The Two Types of Publishing Actions, Part 1
A handy diagram on different types of publishing routes as an author
Every writer’s dream is to get published and have their books into print. Then later in bookstores and libraries, even in print. But after you write a book, edit it lots into its publish-ready. These days, you have two options to take. Query agents and/or editors of publishers to land an traditional pub deal with big publishers like Random House or Harper Collins, or small or indie press or even e-publishers. Or self-publish it yourself via various outlets like Lulu.com or Amazon.com for example.
Last fall and this past June, I went to two full local conferences that had a workshop class on the same subject matter: publishing. One was titled “What are your Publishing Options today” and the other was “Publishing Actions”. Both workshops explained the differences between traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. Each option had its pros and cons. Between the two conference workshops in this two-part series, these are my notes to help aspiring writers weigh the odds and let them decide for themselves on which route they wish they choose. This is part one from last fall on publishing actions, as I’ll follow it up with part two next week with publishing options from this past June.
Most authors go through the submission process by querying to agents and/or editors, which could be grueling and a long process in itself. They would want quality products that’s well-edited and well-written. Some agencies have no charges, while some offer in-house editing services by experienced editors. Copy-editors would want it perfect as possible.
Traditional publishing offers you a contract to publish books to go into booksellers and retailers. You’ll get an advance and 8% royalty fees and a royalty statement and no other money. There’s no pay for art and production and bookkeeping. You would also get more credibility and purpose for your debut. They would give you guidance in the publishing industry. There’s also professional advice to buy it possible. You’re also taken seriously by the media.
On the flip side, it takes a lot of time from agent and/or editor to publisher. You would need a query letter (or cover letter, a synopsis, and a proposal for nonfiction. You’ll be awaiting for a response, since agents/editors have various responses times in their submission guidelines. And yes, you would get the standard form rejection letters, since each agent/editor is subjective of what they’re looking for. The production takes a long time to have it in print—it could range from 18 months to two years. If you write a series, it would have to be close together and concentrate on the first book. If you aim for a small press, you would also have a long wait.
You would have little say on the cover from the art director. A lot of decisions would be up to the publisher. You would need to establish a platform, like on your blog, via social media outlets, presentations. Write articles on the same topic. Also you would have to contact libraries.
Most authors choose to go to the self-publishing route. If you publish on demand with Amazon or other outlets, you’ll only get royalties for your payment and 100% of the money. It’s independent as you do it your own from independent companies and their imprints. As the author, you publish it.
One of the pros for self-publishing is credibility. A lot of traditional published authors have chosen to go this route. This won’t have affect on the media. As for time, it won’t take long to get it published—at least a few months. And you would have complete control over everything.
On the downside, there’s a big stigma about bad writing going out over there. And you would need money to hire an editor, your own publicist, and for marketing your own work, too.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Kristen Howe