Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Publishing - The Myths and Facts

It seems as if everyone and their mom are publishing books lately.  Wow, there are a lot of authors out there and that’s a good thing.  But, there is some confusion over different types of publishing and what is entailed in each.  I’ll try to be as concise as possible. 

Traditional Publishing
  • A “New York” style publisher (not necessarily based out of New York).  This would be the Harper Collins, the Bantam, the Harlequin, the Random House type giants.  This is the BIG LEAGUE, and is every writer’s dream.  They PAY YOU to edit and publish your book.
  • Small press publishers.  These publishers are every bit as legitimate as their big brothers, but they lack the financial strength to publish more than a couple physical books per year (it takes a lot of bucks to print books).  These publishers usually e-publish an author first (much cheaper than printing) to see if there is a market for their work and may print their books later.  They pay their authors royalties on the amount of books sold, and may or may not offer advances. 
  • All this means is that the book/work is available for download to an e-device such as a Kindle or a Nook.  Even big “New York” publishers do this for their authors. 
  • Sometimes an author has no luck with traditional publishing because they are unable to find a publisher or an agent that can take their work (regardless if it’s good or not – sometimes the best writing gets rejected over and over again).  OR, they may choose to self-publish for other reasons.  Self-publishing means that the work has not been accepted by a traditional publisher and the author has decided to make a go of publishing it on their own.  There are many free and low-cost ways to do this.
Vanity Publishers
  • Vanity publishers ALWAYS take a fee (usually a substantial one) to publish your book for you.  What do you get?  Depending on how much you pay, you will get copies of your book in print for you to market, sell, distribute, etc.  Some of the vanity presses have editing services (for a fee), marketing services (for a fee), and cover design services (for a fee).  It is rare for an author to be successful when using a Vanity publisher because the initial investment is very high and it's unlikely that they will make a return on their investment. 
In conclusion, a Traditional Publisher will NEVER ask you for money.  It is their privilege to publish your book because they believe in you and are willing to take a financial risk on your product.  Self-Publishing is also a viable way of publishing provided you are willing to do the legwork to make sure that your best product is produced, and are ready to make the necessary time/monetary investment to make this possible. 
Ok, I think I covered everything here.  If I made a mistake please let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Nice little article. And you definitely covered all the facts.