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Hi all,


Anyone have any experience of publishing a book?


How difficult is it? How much does it cost? Is it better to self publish? Is it easier/cheaper to publish an ebook?


Any advice you can give will be gladly received.



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Anyone have any experience of publishing a book?

I have some experience, a few sample chapters of a book I am writing is being reviewed at the moment. I submitted the manuscript and a short cover letter to the London Mathematical Society. So far, the first stage of review was promising, but I have to wait and see what the final result is.


This is normal when publishing books and research articles. If it gets rejected I will take the advice of the editors and reviews on board and look for other publishers.


How difficult is it?

Writing a book is hard. Publishing is probably not too difficult, but getting the right publishers could be.

How much does it cost?

Vanity publishing can cost money, though there are some houses that will do it for nothing. But you want to publish with a respectable publisher that has some standards and a review process.

Is it better to self publish?

I am going to say no, based on my comments above. If you have something worth saying then someone should publish the book.

Is it easier/cheaper to publish an ebook?



Yes, but again you may not get the same standing as a printed book from a good publisher. You can always place a book online quite easily.


All that said, I have in mind a science textbook or monograph, if your book not one of these then my advice may be moot.

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Thanks ajb,

No problem.

I perhaps should have specified that this will actually not be a scientific publication but your advice is still sound.

I am glad to have helped you in some small way. The best thing I can now offer you is the suggestion that you try to find out what other people who have written similar books have done.

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The book publishing business has been invaded by Romneys of late, and changed considerably in the past decade - it is now largely owned and controlled by people with little feel for books and readers, and allegiance to models of corporate profit and return on investment that fit poorly the public and writers involved. In the opinion of many established and respected writers (Ursula K Le Guin, say) these guys do not know what they are doing. (Example: the JK Rowling phenomenon blindsided them).


This, and the advent of digital capabilities, changes the scene for anyone outside the textbook, Christian, and rightwing political genres. DIY publishing is no longer a strictly vanity scene for new authors.


If you are paying someone to "publish" your book, though, get proofreading and real editing and marketing and distribution for your money. Printing and binding can be purchased much cheaper than "publishing", if you are the one doing all the work of a traditional publisher anyway.

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