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MandyM | 2032 comments I've seen several comments in our discussions about the trials and tribulations of getting your book published. It seems like an impossible task to me! I thought I'd start a thread in case any of our group authors are interested in sharing their stories/advice with other aspiring authors.

Just as a starting off point I found a couple of interesting articles on the web:

How to get your first novel published by Jackie French

Romance Writers of Australia: Getting mainstream fiction published in Oz


Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 73 comments I wrote an unofficial blog on the writing and self publishing my novel at http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/2...

In it I talk about a publishing offer that was made, but after reading the contract heard alarm bells.

I wrote - "One publisher was interested in my book. When I looked over the contract, one thing that stood out was my lack of control over my own copyright. I've worked in broadcast media, so copyright law is something I know a lot about. In this contract, not only did they want exclusive world rights, they also wanted me to write to them and seek their permission if I wanted to write anything in the future. Plus, only they would have the right to end the contract, even if I desperately wanted to.

"A lawyer pointed out how their payment of royalties was far below the industry standard. Once I asked this publisher a few questions, then they dropped me straight away."

So just beware and don't rush before fully understanding the contract. I know most publishers wouldn't prepare a contract like that, but it did throw me for a while. There was a shark out there.


message 3: by Jacqueline (last edited Nov 22, 2010 03:29AM) (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments I can claim some experience in this area, both for Australia and overseas. I am fairly sure that there are only two approved routes to publication.

1) Be famous. Preferably a famous sports person, or a rogue politician. Or a mistress of either. If you have this essential qualification, you will find submitting, polishing, editing and even writing just fades into the background. The staff will handle it.

2) Be the niece of some one influential in the literary industry.

I have come to the conclusion that all the professional editing, advice and expense is totally wasted on our publishers. Why? Because they never get to read what you have written. They don't even do a quick scan. Submissions are handled by the person in the organisation who is struggling not to be demoted to office cleaner and coffee lady. He or she has strict instructions not to communicate with authors in any circumstances whatever. They have their mantra about double spacing, single sides, return postage as if we were still in the 19th century, and that is The Law. (If you don't believe me, ask one of them which of six different books they might like to look at and they will flounder for sure.)

You might say I am prejudiced, suffering from sour grapes, just plain rude, but I am afraid reality is on my side. In nearly 20 years, I have managed to get publishers to look at my work only a couple of times. They are so snowed under with work from baskerball players and nieces that they don't have time to look at it. They don't need your book!

My advice (for what it is worth) is do your best to polish your work through friends. Don't invest good money in professional editing because if the publisher is never going to read it anyway, why should you bother?

If the publisher insists on a submission written with quill pen on parchment, forget about them. They are not serious.

I understand that most manuscripts are rejected within the first five minutes. A couple of years of hard work, all your expertise and knowledge, the editor's time and expense, all thrown out after five minutes of a junior intern's time. I, for one, have stopped banging my head on that particular wall.


MandyM | 2032 comments Thanks for the great POV Jacqueline! I saw Jason Steger from the FTBC talking about what makes those multimillion dollar, cult books. He says it happens when there's a story surrounding the writing of the book that the public finds really intriguing. It sort of propels the book above all other contenders.

For example with Harry Potter it was that story of JK Rowling sitting in the cafe on her last dollar writing the story for her son. For 'Girl with the Dragon Tatoo' books it was the fact that the author had died and his poignant and life-long struggle against racism and right-wing extremism. I think Jason's remarks could be true!


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments That's right, Mandy. The quality of the work is not enough. In fact, it's not even the most important thing or we would not find so many weak books on Big W's shelves.

Some extra frisson is needed, something that says to the publisher (who is primarily a publicist) that this book has something he can sell.

You could try being dead, I suppose. It seems to have worked for great painters from 19th and early 20th century.


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments If a painter can cut an ear off, perhaps a writer can cut a big toe off and send it to the publisher as a sign of dedication . . . . or madness.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments I like the way you're thinking, Geoff. Real dedication to your craft.


MandyM | 2032 comments LOL!


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I am glad I'm not a writer. I'm kinda partial to my toes.


Tracey Alley (TraceyA) | 485 comments After years of just blank 'no' rejection slips I actually got close to a contract with a pretty well-known publisher. We were corresponding back and forth about contract details and that's when things got sticky. The contract they wanted to offer me was so binding and constrictive and in return for so little money that in the end on the advice of a lawyer I turned them down and published myself.

There are times when I wonder if I did the right thing, in terms of editing and marketing, but I feel more comfortable at the moment knowing I own the rights to my books not the publisher.

And I'm not prepared to cut off any body parts at this stage to get that multi-million dollar contract lol


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No ticker Trace!


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments The writing & productions of the finished item is the easy bit - selling the thing is the problem!

My novel Ice King is selling, but not as fast as I would like. Those who have read Ice King have been very complimentary - see the review from Tracy Falbe of Historical Novel Review site. Tracy is a member of GR http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... but what is missing is 'critical mass', so I would be interested any feedback from others who have reached a comfortable volume of sales with a self published novel.
BTW - the higher book cost in Oz is not helped by the number of free copies the publisher is obliged to give to the Government. It is a legal requirement to send one to the National Library in Canberra (that I can understand), but if you live in NSW one to the State Library of NSW, one to the NSW Parliamentary Library - these two places are next door to each other (perhaps they are not on speaking terms). The final one to the University of Sydney library. Perhaps someone will use it to gain a degree or masters in self publishing !
If they do, will I be famous :-o)


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments ...the number of free copies the publisher is obliged to give to the Government. It is a legal requirement to send one to the National Library in Canberra (that I can understand), but if you live in NSW one to the State Library of NSW, one to the NSW Parliamentary Library - these two places are next door to each other (perhaps they are not on speaking terms). The final one to the University of Sydney library.

I hope you did not actually do this. The b******s can pay for a copy if they need it so badly. Anyway, what are they going to do? Sue you?


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments It did go through my mind not to send them the free copies and to let them know that I wasn't going to comply - the free publicity would have helped the book sales :-o)
In the end I rendered unto Caesar for the sake of a peaceful life. If the book sells well their three copies are tax deductable :-o)


Lillian Grant (LillianGrant) I have decided to avoid the whole issue of trying to get published in Australia. My book is e-published by a very reputable e-publisher in the US. I didn't need an agent, the book was professionally edited and I got an advance. I also pick up a large % of the cover price. I am happy with the way the whole thing worked out and plan to keep submitting to the big e-publishers.


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments Smashwords offer 70% or perhaps a little more I can't remember the exact amount.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Lillian,

You got an advance on an ebook? That is unheard of (by me at least). Is this the start of a trend? Up until now, the dominant business model for American epublishers seems to be to build up a web following by releasing as many books in the same genre (or clones) as possible, and letting each one sink or swim by itself. Of course, that means mostly sink.

If your publishers are paying an advance, that means they must be taking active steps to sell your books in order to recover their investment. That would definitely be a new development, and a very interesting one.


Lillian Grant (LillianGrant) My publisher pays advances on books above a certain number of words at their discretion. The world of e-publishing is evolving. The bigger romance e-pubs take sales very seriously. They advertise your book, it goes on to secondary sellers sites such as amazon and they actively pursue review sites. The days of e-publishing being a dirty secret, not to be taken seriously are over. Even Harlequin have an e-publishing division. However it doesn't stop people telling me I'm not a real author. Not sure why that would be. 97% of all books submitted to my publisher are rejected and my book went through three rounds of editing and final proof reading before it went live. I think I earned the title published author.


message 19: by Jacqueline (last edited Nov 23, 2010 05:00PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Lillian wrote: "... I think I earned the title published author. "

You have a book out, so of course you are an author. No question. Mind you, I sometimes think the 'title' comes from the same bag as the newspapers' con-man, convicted arsonist, fun-loving politician etc etc

I'm still very impressed that you managed an advance.


MandyM | 2032 comments Lillian wrote: " However it doesn't stop people telling me I'm not a real author. Not sure why that would be. 97% of all books submitted to my publisher are rejected and my book went through three rounds of editing and final proof reading before it went live. I think I earned the title published author..."

You are definitely a REAL author Lillian. You should be extremely proud of what you've achieved. And I for one love ebooks. Those who make disparaging remarks about the technology are jealous and short-sighted (and soon-to-be going out of business!).


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What Mandy said!!! I'm a daily train commuter, more and more people are appearing on the trains with ereaders. A few months ago you rarely saw them, there seems to have been a recent explosion of them and people want to talk about them (which can be a little annoying when you are trying to read).


Tracey Alley (TraceyA) | 485 comments Lillian I too am impressed you got an advance from an e-publisher. I wasn't even aware there were many out there, I thought all of us were more or less doing things on our lonesome.
Would you mind letting us know the name of your e-publisher or other e-pub's you would recommend?


Laura Rittenhouse | 197 comments I'm joining this conversation a bit late but I want to add my 2 cents worth - and that is you are all right. It's impossible to get published unless you are already in the news or in the know.

That said, there's no point in giving up. If you love writing, just write and when you've finished something, slog away at getting it published (much less fun than writing).

I've completed 4 books, 3 of which I've tried to get published. I have a bit of an order to my publishing attempts. I start out with the first, give it a couple of months and then go to the second and so on:
0) Aussie Agents - I tried this for my first 2 books and now don't bother - they actually are more difficult to land than publishers
1) Australian publishers (there are very few of these but still some to try). There is some cost in printing and postage for those that still demand printed copies, but I figure this still makes writing about the cheapest hobby going.
2) Mainstream international publishers that accept emailed submissions. Since there are almost none of these that I've found (PanMac in the UK being an exception) this step takes 5 minutes.
3)After giving 2&3 a couple of months to not bother answering (it is simply rude that many don't even send form rejection letters) I try US Agents that accept email submissions. There are so many of these it is hard to know where to start/stop but searching online gives me more than I care to think about.
4)US/UK small publishers that accept online submissions. Again there are plenty of these. When hunting I make sure they have a print option (at least POD) and don't charge for editing or cover art. Otherwise it is self-publishing. Once I reach this level of submission I know I'm pretty much on my own when it comes to marketing any eventual published work which is why I put it off to last.

My first book was published in the 4th category by a very small US publisher but I am thankful to them for giving me a chance. My royalties just about covered postage from my failed attempts at finding a publisher in Australia but at least my book is available on Kindle and in print from my publisher. Publicity is up to me and I'm not a publicist and don't really feel comfortable putting myself out there (thanks to this group for allowing people like me to post our books) so I think my sales will continue to just trickly along and never take off like Ms Rowling's!

My 2nd and 3rd books are doing the rounds in Australia now (wish me luck, as I haven't sent a toe with my manuscripts I don't like my chances). My 4th book will be going under a major edit by me whenever I gain the mental energy for that step.

I also agree about paying for an editor. I have friends and one online buddy who are writers (or not) and who have been willing to provide me feedback on my work that is invaluable. I've done the same for them and I find editing someone else's work as much of a learning experience as reading comments from others.

I know my books are not masterpieces, I know they could be improved a lot by the TLC of a publisher and their editor, I doubt they'll get that kind of attention. But nonetheless, I'll keep writing because I love it!


MandyM | 2032 comments Atlas Productions, a boutique publishing company is currently running its inaugural Atlas Award competion for unpublished fiction and non-fiction manuscripts. The winner of the award will have their manuscript published by Atlas in 2012.

http://www.atlasproductions.com.au/Aw...

(from this month's Goodreading magazine)


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments I was hesitant to put down my experiences, but what the heck here goes . . .

As many others have found the route to actually holding your finished book in your hands can take many frustrating months / years.
The advice one gets from magazines, internet searches, publishing sites seems aimed towards the fact that you need an agent, rather than going direct to a publishing house.

OK, I thought I'll follow that advice and started to contact agents on three continents.
After a lot of research, (disregarding those who didn't handle historical fiction, or who were full until 2014 etc) I started my search and ended up contacting 35 agents.

Prior to approaching the various agents I had the novel assessed by two well known authors, one a POM, who now lives in Sydney (I attended one of his writing courses), and the other is an award winning Australian author who assess books professionally.
The assessing also had a strong editing aspect.
This is the breakdown of the various agents -

Australia 3 companies approached - 1 answered - but rejected.
Of the other two, one asked for a synopsis & two chapters, which were sent. The agent didn't communicate further.
The other failed to reply to the initial approach.

I was advised to move away from Australia as my novel was trans-Atlantic centred and may not appeal to the Australian market.

UK / Ireland 22 companies approached - 9 answered - all 9 sent personal e-mails - they were polite, and one from Ireland was very positive with his encouragement, but they were all rejections.
Of the thirteen that failed to reply, three sent auto replies that they had received the submission. The other ten failed to reply to the initial approach.

USA - 10 companies approached - 6 answered - all 6 sent personal e-mails - polite, and encouraging, but they were rejections.
Of the four that failed to reply, one sent an auto reply, one asked for additional sample chapter & didn't communicate further, the others didn't acknowledge the initial submission.

I must have wasted 18 months on the above submissions.
Like many others I was on the writing / posting / e-mailing treadmill until I started to look at self publishing.

So the next step was DIY -
Companies that offered full self publishing service or 'contribution' publishing, left me with doubts
after reading some of the contracts. Similar to Kevin's experience.

I received various quotes from Australian & UK self publishing companies. All but one or two had themselves down as the publisher. I didn't like this at all, as this would mean that they controlled the finished product. They all had various levels of service - Bronze, Gold, Diamond etc you know what I mean. I did receive a quote from one company in the UK of over $18,000 and they would control the finished product!

In the end I decided to really self publish -

I hired a female editor (she lives in WA).
I deliberately looked for a female editor as the assessors were both male as I wanted to know if the story would appeal to female readers.

The next step was the cover - so I hired a book designer who created the front and back cover and also the layout of each page. He also produced the 'print ready' file for both the manuscript and the front & back cover. His files denoted the size of the book & the number of pages etc. All this was in consultation with me, via e-mail, as he was in the US.

At the end of a couple of months I had the edited & assessed printed ready file, the cover, the book size, so all I needed now was a printer.

There was a particular printer in England that I considered using (he was also in to self publishing, but he did not show his company as the publisher),
but he had a limited global reach. So on advice from the designer I decided to use Lightning Press in both the UK & the USA. In Australia I used a book printer in Sydney.
Via Lighning Press the book is listed on Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and a number of other internet sites, plus a number of supermarkets in the UK.
It is also available at Angus & Robertson ($27.95) in Australia, but my gut feel is that they get it from Book Depository UK ($19.50). I can match Book Depository if anyone buys from my website - Oz post is the cause of the high price. For the full list see my web site www.geoffwoodland.com

I also had Amazon create an e-book version - this was before I found out about Smashwords. Ice King is now listed in the Smashwords Premium Catalogue ($2.99), and through them it islisted on Amazon, Sony, Apple etc in various formats - also at $2.99.

The writing & productions of the finished item is the easy bit - selling the thing is the problem!
Ice King is selling, but not as fast as I would like. Those who have read Ice King have been very complimentary - see the review from Tracy Falbe of Historical Novel Review site. Tracy is a member of GR http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... but what is missing is 'critical mass', so I would be interested any feedback from others who have reached a comfortable volume of sales with a self published novel.
I have already mentioned about the four free copies to various Australian Government departments. :-o(


Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments I share the cynicism of everyone here, but I have a better experience.

I put my book up on authonomy.com, which is a peer review site run by Harper Collins. It's meant to be set up so that the best books get pushed to the top and are then read by the editors. At the time I submitted mine, it was more a social networking site where the person who spent most time networking got their book reviewed. I believe that's changed, but I haven't tried it again recently.

My publisher happened to go there while my book was up, looking for non-fiction books on Asia. He liked my book and left me a message. I'm now about a month away from seeing my book in print.

I don't think my story is common, but I'm not complaining (except about the miscorrections to my grammar).


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments I am also on Authonomy and have been since 2008. I agree about the networking comment, which is very time consuming.
It was ironic that after my book was listed on the internet I deleted 70% of the file on Authonomy and all of a sudden I had a following and it started to rise :-o)
It didn't rise to the top five, but that no longer bothered me as I am more interested in the feedback from people who have paid good money and have read the book.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments A cautionary tale about self-publishing and assisted publishing. You have probably heard of the American company Xlibris. They are big and professional, but make a living out of teasing authors. I once annoyed one of their sales people so much that she sent me a breakdown of Xlibris sales for 2005, 2006 and part of 2007.

The good news: in that period, they 'published' 13,401 different titles. They proudly announce that a) 4% of their books (536) have sold more than 1000 copies, and the top 22 titles have sold more than 4000.

The bad news is that most of their titles are non-fiction, with an emphasis on history and biography - probably books of local interest. There were only 6 fiction titles in their top 50.

Overall, at that time they had 28,000 titles in print and 10,794 of those (38%) were fiction. Their average sales were 99 copies, presumably mostly to their hopeful authors.

The difference a real publisher will make to your books is that they have a limited list, and they publicise them hard. That is how best sellers are created and, once you have one of those under your belt, the literary world might take you seriously.


Lillian Grant (LillianGrant) Tracey wrote: "Lillian I too am impressed you got an advance from an e-publisher. I wasn't even aware there were many out there, I thought all of us were more or less doing things on our lonesome.
Would you mind..."


My book is an erotic romance novel published with Loose Id. They only publish erotic romance. There are a number of other well established e-publishers who do romance of all sorts as well as erotica. If you write something other than romance then I have no idea.


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Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments I can't say I'm an expert on self-publishing, but I have been forced to learn a few things over the last couple of years. One that might surprise anyone who has not thought about it is - the number of pages in your book matters.

Having produced your book, you are inevitably faced with sending single copies of it all over the place. Firstly for reviews, and then for direct purchases off your web site or by friends etc. Australia Post (bless their little hearts) do not make things easy, but after a little experimentation I found the following:-

For small runs of books, the printers say the most economical format is A5 or 148 x 210 mm (see how those measurements just trip off my tongue - aren't I getting professional?) If your book is 100,000 words and you are using 80 gsm paper (the normal), you will end up with about 300 pages.

Wrap a 300 page book up in bubble wrap, pop it into a padded envelope and take it to the Post Office. They will produce a measuring gauge, a sheet of plastic with slots in it to measure how thick your package is.

If it weighs less that 0.5 kg and fits through the slot, it can travel as a letter - $3. If it doesn't - and yours won't - you are looking at ~$8. Or you can buy a pre-paid satchel to put your package in. Which ever way, postage and the padding make a big dent in your per copy profit margin.

However, the good news is, if you can keep your packaging thickness to a minimum, you can send your 300 page book all over Australia for just $3. I do it by dispensing with the bubble wrap or padded envelope and vacuum sealing the book. It works very well and the book feels like a brick. I wonder if I can patent the idea? Then I use a plastic bag/envelope from Office Works (~$0.25 each in bulk - and it works. Unfortunately, my Light o'Love at 367 pages is just too thick, and about 10 gm overweight. I should have edited it more carefully.


message 31: by Laura (last edited Nov 25, 2010 04:45PM) (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 197 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I can't say I'm an expert on self-publishing, but I have been forced to learn a few things over the last couple of years. One that might surprise anyone who has not thought about it is - the number..."

Jacqueline, isn't it scary what authors are expected to think about these days? When I started my first novel I researched word length guidelines in the hopes of making it more marketable - I never thought about postage.

Next time you post your book, spare a thought for me. My publisher is in the US and if I want a copy of my own book, I have to pay the cost of the book (something like a whopping $1.50 off cover price) plust the postage of over $15 to get it from America. I do have the option of buying a box full and then the price of postage per book is more like $4. But then if I want to post it on like you're doing, It's hard to imagine spending less than $10 a book in just postage. Basically my book is too expensive to sell or give away in Australia. There is the ebook option (mine's available in Kindle and a large variety of other formats) and I can only hope that that takes off here so people can actually afford to read my book if they're interested.


message 32: by Jacqueline (last edited Nov 25, 2010 05:07PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Laura,

I was lucky with my US publisher. They had world print rights but I asked them nicely if they would let me print in Aus/NZ as they were not doing anything over here. They took the attitude that any hard copy sales would only improve my profile and ebook sales, so they said go ahead. It is probably worth a try, but ask quickly before Lightning Source set up over here (mid-2011) because they will be in a position to supply US titles economically.

If your publisher plays ball, I'd be happy to help with anything about the process you want to know.

No surprise that your margin on US hard copies is tiny. Producing your own over here is much better.


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Laura wrote: "There is the ebook option (mine's available in Kindle and a large variety of other formats) and I can only hope that that takes off here so people can actually afford to read my book if they're interested. "

...and your ebook is available to Australians. :)


Laura Rittenhouse | 197 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Laura wrote: "There is the ebook option (mine's available in Kindle and a large variety of other formats) and I can only hope that that takes off here so people can actually afford to read my book ..."

It is available to Aussies, but the ebook mania hasn't taken off here like in the US. If you get on a plane in the US you see them everywhere.

I admit to being guilty myself of not owning an ereader. But I do have a netbook and I've got the Kindle ereader and the Adobe ereader for those books that I want but don't want to pay the earth for.

Jacquiline, I'll think over your idea and kind offer. To be honest, I'd like my book available here in case someone wants to buy it (like the library) but I'm not keen on getting an ABN, collecting GST and whatever else would involve selling books myself. I'm lazy first, an author second ;-)


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I think the ebook mania in Australia is gathering momentum.


Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 73 comments Geoff wrote: "So the next step was DIY -
Companies that offered full self publishing service or 'contribution' publishing, left me with doubts
after reading some of the contracts. Similar to Kevin's experience."


Hi Geoff, just to clarify, the dodgy contract was from a small publisher, not a self-publishing firm. My cut would have been a percentage of the wholesale price; any translations or audio books would only give me a smaller percentage of the percentage of the wholesale price; no royalties on the first 200 books sold - and I wouldn't see a cheque unless my royalties exceeded $1000.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Laura,

You don't have to worry about ABNs and GST unless (or should I say until?) your sales exceed $40,000. If you are a minor player, the tax department treat you like any other artist - they don't want to know because you might start claiming all sorts of expenses and they will certainly exceed any profits by far.

You could do things yourself, or hand the project over to some-one like BookPOD who get it printed and offer it for sale on their website. (They charge a $100 set-up fee.) You then link from your website to their bookpage and off you go.

BookPOD seem quite reasonable. They act as a sales point for me, but I do not use them for production.


Laurel Lamperd Murray wrote: "I share the cynicism of everyone here, but I have a better experience.

I put my book up on authonomy.com, which is a peer review site run by Harper Collins. It's meant to be set up so that the be..."


I tried Authonomy too, but after a couple of weeks I found all my writing time was taken up with networking. Authors were begging me to look at their books. I think my book was around 80/90 when I left. I wonder whether the best networkers have their books on top of the list. Laurel


Geoff Woodland | 304 comments I informed an accountant that I had a book published and could I deduct the publishing costs and writing costs against 'other income'. I was told that up to a couple of years ago this was acceptable (a bit like negative gearing) but now they treat it as an arms length transaction i.e all revenue from books sales is recorded as income and the book production costs are written off against the books revenue only - not other income.
As for GST I think it is $50K before you have to register, although you can register at any time below this figure.

Kevin - the contracts I spoke of where not 'shonky' but framed in such away that I didn't have control of my own work when I had paid a self publishing company to produce my book. If by some lucky break the book became a best seller I would not be in a position to make decisions about the book's future.


Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Laurel wrote: "I wonder whether the best networkers have their books on top of the list. "

Definitely. Authonomy changed (hopefully improved) the algorithms because a popular geek blogger got all his followers to support his book. In something like one week he'd reached number 1 and his followers (who should have had no cred) took all the top reviewer spots. They then had the power to push any other book up the charts because of their own reviewer rating.


message 41: by Kevin (last edited Nov 25, 2010 08:07PM) (new)

Kevin Klehr (goodreadscomkevink) | 73 comments Geoff wrote: "Kevin - the contracts I spoke of where not 'shonky' but framed in such away that I didn't have control of my own work when I had paid a self publishing company to produce my book. If by some lucky break the book became a best seller I would not be in a position to make decisions about the book's future."

Sorry Geoff I misunderstood, but intrigued nonetheless. After my 'shonky' contract, the outfit I went with (New Generation Publishing - http://www.newgenerationpublishing.info/) offered a decent contract that didn't stop me from publishing the book elsewhere. I've done the kindle thing but held back on Smashwords as they didn't have digital rights protection.

I am shopping around for another self-publisher, preferably in the US and one that has their titles available via Ingrams. I have also resent my manuscript to a few newer small publishers. I have a Gay Urban Fantasy novel so I'm already aiming for a boutique market.

Why am I shopping around? My current self-publishing outfit is good but not brilliant compared to some of the experiences from other authors I've read about on this site.

Re: Authonomy. I used www.youwriteon.co.uk and found that once I did get the book published, my commitment to review other people's writing waned. Especially as it was simply a way to get higher in the charts and a possible assessment from a top London agency. I read some great stuff and got some good feedback, but now I'm in marketing mode so that's where I have to stay for a while.

One last thing I want to say which has more to do about marketing than what this thread is about, is my novel has been added to The Bookshop's (a gay store in Darlinghurst) paper and online catalogue for the Summer/Mardi Gras season. Wasn't expecting it, but as it's given out with every purchase from that store and mailed to regular customers, I'm counting my blessings.

Free promotion to locals and (once Mardi Gras season starts) international visitors.


Lillian Grant (LillianGrant) Speaking as a tax accountant I can say you don't need to register for GST until your book sales exceed $75,000 in a year. If you are selling books then you can get an ABN without registering for GST. This stops people deducting tax from any payments. Even if your expenses outstrip your income you should get your accountant to include it in your return as the loss can be carried forward until you pass one the tests which would usually be make sales of $20,000 or make a profit. Once you pass one of these then all the losses are available to offsset against any other income. You can also average your income because you're an 'artist' this means if you make $20 in one year and $100,000 the next you pay tax at a lower rate as if you earned the income over 2 years with two tax free thresholds etc. Of course this is general advice and you should discuss with your accountant but don't assume you can't get any tax benefit from your losses or that selling yourself is too hard because of GST.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Isn't it nice to have free access to professional advice? Thank you, Lillian. I am deliberately earnning only small amounts each year at the moment so when I have the six-figure year (soon I hope), the tax bill will not be so painful.


Laura Rittenhouse | 197 comments Lillian wrote: "Speaking as a tax accountant I can say you don't need to register for GST until your book sales exceed $75,000 in a year. If you are selling books then you can get an ABN without registering for G..."

Lilian, I don't want to abuse you here so ignore me if this is too much free advice, but if I sell even a single copy of my book, don't I have to collect the GST from my customer and pass it on to the government? I thought that if I braved an author talk and took 10 copies, sold 5 at $20 each I'd have to pay $10 to the govt as GST.

I'd love to hear that I'm wrong until I sell 1000 at $20 each.


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments I can answer that one. If you are outside the GST system, you pay all the GST people charge you and can't claim it back. And you don't charge GST to any customers. Just forget about the whole thing (for the moment).


Laura Rittenhouse | 197 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I can answer that one. If you are outside the GST system, you pay all the GST people charge you and can't claim it back. And you don't charge GST to any customers. Just forget about the whole th..."

Kewl, sounds simple. I like simple!!!!


Tracey Alley (TraceyA) | 485 comments Thanks Lillian for the info but I write fantasy so probably not what I'm looking for... some very interesting info here though. For the moment I'm happy with Amazon's DTP, my ebooks sell quite well and with CreateSpace I've only had to pay the cost of proof copies which were about $12 each time. I will be looking at getting print copies available in Oz soon but I'm waiting till I finish the trilogy to start shopping around for a POD here.


Laurel Lamperd Jacqueline wrote: "I can't say I'm an expert on self-publishing, but I have been forced to learn a few things over the last couple of years. One that might surprise anyone who has not thought about it is - the number..."

You are a writer after my own heart, Jacqueline.I post my books for $3 at the large letter price. Wrap them in plastic then in a brown paper envelope. I aim to edit my books to less than 75,000 words just to get them through at the large letter rate. I'm not sure how you vacuum seal. It sounds a good idea. laurel


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Laurel,

You do have to have a kitchen vacuum sealer - great for dried mango, bananas and mushrooms. The vacuum sealing compresses the book and makes it resistant to any damage - so I can get away with only a thin plastic outer envelope. I suppose I could post them just in the vacuum sealing. It is tough plastic but clear, so I might get some free publicity...


Jacqueline George (JacquelineGeorge) | 239 comments Laurel,

75,000 words sounds a very small allowance, unless you are using very long words, of course. My Light o'Love is the one that is just too thick, and that has 107,000 words in A5 format. 105,000 would probably have been OK.


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The Secret Of Talmor Manor (other topics)

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Iain Edward Henn (other topics)