Publishing a Book
Is it better to self publish a book on amazon or to find a publisher? Which has a better chance of success?
There are too many variables to answer your question. If your goal is to be in business for yourself as a writer/self-publisher then you will probably want to go through Amazon's CreateSpace and pay for their (expanded distribution) option. This option means other booksellers will have access to selling your book. CreateSpace also offers editing, press release, and book cover design services. Your royalty on the book will be much higher than going through a traditional publisher. Naturally you will have to be a go getter when it comes to promoting the book, getting reviews in local and national media, arranging to speak at book clubs and assorted other avenues. These types of writers now being affectionately called "Authorpreneurs" Awhile back I wrote a hub on this subject. http://dashingscorpio.hubpages.com/hub/ … ingmindset
Now if you are simply looking to write your book and shop for a literary agent who will then shop for a publisher who truly believes in your book then you may want to attempt to go this route. If you are fortunate to get a publisher you are going to be surprised to learn that a lot of the marketing of the book is still going fall in your lap. Best of luck!
Thanks so much for valuable information dashingscorpio. I guess the reality is that I either want the book to sell itself or for someone else to do the marketing since I lack the ability to promote my own work:) I will definitely check out your hub!
The notion that a commercial publisher expects an author to do "a lot of the marketing" is inaccurate in the extreme. This simply isn't so. Your publisher may ask you to have a Website, and let people who follow you on Twitter know your book is out.
Medievalist, It all depends on the size of the publisher and even then a "new author" is not going to get the same push as say a James Patterson or Stephen King. http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/06/ … ket-books/
Find a publisher and before you do that find an editor. Self publishing should be the last resort. I have an American publisher.
Thanks so much for your help Rod! I guess I have to find an editor first when I complete my book. I may e-mail you for the name of the publisher but not sure if people are willing to share so don't feel obligated to give me the name:)
You only need to hire an editor if you're self-publishing or vanity publishing. Commercial publishers do not charge for editing.
The people that do well with self-publishing generally write non-fiction self-help books which can also be marketed as part of seminars/workshops. Initially Chicken Soup for the Soul was self-published by Jack Canfield's company.
Medievalist, before I even think about approaching my publisher or any publisher I run my writing through an editor friend. Then the writing goes to the publisher where it is further editied. Yes, commercial publishers don't charge for editing.
If you have a specific niche, and have the skills or the money to hire the skills for self publishing, it may work for you, but it requires a great deal of work on your part and you must wear several hats. Your book will be higher priced than a commercially published book. You will need to hire an editor and cover designer; you should hire a typesetter. Your book will not be available for purchase in bookstores since Amazon doesn't accept returns and will expect you or the bookstore to buy all the copies of your book. Unless you buy your own ISBN numbers (one for each edition or version) your book will be listed as published by Amazon. Libraries will not order your book. Most self published books don't even sell 2000 copies. Higher royalties are meaningless if you don't sell books.
If you have to hire an editor, buy ISBNs, hire a cover designer, etc. you will have substantial cash outlay. If you go through commercial publishing, your publisher will edit and index your book, pay editors and designers and typesetters and indexers, and market your book to bookstores and libraries. You do not have to pay for any of this, and your publisher will pay you an advance. Once the book has sold enough copies to earn back the advance, you can start earning royalties.
Meanwhile, while your book is being edited and later sold, you can be working on the next book.
For a non fiction book, rather than find an agent and submit to publishers, the standard practice is to submit a book proposal; publishers will tell you what to send them in a proposal, but it's general a bio statement indicating your expertise, a detailed outline and synopsis, and a sample of at least a chapter.
Once you have an offer from a publisher, it's quite easy to obtain an agent—who will help you with contract negotiations and subsequent books. I'd go hang out on Absolute Write while you write and revise your book; you can learn a lot about how to self-publish the right way, and how to commercially publish, submit a book, find an agent, etc.
I can't thank you enough for your help medievalist!This will be my first book and I'm trying to determine if it's worth the effort but it sounds like finding a publisher is the best way to go if possible.I will definitely check out Absolute Write.
I published my book through Amazon and its in a couple of libraries. You are correct about the no return for bookstores but my book is available in some stores, online for B&N, Books A Million..etc I got a nice review in Publishers Weekly. It dep
Being available to order online is not the same as being available on the shelf at bookstores.
I agree being available online is not the same as being on the shelf but at the same time you see Borders is out of business and B&N announced closures. Online book purchases, Kindle, & Nook are on the rise. My book is self-help good for semi
I have published traditionally (12 titles), self-published (2 titles), and published e-books (15 titles). All three ways have been successful, but it took traditional publishing to jump-start the others.
In 1997, I tried to find a publisher. Publishers are often slow in responding. That wasted a year. I then spent two years looking for an agent. Agents usually responded quickly with, "Thank you but no thank you." I believe I contacted every reputable agent in the U.S. at least once during that time. Once I had an agent (insert "Hallelujah Chorus" here), he immediately found several publishers for me, and one publisher signed me to a two-book contract.
I submitted the sequel to my first book to my publisher for my new contract (book #3), but the publisher told me, "We don't do sequels." I instantly hooked up with InstantPublisher.com, designed my own cover, did a print run of 500--and sold out in two months (roughly a $2,000 profit). Thus, I used my "published" books to sell that one. This success caught the attention of my publisher (who still didn't want the sequel) but wanted me back under contract--provided that I stopped self-publishing. I'm glad I did. I've been under contract since, and the money is MUCH better than the other two methods combined. (I did sneak in a self-published collection of poetry only to realize that not many people buy poetry collections.)
Since then, whenever my publisher passes on a title (yes, even published authors have to pass inspection), I prepare it for the Kindle and sell it at a reasonable price. I even publish Kindle books that I know my publisher won't want. I like to write--a lot.
I try not to spend a single dime on any of my Kindle titles so any sales I get are pure profit. I didn't use CreateSpace (though I know those who have and say wonderful things about it) because I'm also a freelance editor and English teacher who prefers to self-edit. I also have a wife with excellent eyesight.
To find out how I put out my Kindle titles, take a look at:
http://multiculturalsoul.hubpages.com/h … ished-Book
If I were you, I'd 1) find an agent--they know exactly which publisher is publishing exactly what; 2) if an agent doesn't bite, go the e-book route, but make sure your book is "clean" before you put it out there.
Self-publishing was exhausting because I had to ship books to customers. I burned a lot of gas, but I did make new friends at the post office. :~)
Thanks for answering anuj47. Why is it better to put it on amazon?
Actually, if you're going to self-publish, it is better to publish the book in print via Amazon's CreateSpace versus the other POD options, but you want to have the ebook available everywhere. I'd use Amazon for Kindle, and SmashWords for all others
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