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Publish Your Way! BelieversBookServices provides professional publishing services for today's independent author.

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Why Do We Talk About Hidden Hazards So Much?

andrew mackay

At BelieversPress, we love helping authors publish. We love it so much that we work hard to bring you free resources that will help you publish better. We do most of this under the brand "The Hidden Hazards." But why Hidden Hazards?

Are we just negative people? Are we trying to motivate people with fear? 

It's not that at all. Instead, it's drawn out of countless conversations that involve five sad words.

"I wish I'd known that."

Every time I hear those words, I feel sad. It happens all the time, to authors of all types. Even tremendously business-savvy authors make mistakes that undercut their ability to succeed as they indie publish.

How do these conversations usually go? Here are three common topics:

1. I didn't know how high they'd set the retail price.

Many authors who choose to work with a publishing services company don't do enough research ahead of starting the process. Who can blame them? It feels like you can read for months and still not know everything you need to know about publishing books. So, when their book finally launches and the retail price is way beyond what the market is accustomed to paying for that genre / size / page count, they shocked. And it's awful. Because selling books is hard. Selling books that cost way too much compared to the other books on the market? That's nigh impossible.

2. I didn't know how much it would cost. 

This often dovetails with the first point. Authors talk about the check they have to write up front for services, but they don't consider how much their book will cost. Many companies sell books to authors for a discounted price based on the retail price. Now, when a legacy publisher picks up the whole bill and then sells you your book for 50-60% of the retail price, it at least makes sense: they paid for all the product development, after all. But, when you've paid to publish, and then you have to buy your book for 50-60% of the retail price, you're getting ripped off. Sadly, many authors don't know what it costs to print a book, so they go on paying far too much. 

(Let me put it into context: if you publish with BelieversPress, where the package prices are higher than some of our competitors, by the time you've bought 380 copies of your book at printer's cost, you've broken even.)

You can't successfully sell books -- let alone give them away for marketing purposes -- when you're paying too much for them.

3. I didn't know who my audience was.

This sounds innocuous but is sadly the worst of all. When an author, ministry, or a small business spends money on developing a book, gets all the way to launch, and then discovers that there's no one to buy it, it's a tragedy. It means that no one was on their side, helping them ask the right questions. You have to know your audience or you'll never reach them. We ran a classic post the other day that helps you to start down the path to understanding your audience.

What it comes down to.

We want to have fewer of those conversations. So, we continue to pour ourselves into building resources and solutions that are going to help you do well. Because it's hard to publish good books. It's harder to make money at it. And sometimes it feels impossible to do all of that without getting stung.

We want to help. We love helping you publish.