Publishing – general

How to get published by a big publisher!

Right. How to get into the  bigtime, in one, quick, lesson – in today’s environment.

Answer: Two steps – 1). Self-publish your book. 2). Cross fingers.

True! Take the latest example from a long line over the past few years: Tracy Bloom, a self-published Kindle author, has just signed a four-book deal with Arrow / Cornerstone. Her best-selling novel, ‘No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday’ has been signed up, along with other books, and will be re-published later this year, in print and as an ebook. Her ebook caught the public’s imagination and sold 220,000 copies in the first six months, which made it a tasty morsel to be snapped up.

This is what publishers do today, as I’ve said time and again. They only want a book if it has proved itself in selfpub mode. And that’s the only way into the club, if you still want in. It may be just the way things are, I’m not judging the system – perhaps today, like smaller publishers, the big ones just can’t afford to guess whether a book will make it or not. And, admittedly, that’s how it worked in the past; most books didn’t make back the author’s advance.

If your book makes it big in selfpub, you may wish to stick with selfpub, although there are advantages to being taken on by a big publisher. Nevertheless, go ahead and selfpublish, but do make it a decent book – replacing a formal publisher by selfpub doesn’t make the numerous steps in the publishing process disappear – you have the option of skipping some of them, but at your peril. In the USA, there are over 750,00 selfpub books around, and readers choose, mainly, by the reviews on Amazon. If your reviews tell the ‘poorly edited, unreadable’ story, then who is going to buy your book? Would you buy one with that kind of report?

Some people manage to do their own thing through the whole selfpub process, others need a hand, and that’s why there are many selfpub firms around. If you do want to enlist one, do your homework. Find reviews online, or buy a very useful book called’ The Fine Print of Self-Publishing’ by Mark Levine (not one of ours, he self-publishes, and this book is good!).

Yes, we’d like you to use our services, and yes, we think we’re pretty good, with personal experience of writing, publishing, self-publishing and marketing all under one roof. And we don’t overcharge, which several outfits do. But – we don’t push; we don’t have hidden agendas and charges, and we’re user-friendly.

Here’s a review from one of our recent projects – a 200-plus page family memoir, with over seventy photos that we had to touch up before using. It was a private project, not for public consumption, so I can’t mention S’s name, but this is a genuine bit of feedback:

Dear Jan,
I have just received the final copies of my book of memoirs. It is every bit as good as I had hoped.

I have been very impressed with the service you have provided, especially the personal attention you
have given me, the rapid turn around on all my queries, and the expert advice and comments you have
provided. My wife is threatening to write her memoirs, and if she does I will have no hesitation in
recommending that she use Stellium to publish them.

Thanks once again for all your help.

Need to know more? Talk to us. Remember our little motto – ‘It’s easier than you think, it’s more affordable than you think, and we’ll hold your hand’.

There is a set of priced packages on our main website (, but we’ve found that every project is different, and we haven’t yet done one that fits neatly into a set package. That means, either we have to use a crowbar to make you fit our package(s) – or we use them as an approximate guide.
Have a look anyway, as they do show you how much more affordable selfpub is today, as well as just how much work is involved!

Categories: Publishing - general | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

More about dodgy books & media

Having just written earlier about dodgy books and ebooks being removed by Amazon, etc., last night,

photo by BrotherDarkSoul on WikiMedia

photo by BrotherDarkSoul on WikiMedia

I heard Charlotte Church presenting the 2013 John Peel lecture about women, on BBC Radio 6 music. (I understand the lecture is downloadable from the R6m site).

Charlotte’s lecture was in a similar vein to the dodgy ero*tica book scene; she spoke about the excessive use of sexy music videos that abound, like Miley Cyrus’ recent Wrecking Ball song, and along with the likes of Annie Lennox and Sinead O’Connor, Charlotte added her very clear views about the current vogue in sexy music videos – let alone some of the media projects she had been uncomfortable with, but had to do when she was in her early teens.

Could this be the start of a backlash against gratuitous excesses generally? Do I have grounds here to repeat one of my mantras again, namely, that self-regulation only works while it’s not needed? One probably doesn’t want actual censorship back again, but how to moderate media excesses (including books – nowadays it’s all about content) of the ilk that you don’t want your 8-year old kids to see… especially if you’re the Mummy? What do you think?

Taking a view from the self-pub authors’ position, perhaps it would be no bad thing to keep a clear distinction between general and definitely adult content. The trouble with mixing the two together is that a published book can’t be taken back and changed at a moment’s notice. Your name is stuck out there for years to come… with Google around, maybe forever! Is there a solution I’m not seeing – if so, tell us what you think.

Categories: Legal, Publishing - general, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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