In any book publication, one important thing to consider is the marketing. In other words, how will the printed copies be sold? One may have great ideas for a book. However, if one is unable to market the hard copies, the ideas are purposeless.
The easiest way to publish a book is through a publisher, if the work is lucky enough to catch the eye of an editor in a publishing house. The publisher spends for the layout, book design and printing; they are also in charge of the distribution. The book might take a year or two to be released since the publisher has to be certain that it is professionally done. Otherwise, the publisher’s reputation is compromised. In return, the author gets a royalty of 15 -17 percent. S/he takes care of the book launch and among other things, promotes the book through newsprints and informs her/his friends that the book is already published.
For NGOs that request funding from a donor agency, they could include “book publications” in their project proposal. So, there is no problem in the printing expenses. What they have to attend to is distribution of or selling the books. Hopefully, they are able to sell many or all, so proceeds go back as the NGO’s income.
An NGO could always write a project proposal on a book publication and submit it to a donor agency. A question to anticipate from the donor agency is, “What will be done with the proceeds?” If the NGO is able to answer this question convincingly, it might have a chance for funding.
Another way of marketing is crowdfunding. One requests through the Internet and waits for generous persons to donate to the book publication.
Writing to friends and relatives, and requesting contributions is another manner of raising funds. And a birthday party, too. The birthday celebrant, who is also an author, would celebrate her/his birthday and request for an envelope as a gift. (Of course, an envelope means there’s an amount inside.) The celebrant has to give a timeframe for the book publication. Otherwise, the birthday celebrant-cum-author will lose face.
There is marketing through pre-orders, which has been tried in 2010 by the Igorot Global Organization (IGO) and its publication, Igorot by Heart. Pre-orders were requested and the books would be distributed to schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region. The person, who pre-ordered the book, chose the school(s). This was a successful venture with pre-orders from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and USA. However, the packing and distribution of the books in Benguet took a lot of time. In the end, some books had to be delivered to the Schools Division Office Benguet, who would take care of the distribution.
Learning from the IGO experience, we Igorot Cordillerans in Europe and the Philippines used pre-orders to publish our book, Travels, Travails & Triumphs of Igorot Cordillerans in Europe. We aimed at publishing 250 books and as of 24 October 2022, we were able to get 244 pre-orders. We had pre-orders from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. So, in the spirit of sharing our treasure, we were able to publish our book. It is an accomplishment and we should congratulate ourselves.
The Book Committee members-cum-Editors
Travels, Travails & Triumphs of Igorot Cordillerans in Europe
15 November 2022