Today, publishing is a many-flavored “ice-cream parlor” where you can sit down and be served (traditional publishing), drive-thru for a fast pick-up (budget online self-publishing) or create your own quality combo (co-publishing, using digital production and delivery technologies).

These selections can be boggling to a newbie, and even experienced professionals with several books already in the marketplace are keenly aware that they need to check the industry board regularly in order to keep up with the latest and greatest production and promotion technologies.

Only a year ago, who would have thought, for example, that ebook sales could ever soar to the top of the Richter scale and start to compete with hard copy products? Thanks to the many new exciting ebook reading devices, with Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader leading the pack—the publishing industry is speeding down a super highway in a different direction--and that highway is lined with trees that will not be cut down to make books.

Become an expert ‘5-W’ researcher

It’s a great idea to learn everything you can about the 5 W’s—“Who, What, Where, When & Why,” + ‘H’ for “How” before you set out on that publishing super highway.

Here’s a check list for hard copy and ebooks and articles:


  • Study the book industry. Learn everything there is to know about publishing.
  • Research industries related to book publishing (audio books, ebooks, films, etc.).
  • Develop a clear picture of the method you wish to use for publishing your books and articles.
  • Visit many publishing websites.
  • Become familiar with book industry associations (Literary Marketplace, Publishers Marketing
  • Association, etc.).
  • Join writing and publishing forums.
  • Learn how to write a book proposal.
  • Learn how to develop a media kit.
  • Interview authors to learn how they publish.
  • Interview literary agents.
  • Interview publishers and editors.
  • Be sure to check out my website at Write to Publish for Profit –all the links,
  • including blog articles.
  • Feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns.
  • Articles

  • Submit your articles wherever the guidelines fit your work.
  • Add the titles of your published pieces to your resume.
  • Post articles freely on appropriate websites.
  • Volunteer to be a regular web columnist.
  • Start a blog.
  • Podcast and post.
  • Collect your articles and publish them as a book.
  • Stay current with free lance writing classifieds.
  • Develop a fee structure sheet; send it when requested.
  • Write for off-line media whenever possible.
  • Learn how to write publicity, advertising and marketing copy.
  • Be sure to check out my website at Write to Publish for Profit –all the links,
  • including blog articles.
  • Feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns.
  • We're living in a digital, electronic multi-media age

    If you are a writer, you will want to work with a publishing company that understands and uses “on demand” printing and distribution.

    If a publisher does not have a website, use the internet or any other digital technologies--beware! This is a sign that they would have a difficult time completing pre-press and post-press book production processes efficiently and economically.

    Today’s online book marketing and promotion capabilities far surpass any type of exposure and publicity that currently exists through other venues, especially for new or unknown authors. It’s another red flag if a publisher is unfamiliar with Web 2.0 marketing technologies and if viral marketing and social networking are not part of their promotion package.

    More about Print on Demand (POD)

    In the book industry, on-demand usually refers to “print on demand” and is abbreviated as “POD.” It is now becoming SOP (standard operating procedure) to print books at the time of purchase, after the customer has paid for them.

    At the turn of the century, POD took the book industry by storm and by 2004 it had gained such a stronghold, the handwriting was “virtually on the wall”: Gutenberg & Co.--most forms of offset printing using metal plates and rollers, were on their way to the graveyard. Today a small table-top printer can produce “15-20 library quality paperback books per hour” --a process that only a few years ago used to take days. Check out On Demand Books and learn all about the amazing Espresso book machine!

    If Gutenberg led to literacy, POD has led to poderacy. Taken to the ultimate, POD dispensed with the need to:

  • Warehouse books and pay all the warehousing fees, insurance, taxes, etc., etc. As soon as a book is
  • purchased it is printed from files archived in the digital printing equipment. Within 48 business
    hours, it is on its way to the customer.
  • Pay huge sums of money to an offset printer for large print runs.
  • Use wholesalers and distributors for trucking cartons from wholesaler to distributor to bookstore
  • warehouses, and finally to the bookstore, where the customer purchases an often war-torn
    looking product.
  • Force the publisher to take the loss of returned and often damaged books.
  • Invest huge sums of money to print a second edition if the author wishes to correct errors or make
  • other editorial changes… and suffer the loss of an out-dated first edition.

    Today, most publishers use digital printing unless a book requires a large print run, and recently, Lightning Source International introduced speedy offset printing for larger print orders. Printing companies can now use digitally implemented “hybrid” models that are more efficient and economical even for large print runs.

    Obviously, anything manufactured in volume will be more cost effective than one-off or on demand production. Also, if a book requires special high resolution reproductive work that a digital printer may be incapable of performing, it will be offset printed. As digital printers continue to become more sophisticated, however, this will no longer be a challenge.

    Welcome to the 21st century where you, the author, are in charge of your publishing options, and the finished product.

    Author's Bio: 

    Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.

    Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.

    Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.

    Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.

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