Lynn Osterkamp – Top Ten Reasons To Publish Your Own Book

Top Ten Reasons To Publish Your Own Book*

by Lynn Osterkamp

You don’t have to spend months or years composing and sending out queries that you hope will interest an agent or a publisher. Instead you can focus on polishing your book.

You don’t have to write synopses, books proposals, and marketing plans that meet the specifications of agents and publishers. Instead you can create your own marketing plan that fits your book and your preferred way of promoting it.

You can choose the title and cover design that you think best represents your book—instead of having a sales team choose the title and cover design they think will sell best.

You can decide what time of year your book comes out. (The one book I had published by a major publisher was released during the Christmas holidays, right before the publisher’s PR team took two weeks vacation).

You can maintain the integrity of your book. While editing is important for any book, there is editing that improves the writing and/or the content, and then there is editing that changes your book so much you feel like someone else wrote it. And they sorta did.

You can get your book out there in the marketplace quickly. People will read and respond to your book. Isn’t that why you wrote it? Keeping a manuscript in your desk drawer for years while you shop it around to agents and publishers is discouraging, and it doesn’t get you reader feedback.

Your book will stay in print as long as you want it to be out there. Mainstream publishers don’t give books much time to catch on with readers. If the book doesn’t sell well in the first few months, bookstores will return it to the publisher. Soon it will be remaindered and out of print.

You can control the cover price of your book and whether it is hardcover, paperback, eBook, or all three. Personally, I don’t see any reason to release fiction in hardcover, except for libraries. I don’t want to pay $25 for a novel and I don’t want readers to have to pay $25 for a novel I wrote. And if you publish your own paperback book, you can buy copies inexpensively enough that you can offer good discounts to small local stores, book clubs, or other bulk purchasers. If you publish it as an eBook, you can change the price repeatedly to offer discounts and to try the effects of different price points on sales.

You retain all the rights to your book. You can put a sample chapter on your website or give a newsletter permission to publish an excerpt. If you sell a chapter to a magazine, you get all the money. If you decide to offer it as an eBook or spin off parts of it into short booklets, you can.

You can make more money. You’re going to need to do most of the promotion for your book anyway, so why not get more reward for your efforts? You make very little money per book with a traditional publishing contract. If you are your own publisher, you can, and usually do, make more per book, especially those you sell as eBooks. If you are good at promoting your book, you can do well because you get all the profits.

* Note: These advantages apply to true self-publishers—which is where the author sets up a publishing business, outsources tasks like editing, layout, cover design, and printing, and takes charge of the marketing and distribution of the book.

Sabrina Larson wants her fortieth birthday to be a major milestone—the beginning of a new life. But it looks more like the end for the Boulder, Colorado nurse when she mysteriously disappears while celebrating with her women’s group in a mountain wilderness area.

Search teams comb the region for days, but find no trace of her. Close friends and family fight bitterly amongst themselves telling different stories about what happened. Is she dead? Kidnapped? A runaway?

Cleo Sims, a local grief therapist who has discovered a process that lets grieving people contact the spirits of departed loved ones, is pulled in to help by one of Sabrina’s friends who is desperate to find out the truth. Cleo is reluctant to involve herself in yet another possible murder investigation, but the friend’s brother is Cleo’s benefactor who funds her Contact Project. When he prevails on Cleo to help find out what happened to the missing woman, she can’t refuse.

As the search goes on and the mystery deepens, Cleo finds herself digging into some dangerous secrets. As usual, her persistence, curiosity, and compassion keep her enmeshed in the investigation even when new developments threaten the very core of her personal life.

Too Many Secrets is the third book in the award-winning Cleo Sims mystery series set in the mountain community of Boulder Colorado. Like the others, it can also be read as a stand-alone book.

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Genre - Mystery

Rating – PG

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