- Perfect Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Great Ideas Press Ltd; 2nd edition (November 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1884949118
- ISBN-13: 978-1884949111
- Package Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,780,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What to Serve a Goddess When She Comes For Dinner: A Theology of Food Perfect Paperback – November 1, 2007
From the Publisher
I have served as my own publisher, and I would recommend it for anyone who is publishing a first book. So I will recount the steps by which I was able to get my book written, printed, and up for sale on Amazon.
I started my book in 1994 as a short training manual to be used in an EarthSave Toastmaster's group I lead. I expanded on it as a way of testing the truth of Dr. Charles Vaclavik's book, "The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ."
I dreamed up the optimistic name for my publishing company, Great Ideas Press Ltd. I set up a Washington corporation and reserved a web site by the same name. I got state and federal tax identification numbers. I called Bowker and got 20 ISBN numbers for free. I think Bowker charges for them now. I contacted the Library of Congress and was issued a Library of Congress number.
I spent many years researching, writing, and rewriting my book. My method was to print the book spiral bound and ask friends to review it. I would mark it up and print it again, and again. The book has gone through 22 complete redrafts and reprints.
It is important to own your own ISBN number. If you work through iUniverse or similar companies, you will not own your own ISBN number, and there will be problems later if you decide to break away.
Further, it will be almost impossible for you to make enough money working through iUniverse to recoup your up-front investment or ever to turn a profit.
Another alternative is to send your manuscript around to publishers and hope one will print your book and market it for you. They might print it, but even if they do, they will not market it. You will still have to do that. You might be paid a few dollars per book, hardly enough to cover your marketing cost. They will rewrite your book and you will lose editorial control of it.
The math favors acting as your own publisher, at least until you are famous. I can print my 448 page book for $6 each if I print at least a thousand, and that includes shipping the books to me. If you don't happen to have $6,000 laying around, then print them by the hundred. Color covers are less expensive per cover if printed in large runs, so print at least a thousand covers at a time. Then you can print runs of the inside pages by the hundred and have them bound for around $11 per book. If you are just getting started and want to print only 20 books of 448 pages, perfect bound, with a full color cover, you will spend around $16 per book.Their costs are highly competitive, and their printing is excellent. Also they will chart out the path for building your sales and eventually getting into the bookstores.
Amazon has at least three divisions. The Amazon Advantage program is best for those who are already well accepted and have publishers. Advantage pays you only 45% of the list price and you have to pay for printing, storage, and shipping. If you print a thousand books at a time, these are the numbers: $30 x 45% = $13.50 - $6 = $7.50. There is little left for marketing. If you are printing a hundred books at a time, you are losing money.
For the start-up self-publisher, the Amazon Marketplace program is ideal. Amazon collects the money for you and pays you 80% of list price, plus money collected for shipping. Then you box up the books and send them out. The math is $30 x 80% = $24 - $6 = $18. If you print smaller runs, you can still turn a profit. With the Marketplace program, the list price is not marked down. This means I can sell boxes of books to bookstores through my distributor at a deep discount, and they can make a decent profit and not lose sales to Amazon Advantage with its discounted price.
What if a book buyer goes to his local bookstore and asks for a copy of your book? The bookstore will not contact me in Washington and buy one book from me. The bookstore wants to buy from a regular distributor. But distributors will not take you on until you have proven how may orders you can produce.Such purchases are on a no-return basis. Amazon has its own print-on-demand program, but I advise that you not use it because Amazon requires that it be your exclusive print-on-demand seller.
The next step is to get a regular distributor to stock a supply of your books and sell them to bookstores on a return basis. Bookstores insist on that. When you can prove that there is significant interest in your book, you can go to Baker & Taylor and ask that B & T stock your books and distribute them. The distributor wants to see your current sales level and your plan for growth.
And I will state the obvious: You should be selling your book through your own website. You can set up a payment and order system through Paypal and link it to your website at minimal cost.
Another important step is to sign up for Amazon's Search Inside program. The Amazon Advantage branch of the company claims that you have to be an Advantage seller to utilize Search Inside, but I found that as long as you can convince Amazon that you have all rights to the book, you can utilize the Search Inside as a Marketplace seller. While you are at it, sign up for Kindle.
I recommend you buy an iMac with lots of RAM and Creative Suite 3. Programs on PC based computers tend to crash when a book gets really big. And a 448 page book with lots of illustrations gets really big. Put money into hiring a graphic designer and web site designer and watch them work so you can do an increasing amount of your work on your own. Hire a good web site designer and watch her work. Creative suite includes Dreamweaver.
Obtain written permissions from everyone you quote from, except for short "fair use" quotations. Get written agreements from artists as to how many books you can publish before you will owe them more money. Or buy all rights or all rights for use in publication.
On the inside front cover I show my phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address. If you have any comments or questions, contact me.
That brings me to another question: Why is it that writers and publishers do not give readers their contact information? Do they not want feedback? I suspect it is unthinking conventionality.
In order to get your book into the bookstores, you will need to convince a distributor to take you on. The best way to do that is first to build sales through Amazon.
From the Author
For most of the last 6,000 years, since the conquest of the Aryan Invaders, most people believed slavery was acceptable. Most believed women should not have status independent of men, were not worthy to own property, and were simply inferior. In holding to such twisted beliefs, one will inevitably think in twisted ways about other things. Such blind spots darken other areas around and behind them.
We got closer to a lawful and ethical world when we declared slavery and the disenfranchisement of women to be wrong.
But we continue to have a blind spot regarding the animals. I watched a PBS special about torture (February 22, 2005). I was amazing that there was not one word said about how humans torture animals and how our insensitivity to the animals enables us to torture humans.
The systematic terrorization of our food animals is the great ignored issue. Lawmakers and religious leaders alike say little or nothing about it.
If a project to civilize the world is to succeed, it is imperative that all factors be considered. When the suffering of animals is left out, the project is incomplete. Insensitivity to animals is a blind spot. Within the shadows behind that blind spot lurk other blind spots which poison and defeat the civilizing project.
My theory: We can civilize the world and create an ethical-legal-economic-environmental-religious unified theory of how to make this a peaceful world only when we factor in the suffering of animals.