BE AN AUTHOR
BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR
It is good news for both authors and book lovers as book sales are up and bookshops are back in business. And, it’s never been easier to write and publish a book. Who says so? Michael Walsh, whose first book was published over 40-years ago and now has his name on 52 book covers. Michael takes us through the process from pen-poised to holding your book in your hand.
First is the need to sit down at your laptop and start writing. Most authors start from the beginning but begin wherever you wish and move the chapters into place later. Don’t worry if writing to retail standards seems a daunting prospect as this is usually done by ghost-writers. Most books are ghosted, including books by Jeffrey Archer, Wilbur Smith and other household name writers.
The author’s advice is to be careful: “Many ghost-writers charge exorbitant prices; my fee is a reasonable €20 ($25/£20) per 1,000 words and is easily transferred.”
Michael has ghosted over thirty books for new authors, most of which have been published conventionally or by Amazon Kindle. Size doesn’t matter; novelettes contain about 50,000 words (50k) whilst your average paperback is between 70k ~ 80k words. It is likely that you have already written several books over the course of your life.
Like many others, Michael Walsh has returned to traditional book printing. Since the onset of print-on-demand (POD) book printing, one can have printed as few as 200 copies. This is affordable even for those on a household budget.
Obviously, savings can be made by ordering larger quantities and he says he has discovered the most cost-effective book printers in Europe. “Your books are delivered within a month of your order being placed; we take care of the covers too”.
Social media makes selling one’s books much easier. “Most authors promote their books via Facebook and GAB groups; these are your online bookstores.
Michael Walsh found dropping books off at retailers was a great success. “I am now too old and based in Spain this is no longer practical. When living in England I called in at a dozen or so stores. At each, I dropped say 12 – 50 books on a ‘sale-or-return’ basis. Calling in a week or so later I picked up 65% of the cover price of each book sold and I replaced the sold copies. This way there’s no risk to the retailer and you benefit further by placing your books where shoppers can’t miss them.
You can pay a sales person 20% of your cover price to sell your books for you but in this case it is best to put your cover price up so you profit too.”
The most popular book themes are romance, crime, horror, and mystery, Sci-fi and fantasy sells well as does Adolf Hitler and World War II. Biographies are best avoided.
If your book is of special interest such as health, leisure industries, celebrity, or police or armed forces related, then use the appropriate periodicals to advertise to reach a highly receptive readership.
Will you make money? You will recover your outlay through sales so you can be a successful author without loss. A rule of the thumb guide is that you start to show a profit when you have sold 50 per-cent of your books. Point to ponder: every book started off where you are now. Get in touch with Michael Walsh by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org