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The Two Types of Publishing Actions, part 2
There's more than one way to unlock the doors of publishing
The Big Picture
Last month, I wrote about the first conference workshop class I took last fall about publishing actions. Now, here’s the second half of that segment on the two kinds of publishing actions to take, when after you write and edit your book.
There is no longer any “right” way. Though this is just the beginning, you will need to do a lot of research.
Before you get started on your publishing journey, you need to ask yourself these important questions:
Why do you want your book published? What’s the goal? Money? Simply to be read? To supplement your platform or business? As a free resource?
How much proven ability do you have to market? (This is called platform.)
Who’s your audience and how do plan to reach them?
How much time and effort can you put into everything?
This book is a must-have for every writer to have on their bookshelf
It’s up to you, if you want to choose to use an agent or not. You can aim for a small or big house. Don’t listen to everyone about publishing.
Here are the pros of querying an agent and/or an editor: The money flows right to you with no upfront costs. An editor will edit for you for free. They may help you sell subsidiary rights. They might assign a publicist for you. They will make it available in an e-book. They keep track of sales and pay you. It carries an air of important legitimacy—a couple of examples are receiving book blurbs, endorsements, media attention, accolades and awards. You can always self-pub later. You’ll get a royalty statement twice a year. So try traditional publishing first.
If you’re repped by an agent now, it depends on the schedule of the publisher. It might land on a certain month, 1-3x a year. Your book could be published in fall 2017 or spring 2018.
On the downside, here are the cons for choosing this publishing route: It moves slow and much is out of your hands. Nonfiction demands a platform. Payment’s good at first but bad later. Not much fiction novels are published; there’s confines of genres and length. You’re at the whim of others.
Here are the next steps, if you wish to pursue this goal. For fiction, finish the book. For nonfiction, compose a nonfiction book proposal. Query agents or editors when you’re ready.
If you wish to self-publish your novels, here’s some information for you to keep in handy.
On the plus side, there’s a lot of options exist for print books and ebooks. There’s a lot of speed. It shows how you’re in control. You can work in different places (nonexclusive rights). You would receive better royalties. The length and genre no longer matter. The most necessary stuff is still handled for you; you can negotiate and compare offers/elements.
For the minuses, having too much control can be bad. The quality will be inferior. The stigma of being a self-pubbed author. You pay THEM and have no help with subsidiary rights. It’ll be tougher with bookstores, libraries, book fairs and reviews. The biggest problem is visibility and promotion for those who don’t have a platform.
Your new steps will be looking at self-pub services like CreateSpace and SmashWords.
If you want to try the best of both worlds, consider hybrid publishing. It’s a mix of both to finding your right marketplace. A couple of examples of hybrid publishing is when an author whose career started with traditionally published books to try self-publishing. From there, the author publishes some books traditionally and self-publishes other books. (Erica Spindler does both.)
An author who has self-published several books is picked up by a traditional publisher. An author might get a traditional book deal for print publishing, but continue to self-publish e-books, retaining all digital rights and royalties.
Because they can sign authors who have already self-published and establish an audience, publishers benefit from hybrid publishing. A lower-risk investment, because they know the books will sell to existing readers and fans. Every nice author is a risk for a publishing author, when there’s no way to tell which books will make the best-seller lists and which ones will bomb. It’s less likely that a book will suffer low sales, because there’s an audience ready, willing and able to buy under this model.
For traditional publishing help, check out the 2016 Guide of Literary Agents (and sister guides), guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog, WritersMarket.com(or print book), Publishersmarketplace.com.
For general non-WD websites, check out Janefriedman.com, Rachellegardner.com, Nathanbransford.com. Start with those and Twitter along with Manuscriptwriterslist.com.
For self-pub services, since there’s many more naturally, check out lulu.com, Createspace.com, Smashwords.com.
Tomorrow, I’ll be attending a free local conference and take notes on three classes along with the Q&A forum. So stay tuned for more future hubs on writing and publishing this fall and winter.