Category Archives: Publishing

A Tip for Publishing Your Nonduality Book

A prospective publisher or literary agent will usually ask whether your book is original. Here’s a way to approach that question:

To a vast audience, yes, your book is probably original. To a specific nonduality audience it’s probably less original.

The audience for nonduality books is layered like an onion. There is the “very hard core nonduality” layer , the “hard core,” the medium core, the soft core layer, etc.

I’m not going to give examples of each layer, but if you’re writing a book on nonduality I’m sure you have your own impressions. You can define each layer by the kinds of books, media, personalities, and lifestyles with which it is identified.

Your book will sell throughout all those layers, but the huge audience is outside the onion altogether, drawing its fumes.

Envision your audience and determine the degree of originality of your book for each layer and within the atmosphere of the fumes. (I hope you don’t hate onions.) Then communicate to the publisher a picture of the originality of your book. Show where and how your book fills a niche.

As part of a marketing plan, also show how you will enter each layer and hustle your book.

-Jerry Katz

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 6

This is the last part — for now — on publishing nonduality books. It is about sharing costs with an established publisher. I think this is — or at least it could be — the best route.

Fact is, you have to spend some of your own money anyway. You have to pay to get your book edited, for an index to be written, for a website, for any niche advertising you want to do.

You may have to pay for any review copies you want to send out. You have to pay for permissions to reprint. There could be other expenses that are part of positioning your book for sales.

If you share publishing costs with your publisher, you can negotiate some or all of the above expenses. Sharing costs with your publisher demonstrates your seriousness.

It drives you to achieve a break-even point. It could give you a voice within the publishing company. It may even lead to your own imprint or marketing name within that established publishing house.

Having your own brand under the umbrella of a reputable publisher is a whole other direction. It is where I’ll end this brief series on publishing nonduality books.

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 5

This entry is about getting a literary agent. If you are a serious writer and want to give your book the best shot for success, at the very least research what a literary agent can do for you. Even if you choose not to get an agent, what you will learn will help you communicate with others in your publishing adventure.

Some literary agents do understand the teaching of nonduality and are looking for books to represent. They will not require you to compromise your message.

The following books show what agents do, the fine details they take care of, and what they expect from authors.

How to Get a Literary Agent, by Michael Larsen

Literary Agents: What They Do, How They Do It, and How to Find and Work with the Right One for You, Revised and Expanded by Michael Larsen

Research the above books on Amazon.com and consider alternative titles, as well.

In Larsen’s How to Write a Book Proposal, mentioned in a previous entry, there is an excellent brief chapter entitled, How An Agent Can Help You. Here are excerpts from that chapter in a section entitled Four Ways Agents Can Help You That You Can’t Help Yourself:

1. Agents understand editors’ expectations, so when they submit a proposal, it is closer to 100 percent than you can make it without help. … because editors aren’t interested in books that will require a lot of editing.

2. An agent can get you the best possible editor, publisher, and deal for your book.

3. An agent can negotiate the best contract terms.

4. An agent can respond to the questions and problems that arise during the long publication process that you won’t be able to answer for yourself.

The above four points do not even scratch the surface of what you need to know about literary agents.

In this entry I hope to have convinced you to research getting a literary agent for your book.

Now, here is some news about an agent I think you’ll like. Namaste Publishing, which publishes Eckhart Tolle’s books and those of other highly regarded authors, is now serving as a literary agent. The following is from www.namastepublishing.com/contact.asp:

“Namaste Publishing currently has a full quota of books for publication and is not accepting submissions. However, books in a wide range of genres may be submitted for agenting by Namaste Literary Agency. Please follow the guidelines for submission. Namaste Literary Agency is happy to receive manuscripts from first-time authors. If a book has been self-published, it may still be eligible for representation.”

Visit the link above for more information.

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 4

Want an established publisher? Who are they? How to attract them? Both topics are addressed.

How to Attract a Publisher

Write a book proposal.

An excellent book is How to Write a Book Proposal, by Michael Larsen. Read the reviews, including the negative ones. Investigate other books on the subject.

Writing a book proposal exposes you to new ways of thinking about your book, your audience, and publishing.

Publishers of Nonduality Books

Sentient Publications
Non-duality Press
Monkfish Publishing
Sounds True
O Books
Watkins Publishers
Blue Dolphin Publishing
New World Library
Beyond Description
Paragon House
Inner Directions

A couple of larger publishing houses are included in the list above. I have not included the very large publishing houses, such as Bantam, Random House, Harper.

Each publisher chooses different kinds of nonduality books. Carefully consider whether a publisher is right for your book. Some prefer submission by a literary agent. Next I’ll discuss the benefits of an agent and how to get one.

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 3

Here is a realistic plan for self-publishing your nonduality book. The elements include

Expectations
Editing
Design
Proofreading
Indexing
Promotion (Blog, Newsletter, Website, Articles, Nonduality.com system)

A few elements not included are

Legal
Pricing
Sales/distribution
Shipping
Customer relations

Expectations: Unless you have a powerful promotional machine, don’t expect your book to be the next Power of Now. It may become so strictly on word of mouth, but that possibility is not so firmly in your control. A realistic expectation is that you will sell one or two hundred books. Maybe a couple thousand if you take ongoing promotional efforts.

Editing: If you have the nearly one thousand dollars, get your book professionally edited. Find an editor you like, who understands your book, and with whom you work well. Don’t rely on a friend or family member to edit your book. Find out what “professional editor” means and seek one out.

Design: Get the cover and interior of your book professionally designed, if you have another thousand or so dollars. If you design these elements on your own, keep them simple. Don’t stick a flower somewhere … just because. Keep within your artistic capabilities. Again, be careful about engaging a friend/family member as designer.

Proofreading: If it’s in your budget, hire a professional proofreader. If not, this is where family and friends may be useful. They can spot errors in spelling and grammar. Read your manuscript at least a dozen times, looking for errors. In the end, your book will most likely still have a few mistakes. Correct them in future printings.

Indexing: If your book includes layers of themes and sub-themes, people, places, events, an array of happenings, rich detail, then seriously consider an index. The cost is about $4 per indexable page if you hire a professional indexer. Hire an indexer who is comfortable with the teaching of nonduality. Don’t hire just any indexer. Indexers specialize in certain subjects. However, many indexers will take any work that comes their way, regardless of subject. Indexers know that most authors figure an indexer is an indexer. An indexer who isn’t comfortable with the differences between consciousness, awareness, enlightenment, and awakening, isn’t going to be any good to you. Make personal contact with your indexer, just as you would with your book editor.

Promotion: Most authors don’t like promotion. I have made limited promotion easy for authors, free. The nonduality.com system includes listing of your book on the nonduality.com home page, one or more excerpts in the Nonduality Highlights newsletter, a blurb, possibly a review, possibly a phone interview. The Nonduality Salon email forum can also be used to announce your other promotional efforts, such as your blog, email forum, website, and public appearances. There’s no charge for any of that. If, additionally, you want a display ad on nonduality.com, the cost is $20 per month. Write me if you’re interested in any of these offerings.

Next entry I’m going to write about getting an established publisher for your nonduality book. I’ll list a few of them. I’ll also tell you about books that will help you write a book proposal.

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 2

Where is the line between self-publishing and starting a serious publishing company? The latter is a completely developed business.

Most authors of nonduality books self-publish. Although self-publishing means you start a publishing company, usually the company is not completely developed. Nor does it have to be. Rarely would it be.

A minimal grade of development would include uploading a Word file to Lulu.com, and printing inexpensive copies as they are ordered. Promotion would be minimal, perhaps mention of the book in a few online forums. Books could be sold through the lulu.com online store. Perhaps no professional design or editing will have been done.

A medium grade of development of a self-publishing endeavor might mean subsidy publishing with a reputable company, an attractively designed cover and interior, professional editing, promotion through online ads. iUniverse is an appropriate printer/publisher at this level.

A high grade of development would involve a high degree of professionalism at all levels: design, editing, promotion.

In starting your publishing company, create the level of development that time, money, and desire allow. Decide which of the elements of book publishing you wish to focus on. Besides writing the book, major elements to research include:

A mission statement
A website
Title writing
Subsidiary rights and other legal matters
Cover design
Interior design
Editing
Copyediting
Galley correction
Proofreading
Hiring an indexer
Printing books
Shipping books
Handling returns
Reprinting your book

The promotional elements include

Pre-publication copies
Test marketing
Getting reviews
Advertising – online and offline
Hiring a publicist
Public speaking
Radio and TV interviews
Getting a distributor
Getting your book on online bookstores such as Amazon.

Here are some useful books and websites on self-publishing:

Eric, in his comment, mentioned the book, How To Get Happily Published.

I’ve enjoyed Dan Poynter’s book, available at
www.parapublishing.com

A list of self-publishing books at Amazon.com is here. Do your own research. Check out a few from your library. Buy the ones you like.

Thousands of websites tell about self-publishing. Here are the websites of a couple of reputable book printers/publishers. They’re different. Compare their offerings.
Lulu.com
iUniverse

In the next entry, a realistic and specific plan for self-publishing and promoting your nonduality book.

Publishing Nonduality Books – Part 1

Over the years I’ve received many emails asking me where and how to get nonduality books published.

By far, within the nonduality literary genre, the number one way is to self-publish. A second publishing avenue is to get a “real” publisher to handle your book. A third way is to get a “real” publisher and to share publishing expenses with them. A fourth way is to get a literary agent. A fifth way is an enhancement of self-publishing: starting a serious publishing company.

The literary agent route is best. The second best way is to share publication expenses with an established publisher. The third best way is to have the publisher handle all expenses. The least successful way of publishing, in my opinion, is to self-publish and try to do everything yourself.

You can also start your own serious publishing company. You would do some of the work yourself and outsource whatever you are not expert at: editing, proofreading, index writing, book design, public relations, fulfillment of orders. Heck, you can even outsource the writing of the book by a ghost writer, if you want.

I’ll talk about these options in upcoming entries. I’m going to start by talking about self-publishing compared to starting your own serious publishing company, and where the line between the two exists.