Getting a Book on the Shelf

There’s more to writing a book than writing a book.

That sounds crazy, of course, but if you’ve ever tried it, you know exactly what I mean.

You see, the actual writing is almost nothing compared to what has to happen after the writing is done.

Of course, if your only goal is to write the book, that’s fine. But if you want someone else to read it, that’s when the real work begins.

For years I’ve wanted to write a book and I’ve known all along what kind I would write and what would be in it. So, I finally decided to take the plunge, so to speak.

And now I have three books written, almost four. No, you haven’t seen them on bookshelves because, right now, they’re pretty much still files on my computer.

After the writing, proofing, editing and such, there’s layout, cover design and so much more.

The writer has to decide whether to totally self-publish (the writer pays all costs, gets books printed, then stores them throughout the house/attic/garage/basement until figuring out a way to sell one or two of those things); boutique or print-on-demand publish (the writer still pays a chunk of money but gets only one copy; any others that might be sold are ordered through the printer/publisher and printed only as ordered); or find a publishing company that will pay the author royalties, advance or something.

There are negatives for all three options. With the latter, the author has even more options: find a company willing to accept the unsolicited manuscript, read it and maybe offer a contract, and then wait 12 months to three years to see the final product, or find an agent who’ll sign on the author and then do the work in finding a publisher.

Oh, yes, there’s even more. Once a book is in print, it has to find its way onto bookshelves, into gift shops and more. That’s called book distribution.

My first book will be “in print” in a few weeks. Whether it ever gets to a shelf other than in our own home remains to be seen.

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