Advice for would-be published authors


Many authors will tell you writing your book and publishing your book is the easy part, but marketing your book to make a profit -- well, that's a tough task.

Post-it notes peppering her wall are the visual representation of ideas Ronda Suder used in her first book. She and her co-author recently finished a book titled "101 Things They Don't Teach You About the Corporate World."

"In my human resources past, I saw that new hires really struggled from transitioning from school to the work place," Suder explained.

It took Suder and her co-author just four days to write the first draft. Six drafts later, the duo is ready for the next step.

"That's the interesting piece," she said. "You realize that when you write a book you are only 50 percent done."

Now Suder needs to edit and publish the book. But major publishing houses will charge you thousands of dollars. Just ask author and professional speaker Dayna Steele who went through a traditional publisher for her first book.

"Long story short, by the time the book was out and I had bought all the services they convinced me I needed, I had spent $42,000," Steele said.

Steele says since then she learned several things about publishing a book.

"One -- you don't write a book to make money," she stressed.

Having learned that expensive lesson, Steele chose to self-publish her second book, "101 Ways to Rock Your World," using an online self-publishing website. Steele says it's a much more cost effective way to get your work published than going with a traditional publisher. When she needed to republish her first book, "Rock to the Top," this time it cost her $500.

"So, there I just saved you $41,500," Steele said.

The difference in the appearance of the book is hardly noticeable. The book published by a publishing house is a little larger and the color on the self-published book is a little brighter. Keep in mind, if you are a self-published author, it's up to you to market your own book and make some money.

Steele is selling her latest book at her neighborhood grocery store and on this day picked up an $800 check -- already turning a profit.

Another way to save money on self-publishing your own book is to print your book on demand. Don't buy hundreds of copies. Instead, wait until someone purchases it on Amazon. Those self-publishing websites will help you with that too.

If you do plan to splurge on a self-publishing service, Steele says it's worth it to have your book professionally edited. That will run about $200 online.

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