These days everyone’s becoming an author. Heck, you’re all publishing all the time anyway (Facebook, et al), so you might as well write a whole book, right?
In fact, if you’re reading this blog, then you’re a person who needs to read these resources regularly, and join LinkedIn and sign up for groups related to publishing. I do hope you’ve already established your Facebook presence?
3. I’ve recently been encouraged by a thread on LinkedIn to define the difference between someone for whom traditional publishing is the right choice, and the determined soul who prefers to self-publish. It all depends on what you want from your publishing experience: Ego strokes? Or money?
If you want the validation of being “chosen” by a publishing house, then go for it. That is a perfectly valid quest. It might be the whole reason you’ve undertaken this project, to boost something about your self-esteem and confidence that cannot be otherwise boosted. No one can fault that objective! We all love that.
For such an author, the traditional publishing house might represent something hallowed, or authoritarian (a teacher? a parent? an important arbiter of taste or status? something unfinished from a past lifetime?), and the quest to gain its approval is vitally important. We all, at some time or another, seek out such things, such proof, such reinforcement.
I do not denigrate anyone who chooses this as their goal; far from it! I just want you to recognize that’s your goal, and learn as much as you can about what you will and will not receive from this experience. Know what you’re going after. Hence, I’ve posted links to resources that will help to educate you about the traditional publishing industry, and the alternatives now available in the 21st century. Plus, some of you may wind up in the hands of a traditional publisher, even if you begin as a do-it-yourselfer. So it’s wise to learn as much as you can about the old ways.
If, however, you want to make some money from your book, and have more control over how that is done and a larger share of your book’s profits, then you’ll probably choose self-publishing. Only a rare few authors are going to earn extraordinary advances from traditional publishers (and there’s always time for that in the future), and it’s even more rare to earn back your advance and begin collecting royalties, after your publisher deducts all “expenses” and other things that only your accountant would understand. And those royalties will be small—from 10 to 12% for paper books.
Some publishers are beginning to offer 25% royalties on electronic books. As a comparison, Amazon currently offers self-publishing authors a 70% royalty option on Kindle editions.
But won’t a publisher provide more marketing, an in-house sales force, book tours, and promotions? you ask.
Ahh, dear friends, that is a dream that has evaporated. Only if your name begins with “Stephen King” or “James Patterson.” You’ll be relying on yourself to do your own marketing and promotions, whether self-published or traditionally published, except you’ll find it a lot easier to do when you have full control over details, such as having books available on the day of your special event. Please, do your research and prove me wrong if you can. Post your experiences in the comments section! Please.
My self-published books (Cosmic Dancer and The Liberator) are currently printed in the
You can do this too.