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The adventure of publishing a book

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posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 03:19 PM
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On the tenth anniversary of joining ATS, I posted an “Index” thread [Ten years of Bible Threads and other stuff www.abovetopsecret.com...) of the various themes that I’ve been covering in the Theology forum. I remarked that I’d already begun re-casting them in book format, with a view to eventual publication.

Well, the re-casting has continued. I can claim to have ten complete or fairly complete manuscripts ready for an enterprising publisher, though a couple of others have hardly been touched.

Just over six months ago, I registered on a website for “Christian Book Proposals” and presented three of them, followed by another three a couple of months later. There was a “cunning plan” in the timing of these things. I had been noseying around in the “Publishers” section of the site, and discovered that publishers get a monthly report of new arrivals. On the assumption that this happened at the beginning of the month, I thought my name would get more attention if it was attached to a batch of three a couple of times.

(Hmm. I see that Word does not recognise “nosey” as a verb. Never mind.)

In fact, after six months, the traditional publishers were not biting. I don’t suppose the market would be very buoyant in these times, not enough to encourage them to be adventurous. So I renewed the first three at the end of six months, but in two cases I ticked the box that said “Self-publishing firms may contact me”.

Sure enough, somebody contacted me a few days later expressing interest in those two books, namely the survey of Revelation and the survey of Song of Solomon. (I don’t want to call them “commentaries”, because the term raises expectations which I don’t try to meet.) I sent them the two manuscripts, and their “Acquisitions” department were delighted to “accept” them only a couple of hours later. This was fast reading, so fast that it rather gives the game away. But my own opinion of those works is pretty high (I know when I’ve been writing well), so their good opinion was at least plausible.

I don’t think I’ve got any choice. This is not just a hobby. For me, the option of “not bothering to publish” is not really available, So I’m going to go ahead with the very expensive project of getting the firm to publish these two books. I’m hoping to report from time to time on the things that are happening in the process.

At least I’m being promised proper marketing and distribution. It isn’t one of those firms that will get the book printed and leave the author to do the rest for himself. My theory is that the book on Revelation is such an outstanding work that people will get it when they know about it. And once they know about “DISRAELI” from that book, they will be curious about other stuff from the same source. This could be the key that opens locks.

They are hoping to present the books at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention in Nashville in March. I was a little worried when I read the odd jargon phrase “there will be signage including your books”. What was that supposed to mean? At first glance, I thought they were expecting me to be there signing copies. Obviously that would have been a massive headache. I’m on the wrong side of the Atlantic. As far as I know, I’m banned from entering the U.S. at the moment, and when the ban’s lifted there would still be complicated state-level restrictions on my movements.

It would have been a headache anyway, without the virus, because I haven’t even held a passport since 1969. I would not have known where to start in organising formalities and getting documented, arranging flights across the Atlantic, getting myself across the America and finding accommodation in America. Anyway, I’ve read about what happens to elderly Englishmen visiting America. They innocently set off crossing the street at a convenient gap in the traffic, get jumped upon by two or three burly muggers, and find themselves in court on charges of jaywalking and resisting arrest.

I was much relieved when I re-read the sentence and worked out the real meaning; the names of the books would be mentioned on signs.

Then I noticed another worrying expression; “multimedia presentation”. Let me see; that means “video”, doesn’t it? Where are they going to get any relevant video? I can see the unnerving possibility that they will want my face in front of a camera, or at least a webcam. I don’t want to do it. I’m a writer, not a talker. These are complicated shoals to navigate.

We’ll have to see how it goes

edit on 10-10-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 03:31 PM
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You did send for a copyright, right...?

That is the FIRST thing you should have done.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 03:35 PM
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a reply to: Lazarus Short
It's in the contract that the copyright belongs to me, though they do the business of securing ISBN number, Library of Congress number, etc.

Actually, the exact wording is as follows;
"Publisher acknowledges the Author shall own full and complete copyright to the work. In order to protect the Author's full right to privacy and ownership in the work, Publisher guarantees not to contact the U.S. Copyright on the Author's behalf."
Curious wording. Perhaps someone can explicate.


edit on 10-10-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 03:54 PM
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That's pretty cool.

Thing is that if you go self-published and make a big enough splash, the more traditional firms who wouldn't give you a sniff the first time around may sit up and take more notice. So don't count them out just yet. In that respect it's tough to decide whether you go with your best stuff out of the gate or hold off a bit to see if you can break ground with something a bit less first to draw in the bigger fish.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
That was my theory. My strategy was based on the assmption that only the "best stuff" was capable of doing the trick. The first three books I put forward (the other one being Prophets, Priests and Politics) were the only ones, in my judgement, with any chance of attracting the interest of readers who had not come across me before.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 04:31 PM
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Wow. Congratulations on your marvelous journey of recognition. Both for yourself and your works. I’m fascinated and perplexed by the “publishing world” and all that it entails.

Thank you for penning an OP. ATS has many people with many talents and interesting views. Our interactions in this corner of the web have helped me color in my own life and the experiences we achieve for ourselves and experience through that of others here.

I too am an aspiring would-be author. And truly have no clue how to market anything I’ve done or will continue to craft. I admire your perseverance and dedication to yourself and your art. Hang in there and I’m rooting for you.

Please keep us posted?


edit on 10-10-2021 by slatesteam because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 04:54 PM
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*slight topic drift*

I went to the NRBC in 1994 with Mars Hill Broadcasting. I was young, but met D Quayle, C Colson, B. Stein, and B. Bennet. Got signed books by all of them...they were at my table a dinner.

Part of what they want, is for you to be able to talk about your book and get set up for interviews on stations to promote your book. They will probably want you there.

DM me with questions.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: theatreboy
We'll have to see, but geography is still an issue.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 05:51 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: theatreboy
We'll have to see, but geography is still an issue.


Either way, send me a link when published, I will buy...especially song of solomon



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 05:51 PM
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There’s a lot of horror stories from people who tried to self-published their work!
I personally know one person who put up $5,000.00 and never one word was printed.
Please be very careful!
Good luck…….



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: PiratesCut
I checked for negative stories about this individual company. Nothing as bad as that. They should be sending me free copies, so that's one check. In any case, they're getting royalties too, so it's actually in their own interests to give the book a reasonable start.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 06:07 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Congratulations. I hope you had a lawyer read over everything and did your due diligence regarding the self publishing firm. A lot of these can be scams in a very good disguise.

I work in publishing (traditional), and I have experience in self publishing, and truth be told, self publishing, literally your self, is usually the easiest way to go, the most economical, and the safest.

Unless you're insanely busy, the best way to market books likely yours is to send out free copies to religious scholars, podcasts, and groups, in the hope of being featured on blogs, casts, or Bible groups/conventions. Or to do a very limited number of pay to play speaking events about the subjects of your book. People will buy a book like this because of you, and then tell people about it, but it's hard to get these books in a lot of hands without a charismatic person behind them.

You could do all of this yourself for way less money. If money isn't really a thing, it's just something you're passionate about, and this is how you want to do it, please double check with your lawyer. So many first time authors fall into self publishing scams.



posted on Oct, 10 2021 @ 08:31 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI




survey of Song of Solomon.


I'm interested in reading that.

Also I wrote a novel and will be getting it professionally edited next year to hopefully be ready for publishing.
Got any tips.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 01:48 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct
The firm is Advantage, of Florida.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 02:02 AM
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originally posted by: scraedtosleep
I'm interested in reading that.

Also I wrote a novel and will be getting it professionally edited next year to hopefully be ready for publishing.
Got any tips.

That' makes two of you. That's encouraging, because it backs my judgement in putting it at the top of the list.

I don't have novel-writing experience. The website I was using was ChristianBookProposals.com.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 07:48 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Did you all ready sign and pay, because honestly, nothing Advantage Books can offer you for $1000's of dollars, especially their "marketing", which is spam emails and useless business trade shows, not conventions, you couldn't do BETTER, way better, yourself by publishing with Amazon/Apple Books.

This publisher isn't a "scam" technically, but you're getting nothing out of the deal, and they're just taking money from you.

If publishing your book is something you have the money to spend on, with no care of recouping it, then sure, use a service like Advantage, but if you're serious about marketing your book, get it edited by someone who knows the subject enough, get your own isbn (this is so, so, so easy), publish yourself on Amazon and get a marketing company to help with design and SEO (about $100.00 - $200.00 an hour for a good firm, but search out up and coming marketing firms). Heck, even reach out to some agents.



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 09:24 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct
I'm committed to this route for the moment, but if it doesn't work I certainly don't have enough money to give them a second try. There's a fleet of other MSS to follow on behind these two.


edit on 11-10-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct
You talk about attending conventions, but I don't know if you're overlooking the fact that I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic. But you have stimulated me into realising why they make such a big thing out of "author's discount"; they're taking it for granted that authors will want to go to these things and do their selling in person. I'm not sure the equivalent events exist over here.

They don't seem to look at the Britsih market, and there are probably things I can do off my own bat, like send review copies to print media (since the field is still small enough).




edit on 11-10-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I just hate seeing people get caught up in these self publishing markets, because in this day and age, self publishing is so easily accomplished yourself. It's the marketing that can be challenging. So basically, they're vastly overcharging you to do something that you could do yourself for much much cheaper in an afternoon, and offering you marketing (which is crucial) that is essentially useless to you. None of the marketing you've mentioned that is part of your package, and none of the other marketing that they'll no doubt try to sell you, is exclusive in any way, or necessarily helpful.

It sounds like you're locked in to this, and I hope you consulted a lawyer, and really it's likely not THAT bad, but do yourself a favour and try to find yourself an agent. If you're serious about publishing, and want to make money, you either need an agent to access traditional publishing houses, or, you need a solid marketing plan to self publish.

Self publishing (not through an agency) is likely your best bet for a niche market, but you really have to sell yourself.

Get out to church groups, scholarly groups, theological universities, make a website (it's EASY), reach out to podcasts, radio hosts, niche YouTube channels, etc. Get your name out there!

None of the marketing that Advantage Books is offering you will help sell your book. Like you said, you likely won't be at their trade shows, and no one goes there to get books signed or sell books, they generally go to do deals. ISBN's are freely available for any person to purchase and register. Library of Congress... I mean... you can submit it yourself, and no one is really peeking through anything being registered with the LOC for juicy new reads. Their website is only being visited by the authors using them, not buyers or trad publishers.

The signage they're talking about is just a sign featuring the front cover of your book.

You said you don't think you have any other choice, but you 100% do; and the cost to get going would be vastly less, you'd be in control of your brand and marketing, and you'd still have access to as many hard copies of your book as you want to purchase... just for less.

I get fired up about this because these companies, while not really a scam, are predatory in nature. The pay websites for your information, then rake in your money to do easy things most authors could do themselves with better success.

Really wishing you the best of luck!



posted on Oct, 11 2021 @ 05:42 PM
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originally posted by: PiratesCut
There’s a lot of horror stories from people who tried to self-published their work!
I personally know one person who put up $5,000.00 and never one word was printed.
Please be very careful!
Good luck…….

I'm going to second this advice. Awesome job getting the books written and out there, but the general rule of publishing is to never pay to get published unless you're self-publishing. Any publishing house worth a damn doesn't charge the authors to publish; same with agents.



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