Writing Books/About publshing my novel
Respected Dorothy K Morris,
I am Dr. Abidi from Karachi, Pakistan. Although, by profession I am a medicine doctor but writing has always been my passion. I have been writing stories and articles since my childhood but was only able to put it in front of the world in March, 1999 when I got the honour to become the author and web designer of the largest personal website (http://www
. abidis.org) made by any Pakistani ever and finally I've had the chance of presenting my articles, stories and novels in front of thousands of visitors and readers from all around the world. By the response I got from Pakistanis as well as from Non-Pakistanis, I was further encouraged to write more. This motive finally resulted in the creation of my latest English e-novel “HIJAAB WAALI” (The veiled girl) in the year 2002.
I never expected that that this e-book which only exists “online” will get such a remarkable response and encouragement not only from the people of Indian and Pakistani community but from almost all the communities regardless of their ethnic or religious reservations. Thousands of readers have read it through my website and this number is only increasing.
Now, the real reason of contacting you for your expert advice is that unfortunately, due to my limited financial resources or lack of proper communication with the publishers, I've been unable to publish my book in print “paper back” form. A BIG number of my readers email me daily and ask if they can buy my novel in paper book form from anywhere and it only makes me more desperate about getting it published as soon as possible. From the great response I've got from my readers, I have complete faith that if God is willing, my book, if published, has much greater chances of getting a “big hit” world wide, specially among the youth. Last week, some publishers from Indonesia contacted me and asked that they want to publish my novel in Indonesian language but the royalty they are offering is very less. They say they will only give me 100 US$ as advance and 6% royalty of the retail price on each book sold. As this is my first experience, I want to ask few things from you.
The questions I want to ask from you are:
1- Do you know any contacts of publishers which might be interested in publishing & distributing my novel?
2- I want to know more about the royalty issues, i.e. what is the average royalty (%age) an author gets on his in-demand fiction novel of about 260 pages.
3- What should be my present strategy which could help me to publish my novels as early as possible?
4- Do you think it's reasonable for me to get only 100 US$ as advance payment from those Indonesian publishers and then 6% royalty on each book sold?
5- What about piracy & copy right issues?
I know my questions are lengthy and detailed but so are the queries in my mind.
I hope with your advice, I would be able to know more about the matters to publish my book.
Respect and regards
Dr. Ikram Abidi
Visit us at:
Hello Dr. Abidi,
I will attempt to respond to, if not completely answer, your questions.
1. I do not know of any publishers who may want to publish your novel. This is the most difficult task for all of us writers. First you may wish to hire an agent. Look for Writers' Agents on the web or check for Small Publishing Houses on the web.
2. Royalty differs with each publisher and writer. A newcomer who is yet unproved cannot request a large royalty. The publisher is taking a risk and wants to recoup his investment. You may wish to have in a contract a clause that allows for an increase of royalty percentage if your book sells a certain number of copies.
3. Stragety for getting your book published and sold would entail having it in print, of course. You may consider self-publishing. This can also be researched on the Web...at Self-publishing sites. If you are lucky enough to land a good agent and he gets you a publisher, the publisher is supposed to invest some money in publicity. That is why he gives you less royalty until you are proven.
4. Six percent royalty on the first 5000 copies is OK, provided you include in your contract that if you sell more than 5000, these copies will bring 8% royalty. More than 10,000, you get 10% royalty.
5. I do hope you have copyrighted the book BEFORE you put it on the internet! If you have not, it is open right now to piracy and to plagiarism. If not, do so immediately. Look up Copyright on the www. Before I sent my manuscripts to my publisher, who then attends to the copyright, I always register the works with Writers' Guild of America West, here in Los Angeles. This covers the theft issue before it is copyrighted. I believe this is open to all writers.
I hope I have helped you in some ways. I wish you good luck and keep me posted?
Best regards and happy writing,