Over a decade ago now, a revolution started. We all thought it would be the eBook revolution, and a ton of fiction authors bet their living and livelihood on it. But we were wrong. The eBook revolution never came, not the way we expected. Instead, it became a hybrid of multi-media, print on demand, and digital marketing.
But it did open up options for authors, including me. No longer were we tied to the “get lucky” or “get noticed” system of traditional publishing. Gone were the days of huge advances, and authors slinging books from their ivory towers to the masses unless you already had a big name. But you could build a pretty solid following for your books and your author brand, and actually make a living writing.
Beyond just author opportunities, the “self-publishing revolution” opened the door for other opportunities as well. Editors, cover designers, formatters, marketing, and PR professionals, and more of these professionals began freelance careers. Instead of sitting in an office in New York reading through the slush pile, an editor could be sitting on the beach editing a story they really loved.
With that came Print on Demand. As readers still wanted physical books, Indie authors and small presses needed to provide them for them. But doing print runs of thousands of books was not only not economically feasible, but it was also wasteful. So some companies jumped into the industry, including Amazon and Lightning Source (now Ingram Spark).
Soon small and medium-sized presses latched on to this model too. Why? Well, the answers are simple, and they matter to authors and publishers everywhere.
Print on Demand is More Profitable
One of our goals here at Unbound Publishing is to be absolutely transparent about our process and our profits, and here are the simple facts: we can’t operate as a company for long unless we are profitable. That means that printing books must come with enough of a margin that we can cover our salaries and operating expenses.
This is a part of why print on demand is essential to both paths to publication that we offer: we don’t want to pay for a warehouse to store hundreds or thousands of books that may or may not sell. We don’t want authors to have to order literally hundreds of books to get a discount so they can sell them to friends or family, give them away, or just have some copies for events of their own.
All those things cost money that diminishes the profitability of the company overall, and in today’s world is completely unnecessary. Here’s how it breaks down:
We can do print runs for bookstores, events, pre-orders, and conferences of any size. We can drop ship orders direct from the printers, and never even touch the books.
We can larger print runs as needed, or smaller ones. We can avoid doing print runs at all. Either way, we eliminate the structure necessary for distribution, making our company leaner and able to offer authors more royalties and vendors larger discounts.
We’re not storing returns or bulk numbers of books. We don’t need a large storage area, just a small one to meet immediate demand. Our supply can be replenished quickly and as needed.
That’s how Print on Demand benefits us as a company, but what does that mean to those we do business with?
Print on Demand Gives Indie Bookstores Better Options
Yes, our books are available through standard channels like Ingram, Bowker, and in most cases the gorilla in the room, Amazon. But we, and bookstores, are not tied to them. Bookstores and others can order directly from us, get better discounts in some cases, and have the same benefits of ordering directly from Ingram.
However, we also understand how bookstores, libraries, and others might rather order through standard channels. It makes their accounting and invoicing simpler, and we respect that. Bookstores and publishers alike operate on slim margins, and we want to help our partners. We want the industry to be successful.
Print on Demand lets us offer bookstores and other partners more options when it comes to ordering and stocking books.
Print on Demand is Better for the Environment
So for some of you not in the publishing business, let me share something sad with you: do you know what happens to returned books? Well, if they are returned to the publisher, most of them are simply pulped and recycled. Good news? Sure, at least they are recycled, but all the shipping back and forth and even the pulping process take energy, fuel, and result in greenhouse emissions.
The solution? Don’t print books unless you need them. Fewer returns, less pulping, less waste, all things that are better for our planet. And if we do get books returned from bookstores?
Well, you could call those slightly used books. Then you can sell them for a small discount on Amazon, eBay, or other places, and someone still gets to read them. Other people will sell your books used too, so why wouldn’t you or your publisher?
Print on demand gives publishers and authors the ability to do what is best for the planet, offering products with less environmental impact. That’s good for everyone.
Print on Demand is Better for Authors
What about the authors of the books? Well, first of all, they have more ordering options, and can therefore save money when they order copies for themselves and events they might hold on their own.
Second, when publishers are more profitable, they can pass along those profits to authors in the form of royalties. This is what enables us to offer a graduated royalty system to authors: the more books they sell, the greater percentage of royalties they earn. Everyone can still make a profit, because we’ve eliminated the bloat of infrastructure related to legacy publishing and large print runs.
True, not all publishers pass along profits to the authors who are the backbone of their business, but that’s what sets us apart. We’re transparent about what it costs us to produce a book, the pay now or pay later nature of publishing, and the fact that for any kind of publishing to have a viable future, we need to lean into modern technology like print on demand to make sure it’s profitable for everyone.
Have questions? Have a story you are ready to publish or need help with ghostwriting services? Contact us using the form below. We’d love to chat about what’s next for you and your story, and how print on demand can be a part of your plan.
The Independent Book Publishers Association tells us the 81% of Americans, 200 million people, feel they have a book in them, and should write it. However, they don’t. Even with recent trends in publishing, still only 2% actually do. The question becomes: Why not? And what can we do to get those stories into the world?
There are several reasons people do not write books, and even more reasons they never go on to publish them even once they are written. In fact, I have even ghostwritten books for people who, after having paid good money to put their stories into a commercially viable manuscript, have still never published.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Will you join the 2% of storytellers who become authors every single day? Here are some common obstacles and how we help you overcome them.
Finding Time to Write
This is one of the most common things we hear from aspiring authors, and it is generally a pretty valid excuse. You may own and run a business and may even have additional family and other responsibilities. Writing takes a lot of time. How do you fit that into your schedule?
There are answers. First, you can build writing time into your schedule. Typically if you want to do something, you can make time for it, and if that is focused time, you can get a lot done. Here are some tips:
Set a time in the morning or in the evening, or when you have a break during the day, and make an appointment with yourself. Then keep it.
Don’t allow yourself to be disturbed. Turn off Wi-Fi, hold all your calls, and shut your office door. The more you can stay on task, the better.
Perfection is the enemy of completion. There are editors, ghostwriters, and other professionals who can help you take your story from the rough words you put down into a marketable product. But they can’t edit what is in your head.
Write, write, write. Don’t think about things, just write your thoughts the best you can. Remember, it’s better to have too much than not enough material. You can always cut, but its much harder to add things later on.
This works for some people. Even if your writing is not the greatest, something cam be done with it. However, if writing does not work for you, there are other options.
Recording Your Stories
Are you better at telling you story verbally? Good. Sit down and record your stories using a digital recorder or have someone do it for you. If you can, use a transcription program like DragonSpeak or even the dictation options in Microsoft Word, OneNote, Evernote, or any number of other programs.
Just be sure that you have a good microphone. If a computer program does not work for you, there are transcription services that will turn your spoken words into typed ones. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to source these resources. At Unbound Publishing, we can help with this step if you need it.
Just remember a couple of things while you are recording:
Use a good microphone and speak clearly.
Try to have an agenda and stick to it. The more you wander with your story, the harder (and more time consuming) it will be to edit your transcripts.
Take breaks. All of that talking can be surprisingly exhausting and talking through some of your story or even your ideas can be emotionally difficult too. Take your time.
Even if you are better at talking through your story and your ideas, we can still work with you to take you from being a storyteller to being an author.vWe can use transcripts, and often do, in the ghostwriting process.
Are you unsure about where to start when it comes to telling your story? Do you need help getting it out of your head? A method that often helps is to have a ghostwriter come and interview you in person or do interviews over various video chatting applications. The questions we can ask will often help you organize your thoughts, and can even help you remember events in a whole new way.
This is one of the most common ways that books are ghostwritten. The writer will interview the storyteller and create transcripts from those interviews. This also helps keep you focused on your story, and the exact parts you want to share.
Worrying about What People Think
One of the next obstacles storytellers often face is the worry about what others might think. You might want to tell your story, but you may be concerned about what your family or friends might think if you share the truth about your past. You may even be concerned about how it will affect your business.
Even if you have business ideas to share, you might be fearful that others will reject them or even ridicule them. The truth is, this is something that every author faces in one form or another.
So we promise storytellers one thing: we’ll make sure that your stories and ideas are expressed in the best way possible. We promise to be honest if something is not working or might be offensive or unpalatable to your audience. At Unbound Publishing, we’ll be with you every single step of the way.
We’re your concierge publishing company. When you are ready to go from the 81% or want to and should write a book to the 2% that do, contact us. Let us be your partners in publishing.
Writing a book is something many people think about doing in their lifetime, but they never quite have the ambition or drive. If you’re a book lover why not write one of your own? Whether you’re a fan of fiction or you want to write a scientific report on some research you have done, there will always be an audience that has an interest in what you have to say. Consider the following five fundamentals of writing your first book and you will be able to get started right away.
1. Seek Advice and Do Your Research
First of all, you need to start carrying out some research on your chosen topic or story theme. If you have experience in writing before, why not seek out the advice from LCMPA. Their feedback could be incredibly valuable to you if you’re embarking on a new project. They will be able to provide you with guidance on your next piece of work so that you can be sure you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Decide Where Your Workspace Is
Being a writer can be frustrating if you don’t have a comfortable place to be creative. Whether you’re working from a cosy corner in your home or you prefer to people watch in a public coffee shop, there will always be a place that makes you feel productive. Everybody is completely different when it comes to their writing workspaces, so discover yours before you get started with your project.
3. Discover Your Final Idea
Honing in on your final idea can be quite a challenge, especially when you have so many ideas all at once. Ask others for opinions on your various subject matters and narrow it down to one fantastic concept. It might take several crumpled up pieces of paper for you to get there, but you will discover the hidden gem within there somewhere.
4. Get Words onto a Page
As soon as you know where your book idea is going, you need to start getting some words onto the page. You can always go back and edit later, but you need to get the main framework down onto the paper. Consider the arc of your story, if you’re writing a fiction book. Do you want to leave the reader on a cliffhanger? Do you want to release facts slowly throughout the book so they have to piece them together like a puzzle? Understand your main goal as the writer and use your words to shape this idea.
5. Proofread and Proofread Some More
When you think you have the final product, it is very important to proofread your work. Once you have mastered the art, you will be able to carry this out a couple of times to make sure there are no glaring errors in your hard work!
Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint so take your time and enjoy the process. You will be much more pleased by the end product if you have spent time researching, proofreading and discovering the true meaning behind your first book.