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So you want to publish a book: audiobooks and ebooks

This series was originally posted in 2008

As I’ve stated in previous posts, the most inexpensive way to sell a book is electronically. There are no shipping costs to consider and no ongoing production costs to factor in once the audio or ebook version is ready to go.

The ebook version is the easiest to sell online. As part of our arrangement with Heidy Lawrence, when the book was ready for the printer we received a PDF of the ebook, ready for our online store. That was included on in the initial estimate.

There are also online distributors that deal exclusively with both audiobooks and e-books – such as audible.com and Overdrive.com.

In the future, I’ll talk in more detail about the benefits of ebooks and distribution methods to help you expand your market across the world.

The audiobook is a bit of a challenge. It usually involves hiring a professional voice actor and booking some studio time. It may be tempting to save money and do it yourself at home – but don’t waste your time. Your audiobook is likely to turn out like one those reno shows, where the amateur decides to do all the work themselves, blowing timelines, budgets and ending up with a substandard job.

Invest a little here and you’ll have it over and done with in a week. For Moose we used Clare Burt Studio in Toronto and hired Barrie Bailey to do the reading. Here is a short clip from the studio of Barrie reading from Chapter one.

So you want to publish a book: self publishing & project management

This series was originally posted in 2008

To self-publish or go with a one of the big guys
One of the first questions I was asked (after how long does a book have to be?) by more than one person was how do you get a book deal? Well, if I’ve learned anything from the last five months, it’s that you don’t need a book deal to get a book published. And frankly, there’s not much hope for an unknown writer sending in an unsolicited manuscript to a large publisher anyway, so it’s really up to you.

For the purposes of this blog series, I’m going to assume that you’re going to self-publish your opus. The risks are great, but the potential reward is greater. Why? You front the money- risk. You keep all the profit – reward.

And for the second question, Moose on the Table was about 52000 words or 120 single spaced pages on MS WORD that came out to a 176 page softcover.

Project management
So you know you’re going to go forward and get the book out there. How do you arrange typesetting, printing, find editors, illustrators, and distribution? A good project manager should be able to help you with all of this and pull together a budget based on what you need. You may be surprised to learn that typesetting and printing costs – while substantial are actually a very small percentage of your overall budget.

With Moose on the Table – we went with Heidy Lawrence and Associates. You can find out more about her operation at www.wemakebooks.ca.

Heidy sourced out 6 different printers to get the best unit cost. She also took care of the typsetting, cover design, and look and feel of the book, from a font and layout perspective. Most importantly, she was able to provide us with a short ist of highly experienced editors and illustrators.

In the end, we went with Donald Bastian as the editor and William Kimber as our illustrator.