Which Publishing Path Should You Take?
Traditional publishing vs self publishing; how does a person choose? I am going to throw you a curve ball. There is no absolute choice. I feel that in my personal situation that I didn’t choose one or the other. It chose me. I submitted many book proposals to many different publishers and literary agencies. Perhaps you are familiar with the answer; if any, that I received from the different companies. Here are some examples:
– Your query page and book proposal is well written and gave a good impression; unfortunately your book is just not right for us.
– Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately after careful consideration I have decided to pass on this submission.
– After careful consideration we have decided not to pursue your project.
On and on it goes. Most of the companies are courtesy. Many offer a short suggestion. Still the fact is that book publishing is a competitive endeavor. Agency representatives and publish companies are very subjective. Submitting a book proposal is truly similar to getting six in the lottery. Either it happens or it doesn’t.
You can continue to submit book proposals. There are more than enough agencies and publishers to keep you busy for the next ten years. Patience may pay off. An agency representative or publisher may send you the golden letter of approval. Then again you may wait five years, ten years or longer without any glimpse of publishing success. This can be very discouraging.
Fortunately the world is always moving and changing. There was a period when Traditional publishing companies were actually very eager to print your manuscript. Entering the book market was then somewhat easier as in our present time frame.
The world of humankind is very enterprising; thus the dawning of self publishing companies.
Self Publishing can Be a Costly Venture.
There are however many self publishing companies. These companies providing different service packages that can be tailored to your needs and budget. There are also free lance book editors and book layout designers. These freelancers often provide good service with minimum cost. One advantage to self publishing is the diversity of tailored options available. A second advantage would be the product control a potential author has during stages of publication.
You, as the author get to make most of the decisions concerning areas such as book content, book interior design and book cover design. There is one area that may definitely be considered a drawback for many potential authors. You are primarily responsible for any serious promotional events and or advertising. Many of the self publishing companies provide a marketing service at an acceptable price. This service usually only provides the marketing baseline for the book. The service may include: A tagline, keywords for search purposes, a book description that will be used on the selected distributors, or an author’s Biography to name a few.
The real back breaking work is leave up to you. A hopeful writer does have many options to insure a solid book marketing platform. Internet is a very helpful tool in letting in presenting yourself and your book to the world. This can be done with many different social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. A motivated writer has easy access to relative inexpensive programs or services used to build a personal website; such as I have done on this website. It is then possible to plan different marketing strategies used in presenting your book to the world.
Self-Publishing and You
It is still up to the reader. This is the cutting edge in book publication and sales. Whether the first book is accepted by the reader can have significant influence on a potential author.
The key is not to become discouraged. Diligence and patience are two very good virtues for any determined writer. There will be period of self analyzing and self criticism needed. You may need to devote more time to grammar improvement or writing style. It would be a good idea to keep your options open; accepting change and the need for change in what and how you do it.
Perhaps the most significant key to being a writer is being aware of how you feel about what you are doing. If you love to write, then write. This very action in itself is fulfilling. The inspiration that prompts you to express yourself is the catalyst that will ignite the thoughts, imagination, and desires that you wish to share with others. Then all that remains is the development of your writing skills in response to the reader’s wishes. The rest is simply details. Such as learning the ins and outs related to book publishing and marketing.
I would like to close with a quote from Pierre Simon Fournier’s 1764 typography manual:
“After all the basic necessities of life, there is nothing more precious than books.”
Hang this quote on the wall. Use it as your philosophy to inspire you to write. You are a writer.