Blog to Book Project — Types of Publishing

You may not be totally convinced that self-publishing is for you, and that’s ok. You have options. There are three main routes to publishing these days, traditional, self, and hybrid. Let’s take a few minutes to highlight the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishing refers to the process of being given a book deal by a publishing company. It typically involves submitting your manuscript to a number of agents or publishers and quite a few rejection letters. Once your book has been accepted, a contract is drawn up and signed by the author, the publisher, and the agent. A manuscript will go through several more rounds of editing before it is published. 

Some big-name publishing houses are Macmillan, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.

Pros:

  • Validation. Your book was deemed worthy to be published by one of the big guns in publishing. 
  • Getting your book into brick and mortar bookstores is initially easier. 
  • You’ll have a team of editors, cover designers, and formatters to work with.
  • No upfront financial costs and sometimes a royalty advance.

Cons:

  • Slow process. It could take years to get an agent. Then it could take more years before your book is launched.
  • You lose creative control over your title, cover, and marketing. 
  • Royalty is reduced by expenses incurred, so it could be as low as 7% of total sales.
  • Marketing may be inadequate to generate sales or not be part of the package deal at all.

Self-Publishing

There are all sorts of self-publishing platforms out there these days, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu, Kobo, and Wattpad among others. When you self-publish your book, you are basically asking a publisher to print your book and sometimes distribute it. You retain all copyrights and ISBN numbers as well as any books you have printed and purchased through the publisher. 

You might do better as a self-published author if you are producing books on niche topics, highly specific themes, rather than general interest works. Remember, just because there are not so many hoops to jump through, doesn’t mean you should aim for the creation of the best book possible. That means editing, proofreading, checking for formatting errors, and so on. 

Pros:

  • You are the final say in your book’s content, design, and marketing strategy. 
  • It’s faster to get from finished manuscript to market and get paid. 
  • You’ll earn higher royalties, usually 35% to 70% of each sale.
  • You can sell your book in other countries while retaining the rights to your work.  
  • If you do well at self-publishing, agents might contact you for a traditional book contract.

Cons:

  • You have to do everything yourself, or hire someone to edit, format, design a cover, and market your book. 
  • There’s still a stigma to self-published work. Writers are often not considered “real” authors until they get a contract. 
  • You’ll need to budget for editing, cover design, and marketing expenses. 
  • It’s more difficult to get your book into brick and mortar bookstores. 

Hybrid Publishing

If you go the hybrid publishing route, you can hire a publisher and keep your copyrights. The publisher will publish your book with their company imprint as well as providing a professional cover and do the editing. Some companies will market your book, while others leave that aspect up to you. It’s important to understand what services you will be receiving for your fee. 

Hybrid Publishing companies include 3rd Coast Books, Page Two Strategies, Greenleaf Book Group, TCK Publishing, Plum Bay Publishing, Rebel Press, and Unbound to name a few.

Pros:

  • The publishing company provides professional printing, layout, cover design, and editing.
  • You retain copyrights.
  • Royalties are higher than standard. 
  • Great for niche books.

Cons:

  • Fees to the publishing company can be substantial. 
  • You are responsible for marketing.
  • It’s more difficult to get your book into brick and mortar bookstores. 
  • Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a hybrid publisher and a vanity press.

There you have the three types of publishing available these days. Knowing a little about each can help you better decide which route to authorship you’d like to take.

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3 thoughts on “Blog to Book Project — Types of Publishing

  1. I find it interesting that self-published authors aren’t considered ‘real’. I guess it’s likely what was also said of Gutenberg’s press when it first started up. The Monks being the only actual publishers. Then things moved forward and book became more widely available and the printing press became the only real method of publishing. Nice to see each type of publisher has a different niche. It’s an interesting time in publishing. As technology continues to be refined and e-books become more available, we may see a change in attitude toward the self-published author…much like the printing press revolutionized the publishing industry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Live it, be it! Hope is great, but as Ghandi said we have to be the change we want to see in the world. We do this by being and doing and living it. Dreams become reality that way. I like to be Realistically Unrealistic that way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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