The Most Important Decisions
You Must Make
In Order to Succeed In the Publishing World
The benefits of self-publishing vs. major house publishing
In the last five to ten years, many things have changed in the publishing world. Years ago if an author wanted to publish a book they needed to either find an agent or they had to sit down and write an outstanding query to try to get their book reviewed, accepted and published by a major publishing company and the only people you contacted were the major publishing companies like Random House.
Now things have changed and authors have a choice. Do they want to self-publish their book or do they want to establish a contract with a major publishing house and have them publish the book for them.
To make that choice you need to focus on the pros and con’s and see which one is the best choice for you as the author.
THE PRO’S AND THE CON’S
Major House Publishing (Traditional Publishing) - To understand how major publishing companies operate I am going to briefly go over the process so you get a better understanding. This is how the publishing process works:
- An author completes a manuscript
- The author writes a query or proposal
- The author submits it to a publishing house
- An editor reads it
- The editor then decides whether it is right for the publishing house
- The editor then will make two choices either he decides to reject it or to publish it.
Now here is the tricky part. If the major publishing house decides to publish the book, the major publishing house buys the rights from the writer. This means they decide what to do with the book. For example, if you want to make the book a kindle and sell it on Amazon.com you will not be allowed to unless they do it for you. You can be sure that most of the royalties will go in their pocket not yours.
Another factor to consider is that major publishing give out advances to authors. This is when they pay you money up front to publish your book. The only drawback is that you will not see any more money until the publishing company makes back their advance money. So if the book is not selling many copies do not expect to see any royalties until the publishing company makes all their advance money back. Recently I spoke to an owner of a publishing company and he told me that due to the economy publishing companies are not offering as many advances as they were before.
Major book companies usually offer 7-10 percent royalties this means you get 7-10 percent and they get the rest. I do not know about you, but something not right there!
The positive aspect is that the major publishing companies put up the money to design, package the book, print as many copies of the book they think will sell, markets the book, and distributes the finished book to the public.
Bookstores are more willing to purchase the book because major book publishing company offer a return policy and most self–publishing companies offer a no return policy, which causes your book to have less distribution and notoriety.
Self-publishing Company - An author who decides to self-publish their book becomes the publisher. All the responsibilities are on you – the author. Below are the responsibilities an author must assume as a self-publisher:
- The author must provide the funds required to publish the book
- You are in charge of designing the front and back cover and spine of the book. If you are not good with designing and you do not have the right programs at home, you may want to consider hiring someone.
- The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running public relations campaigns.
Self-publishing companies like lulu.com offer distribution packages for as low as 100.00 dollars. They will sell, package, distribute your books and submit your book to Amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com. Barnes and Nobles bookstore will not sell your book because of the no return policy, but they will order it for a customer if a customer requests it and they will sell it online. Remember they are print on demand, so if you do not market your book will not sell.
Many self-publishing companies have a Print on Demand (POD) policy which means that authors only print as many as they need for themselves and self – publishing companies will print, package and send out the books when they are ordered by you or a customer.
Be careful for scam artists. When you self-publish, you should be entitled to most of the profits and you should not have to pay hundreds of dollars to self-publish your book. The publishing companies should only charge you for the cost to produce the book, consumers should pay for the shipping and handling and you should be making 80 to 95% of the profits. Sounds better then 7 to 10 percent, but remember each has its pro’s and cons.
There is a lot of responsibility and costs if you self-publish, but you are making a lot more profit. Then you have to remember the no return policy. You are going to have a hard time getting your book into the bookstore to sell, this means less distribution.
Which one fits your needs the best? YOU DECIDE!