"Publishing is a Nightmare"
Six years ago I decided I wanted to write a book about my experience in North Vietnam as a Prisoner of War. I did this because I wanted something on paper for my two sons and six grandchildren. Four years later I had only written 100 pages. At 71 years of age, I realized I might not live long enough to finish my book. I decided I needed help in writing and publishing a book, so I contacted Graham Communications in Denver, Colorado. Mark Graham introduced me to Cara Lopez Lee. Cara finished my book in two years and did a great job.
Now it was time to create and publish my book. Colin Graham at Graham Publishing Group published my book. He designed the front and back covers as well as the interior for the paperback and kindle editions. He did a very nice job as well.
Then it came time to distribute my book. We started with IngramSpark. What a disaster? Amazon took 55% of the retail price off the top. The printer (Ingramspark?) then charged $6.44 for each copy. That left me 74 cents per book as profit. That was a 5% profit for each book. I thought that was outrageous, because you typically receive a10% profit from traditional publishers. The whole idea of self-publishing is to make more than the 10% received from traditional publishers.
When I started this journey friends told me that they went to traditional publishers but did not make any money. They self published and did much better. Mark Graham said if I went to a traditional publisher they would ask me for a marketing plan. I would respond, “Yes, where is my marketing plan. You guys get 90% of the profit.” They will then say, “You don’t understand. Where is your marketing plan?” Someone told me that a marketing plane would cost $30,000. Mark said that it will cost $5.00 to print each book, and I can sell each book for $15.00. That is true if you buy the books at wholesale and then sell them on your own. However, if you go thru Amazon or Barnes and Noble, they get 55% off the top and that takes your profit. Kindle is better. With Kindle, I receive 60% of the retail price.
I replaced Ingramspark with Createspace, and now I receive $4.25 for each book sold on Amazon. Createspce only deals with Amazon, however, so I had to keep IngrahamSpark for Barnes and Noble and all the other retail outlets.
I learned that the publishing industry is designed for the benefit of printers, distributors, and book publishers. The publishing business is definitely not set up for the benefit of authors.
Title: UNEXPECTED PRISONER: Memoir of a Vietnam Prisoner of War
Author: Robert Wideman
Publisher: Graham Publishing Group
Find on Amazon
About the Book:
When Unexpected Prisoner opens, it’s May 6, 1967 and 23-year-old Lieutenant Robert Wideman is flying a Navy A-4 Skyhawk over Vietnam. At 23, Wideman had already served three and a half years in the Navy—and was only 27 combat days away from heading home to America. But on that cloudless day in May, on a routine bombing run, Wideman’s plane crashed and he fell into enemy hands. Captured and held for six years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, Wideman endured the kind of pain that makes people question humanity. Physical torture, however, was not the biggest challenge he was forced to withstand. In his candid memoir, Unexpected Prisoner, Wideman details the raw, unvarnished tale of how he came to understand the truth behind Jean-Paul Sartre’s words: “Hell is other people.”
A gripping, first-person account that chronicles the six-year period Wideman spent in captivity as a POW, Unexpected Prisoner plunges readers deep into the heart of one of the most protracted, deadliest conflicts in American history: the Vietnam War. Wideman, along with acclaimed memoirist Cara Lopez Lee, has crafted a story that is exquisitely engaging, richly detailed, and wholly captivating. Unexpectedly candid and vibrantly vivid, this moving memoir chronicles a POW’s struggle with enemies and comrades, Vietnamese interrogators and American commanders, lost dreams, and ultimately, himself.
With its eye-opening look at a soldier’s life before, during and after captivity, Unexpected Prisoner presents a uniquely human perspective on war and on conflicts both external and internal. An exceptional story exceptionally well-told, Unexpected Prisoner is a powerful, poignant, often provocative tale about struggle, survival, hope, and redemption.
About the Author:
Robert Wideman was born in Montreal, grew up in East Aurora, New York, and has dual U.S./Canadian citizenship. During the Vietnam War, he flew 134 missions for the U.S. Navy and spent six years as a prisoner of war. Wideman earned a master’s degree in finance from the Naval Postgraduate School. After retiring from the Navy, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Law, practiced law in Florida and Mississippi, and became a flight instructor. Robert Wideman holds a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating, belongs to Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado, and lives in Ft. Collins near his two sons and six grandchildren.