Introducing Guest Blogger Victor French

Written on November 21, 2013 by Fairy God Blogger of


Hello my special friends, I would like to introduce you to Victor French, author of Magic in the Word.  Victor has shared his very well worded thoughts on Self Publishing vs. Publishers below and I feel that his blog would be ideal to share with you given how huge this topic is in the author world.  If you do a google search for Publishing vs. Self Publishing, you can find articles from many outlets including Huffington Post and What all these articles have in common is their shared opinion that the stigma attached to Self Publishing has diminished over the last couple years and people are more accepting of self published books, which in turn is giving authors the option of how to publish their masterpieces. Regardless of what your preference is, Victor has shared with you some of his valuable insight about both methods.


Victor French 




Let's consider the world of art for a moment. Frankly, I am not an expert, but I would find it quite a chore to locate many artists – with their wondrous paintings – that died as rich people. Usually they were poor, but creative persons, probably working under contract, and/or in squalid conditions.

So it is with an author, - you are filled with the creative juices and have the thoughts and ability to write books, but do you have the finances to bring it to fruition?  So how do you find out what the costs are to be?


Now your research begins to sort out whether you do self publishing or have a publisher do all the work of the structure of your book, the layouts, print and marketing for sales.  There are numerous publishers as a selection so you must sort out the one you may be happy with, one that will give you “the biggest bang for the buck.”  Other factors that you decide are - will it be black and white only, or many colourful illustrations, an eye-catching cover, and so on. All these are details you must have in your plan that should be in place long before the work is finished, and submitted to the publisher. The publisher will then work with you on each step – layouts etc. and send you proofs at the completion so you must “eyeball” properly until you are satisfied and give the “go ahead” for print.  The final result to be as you had visualized, with their input.


When you decide that it is a full publishing company you select, be sure to check all the details before finalizing the agreement.  Many do include a full marketing plan and will aid you in a Press Release.  Both of these items are very important as they lead to the degree of exposure, and the resultant sales for your book.  All quite straightforward if you have the finances.


Now let's look at self publishing.


This was my choice for the book - “Magic in the Word” - because of budget restraint – pension money, when you ageing, has to be stretched. The book has new been released and I find the real hard work is after this fact.  There is some assistance from the publisher and they make suggestions but do not always see eye to eye with you. As I progressed I found that I had a publishing agreement and very little else – except that when all was approved it would be printed.


What I did for “Magic in the Word”  - because it is a book of acrostic poetry – I needed to space it properly, insert icons suitable for each poem, and do the full layout as I had imagined it should be. Unfortunately the publisher printed the proof as though it was a novel – much to my chagrin - after all the work and effort by me. I designed the front cover – finished off by an illustrator (extra cost). A friend assisted me in converting all my layout into a PDF file which nobody could foul up. The publisher merely had to add the covers (back cover also is my layout and wordage again) plus the copyright page with credits and ISBN numbers; ready for print now once they had done their bit except for fulfilment for orders. Yes they have it at their own bookstore, Amazon and Indigo plus (they stated) 25,000 bookstores worldwide.  The marketing and media plans were only lists of suggestions of the things for me to do.  I am fortunate here because I have a background of sales and marketing and was able to lay out a system for me to follow. If you do not have you will have a tough time. A first thought was press release so I hunted and found several companies – then selected PieceofCakePR – they have contact with 400,00 journalists around the world - covering the whole spectrum of subjects. Extra cost here too. Since the release I have contacted and visited and sent out books for review or exposure to numerous sources:

–                    magazines

–                    newspapers

–                    TV stations

–                    Radio stations

–                    groups or organizations interested in poetry

a lot of legwork.


 The book is now in a Kindle version as well as other e-reader format produced by my publisher.


There are many ways to market and the best tool of all is “Toot your own horn” as much as possible. Between my blog – and the Press Release the book and I have been touted as “revolutionary”- “unique presentation”  “a rarity” - (only seven others published since 1951) – I'm the “forerunner” in this genre.  All this wordage I use when speaking about the book.  So do not be shy. Check the blog if you wish ideas of setting one for yourself – I learned as I had never done it before.


So you see the work load was totally different and your budget will tell you which to select – it really is Self Publish versus Publisher.  Only other factor I can enter here is: Are you well financed and can hire an agent?


Plan your whole book – as you start to write and Good Luck with your choice!


Victor French,

Author of Magic in the Word 

Written by Fairy God Blogger


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