A FIRST-TIME AUTHOR EXPERIENCE
When I finished my first book, Sunday Golf, and submitted it to a publisher recommended to me, I had no idea what to expect. After years of receiving nothing but rejection letters, I didn't take the time to research the publishing company. All I cared about was having my book published.
To new authors, make sure you understand that there are a number of options for having your book published. Below, I've listed them.
After writing and having several books published, I discovered that the best option for having your book in print, is up to you. There is no right or wrong publishing choice. It's your decision because the bottom line for an unknown author is how you're going to sell your book.
As stated earlier, my decision to go with a POD publisher was because I didn't need an agent to have my book published. For those that don't know what a POD is, I will explain. Usually, a POD charges the author a wide range of fees for services such as but not limited to editing, book cover, and printing of book. You might be familiar with some of the PODs that I'll mention. They are but not limited to--Wheatmark, Xlibris, iUniverse, and Lulu.
In my case, the POD that accepted my book didn't require me to pay for any services mentioned above. I received an advance (one dollar). I had a contract supposedly to protect the author. That sounds good but authors had to sign a seven-year binding contract.
You're probably asking, what was the problem? First problem--my contract stated that the publisher would do marketing. What that meant was having my book on their website and mentioning it in their newsletter. My book was also made available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
The publisher asked me to submit a marketing plan. I had no idea what that meant until it was explained. It was quite simple, explain how I'd sell my book. My plan consisted of me having a book signing that I had to arrange.
Second problem--To help me at book signings, the publisher would sell me my books at a discounted price. That was a joke because I could almost buy my books off of Amazon cheaper then the discount being offered. After so many author complaints, the publisher offered a low price for your book if you bought at least 100 books.
Third problem--bookstores generally don't let POD authors have book signings. Why? Generally, POD's books aren't returnable. If my book wasn't selling, the bookstore couldn't return them to the publisher.
Fourth problem--Not wanting to miss out on the deep, discounted price to buy my book, I now had a garage full of books with no idea how I'd sell them.