Have you been working on a book, wanting to get it published and finding road blocks? What "should" you do next? What other avenues do you have? Here are some ideas I recently shared with an author who had this very dilemma.
Her question was::
"I have a publishing decision to make, and I was hoping feedback from you might help me. For the past few years, I've been drafting a book in a well-populated field. The only "real" difference from my text and others is the audience. My first publisher dropped me due to budget concerns; I represented a new market and the economy didn't support adventure. My feelings were not hurt, and it gave me the opportunity to find a publisher with a business model closer to my original vision of the book (hybrid web/digital). I found one, a start-up backed by venture capital funds offering free, full-text versions of books along with print-on-demand versions of whole texts or parts. This was exactly what I wanted to do (I never understood why students should have to pay for a text that they only need part of). However, in the end, this publisher had to say no, too, because, being brand new, they felt they had to build a stable of content publications before moving onto skills texts. This one was more disappointing because they have the model I envisioned from the start." What should I do with these 3 years of work?
Being rejected can be disappointing, but you need to remember the old adage, 'when one door closes another opens.' Here are some possible 'doors' to explore:
Make your work available on your website with a sort of tool used for feedback (maybe a Survey Monkey questionnaire). Then you can get some user feedback, refine the text and try it with another publisher at a later date.
Another option to look at is self publishing. There are several organization out there such as lulu.com or Amazon.com. Check out the other self-publishing and print-on-demand options to see what might work best for your materials. I think it's smart to take a look at some of the books you have and see who the publishers are. I'm seeing more and more works that I can tell are not from the 'big publishers.' Some are very well done and others look like their cousin produced it in his basement (and proofread it in the dark). You can find out quickly which publishers do quality work.
Give away part of your book and then sell part of your work after people have found out how helpful it is.
Give away all of your work - if people have attended one of your workshops.
Sell your work for a relatively low cost (electronic download) and sell A LOT OF THEM. Money is money and it all spends quite nicely.
Get sponsors, i.e., people, companies, or organizations would underwrite your book(s) and then give them away or sell them at a very low price - thereby giving the sponsors additional exposure with their target market.
Don't let your work fade away. Publishing is changing all the time. And there are possibilities out there for you that will both serve those who will be helped by your writing and will help get some money in your bank account. Rather than just thinking about the traditional way or what you "should" be doing, look for ways to make it happen.
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