barnes 1
30-11-11, 07:07 PM
HQ's advice is very similar to what I found over a year back. Im doing a lot of research on a project (though now and again I have to stop for periods due to other things) which is going to take years to get through. Anyway I was asked if I was planning to make it all into a book. Still not sure will see how it all looks once I finish eventually. (this is why I havent added any new champion horse profiles to my website recently)

Anyway there were only a few options. Get an agent and go from there as a couple have mentioned. Try approaching publishers that have published books on a similar subject to what you are planning. And finally going through teh self publishing. Amazon and barnes and Noble (and there was another) all have varying options and the bonus is the books are registered for an ISBN and they will market them through their website for sale (I even found a CD by chance on Amazon that was a made to order type one not a normal CD release for some songs I was looking for from the 80s). If you look through one of those websites it will have details but it was similar to what HQ said.

Its also worth looking through the writers website for your state - that had a lot of good information and mentioned what to do if you want to get an agent and the process etc. And an organistion you can sign up with that helps writers who want to be published in the future with what they can do and what they should ask of publishers and agents as well.

kiki
30-11-11, 07:12 PM
Whilst I do agree that being published by a big publishing house is different to self publishing, I don't feel as strongly as the above poster. Everyone has to start somewhere and being self published is still bloody hard work! It also can be costly.

I work in the book industry - in distribution and editing and have done so for over 10 years. There are a few fantastic small distributors who are more than happy to take on self published authors - the last 3 companies I have worked for have all done this.

They do need to be:

A. Well printed, finished and bound

B. Have an ISBN (or book number)

C. Have a market to sell too, no point printing something great for yourself and family/friends but no interest to anyone who doesn't know you!

If you would like to chat to me about the process, feel free to send me a PM and I can provide you with my work number or email address

Renvers
30-11-11, 07:52 PM
Don't upset yourself, TSC. For what it's worth I agree with you, however technology these days has opened up so many avenues for people to share their creative endeavors and I think it's great. At the end of the day the general public still decides where they will spend their money - if your work is truly shite then, in most cases, no one will buy it (I say most cases because because no one can predict, or ever understand, why and how Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer could sell so well).
You have to remember that a lot of self publishers are hobbyists and do so for their own entertainment. Of course their work will often be amateurish compared to a serious/professional writer but what does it matter? Keep your own sights high and don't worry about what other people think or do.

thesaddleclub101
30-11-11, 07:56 PM
(I say most cases because because no one can predict, or ever understand, why and how Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer could sell so well)


Ohhh Renvers, I couldn't agree more :)

Horsegears
30-11-11, 07:56 PM
I doubt that the average person would be naive enough to spend all that time and effort writing a first book solely in a bid to make money.

I would think books are probably mostly written by people keen to share their thoughts. If no one expressed their thoughts perhaps the world would go no-where.

I also agree that it must be very hard to get published through the publishing houses. In most cases I doubt this is a realistic option. If an author wants to cut to the chase and self publish (and get more than 10c per book), I see no problem with that. Perhaps if they must be judged, it should be by their work, rather than how it was published?

I think their are numerous reasons that people publish..............and sometimes at the request of others etc etc.


.

Adelatus
30-11-11, 08:01 PM
Try http://www.snapfish.com.au if you just want a fun project of making your own book. I have a family member who did the $20 version of photos of my grandpa for his 90th birthday. The quality is pretty good. I'm pretty sure you can add text to each page. Obviously this is just to make a couple of copies for your family, not to "publish" a book for public sale.

HQ
01-12-11, 07:34 AM
Saddleclub, my experiences with publishing houses has not been good and unless you have a sure fire winner, I couldn't advise somebody to go there.

The first publisher was an Aussie company. Hardly anyone in Australia wants to publish horse training books, but one company said they were interested. I sent them a manuscript and they sat on it for 10 months. It was not until I hounded them did I finally get a response that "the book is great, but the market is too small in Australia to make it worth our while."

So I put the thing away and forgot about it.

Then about 2 years later I got an email from a equestrian publisher in the US asking about my book. A journalist friend in the US had used them and he told them about my book. I sent them a manuscript and they agreed to publish it. But from the start it was a mistake. They wanted to control everything. But I was naive and agreed to their cover, their layout, their distribution etc. They promised promotion and reviews in top notch magazines and web sites. None of these things happened. They tried to diddle me out of royalties and refused to provide me with sales figures. I discovered that I was number 70 in sales on Amazon USA out of the approx 6,000 horse books they sell. Yet my publisher told me I only sold 80 books world wide in the first 12 months (and I had personally sold 63 to clients, students and visitors to my web site in that time). I had to send copies to magazine and web sites for review because they didn't. They were hopeless. And they have about 400 other books on their list.

My journalist friend also had problems with them and left and went to another very large international publisher (whose name everybody would know). He got a similar raw deal from them (and he had an agent) before turning to self publishing. His books sell really well and he sees the profits.

Publishing companies are there to make a profit. They don't see their role as enlightening the world with the magic of your words. If they can cut corners, drive a hard bargain with a desperate author and do as little as possible for the maximum return, they will. You may take your writing seriously as a form of art, but publishers see them as a way to make money. Art takes second place to profit.

If you are really serious about your writing I suggest you self publish because then you have total control over production and distribution. No third party can come along and take that away from you.

Just like books stores are soon going to be a rare thing, I see the day when large publishing firms will be the same.

Renvers
01-12-11, 09:08 AM
I agree with a lot of what you say HQ, although in my experience I have worked with some great publishers. In your case, where you're selling to a niche market it's a little different and I don't think anyone could anticipate the level of crazy you would have dealt with with your second publisher.
One thing I would advise to anyone self publishing as a serious alternative to an established publishing house is to still replicate the process. Use a good editor and graphic designer and pay a professional illustrator or photographer where required. It makes a big difference to the final product and your sales.

gypsy_dreamer
01-12-11, 09:42 AM
Try Lulu publishing, you can put it through them and then not only buy your copies but they can advertise them through their site and through Amazon. You would then do the hard yards of advertising your book to get people to buy it from Lulu and get a percentage of the profit.

... Taff
01-12-11, 10:00 AM
(I say most cases because because no one can predict, or ever understand, why and how Dan Brown and Stephanie Meyer could sell so well)

*chuckle*

I read that rotton damn 'The DaVinci Code'.

It grasped me around my throat and wouldn't let go until the last word on the last page, when I managed to throw it all the way back to the library, spilling it's guts all over the streets. Did I care?

Hated that book. I'm not better off for reading it.

Yesterday I finished 'Remarkable Creatures' by Tracy Chevalier. Now THAT is a book. I loved reading that. I am better for having read it. And when I take it back to the library it will sit on the passenger seat next to me, then carried against my breast and placed carefully in the opening jaws of the automatic return shute thing and make its way to it's shelf to be loved by someone else. And so on. And I doubt that I will see piles of THAT book at every fair and op shop and second-hand book shop, like the Dan Brown one.

Tracy Chevalier - you are a genius.

Rosinante
01-12-11, 10:29 AM
I ain't gonna sugar coat it, Kil!
If publishing books were as easy as just approaching a publisher then there wouldn't be any unpublished manuscripts. If you want to publish a fiction book or any kind of book first time then you have to write it first. If you want to publish a poem then send it in to the appropriate magazines/papers/poetry publications. You may or may NOT be published by them. As for approaching a publisher...MOST DO NOT accept unsolicited manuscripts and they will say so on their website. This means you need an agent. To get an agent is just as tricky as getting a publisher. There are ways and means and approached best used, but you need to do your research. Those that do accept unsolicited manuscripts will have PILES of unsolicited manuscripts (in the thousands per year) passing through their office and under their reader's eyes. The readers may or MAY NOT read your manuscript. A quick glance is all you may get and then it's thrown in the enormous pile in the bin.
getting published is damn near impossible. just ask any published writer. be prepared for the long haul and being honest with your work to yourself.

If you want to self publish then good luck finding anyone to distribute or market your book. Although ebooks is often the way to go if you are rejected by publishers or you don't want to go through that process.

Jk Rowling was rejected by 22 publishers and she was only discovered when a publisher's daughter picked her manuscript out of the BIN and read it and then asked her daddy 'what happens next?' It's not an unusual story. Many great novels were almost never published.

Your best bet is to do a course on writing as the teachers will tell you all the ins and outs of trying to publish your manuscript.

hope that helps. :)

skymare is correct (as are the other comments in this thread)

Definitely do a course or join a creative writing group as you will get lots of information and feedback/critique of your writing. No matter how good you feel your own writing is it can always get better with some friendly helpful advice :cool:

thesaddleclub101
01-12-11, 10:42 AM
HQ I'm not going to deny that your publishing house horror stories are true, but there are a multitude of different things that could be devised from them, and for me that doesn't make me want to suddenly change my motive to self publishing.

This is a great article (that just came up in my news feeds actually from submishmash) and might be worth reading for anyone considering self publishing: http://www.themillions.com/2011/11/reasons-not-to-self-publish-in-2011-2012-a-list.html

Also I should probably state that I'm mainly talking about fiction, poetry, etc I have very little understanding of the non-fiction book market and perhaps self publication would work better for non fiction works in the long run.

Rosinante
01-12-11, 11:09 AM
[QUOTE=thesaddleclub101;878332]

This is a great article (that just came up in my news feeds actually from submishmash) and might be worth reading for anyone considering self publishing: http://www.themillions.com/2011/11/reasons-not-to-self-publish-in-2011-2012-a-list.html

That's a good article thesaddleclub.Thanks for sharing :)

cbrown
01-12-11, 12:52 PM
Hi Killronan,

I just asked my Mum what you should do as she's a publisher for Australia's largest independent house. Basically her advice is for you to go to a bookshop and look at books that are similar to the one you want to produce and approach those companies. She think it's it's likely to be Walker Books and Hardie Grant.

I described it as being like this http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/Diary-Wombat/?isbn=9780732286620. As in a funny rhyming story, but I have no idea if that's right. If it is then in her words 'she will have to get herself a ****ing good illustrator'.

If you let me know a bit more about it I can ask more questions. She produces lots of books for children so is a good person to ask. Is it short or long? Is it funny? What age child is it aimed at?

Rosinante
01-12-11, 01:06 PM
Walker Books and Hardie Grant unfortunately do not accept unsolicited manuscripts :(

PipCC
01-12-11, 05:12 PM
An interesting topic this. From the sound of things we were lucky when we published our books. Putting the information together was the hard part !!
One little bit of advice for anyone planning to have a book published - get other people to help you proof read and do it more than once. Even then, the first thing which will hit you eye when you hold that first precious published copy in your hand and open it to a page... is a silly obvious typo :rolleyes:

www.falconsporthorses.com.au

gypsy_dreamer
01-12-11, 09:00 PM
It's amazing how many people have written books. I've been writing since I was a child. I written many short stories and finished one teenage novel - meant to be a series of 5 but I'm only 1/2 way through the second one. Twice I've sent numerous submissions to publishers with my novel and it has been professionally edited. No bites.

Meanwhile I have a few manuscripts in the pipeline but no time to get into them.

I write because I need to, the characters in my mind want to be heard LOL, and I'd love to share them with others. I just need to learn how to get it out of my head on onto the computer.

To the OP, try LULU, they will 'self-publish' and sell online and you can buy your own copies. I think you get a percentage but look into properly that they're not getting any rights to the manuscript.

Horsegears
01-12-11, 09:05 PM
I write because I need to, the characters in my mind want to be heard LOL,


This 'characters in the mind' that is often referred to is interesting. Can't imagine it thou! :)




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