How to get your book into print

So, you want to get your book into print. Great! Who’s going to read it? Who’s your reader? That’s not a silly question. Like any business or service, you need to have a clearly defined target market in mind before you write. If you write up your family history, it will be bought and read not just by your relations, but historical and genealogical societies will be interested as well. If you write a self-help manual, you want those who have a similar problem to open the covers of your book. Knowing who your reader is saves you time so you don’t waffle or get off track. Legal issues Look inside the front cover of any recent book. You will see a row of numbers with ISBN in front. This is the International Standard Book Number. If you bring your book out in hardcover, paperback and as an e-book, it will have 3 different numbers assigned to it. The ISBN is your book’s unique identifier, a security measure. Barcodes on your book are necessary if you intend to sell it commercially. If your publisher doesn’t supply you with these, get ISBNs and barcodes at Within a month of your book being published, you must send a free copy to the National Library of Australia and your State Library. This is called a Legal Deposit. More information can be found at [caption id="attachment_422" align="alignnone" width="512"]NLA_Canberra National Library of Australia[/caption]    Your friend, the editor Please, spend the money and hire a good editor! The brain is wired to self-correct. When you read your work over, you won’t see the errors that may have crept in. An editor has the hawk-like hunting skills for pouncing on spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting mistakes and checking facts and dates. A really good one will be willing to assist you with the flow and characters of your book. Most editors don’t write and are probably secretly envious of those who do – that’s you! You will not be judged, but corrected so you can sound even more authoritative. (And yes, I chose that word beginning with ‘author’ on purpose.) Some editors offer manuscript assessment services. If you take them up on this, they will give you advice on the tone and flow of your book. They will point out characters who are superfluous, they will notice where you have wandered away from the main focus, they will suggest where the language style has changed (from formal to chatty; amusing but insensitive, etc.). One book I was asked to assess was about documenting family mementos digitally. It was interesting but pretty dry in style. The author was an IT Knowledge Management specialist, and had filled his book with loads of ‘techy’ stuff. But his book was about family memories so I suggested fewer instructions and more stories. It became a much better, more readable and engaging book. Remember, a good editor is your friend. 3 publishing options All the publishers mentioned below supply ISBNs and barcodes. You may have to make the legal deposit yourself. 1 Traditional publishers accept very few new authors. If you’re successful, they may work on it with you for years before publication. Print runs are in the thousands so you will be expected to do your share of the marketing. Penguin bks small 2 If you have up to $5000, you can publish with a self-publisher. They will give you marketing advice, and sell through the overseas markets if they have access to them. They have various price packages that are available online. You also only need to print as many copies as you need. 3 Another way is to go to a writing weekend where they give you marketing advice, you record your book ideas and they source an editor and publisher who put it together for you. This is the priciest option but ideal for those who want to publish but aren’t good with writing.   [caption id="attachment_436" align="aligncenter" width="365"]Screenshot 2015-12-30 23.29.32 Published through a self-publisher, Palmer Higgs[/caption] Marketing Be proud of your book and sell, sell, sell it wherever you go. Here are some of my marketing activities:
  • Market especially in the last third of the year as books are popular for Christmas presents and summer holidays.
  • Hire a marketing business to set up and run a website and social media campaign for you.
  • Launch your book. The marketing business I hired organised invitations, flyers, food, drink, a liquor licence, payment for waitresses, etc. Saved me a heap of time and worry.
  • Look for speaking engagements at Probus and Rotary Clubs, genealogical and historical societies, Council Chambers of Commerce, business network groups…
  • Think of your industry and people who know you – people will buy because they know you, not only because they love the topic of your book.
As always, if you would like some advice on your book, feel free to contact me at


Need more information?

For fast and reliable copywriting, editing and proofreading, please contact us to discuss your requirements.