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There is a difference between self-publishing and "vanity" publishing. With the vanity presses, you pay money up front for your book to be published. And you usually do not see any royalties.
With self-publishing you may or may not have to pay up front fees to get your book published. And, they are better at giving you royalties. Here are some links to other people's experiences with Virtual Bookworm:
Want to self-publish your work? Don't go about it blindly! It's a great idea to get some books on marketing your self-published work. A book that comes highly recommended is called 100,000+ Power Phrases (it's written by Bob Johnson). If you like this book, you might also want to look into Johnson's other book, Publishing Basics.
*Not only are these books good for thinking up marketing materials, they can also help you with the writing of your book and your promotional materials.
A great book marketing tip you can look to for help with book marketing strategies is to pick up a copy of "1001 Ways to Market Your Book" by John Kremer. You can find this book by doing a simple search for it on Google, or at JustBookz.com (it sells for around $20 and will provide you with plenty of self publishing ideas to help you the learn the art of book promotion). It will also give you countless ideas on how to market your self published book. With over 700 pages, this book has something for everyone -- from author to publishers and beyond.
Another aid when you begin writing your manuscript are the many writing magazines that come out every month. "The Writer" and "Writer's Digest" are two of the best, and they often include monthly articles or columns on how to self publish a book as well as general writing help.
*A subscription to one or two of these magazines is invaluable.
Are you new in self publishing and looking to market your book and need some great advice? Try exploring the many resources that are readily available. Ther are many book and articles on the subject available online or at your local library. A great one to pick up is "1001 Ways to Market Your Book".
This book is extremely indepth and it is illustrated with real examples showing how others have successfully marketed their books. In addition, it offers useful advice on matters such as: Editing and designing your books for promotional clout, Opening new markets, and Getting national publicity for your books (just to name a few).
*It is a good idea to learn by example.
If you are considering self-publishing, but don't know how, you can easily learn.
Entire organizations exist to help a self-publisher get started and maximize profits. Such as:
Every successful small or self-publisher writes and publishes. Collectively they have documented every step of self-publishing a book. Most people begin by reading:
Other small or self-publishers will view you as a collaborator, not a competitor. The real competition is the little publisher against the big New York publishers. So go to a bookstore, or a publishing organization's website and start learning now!
Get in the publishing loop! It's a good idea for any self publisher to subscribe to the Publishing Basics Newsletter. This monthly book e-newsletter features self publishing articles written by authorities in all phases of independent book publishing. Unlike most other self publishing resources, this newsletter does not take paid advertising, making it easy to keep the independent publisher's interest the only focus.
*To subscribe, visit www.publishingbasics.com/
So, you decided to self-publish and are now having trouble getting your work of art on bookstore shelves? It can be a battle. No worries, however, there are other ways to sell you book in the meantime. If you want some insightful ideas on how to get your book out there, pick up "Beyond the Bookstore: 101 Ways to Sell Your Self-Published Book." This helpful little book will help you to focus on your audience and come up with smart ideas on where you can sell your book. It will help you learn the ropes before you tackle the big bookstores.
Dare to compare! This useful book is chalked full of comparisons. It is all about book publishing basics and takes all the mystery out of marketing self published books. The authors provide answers for all the most frequently asked editorial, book design ideas, book marketing questions, and more.
The book itself is produced in five 16-page segments, or signatures, using five different kinds of paper and four different printing processes. The same photographs and artwork are printed in each of these five signatures so that the reader can compare the quality of the reproduction of the various printing methods. It also includes an invaluable list of self publishing resources. Written by Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.& Ron Pramschufer. Self-Published Paperback, ISBN, 0970074131.