You are ready. Manuscript done. Cover designed. Testimonials secured. Now you have to find a publisher. I am often asked what is the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. It boils down to three factors – time, money and control.
It takes much longer to secure a traditional publisher. Often they only take on a few new authors (new to them) a year so you may be looking at 12-18 months before your book is accepted, and they are looking for a book that is easy to market.
While you may get the printing paid for by a traditional publisher and receive an advance, when the book is out in the market place, one author friend shared she got a $1 for every book sold. Traditional publishers no longer have the big marketing budgets so often it will be up to you to take on that role.
When you go with a traditional publisher, their editors will work on your book and you lose control of the content whereas with self publishing, it’s your book and you own the content.
Being published by a main stream traditional publisher gives great credibility to your book and this may be the route you want to pursue. You will have to submit a publishing proposal and have to prove to the publisher that your book is relevant and will sell well.
Because it is challenging to get accepted by a traditional publisher, many authors have chosen to go the self-publishing route. Here you own the rights to the book, have to pay for the printing and production, but generally the end profit stays with you, although some self publishing companies take a royalty. (we don’t).
Shop around and be clear on what each company offers. You will also want to look at the printing options. Print on demand, for example, means that the price per copy provided at the outset is what stays in place regardless of how many copies you want printed. The advantage is that you just order what you need, and don’t end up with boxes and boxes in your garage. With the other printing option, you get a lower price based on volume. So the more you order, the lower the cost. You are looking at 1,000 copies usually before there is a significant reduction in cost.
With the formatting, you usually have to provide a copy of your manuscript as a word document. Any photos and the cover should be provided as high resolution jpgs.
You should receive a proof copy of your book. Read it carefully. Have someone else read it. This is your last chance to make any changes and capture any typos.
This post is part six of a series on writing books by Anne Day, President of Full Circle Publishing and author/editor of five books on Women and Entrepreneurship. Her next book, co-authored with Amy Vodarek will be coming out in Spring, 2017