Historically, getting a book published meant that you or your agent had to find a publisher willing to risk the costs of printing, promotion, and distribution.
The publishers hope that the book sales will benefit them and also provide writers with a generous royalty. This has always been an unlikely model for most writers. Even for an established writer, traditional publishing can be uncertain and time consuming.
Meanwhile, the modern publishing market has cheaper, more accessible, and faster options. Manuscripts can go from computer keyboard to reader within 24 hours.
One option is self-publication. Typically, this involves hiring a company that specializes in printing a limited number of paperback copies or printing them on demand, for a fee.
The fees vary widely, depending on the number of copies ordered and the length of the book. The price per book can be as low as $ 2.58. If the writer wants help with editing, proofing, cover design, copyright, marketing, and the like, it costs more. Attractive self-publication packages, tailored to my vision for my book Mothers, Memories and Birds, ranged from $ 1,500 to $ 6,000.
Publishing e-books that readers access on phones, Kindles, tablets and iPads is no longer an upcoming trend. It is a growing industry. It saves trees, time and money. The initial cost to the author can be zero dollars, and the cost to book buyers is less than printed copies of the same book.
The websites of companies that help writers prepare their manuscripts for electronic publishing provide step-by-step guidelines and instructions. They can be found on any Internet search engine. The cost of delivering the book to readers can be set by the author. Royalties are often 70%, but can be more or less.
EBooks can be edited, augmented, or revised easily, even after original publication. Mothers, Memories, and Birds is currently published only in electronic form, marketed online and promoted via social media.
Using a combination of the two publishing methods (print and electronic) might work well for many writers wishing to pay a literary or historical tribute to a mother or other relative. This would produce a tangible object for the library for those who are not inclined to electronic media, and it would preserve the work in perpetuity in a virtual world. The availability of both forms increases the visibility of the work. It grants a kind of immortality and permanence to the memories of family members, which the oral traditions we have relied on for centuries cannot.
There are many variations in the publication options, and careful research online can provide a better understanding. Some traditional publishers will also help with self-publishing and might even promote your book. Search for “book publishers in Arkansas” and read their websites.
Two self-publishing websites that I found useful were selfpublishing.com and Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp.amazon.com).