Thursday, 4 June 2015

Making Training Work (how we wrote it!)

After a spring 2014 dog walk with my pal Roger we had the crazy idea of writing another book together. As two seasoned trainers that had experienced most things in getting as much as possible out of the budgets available to us, we thought we might be able to offer a few useful insights.

Having gone down the big publisher route last time where we had received little or no support and were expected to drum up the demand for at least the first 1,000 copies. Then when we received our annual royalty statement we really discovered how little we as authors actually received. The only real money we made was when the translations rights for  'Leadership Lessons from the Ancient World' were sold to publisher in Romania and South Korea.

So this time out we decided, for better or worse, that we would self-publish through and keep control of all the content. We discovered that this was called P.O.D. or print on demand. What this means is you decide right up front what type of book you want to write. Hard cover, softcover, perfect bound, coiled and A4, A5 or many more US formats. Once you have made this decision you download your Word template and get on with writing your book. FINALLY (as it's not that easy to get all your thoughts out of your brain onto a piece of paper) once you are happy with the content you upload your document as a pdf into a Lulu project file. Then you create a print ready cover and book and you have a book ready for publishing. The advantage of POD is you can just order 2 copies of the book which we did in December 2014. This gave us a chance to see what it looked like and do our final edits and improvements.

In May this year we finally clicked on the 'publish' button and limited the distribution to the Lulu on-line shop. This month we take the next step and click on the GetGlobalReach button and by the miracle of the internet our book gets listed on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Ingram!

One of the questions we had was on how long it would take to get published copies of our book and we put in an order for 20 copies late on a Monday afternoon and they were delivered to my home first thing on Thursday. AWESOME!!! 

The revenue model for unknown and short run authors is substantially better than using a major publisher. You pay Lulu for the cost of printing the book and then hand over 20% of the profit. You earn much less going down the global distribution route, but still not too bad. 

We now have the flexibility to tailor the book for specific clients who might want their own chapters and logos included in the book. If we had a request for a bulk order we are able to bypass the distribution network and buy the books ourselves at the cost of publishing. Then deliver them as part of (say) a train the trainer programme that we might be running for our client.

It has been a great learning experience and certainly has given us plenty of ideas for the future.

If you are interested in buying a copy of 'Making Training Work', or just want to see the Lulu sales web site, then please click here BUY ME :-)