LAST 4 DAYS – Book Publishing Names/Contact Information

By May 2nd, 2018


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My Third Run at the Wall – Book Publishing in America
– Time and Cost Estimates –
– Names and Contact Information of Publishing Experts –

Over the last few months, several of my readers have asked me about the U.S. publishing business – my impressions and experiences; the costs and characteristics.

In this short article, I am pleased to try to address these subjects – but with the understandings that every genre of writing and each book is slightly unique unto itself and that my writings have solely been nonfiction. In addition, my experiences are still, even after nearly six years, somewhat limited. My first books (The Relevance of Reason – Volumes I and II) were released in June and October, 2013, and I am only now starting to release my third, fourth, and fifth books — the Dead Serious and Lighthearted series – Volumes I, II, and III.

I have also listed below for your use, if you wish, the name and contact information of certain highly talented and experienced people with whom I’ve worked and whom you may want to contact if you elect to pursue publishing.

With the continuing caveats (a) that there is still a great amount I don’t know and a great amount I am still learning every day – especially in the context of book marketing, and (b) that my comments are limited to adult nonfiction, my overall impressions of the publishing market is dominated by three words:  crowded, disarray, and costly.

Crowded speaks for itself – everyone has a story, and there are a million topics. The disarray in the context of publishing results especially from, as with so many industries in America, the constant introduction of new technologies and new avenues of media and marketing. The most conspicuous example of this is the slow shift away from “traditional printing” (which I used with my first books) to various forms of “print-on-demand” publishing. The changes in printing format have paralleled (a) the explosion of various formats of hybrid, independently or self-published books and (b) the growing quality and market respect for such “Indie” books. Today, the quality of Indie books is, in almost every way, the same as that of traditional presses, and books can be relatively easily and efficiently printed through the print-on-demand systems of Amazon’s CreateSpace and IngramSpark.

The dominant words which summarize book marketing are almost the same – crowded, disarray, and costly. However, I would also add the word “technological” since such a considerable degree of modern marketing relies upon our ever-changing social media tools.

Any thoughtful discussion about writing and publishing should also probably include a reminder about the need for patience, energy, and even luck. It is not easy.

Having a good, even a great, book is not enough. Without patience, energy, and luck, another good — even great — book can be just another whistle in the wind. Especially in that sense the book writing and publishing industry is a frustrating environment. And I confess that it hurts that on any given day, my books will never sell as well as that of the forthcoming 14-page, fold-out special of Stormy Daniels – really? Or the confessions of any serial killer. Or the memoirs of any disgraced public figure. Or the tell-all of any broken Hollywood celebrity or any former White House parking attendant.

But, life isn’t fair, and sometimes one just has to write. That is the proverbial bottom line. For me, writing is my expression of hope that things will get better in this country; that we can again have both knowledge and fun; that we will find ourselves again. And even in the very process of writing, much can be learned.

There are many stages (and sub-stages) of writing and publishing. If it might help, some of the major stages and my rough, rough estimates of needed time frames are as follows:

 1.          Topic Selection, Research, and Writing (1-4 Years)

Outline and re-outline.
Notes and research.
Write and re-write.
Kick the cat and walk the dog
Then re-write again.
Hit “Delete” and start over.
Modify the subject and approach.
Take a walk, look for a verb, and start over (again).
Draft Nos 1-37.
Kick the cat again for good measure.
… You get the picture.

 2.         Copy Editing and Proofing (and Re-Proofing; and Consistency Proofing) (2-4 Months)
 3.         Page Layout and Review (1-3 Months)
 4.         Cover Design (1-2 Months)
 5.         Indexing (4-6 weeks)
 6.         Preliminary Comments, Reviews, and Testimonials (1-2 Months)
 7.         ISBN, LCCN and Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication Data (1-2 Months)
 8.         Website Design, Launch and Maintenance (2 Months and then on-going)
 9.         Wholesale and retail distribution channels and order fulfillment systems. (1 Month)
10.         Marketing Plan – endless, definitionally disorganized, and largely tech-based. (1-4 Years) (Including book reviews, contests, signings, and shows; advertising; press releases.

Total Time (Exclusive of Marketing) – My best estimate: 1.8 years – 5 years per book or book series.

Rough Out-of-Pocket Cost Estimate. Apart from the many thousands of hours of research and writing with or without staff or administrative assistance, there are certain almost unavoidable out-of-pocket costs incurred in the publication and release of one’s book. These amounts can vary greatly from book to book, and the following estimates assume the following: Per 500+ page book; No Illustrations; Professional Editing, Page Design, and Indexing; and Professional High-Quality Design and Cover):

Using Print-on-Demand Publication Services: $12,000 – $20,000
Using Traditional Printing (With 1,000 Initial Print Run): $17,500 – $25,500

The above estimates do not include marketing, advertising, and publicist costs — which can be, .literally, endless. It is neither my place nor my desire to complain, but like all products, book sales are – to a degree – a direct function of marketing. However, even recouping the out-of-pocket costs of publishing and marketing is, at best, challenging especially when Amazon, for example, takes about 60% off the top. That is THE deal. The only real deal. There are very few other avenues for offering one’s book to America. And that is one of the reasons  I ask my friends — if they think my books are worthy – to buy and tell others about my books.

Those of you who know me well, know how difficult it is for me to self-promote my own books. I am willing to lower my head and wear my “Will Write For Food” T-shirt, but please know that your or your friends buying of my books is greatly, greatly appreciated.  THANK YOU.

But one of the true silver linings of the last six years has been my meeting and working closely with many fine and talented people.


As noted above, a few of you have made some specific inquires about publishing. Thus, it is my honor to recommend the following professionals if you are considering writing and publishing a book. Their help has been invaluable to me and in many instances is still on-going. I, again, thank them.

Listed alphabetically, …

Burton, Jen. (Reno, NV). Indexing. Eighteen years of experience in indexing books. Though Jen works for many international publishing houses, she also enjoys working directly with self-publishing authors. Jen is a generalist and is comfortable working on topics a diverse as art, finance, psychology, and history.

Kearns, Gail. (Santa Barbara, CA). General publishing and marketing consulting. President of To Press & Beyond, a full-service book shepherding agency. For over 20 years, she and her team have offered all levels of book editing, production oversight of indie published books and marketing and PR of their clients’ titles. Mention “”Mack” and get a half-hour gratis consult on your next book.  A wonderful guide and friend.

Moran, Kathy.; (Ojai. CA.) Web design and development, social media, PPC advertising, SEO and email marketing. Talented, committed, and brilliantly patient in resolving and explaining many web- and SEO-related issues.  I have worked with many SEO  and web-design professionals over the years – and she is one of the best …!

Pizzirani, Jolinda / Pizzirani Consulting. (Summerland, CA). General publishing and marketing consultant and book cover design. Enthusiastic, talented, and experienced general publishing and marketing consultant and book cover designer. 12 years owned and operating Summerland Publishing. General guidance for creation of your unique book. Overall logistics, text payout, cover design, graphic design services (e.g. flyers, advertisements, newsletters, and note cards), and basic editing.

Siems, Bennett A. (Ben). (Minneapolis, MN). Book editing. Brilliant and thorough book editing. Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of Brown University. Tight and conscientious editing. Editing experience includes nonfiction, novels, poetry, essays, articles white papers (including several commissioned as part of President Obama Open Government Initiative and a recent report submitted to the chairs of a congressional committee investigating an overseas money laundering operation), and grant applications. Personally-published writings include essays, articles and literary, film, and music reviews.

Additional fine book editor. Calzone, Cynthia. (Waterbury, CT). 25 years in the field of proofreading and editing. I work hard to make your writing the best it can be. “Interesting and error free. Reasonable fee and decent turn-around.”

theBook Designers (Alan Hebel and Ian Koviak). (Fairfax, CA). Experienced and talented book cover designers of many successful and nationally well-known books.

Viau, Ghislain / Creative Publishing Book Design. (La Crescenta, CA). Extraordinarily talented, focused, easy-to-work with book formatting and publishing advisor. Absolutely one of the best. Offers assistance to authors self-publish their book. Services include book cover design, book formatting (typesetting), ebook conversion, and liaison with printers (offset printing or print-on-demand). More than 25 years of experience and many contacts with others in the field such as editors, proofreaders, website designers, indexers, etc. Many authors have been happy with results (See reviews at[ .

Please know that there are many, many others who have provided great guidance, assistance and encouragement to me over these last years (including, for example, Laren Bright (Terrific writer)(Venice, CA); George Foster (one of country’s finest book designers)(Fairfield, IA); and many of the personnel at Sheridan Books (Book publishing) (Ann Arbor, MI). But hopefully, the names of the people set forth above may assist you if and as you wish to go forward.

Blog 77

May 2, 2018

By Mack W. Borgen

Santa Barbara, California

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018 at 3:00 am and is filed under Latest News, Special Offers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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