There is a saying that unless your books are in paper you are not an author. You are an “Indie Author” and your books not worth reading! I can tell you from a legal and a business view I found paper publishers to be something very close to scammers and authors falling for their shenanigans rather confused or the object of bad legal advice. How it worked, before we got e-publishing, was that you write your manuscript and some takes years to do this (why I would not know but I respect that nonetheless). Then when you have a complete manuscript you go to the publishing houses and they will now reject you or not, depending on criteria only they and God understands because I don’t.
Sadly, most authors were rejected and you have to wonder, looking at some of the crap actually published through the decades (I have been reading for 43 years now) on what possible criteria they make their decisions. And they make serious blunders, many famous books, from Harry Potter to whatever, were rejected at first and it gave the publishing house a god-like idea of themselves and something I dislike intently (I need to mention, I was never rejected). They still have that idea, they are god and will decide what the public read, another form of censorship I don’t like. Unfortunately, it does not end here. The business model is entirely one sided for them to check and almost rewrite the manuscript and with that I have one hell of a big problem with. I wrote the book in a certain way and style and I will never allow a wanker pony tail who wrote nothing in his or her life to tell me how to change it. Unless he or she is an author I admire, I will reject their advice. A book, I can tell you, is like a child for the author. An editor looks at spelling and grammar and nothing else and certainly not the storyline. That is my view and I don’t take kindly to anything else.
And yet it still happens, I turned down a US publishing house on the GMJ Books because they wanted more sex in the story. Now I don’t write such filth and what should be private between man and wife in my books. And yes sex sells, I know that. Look at the sudden influx of “Fifty Shades of Filth” books in the last years. My word, what nonsenses to follow slavishly what was done before. You cannot copy another author, you will always look second hand. I don’t get that way of thinking. I write books because I want to share the story with you, to get you to smile and frown and be expectant on what will come out next. That to me is the crux and it must be accurate, there is an enormous amount of research in each. I am proud of my books, I want them reread and be available in a few years yet. That to me is the real test and you get such authors, Alistair MacLean, Jack Higgin, Wilbur Smith etc. I can read their books time and time again. I want the same with GMJ Books, to be read again and again.
The new way of publishing is not to beg someone to print your book (I am not good at begging to begin with) and to pay them an enormous fee to check it and then to print it and then to run marketing campaigns (in every second magazine under the cover of an “exclusive” which is crap, it is paid ads and the reader not that stupid, really). And then if your lumps of paper don’t sell quickly enough, you as the author will carry the loss financially. From a legal and business sense, unless you are already famous, it makes zero sense and I always stayed away from that and leaving my books in the modern format, e-publishing. However, this system also opened the door for less than good books, pathetic ones really and a total oversupply as anyone can now publish. Yet it is the best way and I predict as do most, paper will disappear in the next twenty odd years. The era of the rejection notes are gone and so is censorship in that sense.
But on the other hand, I have hundreds of paper books and the smell of such a book, the excitement of turning a page is still there for many of us. And I know a paper book is a damn sight better gift than an electronic file. So I got the GMJ Books into paper now without financial risk to me. How it works is what is known as “print on demand” and the printing is done by CreateSpace, an Amazon company. You order your book via them and it is printed and delivered to you a day or three later. I understand you also pay for the delivery costs and you pay by credit card. If you are unhappy with the printing quality (it is as good as any other book) you may return it to CreateSpace but be sure to read their terms and conditions, this is not in my hands.
This gives you the option to get the book in print or electronic and yes it is vastly more expensive in print but it is not more than what any other such book will cost. Interestingly, the longer the book, the less I get which is less than 40% of what you pay. The delivery fees may make it expensive in South Africa and outside the US and Canada, I cannot help that, it is a US company printing them. The books are anyway not Mickey Mouse books, the shortest are 226 pages and the longest 301, the averages is about 245 pages in print, that is good value for money in my eyes. I hope you enjoy this moment with me, I am proud of my books.
George M James is a pseudo name for the author and used for security reasons. He is an expert on counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in sub Saharan Africa, a military and war historian and published author of 43 books. His late wife was an American Patriot that served with the U.S. Navy. His books are widely read among military veterans of many nations.