#AMA: How do you know if your book is ready to be published?

4-U-Nique Publishing
Aug 23, 2018

"How do I know if my book is ready to be published?" is one of the most common questions that writers ask. In this discussion, 4-U-Nique Publishing will provide advice to writers of all experience levels. Find out the answers to, "How long should my book be?", "When should I start and stop promoting my book?", and "What do I need to look at in a publisher before choosing one?" 

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Hi,

I am a first time self-publishing author. When is the best time to promote a book, what are your recommendations? What works and what doesn’t? Are marketing strategies different depending on the author or the genre?

Aug 25, 2:41PM EDT1

Hello Deborah,

The best time to promote a book is 3 months before the book's release and promoting shouldn't stop. Books never go out of style. Many authors stop promoting their book a few months after their book was released. Big no/no. 

Marketing strategies are a little different depending on the genre. For instance, as an author of a Yoga book, you would market to people interested in fitness, meditation, spirituality, and Yoga. You may want to contact Yoga studios and gyms to help you market your book. You would market on Social Media to those who have an interest in Yoga, fitness, etc. Whereas a fantasy author would definitely take a different marketing approach.

As far as what works and doesn't work usually depends on the author and genre. How much time are you dedicated to promoting your books, how much money are you willing to pay, and are you willing to reach out to bloggers or are you willing to guest blog?

FYI, Self-Help, Nutrition, and Fitness books are tending these days. I'm sure your book will do well. 

Aug 26, 12:13AM EDT1
Even if you agree to be in charge of publishing a book, what responsibilities do you still expect of the author to make the sales a success?
Aug 25, 12:13PM EDT0

Hello Chelai,

This is an important question. Publishers expect authors to promote their book consistently. Many authors think that the publishers are going to do all the marketing for them. If Stephen King and Paulo Coelho promote their own books, so should all authors. 

Aug 25, 12:31PM EDT0

Where do you get your inspiration to write? 

Aug 25, 8:30AM EDT0

Catherine,

Vid Lamonte' Buggs Jr, the founder and owner of 4-U-Nique Publishing started to write as an outlet. He has been quoted in saying that he read some of his writings to a friend who was in need and that friend encouraged him to share his words with the world. Vid's inspiration is to help others, bring insight and awareness into some of the world's issues, and to share his love and faith in people and their goals.

Aug 25, 11:46AM EDT0
Many authors complain of being turned away without being given so much as an audience by a publishing house. Why do you think this happens? Do you think publishers do this in haste yet the author may actually be worth their time?
Aug 25, 8:29AM EDT0

Hello Catherine,

To answer your question, a lot of publishers do this because they are concerned more about making money. This is a business so yes profits matter. However, publishers who don't give authors a chance aren't in the publishing business to actually help authors. 

No publisher can guarantee that a new author is going to sell millions of books. What we are to provide is getting your book exposure and the authors have to do their part also. Everyone deserves a legitimate chance. We don't turn authors away. We will not publish a book until it is up to our standards but we aren't turning people away because their book isn't like the Harry Potter series. 

Aug 25, 11:43AM EDT0
What’s your unique value proposition as publishers? How do you stand out from your competitors?
Aug 25, 7:15AM EDT0

Hello Blegourd,

Our unique proposition that allows us to stand out from our fellow publishers is 1) Higher royalties. Traditionally publishers do not pay authors more than 10% royalties and that's for well-known authors. A higher percentage. 2) Authors own their publishing and we work hand in hand with our authors, instead of making unilateral decisions while working on their book. 

Aug 25, 11:32AM EDT0

I must add that 4-U-Nique Publishing is founded and owned by a bestselling and an award-winning author, who talks to each author personally. Vid advises them and listens to them. He didn't start this company as a means to get rich. He started this company to help others make their dreams become a reality. 

Aug 25, 11:35AM EDT0
Marketing books is probably one of the most difficult phases in book production. What are some of the techniques you use that have been effective?
Aug 24, 11:12PM EDT1

Hello Fachrul Ariesta Rahman,

Some marketing techniques that have been effective for us are doing interviews, features, and podcasts. Social Media and Blogging Campaigns have been really effective. Also, getting reviews from publications, bloggers, and beta readers have been effective. Word of mouth by a trusted source (family or friend) is always the best marketing technique

Aug 25, 11:26AM EDT0
How do you know when a book it’s ready to be published? What processes need to be completed before publishing?
Aug 24, 11:40AM EDT0

Hello Abigaille,

You know that a book is ready to be published when

1). You have a vision for the book  (beyond being published). For example, is the book going to bring speaking engagements, help a business, is the author ready to do their share of promoting?

2). Book has been thoroughly edited and proofread. Book Formatting has been done. The cover design is done. Marketing strategies have been planned and implemented (Marketing campaigns, Press Release, etc).

Aug 25, 11:21AM EDT0
What are the best marketing tools a publishing company should have?
Aug 24, 9:51AM EDT0

Gareth,

Best marketing tools a publishing company should have are 1) beta readers and reviewers. Word of mouth from customers is the best advertisement. 2) A strong Social Media campaign. Everything is digital know and technology has made the world a lot smaller and easier to promote your product, brand, or company.

Aug 25, 11:10AM EDT0

I love to write on self help. In one of your answers you have mentioned inclination towards self help book writers. Will you like to work with me? ☺️

Last edited @ Aug 24, 9:46AM EDT.
Aug 24, 9:45AM EDT0

Hello Tarun Deep Singh,

We are willing to work with anyone who is unique(hint: everyone is unique) and willing to work with us. 

Please email us at info@4-U-NiquePublishing.com with your information so we can contact you.

Thanks.

Aug 24, 1:19PM EDT0
What does the process of working with you involve? What does an author need to do first?
Aug 24, 3:53AM EDT0

Hello AdnanMayo,

First, an author needs to contact us via email or phone and give us some information about their project. Mr. Buggs, who is the founder and owner, as well as an author will contact the author and talk in depth about our company, the publishing industry, and how to do your research. He doesn't try to sell you on publishing with us. A lot of our feedback from the authors, when asked what made them publish with us, has been, Mr. Buggs is very knowledgeable, upfront, and "treated me as if he knew me for years." If the author agrees to use any of our services or to publish with us we then send over a contract for them to sign and then they will send their manuscript to us.

Aug 24, 1:17PM EDT0

What would you say to an author who believes they can edit their own novel? 

Aug 24, 2:02AM EDT0

Megan Willie,

What I would say to an author who believes they can edit their own novel is don't do it. We all have writing tendencies and it's easy for us to overlook. For instance, Mr. Buggs uses "that" a lot, even when "that" isn't needed. We advise people to get a group of editors to edit their book(s). This way each editor can catch something that another editor overlooked. The brain is tricky if someone sees "that" a lot in a manuscript, the brain will overlook it because it has tricked overlook "that".

Aug 24, 1:11PM EDT0
What advantages and disadvantages do you see in self-publishing versus traditional publishing?
Aug 23, 1:59PM EDT0

Hello AndreaaP18,

To answer your question I'm going to refer to a blog we wrote a year or so ago. 

You have just finished writing your book and you are now ready to publish. How do you go about finding the right publishing and the right publisher for you and your book?  Some of you are thinking, “Isn’t publishing and publisher the same?” No, they are different.

There are three different Publishing types:  Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing and Hybrid- Publishing.  Think of Publishers as companies. You will have publishers who traditionally publish like Harper Books. You have publishers who hybrid-publish like 4-U-Nique Publishing.  You have publishers who only specialize in a specific category or genre, for example, Non-fiction or Poetry.

Which of the three publishing types are right for you? I will briefly go over each type of publishing and their pros and cons.  I always tell people to do their own research and don’t just take my or anyone else’s word.  Many authors dream of getting their book published by a traditional publisher. If you are fortunate enough to get signed to a traditional publisher, your book may benefit greatly.  You have a team of some of the best editors working on your book; your book have an easier time getting on shelves in major retailers, and you have a team promoting your book.  Most importantly, you have time to focus on your next book because the publishing stages of your book are handled by someone else.

Cons of publishing traditionally? Apparently, it is difficult for your work picked up by a traditional publisher. I for one cannot personally speak about the best way to get noticed by a traditional publisher.  I have heard hiring a literary agent is the best route; however, I’ve heard sending your manuscript to publishers work best.  While entering a writing contest is the best way to go.  What I can tell you is I caught the interest of traditional publishers when one of my writings was entered in a contest.  Moving on, a traditional publisher is interested in your work.  Usually, when you sign a contract with them, you give up control of your manuscript. Which means they can edit your book how they want; they can take out or put in things in your books.  They can promote your book however they want.  They also have control over when and if your book is actually released.  Also, your book royalties are normally low; many authors get less than 10% royalty off of each book sold.  You didn’t really think the publishers were paying for marketing, editing, distribution, and book setup out of their own pocket did you?

Over the years, the publishing industry has seen a boom in self-publishing.  When authors self-publish they are in control of the whole publishing process. They own their rights, they bring in higher royalties and they set the price of their books.  Not bad at all, however, you have to determine how much time and money you have to spend on self-publishing.  Publishing a book, in general, is very time consuming and very expensive. As a self-publishing author, you will have to either edit your book yourself and/or hire an editor. If you want your book to be the best it possibly can, I recommend hiring multiple editors and proofreaders.  Editing, Book Design and Book Setup are very expensive and time-consuming. Yes, I am going to keep saying “expensive” and “time to consume”, so you will understand what you are getting into.  You have just finished bringing your book to life, now you have to get your books out to the public. This stage is pretty easy if you are going with online retailers like Amazon, iBooks, and Nook.  If you are trying to get into a Bookstore like Barnes and Nobles, you will have a challenge getting on their bookshelves.  Don’t give up hope, it is possible to get on their shelves, you just have to write a marketing proposal to them and have it accepted by them.

Recently, more and more Hybrid-Publishers have popped up. Hybrid- Publishing is exactly want it sounds like; they are a mixture of self-publishing and traditional publishing.  Authors can hire a hybrid publisher for varies services like editing, book design, marketing, etc.  Authors can choose to self-publish their work themselves after using a hybrid publisher for, let’s say editing.  Or, authors can hire hybrid publishers to publish their book in entirety.  Each hybrid publisher is different, so I will only speak about how 4-U-Nique Publishing is set up.  If an author wants a service or package, that the author pays up front (or payment plan) for the service/package.  We and most hybrid publishers have a team of editors, marketers, designers, etc. who are very good at what they do.  If an author chooses to use the hybrid (4-U-Nique Publishing), for their entire publishing, (getting the book out to the public and in retailers), they will usually pay the hybrid publisher a royalty.  In this case, the author is still bringing in higher royalties than they would see from a traditional publisher but less royalties than they would if the self-published. However, the author has more time to focus on their next book, work, family, and other endeavors.

You still have to look at a few more factors before making your decision on which publisher and publishing are right for you.  1) How much time do you want to spend on different stages of your book creation and publishing? If you don’t have much time to devote to your books creation, then traditional or hybrid publishing is for you. If you have tons of time then self-publishing may be your best fit.  2) How much control do you want over your book? If the control doesn’t matter than traditional publishing may be for you. If you like to have control over what’s edited, the release of a book, etc. then self-publishing or hybrid publishing is for you. 3) Royalties? If you want the most royalties go with self-publishing; if you want high royalties but don’t want to do all the publishing work, go with hybrid publishing; if you don’t care about royalties, don’t want to be involved in the publishing process and don’t want to pay for services upfront go with traditional publishing.  4) What is my target audience and what genre/category does my book belong in? If you are a poetry writer, there is no need to contact a publisher who only deals with Mystery Novels.  Go to a publisher who specializes in your genre.

Finally, advice, call these publishers, editors, book designers, etc. Ask them questions and analyze how they answer your questions. Do they rush you off the phone? Do take the time to thoroughly answer questions and explain their answers? Are they passionate? Are they knowledge? Remember your manuscript/masterpiece is like your child, you have to be careful about who is holding it, forming it, and who is going to be in control of it.  Also, remember no matter what anyone says, You Have to Market Your Own Book, Music, Art, Product.  Do not leave marketing solely on the publishing company; you will not get the results you expected. Remember, if you are publishing through a publishing company they have other authors who they have to divide their attention with also.

Best Wishes on your Journey.

Aug 24, 1:25PM EDT0
Can authors seeking self-publishing use some of your services without having to publish the book through your company?
Aug 23, 12:59PM EDT0

Erik,

Yes, authors who are seeking to self-publish can use some of our services without having to publish through our company.

Aug 24, 1:04PM EDT0

How has the publishing business changed and what exciting trends do you foresee in coming years?

Aug 23, 8:13AM EDT0

Hello AngeloJ.Caamino,

The change that has happened in the publishing business over the years is that the big time publishing companies do not have the advantages that they had years ago.  Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing are increasing due to technology. Ebooks and audiobooks are on the rise. It's easier to market now do to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so the big time traditional publishers are losing their market hold and getting left behind.

The exciting trends that I foresee in the next coming years are 1) there are going to be a big wave of new writers. 2) ebooks, audiobooks, and print books sales will increase thanks to Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes&Nobles (online). 3) The out of dated writing and publishing rules are being neglected which will bring in a whole new creativity trend and new genres of books.

Aug 24, 1:03PM EDT0
What made you dedicate yourself to the publishing business?
Aug 23, 2:36AM EDT0

Helo Estela,

4-U-Nique Publishing was created while Vid Lamonte' Buggs Jr. was in talks with a major publishing company about releasing my first books "You Ain't Hungry Until I'm Starving." The more he found out about traditional publishers and the process of publishing, he decided the self-publishing route was a better option for him. When Vid first went the self-publishing route, he realized how challenging it is to find a good and affordable editor. With this knowledge, Vid set off to create a hybrid-publishing company which focuses on providing authors with various publishing services, as well as allowing them to keep their publishing rights and providing them with higher royalties than other publishing companies. If you check out the company’s webpage www.4-U-NiquePublishing.com, you will see how we are unique in our product as well as services.

 

Our passion is to help others achieve their goals and help make their dreams come true. A lot of people have dreams of writing a book; at 4-U-Nique Publishing we make those dreams come true. We realize that everyone in this world is unique and unlike many other publishers we do not turn an author away due to their work not fitting into the "norm", hence the name 4-U-Nique(for unique). 

Aug 23, 6:55PM EDT0
Could you talk about your editorial process and the value you bring to authors during this critical stage?
Aug 23, 1:06AM EDT0

Hello Neil,

Our Editorial process is a process that lasts until the release of the book. Each book has a team of 4 or more editors editing the book. This way typos and grammatical errors are almost nonexistent (every book ever made has an error of some sort). We also send each corrected draft to the author and give them feedback. We listen to the author's feedback as well. In some cases, the author intended to spell a word a certain way or have a grammatical error to make a strong point in their book.

Aug 24, 12:52PM EDT0
What advice do you have for the younger generation that want to get into publishing?
Aug 23, 12:50AM EDT0

Hello Vikas Giri,

My advice for anyone who wants to get into publishing is to research the publishing industry, find your niché, stay true to yourself and your clients, be authentic, and do it for the love, not the money. 

Aug 23, 6:54PM EDT0

What genre of books do you all specialize in and why have you chosen this particular genre?

Aug 22, 9:23PM EDT0

Hello Miral,

We publish books of all genres but it seems like we tend to specialize more in the Self-Help/Motivation genre. I think this is so because there is an incline in authors who write Self-Help books.

Aug 23, 6:52PM EDT0
What are the steps to the process of what happens before a book is released?
Aug 22, 8:55PM EDT0

Hello Silvia,

Here is a short version of the process of what happens before a book is released. 

1) First round of Edits.

2) Review the edits with the author and make suggestions.

3) More proofreading and edits

4) Book/ebook formatting and book cover design.

5) Copyright Book with Library of Congress

6) Come up with release date and marketing strategy 

7) More editing and Proofing

8) Starting Marketing the book (we like to do it no less than 3 months before the release date).

9) Send the book to reviewers, beta readers, and publications

10) Setup interviews/features for the author

11) Marketing

12) Book Release

Aug 23, 6:49PM EDT0
How was 4-U-nique publishing created? What drove you to create your publishing company?
Aug 22, 3:13PM EDT0

Hello BEA.JUSTH,

4-U-Nique Publishing was created while Vid Lamonte' Buggs Jr. was in talks with a major publishing company about releasing my first books "You Ain't Hungry Until I'm Starving." The more he found out about traditional publishers and the process of publishing, he decided the self-publishing route was a better option for him. When Vid first went the self-publishing route, he realized how challenging it is to find a good and affordable editor. With this knowledge, Vid set off to create a hybrid-publishing company which focuses on providing authors with various publishing services, as well as allowing them to keep their publishing rights and providing them with higher royalties than other publishing companies. If you check out the company’s webpage www.4-U-NiquePublishing.com, you will see how we are unique in our product as well as services.

 

Our passion is to help others achieve their goals and help make their dreams come true. A lot of people have dreams of writing a book; at 4-U-Nique Publishing we make those dreams come true. We realize that everyone in this world is unique and unlike many other publishers we do not turn an author away due to their work not fitting into the "norm", hence the name 4-U-Nique(for unique). 

Aug 23, 6:39PM EDT0
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