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Thread: Book, Magazine or Website?

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    Default Book, Magazine or Website?

    Calling Star Chamber, Elder Fathers, journalists, correspondents, writers, authors and all other wise experts,

    Apart from verifying a few late discoveries and final editing, I have more or less reached the end of 4 years research into the life and times of my late father’s service with 76 Squadron while at RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor during WWII.

    Now comes the tricky bit, what to do next? May I ask those of you who have passed this way, to kindly educate me in the advantages and disadvantages of publishing/self publishing a book, creating a website, suitable aviation magazine etc ? Financial gain is not a concern, education is. Thank you.

    Norman

    P.S.
    Please use my email if more convenient
    Last edited by namrondooh; 11th October 2009 at 23:30. Reason: adding RAF Holme

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    From my personal experiences, a web site offers these advantages:

    - minimal costs
    - ability to correct or expand your "published" material when new material is received
    - a chance to correspond with interesting new people (if you are brave enough to post an e-mail address)

    These directly relate to the major disadvantages:

    - you get what you pay for
    - you are never really "finished"
    - you will receive a lot of vaguely related requests you may feel duty bound to reply to (My grandfather was in the Navy..., what do you know about xxx..., and so on)

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    For an established publisher to be interested in your work they would probably look for a manuscript of at least 60,000 words plus a good number of illustrations (say around sixty). If the latter are previously unpublished then so much the better.

    Should a publisher take your book on they would pay for all publication costs and also offer you an advance, one third to be paid on signing a contract, one third to be paid on delivery of the manuscript and the final third on publication. If you can get a publisher interested you should reach a wider audience than self-publishing.

    Some publishers can mess you about a bit although I have had no problems thus far with Pen and Sword.

    Hope this helps

    Peter

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    Hi Norman,

    I was advised to get an agent, although I don't know if that is worth doing for a book designed to have a limited audience. As you know, I am also contemplating the options for my project on Malvern CI. I think a combination of web site and printed product will help reinforce each other but then there's the question of what do you put in the web version and what in the printed one?

    Has anyone done both before? What considerations did you toss around?
    David

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    Norman,

    I'm a full time writer, albeit in a very different field. My advice would be to either do a website or a magazine article. As you know I am doing similar research and this is the way I would go, certainly in the first instance. (And I do have literary agents both in Australia and the UK.)

    Self-publishing is easier today than ever before; however, it is full of traps and pitfalls. Most self-published books fall down in the distribution stage. There are lots of books you can read about self-publishing which will give you an idea of whether this is the way you want to go.

    If you really want to publish a book (as opposed to self-publish one), my gut feeling is to go for a small press that specialises in the subject area. Make it your business to look at their published titles and get a feel for the house style before you submit. Most commercial publishers these days do prefer to deal with literary agents; however, my feeling is that what you are proposing is probably too specialised for most of them.

    But honestly, it can't hurt to test the water by writing a magazine article first.

    Hope this helps,

    Natalie
    Last edited by Natalie; 11th October 2009 at 23:06.

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    Thank you everyone for your kind help on and off board.
    Norman

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