Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Choosing a Publishing Method

Conventional publishing with or without an agent, self-publishing, or publish on demand. Which publishing method is right for your book?

Perhaps you are writing a mystery novel, and are unsure whether to: look for an agent to pitch your book to a conventional publisher, self-publish on your own, or use a publish-on-demand company to bring your book to market. There are a few things to consider with each option.

· Publishing contracts for an unknown author without a huge media following are harder to get than ever. If you do decide to go with a conventional publisher, I recommend getting an agent. It may still take years of querying and being rejected. You may not own the copyright to your book when all is said and done, so read carefully or have an attorney read over the contract. If your book doesn’t sell, the publisher may back list it, which is a way of saying it’s on the back burner but not being promoted.

· Self-publishing requires that you do all the work yourself or subcontract the things you don’t know how to do such as getting the ISBN, creating the cover design, laying out the interior of your book, finding a printer, and getting the book into distribution channels.

· A publish-on-demand (POD) company is best suited to most first-time authors. They do all the leg work for a fee. Again, make sure you are the owner of the copyright to your book when the publishing is complete.

The type of publisher an author chooses should be determined by the author’s intention, timeline, and budget.

Author Intention
What do you plan to do with your book when it is published? Do you plan to sell it in hopes of making a profit or is your intention to share it with only a few close friends or to have as a record of your life for your family’s sake?

Author Timeline
If you have a time-sensitive topic, you can’t afford to wait the typical two years of querying in hopes of getting a contract from a conventional publisher. It may take another year to get the book on the market after you have a contract. If you need to get the book to the market sooner, you may want to self-publish or go with a publish-on-demand company such as Published by Westview in Nashville, Tennessee.

Author Budget
Going the conventional publishing route may give an author a small up-front payment known as an advance. Be sure you read your contract carefully to make sure you don’t have to pay back the advance money if your book doesn’t meet their sales quota within a certain amount of time.
No matter what route you choose to bring your book to the market, the publicity is going to be up to you, the author. And, that’s fine, because who knows a book better than its author anyway? Yet, many authors do not have a degree in marketing or know where to begin with such a task. That is the purpose of my eBook, Online Promotion Made Easy—to teach authors how to market their book through online networking and promotion.
I wish you much success on publishing your book!

Yvonne Perry, is the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services—a team of highly qualified writers and editors with many years of experience in writing for articles, books, ad copy, media releases, PR kits, Web text, biographical sketches, and newsletters. Editing, proofreading, book review, and book evaluation services offered individually and as packages. Find us online at

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1 comment:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, all authors need a marketing budget regardless!

And I've heard numerous authors say go for the publisher first, as landing an agent is far more difficult. Sign on with a small publisher, put out a successful book or two, and then move up to a bigger publisher with the help of an agent.

L. Diane Wolfe