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Writing Books/About publshing my novel


Respected Campbell,

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. 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.

Thank you

Respect and regards

Dr. Ikram Abidi

Visit us at:

Dr Abidi
Thank you for your question.  The challenge you face are typical of many authors who want to publish their works and unfortunately very few get published.  We have a number of contacts which we can provide including Africa World Press and Markus Wiener who may be interested and you can find them on the web.
My suggestion is to self publish and find out if there is a market for your book.  Print a small number say 100 to 500 and try and sell them yourself.  Build a following and then you have something to show publishers that there is interest in your works.
I would suggest that you check out and get the book on self publishing.  

If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

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Tom Campbell


When you are ready to print your book I can help you with how to prepare your book for the printer, what to expect from a printer and what you must understand yourself. How long does it take to print a book and methods of printing that make sense and what your costs should be in the process.


25 years of business experience including web development and printing. Currently Senior Vice President of Sales for King Printing Company. I'll approach all questions objectively.


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