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Please advise about a publisher.

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Reason Man
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Dear All,

I have finished my book -- and hit upon the usual bigger problem, getting it published. The topic of the book is the current socio-political situation in western countries (focus on US), take-over of politics by irrationalists, and how to stem this slide. (Info is given in an article by me in Productivity - Member Writing Forum titled: The Anglo Saxon Revolution ... ).

The problem is: there are usually not enough readers for this kind of work in India, so no publisher will be interested in the economic risks involved. More importantly, this is a bit of a risky affair — it may land into the hands of politically undesirable persons and bring a vindictive backlash.

English-speaking countries are a desirable choice — but there too, new writers have to search for too long, have a long waiting period even after a publisher accepts, etc.

So self-publishing is another alternative. Here again we have no information / prior experience of whom to rely on, etc. Money has to be sent by credit card, and if the publisher turns out to be bogus or even not up to his claims, I will have to accept the loss.

I will be thankful if those members, who have any information about this issue, share it with me. I am particularly interested in self-publishing. Because of web-advertisements, I know a few people like Author-house, Lulu.com etc, but no idea whom to choose.

I also hear that there is a body of people known as ‘literary agents’ in the US / UK (we have no such thing in India). Information about these would also be welcome.

(Just the best of your knowledge in good faith and nothing more, even whatever you have heard from your more reliable friends / acquaintances, means some lead at all instead of total darkness.)

Thanks and regards,

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You have to first decide what you want by way of "publishing" (and what you're willing to do to get it). Decide first what is most important to you -- making your living off of the book, or disseminating the contents. Let me just brutally suggest that you focus on option 2 rather option 1. Then you can either disseminate the book in paper format, or electronic format. The second of those options is vastly easier and cheaper, and the former option basically presupposes most of what you have to do for the second option (i.e. create a PDF book).

300 copies of appr. 150 pages, with decent perfect binding and good paper (from the Indian perspective, excellent paper), will/can cost about $1,800, in the US. Distribution costs (esp. mailing) will be between half and twice the per-copy printing cost, at least if you were to distribute from the US. ("twice the cost" referring to international mailing rates, "half the cost" referring to an average case of US-to-US mailing). Production costs in India would obviously be lower; I can't say for sure how huge a disaster it would be to try to distribute physical copies to Europe and North America from India, but based on data available to be, I believe you would be more successful hammering a nail into your foot and calling yourself Jesus than trying to sell samizdat from India.

An established e-publishing arrangement like Lulu or Amazon is probably the best bet if you insist on getting money in exchange for readership. If you are willing to distribute your ideas / arguments for the sake of making your arguments public, then your options are wider.

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