You have just finished writing your book and you are now ready to publish. How do you go about finding the right publishing and the right publisher for you and your book? Some of you are thinking, “Isn’t publishing and publisher the same?” No, they are different.
There are three different Publishing types: Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing and Hybrid- Publishing. Think of Publishers as companies. You will have publishers who traditional publish like Harper Books. You have publishers who hybrid-publish like 4-U-Nique Publishing. You have publishers who only specialize in a specific category or genre, for example, Non-fiction or Poetry.
Which of the three publishing types are right for you? I will briefly go over each type of publishing and their pros and cons. I always tell people to do their own research and don’t just take my or anyone else’s word. Many authors dream of getting their book published by a traditional publisher. If you are fortunate enough to get signed to a traditional publisher, your book may benefit greatly. You have a team of some of the best editors working on your book; your book have an easier time getting on shelves in major retailers, and you have a team promoting your book. Most importantly, you have time to focus on your next book because the publishing stages of your book are handled by someone else.
Cons of publishing traditionally? Apparently, it is difficult to your work picked up by a traditional publisher. I for one cannot personally speak on the best way to get noticed by a traditional publisher. I have heard hiring a literary agent is the best route; however, I’ve heard sending your manuscript to publishers work best. While entering writing contest is the best way to go. What I can tell you is I caught the interest of traditional publishers when one of my writings was entered in a contest. Moving on, a traditional publisher is interested in you work. Usually when you sign a contract with them, you give up control of your manuscript. Which means they can edit your book how they want; they can take out or put in things in your books. They can promote your book however they want. They also have control over when and if your book is actually released. Also, your book royalties are normally low; many authors get less than 10% royalty off of each book sold. You didn’t really think the publishers were paying for marketing, editing, distribution, and book setup out of their own pocket did you?
Over the years, the publishing industry has seen a boom in self-publishing. When authors self-publish they are in control of the whole publishing process. They own their rights, they bring in higher royalties and they set the price of their books. Not bad at all, however, you have to determine how much time and money you have to spend on self-publishing. Publishing a book in general is very time consuming and very expensive. As a self-publishing author, you will have to either edit your book yourself and/or hire an editor. If you want your book to be the best it possibly can, I recommend hiring multiple editors and proofreaders. Editing, Book Design and Book Setup are very expensive and time consuming. Yes, I am going to keep saying “expensive” and “time consuming”, so you will understand what you are getting into. You have just finished bring your book to life, now you have to get your books out to the public. This stage is pretty easy if you are going with online retailers like Amazon, Ibooks, and Nook. If you are trying to get into a Bookstore like Barnes and Nobles, you will have a challenge getting on their bookshelves. Don’t give up hope, it is possible to get on their shelves, you just have to write a marketing proposal to them and have it accepted by them.
Recently, more and more Hybrid-Publishers have popped up. Hybrid- Publishing is exactly want it sounds like; they are a mixture of self-publishing and traditional-publishing. Authors can hire a hybrid publisher for varies services like editing, book design, marketing, etc. Authors can choose to self-publish their work themselves after using a hybrid publisher for, let’s say editing. Or, authors can hire hybrid publishers to publish their book in entirety. Each hybrid publisher is different, so I will only speak on how 4-U-Nique Publishing is set up. If an author wants a service or package, that author pays up front (or payment plan) for the service/package. We and most hybrid publishers have a team of editors, marketers, designers, etc. who are very good at what they do. If an author chooses to use the hybrid (4-U-Nique Publishing), for their entire publishing, (getting the book out to the public and in retailers), they will usually pay the hybrid publisher a royalty. In this case the author is still bringing in higher royalties than they would see from a traditional publisher but less than they would if the self-published. However, the author has more time to focus on their next book, work, family, and other endeavors.
You still have to look at a few more factors before making your decision on which publisher and publishing is right for you. 1) How much time do you want to spend on different stages of your book creation and publishing? If you don’t have much time to devote to your books creation, then traditional or hybrid publishing is for you. If you have tons of time then self-publishing may be your best fit. 2) How much control do you want over your book? If control doesn’t matter than traditional publishing may be for you. If you like to have control over what’s edited, release of book, etc. then self-publishing or hybrid publishing is for you. 3) Royalties? If you want the most royalties go with self-publishing; if you want high royalties but don’t want to do all the publishing work, go with hybrid publishing; if you don’t care about royalties, don’t want to be involved in the publishing process and don’t want to pay for services upfront go with traditional publishing. 4) What is my target audience and what genre/category does my book belong in? If you are a poetry writer, there is no need to contact a publisher who only deals with Mystery Novels. Go to a publisher who specializes in your genre.
Finally advice, call these publishers, editors, book designers, etc. Ask them questions and analyze how they answer your questions. Do they rush you off the phone? Do take the time to thoroughly answer questions and explain their answers? Are they passionate? Are they knowledge? Remember your manuscript/masterpiece is like your child, you have to be careful with who is holding it, forming it, and who is going to be in control of it. Also, remember no matter what anyone says, You Have to Market Your Own Book, Music, Art, Product. Do not leave marketing solely on the publishing company; you will not get the results you expected. Remember, if you are publishing through a publishing company they have other authors who they have to divide their attention with also.
Best Wishes on your Journey.
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