New Authors Publishing Options


All your publishing options are as follows:

--Conventional publishing

--Vanity or subsidy publishing

--Print-on-demand publishing

--Self-publish yourself

--Get help with self-publishing

Let's compare the publishing options.

How to get in the publishing process and how long will it take to see your book printed?

Conventional publishing option

It is a very long and difficult process to get a publisher even if it is at all possible for a new author. First you need to get a literary agent who is willing to introduce / represent your manuscript to a publisher. The rejection rate is about 95% at each stage... It can take many months or even years to find an agent and then a publisher... If and when your manuscript is accepted by a conventional publisher, it usually takes up to two years to see your book in print.

Subsidy or vanity publishing option

It is extremely easy and fast to get a subsidy publisher. They will even solicit your manuscript through advertising or direct mail. They accept without question any and all manuscripts for publishing and print your book in a matter of months.

Print-on-demand publishing option

This is actually the same type as a subsidy publisher - soliciting your business, accepting anything and being ready to print your book in no time. The only difference is that they print one book at a time which costs you less up-front, but not in the long run.

Self-publish yourself

Starting your own publishing company is involved, not only in business terms but also in learning the art and science of publishing. After that you can move pretty fast - you manage the whole process yourself, interviewing and hiring all the expertise needed, such as book designers, printers, promoters, etc. And it's not cheap.

Get help with self-publishing

If you don't have time, money and/or inclination for running a publishing business, but still want to self-publish your book, you can find help in an advisory / promotional service for self-publishers that will lead you through the process. You still self-publish, but save time, money and effort.

How much will it cost you to publish your book?

Conventional publishing option

This doesn't cost you anything, the publisher will pay all book production expenses. By saying this we aren't considering the ultimate costs of losing most of your legal rights to your work, or for that matter your time spent on seeking representation, mailing copies of your manuscript to numerous agents, or the reading / copying fees that agents frequently charge new authors.

Subsidy or vanity publishing option

You will pay everything up-front, that's the way subsidy publishers make their money - from authors, not from selling books to the public. Most often it will be $10,000 to $20,000, sometimes more depending on the size of your book. You get about 200 copies of your book for that price and a promise of royalties if any book selling from the publisher happens in the future. Each book costs you about $50 to $100 up to this point, very likely precluding any profitability at all in the venture.

Print-on-demand publishing option

Same thing - they make their money from you, the author, selling you your own books one at a time, printing-on-demand. The difference is that it costs less up-front, sometimes even nothing depending on company policies. Don't expect them to be selling to public on your behalf either - they only sell to you. Each book will usually cost you about $10 to $20 which often makes it impossible to sell your books through retailers as you can't compete with other books' prices.

Self-publish yourself

We won't consider here the costs of starting a business and educating yourself on publishing through courses, books, seminars, etc.; these differ a lot for various people in different situations. However, after all that is accomplished, you can have 500 to 1,000 copies of your book printed for about $3 to $5 per book which makes it competitive in price with books of any big publisher. We are speaking here about an average retail paperback book cost.

Get help with self-publishing

The book price will be more or less same as above - you pay for services, but save on running a business.

How do you market / promote / sell your books?

Conventional publishing option

The publisher will take care that your book is delivered to distributors / wholesalers / retailers and that's probably it. The publishers don't spend money on promoting books of new authors as a rule. Since consumers don't know about your book, they don't buy it. The retail shelf space is scarce and expensive, your book will go off the shelves in several months and that's the commonly end of the story... You can change this into a success story of your book if you do the promotion yourself, however.

Subsidy or vanity publishing option

As already said, the publisher had made their money up-front. There may be a clause in your contract saying that the publisher will mail some number of your books to reviewers for publicity, but as Dan Poynter says: "The name of a vanity publisher on a spine of the book is a kiss of death" - your book will never be reviewed. That's because reviewers review books that will be in book trade distribution channels where subsidy presses never get.

Print-on-demand publishing option

Same thing - the publisher (really hardly more than a printer) won't do anything to market / promote / sell your book; it's all up to you to create a demand for your book. The print-on-demand publishing seems inexpensive at the first sight, but don't forget that it's only at the beginning of the process - you still need to do marketing and promotion yourself or hire help for this. And one more important thing in print-on-demand publishing - watch the list price of your future book and at the same time what you pay per book. If your book is more expensive than other books "from the same shelf", consumers will never buy your book. And keep in mind that if you want to sell retail, you must be able to give distributors / wholesalers / retailers their 40% to 60% share of the list price. Otherwise you can only sell to consumers directly.

Self-publish yourself

You are in the driver's seat and do everything yourself.

Get help with self-publishing

Hire help to do marketing and promotion for you.

Who keeps the rights for your work?

Conventional publisher always keeps all the rights. You don't have any influence on editing, changing the title, illustrations, cover art, publishing, marketing, etc. And you never get your rights back after you signed a contract.

Subsidy or vanity publisher and Print-on-demand publisher sometimes assigns right to themselves, sometimes only temporary, sometimes to you; the latter of course is much better. Watch the contract and negotiate if you are set on this course.

Self-publish yourself and Get help with self-publishing: keep all your rights. You are free to publish, re-publish, sell your rights in the future to TV and movie producers, etc.

Olga Kellen
AuthorsOmniscient Publishers
Advisory/promotional service for self-publishers
http://www.authors-sell-book.com/
A destination for independent authors
And those that love to read them


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