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Question
I am in the process of writing a book based on my experience of having twins. I have contacted a publisher who is well known for publishing baby books etc. I need to understand , should my book be sucessful , how payment works via a publisher and whether it would be better to self publish. There are many sources through which to market my book therefore would self publishing be a better option ?
The publisher I contacted suggested I send in a chapter or two but I plan to approach others first to proof read my ideas. Thanks

Answer
Dear Charlotte,
Thank you for your letter. That's exciting that a publisher asked you to send in some chapters. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so best wishes to your success.
Here's how the payment system works: The author signs a contract for betwen 5 - 15% royalties on the cover price of the book. Your attorney will negotiate the final deal. Sometimes publishers offer an advance, which is the equivalent of what your royalties would be for the first print run. You get the advance before it goes to press. Then, if it goes into a second printing, you will get the 5 - 15% after the copies sell. The money will come in checks that are mailed semi-anually or quarterly.
If you self-publish, you pay the up-front fee to print the book, which is usually somewhere around $5,000 for 500 copies. The printer delivers the books to you and you go out and sell them. You keep the difference between what you paid and what you make selling the books.
If you're a marketing genius, you can sell all the books and make a profit. However, many authors end up giving books away for free or keeping them in cartons in their garages.
It's usually always best to have a good publisher, because that gives your book clout and representation.
The only time self-publishing is better is if someone has a ready-made audience, for example, if they can sell books to their students, clients, or followers.
If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to write back. Here's my page for writers:
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
Sincerely,
Nori

Writing Books

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Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Organizations
Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Publications
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories


Education/Credentials
UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
Interviews:
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

Publishers:
ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

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