It begins with this inkling of wanting to tell the world a story. Your story of something that causes passion and inspiration in your soul. A story that you hope someone or many people can relate to. You spend an abundant amount of time to thread words, characters, poems, short stories, drafts, blood, sweat and tears to compile this little thing, you and I call, a book. Most writers especially, those who are detail oriented or like me, new to the game, take a little while longer to pump out a masterpiece. We tend to overthink, create too many scenarios, it becomes like a plague. Imagine a book?
I mean, even I struggle coming up with good topics to write on this blog. Imagine a book? They tell you to write what you know. When I say they, I say in general. Some authors have a very innovative mind and create a whole fantasy (sci-fi, fiction, etc.) for their readers. I seriously envy not having that kind of gift. I wish my mind was that creative. I write about my own experiences because it is what I know best. Unfortunately, that doesn't make publishing a book any easier. For reasons of trying to balance what things to share and what things to keep to yourself.
Here I was a new author pouring my experiences into a book. Letting my secret out the bag of writing poetry that only my notebooks knew. I gather the strength and put on my big girl panties and I self-publish my first book. I know what you're thinking, "why not publish with a well known publisher?" Well, I tried that avenue and I was denied from every publisher's desk.
They all said something along the lines that it's a wonderful book, beautifully written, but it's not the "content we are looking for." Most publishers want something that bring in tons of money; they're looking for their next "Milk and Honey." I can't say I blame them, I mean they are a business. However, everyone must understand it is all a hustle. It is all a business to psychologically predicament that you the customer, will pick up that book in your hand.
You have to do so much marketing, researching your audience, give out giveaways, sales, promotions, it is ongoing. You do all this and then you will have someone who might complain about a price. Which brings me to my next subject; let's discuss the way an author gets paid both through a publisher and self-published.
Through a publisher an author pretty much has no power over the price of their book. Honestly, an author doesn't have much input on many things that involve their book. I mean, think about it, a publisher has to pay for the printing, illustrators, fee's for marketing and promotions, reps who handles the marketing, oh and lets not forget they need to get paid too.
When you self-publish, you reap all the benefits but that also means you are your publisher, marketer, illustrator, editor, representative, and advocate. You are it! Of course most of us writers/authors don't have a publishing warehouse in the middle of our living room. Therefore, we will have to go through a book publishing warehouse such as (create space, amazon, lulu etc.). Authors will have to work with bookstores and agree to a contractual terms. Your books hold up space so, obviously, there will be a stocking fee.
If you don't have a book warehouse that accepts returns, that means you will have to pick up any returned books and hope they're in good condition. So to everyone out there purchasing books, thank you. While getting multiple books can seem expensive, please understand that the author is not reaping all the benefits. We are poor (well most of us). There are some very lucrative authors (Dr. Suess, J.K. Rowling). Which I adore and wish I knew personally. Everyone is getting some type of payout from our hard work, before we get paid for our hard work. Something like a e-book for 4.99 or less the author is probably getting $0.50-$1 per book.
So unless there are a million copies sold, that author is making bare minimum on hours and even years of work. Meanwhile, in the world we live in someone will easily step into a store like Sephora and drop $200 in less than 30 minutes and not even think twice about it. Selling any sort of work that is unique and creative such as books and art, involves tons of leg work. There is this constant grueling work that goes on of trying to convince the world that our work is worth having. That your (the customer) acceptance means we are good enough. That maybe for once we are great at something. I know to you it may seem like just a book, but to an author it is a piece of their heart. Please be kind to it and carry it with tender love and care. Thank you for supporting our art and our voice. It is because of you and your support that we even continue on this never-ending road of a writer.