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The Two Types of Publishing Actions, part 2

Updated on September 23, 2016

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.

Important Questions

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

Traditional Publishing

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.

Hybrid Publishing

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.

Further Resources

For traditional publishing help, check out the 2016 Guide of Literary Agents (and sister guides),, print book),

For general non-WD websites, check out,, Start with those and Twitter along with

For self-pub services, since there’s many more naturally, check out,,

Side note

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.


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio


    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Good for you. Best wishes!!! ;-)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're very welcome. So happy you've found the right path that was meant for you. I'm more for traditional publishing, since I have agent/small pub interest lately for my novels.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for sharing this useful information. I went through this process a few years ago, and it is so important to take the important steps you suggest. I went with self-publishing, and have been very happy with the process.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 9 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Glenn, thanks for stopping by and commenting. There's a lot of publishing options out there to make our writing dreams come true. Good for you to get your work out there via self-publishing.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 9 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I have three books that I self-published using Lulu and CreateSpace (paperback and Kindle). I was always wondering if I would do better with sales if I had used a traditional publisher. I found your section on hybrid publishing encouraging. I realize now that there are other options.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Chirangada for stopping by and commenting. You're welcome.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This is very useful and helpful information for everyone who wants to publish their work. I will save it for future reference.

      These events help a lot . Thanks for sharing your experience with others!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure Diana. Keep us posted.

    • profile image

      teaches12345 16 months ago

      Thank you for the information on these options. I must keep this all in mind when I get to the publishing date.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure. I'm glad it helped you in any way.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for sharing this very valuable information. Your article helps me figure out the pros and cons.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Bill. I've learned a lot in 3 classes and the Q&A forum. I still have leftover information from the previous conferences to post hubs. My pleasure!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      You're welcome.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 17 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I look forward to hearing what you learned at that conference. Thanks for the information, Kristen!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Lisa, good to hear from you my friend. I can so relate to it. Say Yes to Life, good for you for self-pubbing and being brave to go that route.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 17 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish for stopping by. I'm happy to share what I've learned with my fellow hubber friends.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA

      I like these articles. They are interesting and beneficial for those of us who don't attend these types of events.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 17 months ago from United Kingdom

      Good article Kristen. If I was young I would go trad, at my age I worry I won't live long enough for the trad route, but kudos for those who do. :)

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 17 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I am self-published through Create Space (paperback) and KDP (ebook). In both cases, you can put list for free. As far as I can tell, the quality is excellent.

      My 3 books are nonfiction. The first two, "Wage Peace Between the Sexes (Sugar Version) and (Spice Version)" are for middle and high school students, respectively; the third, "If You Like Sex, Read This Book!" is for adults. All are available on Amazon, in both formats. You can even sample a couple chapters of the ebooks for free.