If you are contemplating becoming an INTERNET publisher, you
undoubtedly have a number of questions. The
following FAQs should give you a great deal of the information about which you
are curious. If they do not, then
don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will be pleased to discuss your concerns in detail.
#1: So all I need do is put my book online and then sit
back while the money rolls in?
We wish it were that easy.
Unfortunately, if that is the amount of effort you are willing to
expend on the project, you are going to be sorely disappointed and ought to
save your money. Like everything
else in life, success on the INTERNET is a matter of hard work and diligence.
While the invention of the INTERNET has dramatically
altered the economics of publishing, it has not magically solved all of the
problems. If you choose to
publish your book on Third Millennium Publishing's website, then you will have
solved three of the inherent problems of publishing.
You will have made your book available to the public, you will have
provided yourself with a means to collect money, and you will have access to a
distribution system that delivers the book to the buyer after the sale.
The only problem that remains is finding customers who are
willing to purchase what it is that you have written. On the INTERNET, that is the hard part. Let us say that you are a budding young author like Tom
Clancy was in the 1980s. You have
written a book that literally millions of people will pay to read.
You put that book online and are ready to rake in the money.
Exactly how do those millions of people find your book?
The answer, of course, is publicity.
#2: How do I publicize my book on the INTERNET?
There are a number of ways to publicize your book on the
INTERNET. Some of these Third
Millennium Publishing can assist you with.
Other options, you will have to pursue yourself.
The services we provide are:
By being associated with Third Millennium Publishing,
you automatically come to the attention of the people who visit the site
each month. Whether they come
in as a result of our aggressive advertising campaign in magazines such as
Writer's Digest and Writer's Journal, or are looking for
another writer's books, they will have the opportunity to view and
purchase your work.
One of the best ways to be found on the INTERNET is to
have a URL (uniform resource locator, or address) that is easy to
remember. We have one of the best. The site address for Third
( 3rd) Millennium
Publishing is 3mpub.com,
a simple 8 character code that is easy to remember. People find you
on the web by typing in 3MPUB.COM/YOUR NAME. What could be easier
#3: What steps can I take as an author to publicize my
There are a large number of things that you can do
to get the word out. Some of
these are free and others are extremely cost effective.
You can place notices in the Search Engines. We will take care to
advertise your book in many major search engines.
However, there are literally THOUSANDS of such engines and some of
the bigger ones, like YAHOO, charge a listing fee and require manual input.
If you like, you can make sure that every single one of them knows
where to find you.
You can mention that you have a book online in the
various newsgroups on the INTERNET. Caution:
You cannot broadcast a message to every newsgroup in existence!
Well, you can, but it is called spamming and it is likely to be VERY
if you are selective and discreet, there is nothing wrong with advertising
that you have a book for sale in the newsgroups devoted to your subject or
You can engage in an email advertising campaign.
There are services that will send your message to 100,000
recipients for a few hundred dollars.
Email advertising is inexpensive. Unfortunately, as we all
notice when we power up the computer each morning, the advent of the
SPAM filter and the flood of "male enhancement pill" ads have
significantly degraded the efficiency of email advertising (otherwise
known as SPAM) over the last few years.
You can take out a small advertisement in the backs of
magazines. If you have
written a “hi tech” science fiction novel, for instance, you can
advertise in the classifieds in Analog (whose advertising rates
start at $22 per month). If
your book is of interest to astronomers, you can use several astronomy
magazines. If you have written a mystery, then there is Ellery
Queen's Mystery Magazine.
You can contact your local newspaper or television
station and arrange to have a story written/broadcast about your entry
into the new world of cyberspace.
#4: You say that I am the publisher. Isn't Third
Millennium Publishing the publisher?
Third Millennium Publishing is not a publisher of authors
so much as it is a cooperative of authors.
Each writer who participates is selling his or her book directly to the
public and collecting the revenue. Except
for payments that cover the cost of sales and infrastructure, there is no
middleman in the transaction. You
sell your book and then receive approximately 70% of the money received
(versus 6-8% for traditional publishing).
Third Millennium Publishing will provide you with “printing”
services (that is, we will prepare your book for electronic transmission),
display services, money collection services, and distribution services.
We do not own the rights to publish your book like a traditional
publisher. You own those rights and are exercising them for your own
benefit. Note: If your book is currently being published by a traditional
publisher, you must get them to “revert” your rights before you can sell
it yourself online. I know of no
faster way to be sued than selling a publisher your “right to publish,”
and then going into competition with them. In fact, the
"publisher" is the party who owns the right to publish (by
definition). At Third Millennium Publishing, that is the author.
Although you are in business for yourself, there are major
benefits for being a member of the cooperative.
While you are out advertising your book to attract customers; so, too
are all of the other writers on our website.
When any writer succeeds to attracting someone to the website, then all
authors have the opportunity of a visit from that same customer. As the number of writers on the website grows, word spreads
and a snowball effect begins. When
any one author makes a sale, all authors benefit because that customer knows
where to come the next time they are looking for a good book to read.
#5 How do I know this model of publishing will
Third Millennium Publishing was born in 2000, which makes
us still relatively young. Our approach to publishing is not. Our
founder is the well-known science fiction writer, Michael McCollum, the
author of 10 novels and 4 books on writing. He has sold 250,000 copies
of his books via traditional publishers and bookstores, and has been selling
them online in our sister website, Sci Fi - Arizona, for seven years.
customer who purchases a Michael McCollum book typically leaves a total
of $20 behind – either in that single visit, or by returning for multiple
purchases. That is a statistic that
compares favorably to any bookstore in the world!
Third Millennium Publishing was created
to serve the needs of the full writing community, not merely those in the
science fiction genre. After all, if you are a mystery novelist, it
doesn't necessarily help your sales to have "SCI FI" in
your INTERNET address.
#6: I don't think people will ever buy electronic books
when they can go into a bookstore and get a "real book."
We here at Third Millennium Publishing love
bookstores. In fact, they are just about our favorite places in all the
world. Therefore, it pains us to report that the electronic book
revolution is about to change everything. Your local neighborhood
bookstore is likely not going to be with us much longer. Ditto for your
big chain bookstore. And if they survive, you aren't going to recognize
them. This has never been clearer than recently when Stephen King
decided to publish a book using the Third Millennium Publishing model!
What is it about electronic publishing that will finish
off the bookstore as we know it? Inventory cost! Go into any
bookstore and count the number of books on a typical shelf, then count the
number of shelves in the store, then multiply by $5.00 per book (average
cost). What you will discover is that each bookstore has several
million dollars in inventory on the shelves. That is a cost that
cannot be sustained when the competition prints books as they are needed.
In the future, you will wander into a bookstore and
discover a row of computer terminals. You will sit down at the
terminal and browse through their catalog and select a book. You will
then swipe your credit card through a magnetic reader and wait ten minutes
for a hot book to pop out of the slot in the wall. Rather than row
after row of expensive shelves, the bookstore will have a machine in the
back room that will print the books on the fly. Such machines exist
today and are being shown off in printer's conventions. We know this
process works because it is the process we here at Third Millennium
Publishing use for our books. The only difference is that it takes us
an hour or so to manufacture a book after receiving an order ... not ten
Worse still, when little electronic devices (like
PalmPilots) get to the point where they have screens with the same
resolution and contrast as black ink on white paper, and you discover they
can hold a thousand books in their memories, the basic form of literature is
going to change. The paper book is going to go the way of the dodo
bird (or more to the point, the typewriter).
That noise you hear faintly in the distance is the sound
of a mile-high tidal wave building up in the shallows, a wave that will
transform much of the publishing industry in the next ten years. Don't take
our word for it. Listen to the richest man in the world by clicking on
the link below. If there is one thing we have learned (the hard way) in
over twenty years in the computer industry, it is not to bet against Bill
UPDATE: The above was written in 2000 when we
started Third Millennium Publishing. It is now 2014 (as of this
writing), and everything predicted has come to pass. Our local Barnes
and Noble big box bookstore will be closing its doors next week. With
the advent of the Amazon Kindle and the IPAD, books have transitioned to
electronic format faster than even I thought they would. Third
Millennium Publishing now publishes ebooks in both Kindle and IPAD formats:
MOBI and EPUB. Because of the nature of Amazon's accounting system, we can't
upload your ebook to Amazon directly, but we can provide you with a
cover and a file that will allow you to do it yourself. It is a
ridiculously easy thing to do. Once you have done so, you are in the
publishing business and all of the money from Kindle sales come straight to
#7: Most of the authors' sections have beautiful artwork
in them. Will my pages have artwork?
In the matter of artwork for your book, there are three
If you have a cover illustration or other artwork
associated with your book, then we will be pleased to put it online along
with your book. You can send
it to us in either electronic or hard copy version.
We prefer electronic, by the way.
It is both easier to manipulate and does not risk the possibility
of the original artwork being damaged. Artwork can be inexpensively
scanned at any Kinko's Copies, or similar copy center.
If you do not have a cover illustration, we will be
pleased to provide your pages with generic artwork that will be attractive
to customers. We will attempt
to obtain something that is appropriate to the theme of your book, but you
need to recognize that the selection of such images is limited.
If you would like, we will assist you in obtaining a
professional graphic artist to design a cover illustration for your book.
You should be aware that this option costs money, however; possibly
as much or more money than you are contemplating spending on publishing
your book. In fact, it is not
unusual in the publishing business for the artist to be paid more to paint
the cover than the writer is paid to write the book!
#8: Third Millennium Publishing charges a setup fee and
a fee on each book sold. What does this money pay for?
The initial fee ($300 for hosting one book for two years,
and a declining scale for subsequent books) goes to pay for the labor required
to set up your section of the website.
This includes preparing your manuscript for publication, building the
summary page, description page, and biography page, and setting up the money
collection service. It also goes
to defray the cost of adding your book to our site.
Internet Service Providers charge for two things: storage and
throughput. Adding your book to
our web site increases it size, which in turn, costs us money.
The recurring fee ($1 per book sold) goes to cover the
impact your sales have on our throughput capacity.
In other words, when people come into the website to look at your book,
data is exchanged over the INTERNET. When
they buy one of the electronic editions of your book, that book must be transmitted by the ISP to the customer. Since Third Millennium Publishing pays for the number of
bytes it transmits each month; the recurring $1 fee is intended to cover the
additional cost of traffic to your pages.
There is another function the $1.00 fee per book sold
performs. It makes us
enthusiastic about increasing your business! Let us say that you place a book online and then sell a
million electronic copies. If the book sell
price is set to $5.00, then you will receive $3,370,000 in revenue from the
sales, after paying credit costs and sales fees.
We are happy for you! However,
Third Millennium Publishing will be receiving $1 million for the same
transactions, which makes us VERY enthusiastic to help you increase your
#9: How much should I sell my book for?
That is up to you. You
are the publisher. You tell us
what you want to charge. You can
set your price at $50 if you wish to, although we doubt it will enhance your
sales if you do. We recommend
something in the $4.00 to $6.00 range for electronic copies, and $15.00 to
$20.00 range for trade paperbacks.
#10 Will my book be available on Amazon.com?
It will if you want it to be. We maintain an account on Amazon
Marketplace for the benefit of our authors. This account costs money to
keep open, however, so we charge $25.00 per year for author/publishers to
use the service. That is $25.00 TOTAL per year, regardless of how many
books an author has.
And, of course, Amazon wants their cut of the pie. When your book sells
on Amazon, they take 15% of the cover price, plus $1.00. Because Amazon is
collecting the money, we do not have to charge the usual credit collection
fee that comes from Third Millennium’s credit card service for Amazon sales.
#11: How much can I realistically expect to make at
Third Millennium Publishing?
Business on the INTERNET has improved dramatically since
we first went online. However, as we noted earlier in this information series,
selling on the INTERNET is not a panacea for the problem of putting food on
one’s table. It is not unusual
for new vendors on the net to make very little their first few months in
business. And, if you have
written a book that does not have wide appeal, you may stay at that level for
quite a long time.
On the other hand, if you advertise diligently and have
written a book with wide appeal, then you can expect to make a respectable
amount of money. The secret on
the INTERNET is that you get to keep most of the money from the sale, whereas
in bookstores, you only get a small percentage of the purchase price.
To date, the record check we have written to one of our clients was
$1000 for three weeks of book sales. We
hasten to add, however, that this particular client has a very good publicity
machine working for him.
As a benchmark, Michael McCollum's book sales have risen
steadily and are currently hovering near the $500 per
month range. In 2003, book sales were almost exactly split 50-50 between
electronic and trade paperback editions. As technology improves and e-books have come online, that
rate is increasing dramatically. For example, because Palm Pilot
publishing software was not available when Third Millennium Publishing was
founded, Mr. McCollum placed 7 of his books at PeanutPress (now called Palm
DIgital Media), which publishes Palm Pilot editions. In the summer of 2000,
at least one of those books, and up to four at a time, were on the PeanutPress
best seller list. This indicates that people who own handheld computers
(PDAs and Pocket PCs) are very interested in obtaining reading material for
them. This trend can only snowball as more people invest in these handy
productivity machines and the clarity of their displays improve. As
noted above, eventually these little electronic machines will kill books
printed on paper, although that sad time is probably a few decades in the
future ... or perhaps not!
You, too, can ride the e-book boom as it develops.
What is important is to get established and begin your publicity campaign so
that you are positioned to catch the tidal wave when it arrives.
#12: Are you
saying that you can't guarantee that my book will be a best seller?
If we could guarantee that, we would be charging a lot
more than $300. There are a
number of things you can do to increase your book sales, even to reach “best
seller” status. The most
important of these is that you must first write a good book.
We know, every author who has ever lived believes that he
or she has written a masterpiece. The
reason for this is that authors write what they like to read; and therefore,
they really like what they have written.
The question is: “Does
anyone else like to read what the author has written?”
We mentioned Tom Clancy earlier. Tom Clancy had a devil of a time selling The Hunt for Red
October. In fact, it was
initially published by the Institute for Naval Proceedings, a publisher of dry
technical papers written by professional naval officers.
Initially, the only place you could buy it was in the Pentagon
bookstore. However, those who
bought it told their friends and the rest is history.
#13: How do I get
my novel to Third Millennium Publishing?
There isn’t much we can do with your manuscript until
you have it in an electronic word processing file that is spell checked and
edited. We use Microsoft Word
2003 for output. Word imports
Rich Text Format (RTF), all versions of Word, Microsoft Works, Word Perfect 5
and later, and Windows Write (WRI). If
you have some other format, send us a copy and we’ll work on it.
The file should be formatted such that the individual
paragraphs are units. That is,
the hard return character (¶) should occur only at the end of the paragraph,
not at the end of each line. (If you don't
understand that last sentence, go to the MANUSCRIPT page by clicking the
link at the bottom of this page.) That
way, the word processing program can format the lines as necessary. Any special fonts such as BOLD, ITALICS, or SYMBOLS should
also be retained by whatever format you use.
Note: We recently had a
situation where an author scanned her manuscript into an electronic file and
sent it to us. However, there are TWO kinds of electronic scans.
There is Optical Character Recognition (OCR), where the computer actually
reads the text and puts it into a word processing file that can be manipulated
by programs like Microsoft Word. There are also electronic scans where
the pattern of light and dark dots on the page are recorded (much as they are
in a fax machine).
We need your manuscript as a Word
Processing File in which the words are stored as TEXT in the computer.
The other kind of scan stores the words as though they are a PHOTOGRAPH.
All of the black dots are there and look like words to the human eye.
Unfortunately, computers aren't that smart yet. As far as the computer
is concerned, such files consist of several billion unrelated black
dots. Until computers get smarter, there isn't much we can do with one
of these "scans."
#14: I hear pornography sells well on the
INTERNET. What if I have an "Erotic" book to sell?
Yes, pornography is selling very well on the INTERNET.
While there is nothing innately wrong with pornographic books, we at
Third Millennium Publishing do not deal in them. The reasons for this
are commercial rather than moral. Basically, we have too many
children's books on the site to also deal in pornography, as they will tend
to depress the sales of our other author/publishers.
If you would like to discuss the possible sale of your books
on the INTERNET further, please email us at email@example.com.
Thank you for considering Third Millennium Publishing to assist you in putting
your book online.
© 2000-2014, Third Millennium Publishing, All Rights Reserved
Online Payment Solution
Information: INFORMATION EMAIL
Contact: Michael McCollum, CEO
Address: PO Box 14026
Tempe, AZ 85284-0068
Third Millennium Publishing is a division of SFAZ Technologies and Sci Fi -
Page was last edited on
08/30/14 09:50:14 AM