Ways to publish your book

As an author, it is imperative that you understand the different routes of publishing and how they can benefit or limit your writing career.  If you want creative control, flexibility, and to keep all of the profits from your book, then self-publishing might be a better route for you.  If you want to sell tons of books and gain popularity fairly quickly, then traditional publishing might be a better choice for you.  We will discuss the different options that are currently available for new authors.  Before attempting any of the below, develop your author platform way in advance to publishing.

Ways to Promote Your Book


Traditional publishing is when the publisher offers the author a contract in order to print, publish, and distribute their book to wholesalers, bookstores, and libraries.  The publisher purchases the rights to sell your book and in turn you receive an advance and a royalty check for each book sale.  The larger the publisher, the greater the advance.  Keep in mind, traditional publishers aren’t as flexible with their contract terms and you may lose some of the creative control over your book.  On a positive note, you will gain popularity quickly, you will sell tons of books, and your book will be displayed on various bookshelves and stores across the world.  LASTLY, THE AUTHOR PAYS NOTHING!

If you are interested in traditional publishing, it is almost mandatory that you find a literary agent.  The best resource to find agents in your particular genre can be found here.  Before you solicit agents, make sure that you draft your query letter and synopsis as part of your submission packet.  Your query letter should include your pitch, a brief summary of your book, and a description of yourself.  Query letters are normally one page long and can become a task within itself.  Condensing your 50+page manuscript into a refined one page query, is no easy task. Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript is one of the many guides that are out there to help.

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INDEPENDENT AND SMALL PRESS PUBLISHING (also known as indie publishing)

Independent publishing is similar to traditional publishing, but just on a smaller scale.  They are not considered one of the five large conglomerates or multinational corporations such as: Random House, HarperCollins, etc and they usually specialize in one or two genres or small markets.  They offer contracts and royalties, but depending on the size of the company, an advance might be out of the question.  The good thing is… it is easier to get signed with an indie publisher rather than a traditional publisher, but the downside is… that their distribution channels or marketing campaigns aren’t as great plus you won’t have access to the top-notch staff members that the big five have access to.  The publisher purchases the rights to sell your book and in turn you receive a royalty check for each book sale.  They are more flexible with their contract terms and you don’t lose as much creative control as you would with traditional publishing. BUT AGAIN, THE AUTHOR PAYS NOTHING!

Ways to Grow Your Indie Publishing Company


Under self-publishing there are four models which include: self-publishing, print-on-demand, vanity press, and subsidy press.  Please take the time to understand which option is best for you.  Even though these options are becoming more popular everyday, libraries and bookstores are skeptical in carrying books that have been self-published.  KEEP IN MIND, THE AUTHOR IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING A FEE – EITHER MOST OF IT OR ALL OF IT!

1. Self-publishing – Self-publishers pay for everything – editing, printing, distribution, marketing, etc.  With this route, you have the option of using print-on-demand services OR off-set printing.  You can hire a book designer to design the cover and layout of your book, and then send it to a printer for binding and printing.  You are then responsible for distributing and marketing your book to either online bookstores like Amazon.com or BN.com or selling your book at book fairs.  If you choose POD printing, then places like Createspace and Lightning Source will distribute your book to Amazon.com or BN.com for an additional fee.  If you want your book in indie bookstores, then you would need to market and network on your own.  Keep in mind, that popular bookstores like Target, Barnes and Noble, Costco, Walmart, etc rarely carry self-published books.  With this route, you won’t sell as many books right away, but you obtain creative control.  YOU PAY FOR EVERYTHING!

2. Vanity press – also known as a book manufacturer, will publish your book for a fee.  They will print, publish, and sometimes distribute your book for you, but rarely do they offer any editing or marketing services.  Some authors complain that their fees are expensive, also that they don’t offer the assistance that the author needs, and that their work is sub-par.  With this route, you are able to obtain all rights to your book and keep the profits from each sale.  YOU PAY FOR EVERYTHING!

3. Subsidy press – as with a vanity press, they will publish your book for a fee.   They will print, publish, and distribute your book for you, and will assist with editing and marketing as well.  Some authors complain that their fees are expensive and that their work is sub-par.  If you decide on a subsidy press, remember, that they own the rights to your book plus you are paid a royalty as the book sells.  YOU PAY FOR SOME!

4. Print-on-demand – POD publishers pretty much take everyone who has the money to pay.  They primarily deal with the binding and printing of the book, but for an additional fee, they can assist with the book design and layout.  They only print books as customers purchase them (due to high technology printers), which helps new authors save money.  The cost per book is more expensive than off-set printing (which requires you to purchase a lot of books all at once), but at least you won’t have a garage full of books that you are unable to sell.  Check out Createspace, IngramSpark, LuLu, and Lightning Source for more information.  Keep in mind, this route is similar to self-publishingit is more about which style of printing your prefer.  YOU PAY FOR EVERYTHING!

Need more information, check out the Writer’s Market.

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Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

Educatext - Teach Through Technology

Teaching through technology has become the newest and most innovative way for the academic community to reach the youth.  Kids are fascinated with the complexity, simplicity, and the overall function of technology…so why not use this to our advantage?

The old-fashioned style of teaching where the teacher just lectures for hours and hours without any visuals, powerpoints, demonstrations, guest speakers, or use of technology, has come to an end.  More and more teachers are using overhead projectors, document readers, smart boards, and tablets in order to enhance their lessons.  The term technology in the classroom is becoming more popular everyday and has been discussed and featured in the media, ie. US News, Huffington Post, NEA Today.

Using technology as a support for learning has brought education into the 21st century.  It is every teachers and parents dream that their child is the next Bill Gates or JK Rowling…so what are we waiting for?  Let’s jump on this technology train while we still have a chance.


Check out the list below of popular apps that teachers are currently using.

1. Educatext is an educational app created to bridge the communication gap that exists between schools, parents, and students. It is a motivational, informative, and educational tool to help your child succeed by staying on top of the latest information. Start off by using the teach alters to remind your child to study for their upcoming test.  Use our app to motivate and challenge your child to achieve a greater knowledge and understanding of any subject matter.

2. Book Creator is only available for iPads, allowing kids to easily create their own iBook by importing images, multimedia, text, and audio. Its simplicity makes it good for kids of all ages. Even though it has been around for quite some time, some educators still call it their number-one tool.

3. Edmodo was founded in Chicago, Illinois, when two school district employees set out to bridge the gap between how students live their lives and how they learn in school, Edmodo was created to bring education into a 21st century environment.

4. Visual Routine is a simple, easy to program visual schedule that helps your autistic or special needs child keep a routine.  Routines can be tailored to their needs with audio feedback, and customizable pictures, audio, and text.  Instead of carrying around pecs or a laminated schedule, this app will let you have routines preset and then run them to show the child in an easy way what they have to do.

5. Kidblog provides teachers with the tools to help students publish writing safely online. Students exercise digital citizenship within a secure classroom blogging space. Teachers can monitor all activity within their blogging community.

Interested in more apps?  Check out the following article.  This post can also be found on the Children’s Writer’s Guild website.

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Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

Building Voices CEO Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva at Encino Charter Elementary

The goal of every publisher is to make sales, but what happens to the desire to inspire people and better our communities? Often, this goal is lost and buried due to the ups and downs and stringent demands of running a successful business.

Broccoli Chronicles

Building Voices currently doesn’t have the box office sales that we were hoping for, but we do have 13 positive Amazon reviews, several invitations to attend school events, and tons of happy customers to prove that our community supports our efforts. The positive feedback from followers on Facebook and Twitter and also parents and children from various book signing events has been remarkable.

Our first book, Broccoli Chronicles, sold more copies than the other books we’ve published. It’s something about Myrtle’s quirky smile and her love of broccoli that draws people in. Broccoli Chronicles has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 ‪‎INDIEFAB‬ Book of the Year Awards! This was such an accomplishment for our company as well as for me and my career.

Building Voices CEO Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva at Encino Charter Elementary

I know you’re probably wondering why we are gaining so much love and support. Well, it’s the message that we are sending to parents, teachers, librarians, and educational officials that the voice of children matter. Our goal is to educate one mind and build one voice at a time. We believe our books will entertain, inspire, and build the future voices of this world. Kids love Broccoli Chronicles

This article was published in the July 2015 issue of the IBPA’s Independent Magazine.

Broccoli Chronicles wins 2 book awards

Every author especially self-publishing authors desire to win a book award.  Some want the public validation that their book is a hit and others simply want to promote themselves as an award-winning author!

Winning a prestigious book award is now becoming a necessity for self-publishers who lack the celebrity status or backing from a traditional publisher.  This can gain the media’s attention in addition to librarians and bookstores.  Gaining the attention from these major players can be an asset to your writing career and/or publishing company.

Take some time out of your day to research a few of the competitions that are out there.  Some of the most popular ones include: the IndieFab Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the NIEA Award, the IPPY Award, the Writers’ Digest Award, and many more.  Each competition pretty much requires the same things – an entry fee, an application, and copies of your book.  It usually takes around three to five months in order to determine whether you’ve won or not.  If you win, it is one of the best feelings in the world to know that a panel of strangers actually adore your book.

After winning the award, it is now time for you to promote your award-winning status to the public.  Make frequent posts on twitter, facebook, google plus, etc.  Send out press releases and announcements to magazine and newspaper companies.  Email friends and family members notifying them of your new milestone.  Also, place the award-winning digital logo on your website and email headers in order to increase visibility.

See Foreword Reviews’ Tips to Promote Your Winner Status for more ideas.

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Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

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